Resumes should be only one page. Put it on really good resume quality paper. Professional colors are cream, white or beige. Be mindful that colors that are very bright will detract from the information that’s on your page.
The first section you want to deal with is your name and address. Don’t forget that employers like to email, so put your email address on it as well. If you might be home during the summer, you might want to put your permanent address as well as your school address. That way employers can get you at both locations.
Our hospitality employers simply want to know, do you want an internship, or do you want a permanent management job. Indicate that only. Do not make extraneous, flowery sentences. Simply list, my objective is to obtain a management position or an internship, or work experience. If you know what segment of the hospitality industry you want to enter, its best to list that. Employers really like to see, whether you’re food and beverage or you’re lodging. Also remember that you can have an objective for a variety of different purposes. So its okay to have various resumes, with different types of objectives.
Our next section is education. Remember, you want to list your degrees and certification. Many in the hospitality industry do not have a formal degree so its important for you to put your Bachelor of Arts, in Hospitality Business. Make sure you also list where you got that from, which of course, is Michigan State University. If you’d like to list the Eli Broad College of Business, you’re welcomed to do that as well.
Following your degree, you might want to list then your G.P.A. It is a personal choice. The rule of thumb is, if you get a 3.0 you might want to put that. Also make sure you put when you’re graduating. Its really difficult for employers to find out if you want a permanent job or an internship because they don’t know when you’re graduating. If you have any certification specific to hospitality, they would go next. Certification such as TAPS or TIPS, or your servsafe certification will be important to list as well.
Another section under education, would be whether you did a study abroad. Employers love to see international experience, so if you’ve done one also list that. Be sure to include how many credits you might have taken and what particular discipline that it covers. For instance, 9 credits in International Hotel Lodging Development and your Study Abroad might be India or Dubai.
Your next section is your Hospitality work experience. Now remember all work experience is in reverse chronological order. Meaning your most current job is listed first. You want to have a beginning date and an end date for that particular job. If you’ve had all hospitality jobs, then list them as hospitality jobs. But, for instance, what if you’ve had another job, say janitorial then I would like you to make that a different section than your hospitality section because our employers are looking specifically for that hospitality experience. So, if you have a number of other jobs, non-hospitality specific, please put them in a different section after this one that says additional work experience.
Now underneath each job, if its not evident by what you do, you might want to give an explanation. Especially if the company is not a recognizable one, and employers don’t know what kind of company it is. So, for instance, you might be in food and beverage and you might have been a server and I have no clue of the restaurant. So you might want to say, “I’ve been a server at a 400-seat fine dining restaurant. Some kind of description, that allows the employers to know a little bit more about that company and what you work for and what your duties and jobs entailed. Don’t list complete sentences, just list two or three different phrases about the duties that you performed on that job.
Our next two sections are honors and leadership. You can put them together under one category, depending on what your personal experience is. If you have a number of honors, simply list them and the year you received them. Under leadership, you would list any of the activities you’ve been involved in, any sports, anything that shows your extracurricular activities. Again you can combine the two categories, if you don’t have a lot of things to list, but if you do separate them out.
Our companies are particularly interested whether you have presentation skills. So excel and powerpoint are critical things that you need to put down. Also, under the computer area under skills, I want you to list anything that has to do with property management systems or property operating systems. List what those systems are, such as Micros or Alowa. Companies will be particularly interested, that you have those type of skills.
The other thing listed under skill, would be any languages that you speak. I use three different ratings for competency, whether you’re familiar, whether you’re proficient or whether you’re fluent in written/spoken French, for instance.