It’s officially spring, and that means that it’s also a peak hiring season for Canadian hospitality and tourism companies!
If you’re a student on the hunt for an exciting and adventurous summer job, the hospitality and tourism industry is a great place to look. Many hotels, resorts, and parks hire seasonal employees to support the company during the summer travel season. However, this busy period also means that there can be a lot of competition for the top positions.
If you want to make sure your application stands out from the crowd, give your resume and cover letter a “spring cleaning” by following these tips!
Lose the Objective
Hospitality and tourism companies are looking for individuals whose personality, experiences, and attitude fit their work environment. Who you are outside of work, your passions and extracurricular activities, and the unique skills and perspective you bring to the company are as much an asset on your resume as your work experience.
Ultimately, employers know you want to get hired (why else would you be applying?), so lose the objective section on your resume. Instead, take the time to craft a compelling summary statement about who you are, what you bring to the table, and why that is beneficial to a potential employer. Often it takes a recruiter or manager some time to dig out that information from a candidate’s resume, so make it easy for them by highlighting this key information right at the top of the page.
Do Your (Keyword) Research
Job postings often contain critical information that can help you stand out from the competition. Look for keywords describing the ideal candidate or the company’s culture and core values, and be sure to incorporate those words in your resume and application.
For example, if the job posting describes the ideal candidate as being experienced in “delivering superior customer service,” then be sure to use similar language when describing your own experiences. This tip is especially useful for online or web-based applications, which often use keyword analysis as a way of pre-screening applicants.
Likewise, when you’re researching companies, try to take the extra time to visit the restaurant, hotel or tourism company as an undercover “secret shopper.” The opportunity to observe the environment and potentially meet a manager will provide you with additional information that can help enhance your application. For example, when recruiting and hiring managers read your cover letter and see that you visited their establishment, they’ll be impressed by your effort and willingness to go the extra mile to secure the role.
When In Doubt, Wordle!
Take the time to visualize what your resume says about you as a candidate. Enter the text of your resume into an online word cloud generator, such as Wordle or WordItOut. These sites rank the frequency by which you use certain words or phrases, and then represent the words you use most often in larger text than words that are used less frequently.
Why should you do this? Well, this idea comes highly recommended by hospitality career expert Janet Latremouille. Janet teaches in the School of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism at the Humber Institute for Technology and Learning. She found that job applicants are often not aware of the impression their resumes are giving potential employers. For example one former student, after word-clouding their resume, found out that their top descriptor was “alcoholic” – turns out describing your ability to “responsibly serve alcoholic beverages” repeatedly is not advisable!
Name That File!
Resumes and cover letters should be customized for each and every position you apply for, plain and simple. One of the most awkward moments in a recruiting or hiring manager’s day is when a rockstar applicant submits a resume (or cover letter) with another company’s name in the title! Take the time to proof-read your resume, save the file as a PDF (to ensure your formatting works across multiple computer platforms) and make sure to rename the file!
Your application is the first impression you make on recruiting and hiring managers, so take the time to customize your resume and cover letter for each and every position you apply for. Remember, the competition for seasonal contracts can be tough, but by following this simple advice, you will be sure to grab that recruiters’ attention and land that in-person interview. Good luck!