Hoteliers are fantastic with people. Isn’t that what we’re paid for? But not all hoteliers are comfortable with technology…yet. Especially when it comes to getting the max out of the social revolution online. The good news is that every hotelier CAN make the best use of the Internet to boost their professional profiles as well as hunt for career opportunities more effectively. And all thats needed is the drive, common sense and the vital skill hoteliers already have…that of dealing with other human beings!
Though the Internet has revolutionized the way we interact and access a wealth of knowledge and information, great job leads these days are still a matter of ‘who you know’. Therefore getting connected with the right people the right way is crucial to job hunting success. Here are a few do’s and don’ts from experience:
Finding Hotel Jobs Online – Do’s:
- Be very specific and focused: You HAVE to know exactly what you want to do, i.e. what department you’re looking to work in and even better what role best suits your abilities. Too often hotel professionals are plagued with emails and resumes from applicants who’re ‘looking for a suitable job’ or are open to ‘anything’. These requests usually end up in spam folders and dustbins very quickly. If YOU don’t know what you want to do and can do well, potential employers certainly won’t spend the time to try and figure it out.
- Do your research: Find out about the company that you want to work for and if possible the specific roles available and people looking to hire. Talking to your most accessible connections offline or online in the company can be a great help in finding out how things work too, i.e. does the company only accept resumes through an online system, who makes the decisions, what’s the urgency, etc. Also remember to read as much as you can about developments and new announcements in media and industry publications – if a new hotel is set to open and they’re recruiting, you know where to look, quick.
- Go beyond superficial networks. Build relationships and respect space: It’s not uncommon these days to have hundreds of contacts and friends on your Facebook, LinkedIN and other networks, not ALL of whom you may know so well. The key to reaching out is to refine these networks and group them by relationship. Then identify who’s going to be the most valuable source of information, advice or help. The worst thing you can do is reach out to people you hardly know and barrage them for help and jobs…that’s the easiest way to alienate them. Instead build relationships over time and trade social favors to strengthen trust.
- Fine tune your value proposition a.ka. What’s in it for them? One of the most important things…companies and recruiters are interested in finding people who fit their needs, not yours. It is imperative that you customize your resume every time you apply to ensure it is concise as well as relevant to the job. You’ve got to rewrite and present your skills and past achievements based on what’s going to be the most applicable in your possible future role. If you can, beef up your resume with rich content if you have PR material (e.g. if you’ve been featured in media, TV or Industry publications, plus other Awards & accomplishments) available. Online videos and blogging are also a great way of building your personal brand in the long run.
- Invest time in doing what you’re doing and stay consistent: Job hunting is both tedious as well as draining on the spirit. Yes, you will fail more often than you succeed when job hunting…that’s a given. But utilize those failures to learn and improve your future applications. Commit to yourself that you’ll spend a certain amount of time each day to do the things you want to achieve in your search and plan your activities so you don’t put all your hopes into one basket.
- Set up alerts and leverage technology: Make the power of the Internet work for you. Most major job sites have the ability to set up email alerts so that you are notified every time a job matching your specified criteria is posted. This allows you to respond very quickly. You can also use Google Alerts to have Google notify you every time some keywords you’re searching for appear on an news portal, website, Google group or blog. This is a superb way of staying up-to-date with industry happenings without spending too much time manually searching. Find niche online communities relevant to your field and sign up to receive alerts and job leads if the opportunity exists.
- Get Creative: Stand out from the herd! Be creative and present yourself differently, with confidence. If you have special talents or skills, use them to show potential employers just what you’re capable of! Are you a great cook? A top-notch Marketer? An engineer who’s clued in on the green revolution? A Restaurant Manager with Pizzazz? Then SHOW it! You’re more likely to catch the eye of potential recruiters if you are relevant, stand out and are memorable…if not immediately then even in the future when something opens up.
Finding Hotel Jobs Online – What not to do:
- Post your resumes on Blogs and Forums: I’ve noticed this problem over the last few years…a lot of job hunters tend to visit hotel blogs, forums or news sites and post their entire resumes in comment boxes. Not only do these comments NOT get seen by relevant people making hiring decisions, but they’re also akin to spam and end up getting deleted very quickly. Blogs and forums should be used to interact with the blogger and other users, as relevant to the topic being discussed. If you’ve built up a relationship with particular bloggers or forum participants, take if off-air and seek personal assistance / advice using email or personal messaging.
