Lessons learned from ingenious job seekers.
I want to share two of the great things I’ve seen on a resume and experienced in interviews recently. The job market is indeed tough, but these people have made the challenge surmountable. I’ve edited names of people and businesses for privacy.
Job Seeker #1 – Senor Elevator Speech Meister
I often have the wonderful task of screening job seekers for employers requesting additional screening before the initial interviews occur. Last week, I was screening for Front Desk Managers for a new hotel. The job requirements were straightforward: (1) at least 3 years prior experience as a front desk agent or supervisor with a full-service hotel, (2) comfortable with and experience managing a staff of 8-10 people, (3) familiar with standard front desk reports including financial audit reports, and (4) bilingual in English and Spanish preferred.
After many adequate but not stellar candidates, Mr. John McGee sat down and said:
“My name is John McGee. I have 12 years experience in front desk, with the last three as Front Office Manager for Hilton Los Eccos in California and the previous three with the same company at their Cinco Ranch location in Omaha, Nebraska as Front Office Supervisor and Night Auditor. I am certified at the management level for the OnQ PMS and have been recognized by Hilton Corporation as a Southwest Region Catch Me at My Best Superstar. In my most recent position I managed 12 Front Desk Agents, three Night Auditors, the 14 member bell staff, and assisted with the Sales and F&B departments for large banquet events serving 200 to over 1500 people in single and multi-day events. I was the manager responsible for running all occupancy, daily RevPAR, ADR, room block, and financial audits for over six years. Hablo Espanol y spreche Deutsches. I think this job and this hotel are a fantastic match for my qualifications!”
BINGO! John wowed me from the first 30 seconds and has truly mastered “the elevator speech”. An elevator speech is a quick but thoughtful summary of your qualification for a specific job. The name comes from the idea that you might one day meet the person that has hiring authority for your dream job in an elevator and you have privacy and immediate access to this person for the time you are traveling to your upward or downward destination. John has mastered this because he summarized his experience AND applied it to the job requirements. He also, at least initially, demonstrated a skill by speaking in other languages. Needless to say he got the interview.
Job Seeker #2 – Captain Sky Writer
I received a resume last week with the typical name and contact information at the top. Immediately underneath, however, was this objective statement:
14 years of flight captain experience with 2 commercial airlines and 7 years of experience flying Cesna “Puddle Jumper” planes for ABC Casino junkets in the mid-Atlantic. Specialized flight training and experience in sky writing. Seeking employment that will continue to take me to the heavens and beyond.
Now, I just had to pass this resume on to see if any of our recruiting team members could find an aviation position for this individual because he clearly added the right attitude to “fly the friendly skies”.
It is vital to your job search to make thoughtful decisions that will positively grab the attention of your employer audience. Be creative and professional. I am always amazed about how a little artistry can spark interest!
Danny Zendejas is the Hospitality Business Consultant for Workforce Solutions in the Houston metropolitan area. He has over eight years of experience in the hospitality industry and workforce development and is a native of San Antonio, Texas.