- Spam: Email spam containing resumes have also become very common, often BCC’d to a whole range of people, with no personalized greeting or stated purpose. Again, spam ends up where it normally does (in the bin) and makes it less likely that your subsequent emails, even if valid, reach that recipient.
- Abuse your networks: It takes a long time to build great, reliable and useful networks…but like reputation, only a few minutes to destroy them (especially in the online world, where news and events, especially bad ones spread like wildfire). Handle your networks as you would a new-born baby…with love, nurturing and lots of attention. They’ll grow up and reward you in ways you never anticipated!
Given the current recession and a hiring freeze in many hotels around the world, it will be even more imperative that you go beyond the usual way of job hunting and get creative, leverage online technology and build strong connections.
Hope the above tips are helpful in your search and wishing you good luck! Remember that persistence and working smart are the only ‘secret shortcuts’ to success.
Some Basic Sites, Tools and Platforms you SHOULD be using:
Online Networking Sites:
- Professional Networking: www.linkedin.com – LinkedIn is an online network of more than 30 million experienced professionals from around the world, representing 150 industries.
- Professional Networking: www.xing.com – This professional platform is like LinkedIN offers personal profiles, groups, discussion forums, event coordination, and other common social community features. A high percentage of usage from German users.
- Personal Networking: www.facebook.com – Facebook gives people the power to share and makes the world more open and connected. Millions of people use Facebook everyday to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet.
Hotel Job Sites:
- Company Job sites – Most major hotel chains now have excellent job boards – this should be your first port of call. Example – www.starwoodhotels.jobs, Marriott Careers, InterContinental Careers, etc
- www.caterer.com – Caterer.com is part of Totaljobs Group Ltd, the UKs largest and fastest growing online recruitment company, comprising 10 job board business, which between them carry over 220,000 jobs, and attract over 3 million jobseekers every month who generate 1.4 million applications.
- www.hcareers.com – Hcareers is the leading online hospitality job board in North America and celebrates ten years as the top recruitment source for connecting employers and candidates within the hospitality industry.
Popular Generic Job Sites that also feature Hotel Jobs:
- www.monster.com – Monster is one of the 20 most visited websites out of 100 million worldwide, according to comScore Media Metrics (November 2006). It was created in 1999 by the merger of The Monster Board (TMB) and Online Career Center (OCC), which were two of the first and most popular career web sites on the Internet.
- www.careerbuilder.com – Owned by Gannett Co, Inc., Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company, and Microsoft Corp., CareerBuilder.com offers a vast online and print network to help job seekers connect with employers. CareerBuilder.com powers the online job search centers for more than 1,000 partners, including 150 newspapers, America Online and MSN.
There are a lot more sites and boards out there – Search Google for Hotel Jobs and refine your search for the specific country and sector you’re looking for.
- Web Search Engines like www.google.com, www.yahoo.com, www.live.com
- Blog Search Engines like www.technorati.com and blogsearch.google.com
- New Search like Google News – news.google.com
- You can also use the networking sites above for ‘people’ research
- Hotelier News sites like www.eHotelier.com, www.4hoteliers.com, www.hotel-online.com and so on
Sites specific to the Middle East:
- Popular Job Boards: Caterer Global (Tip: set up an email alert for best results), Naukri.com Gulf, Bayt.com, etc
- Job Tips and Leads: The Top 20 Hotel Jobs newsletter
- Online Hotelier Networks: The YoungHotelier.com Online Network – www.YoungHotelier.com and The Talent Jungle Network – www.TheTalentJungle.com
- Offline Hotelier Networks: The Hot Hoteliers Networking Group UAE – www.HotHoteliers.com
- Hotelier Discussion Forum: The Hotelier TEA Lounge – www.younghotelier.com/lounge
Other relevant content on Hotel Jobs and Surviving the Recession you may find useful:
- Video – How can hoteliers thrive during this recession?
- Video – 5 Elementary Tips for Hoteliers to Survive the Recession
- Videos – Top 10 Tips to move to Dubai for a Hotel Job
- Hotelier Video Interviews : A great way to learn about various professions and experiences if you’re looking to join the hospitality industry for the first time or changing brands, country or section of work.
This Hotel Job Hunting Guide is also available for download in PDF format. Please feel free to pass on / recirculate this guide freely without modification, reproduction in any other form or sale.
SEE THE GUIDE HERE:
Hotel Jobs – A Hoteliers Guide to Job Hunting in the New Online World by Jitendra Jain is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at www.hotelemarketer.com.