The hotel business has never seen anything quite like this. “The coronavirus has already had a more severe economic impact on the hotel industry than September 11 and the 2008 recession combined,” says Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
The comments were made at a press conference after a meeting at the White House where he and his organization had lobbied for $250 billion in government bailout money. Without it, Rogers estimates, the industry will lay off nearly half of its 8.3 million employees.
When (and if) the money arrives, will it be too late? Companies have already started cutting jobs with 3,600 hotel workers in California getting the pink slip over a four-day period in March and the Trump Organization has laid off about 1,500 employees to date.
The hospitality industry includes a lot more than hotels. Those working in food and beverage, events and travel are experiencing layoffs and furloughs. These sectors have also been hit hard by the economic fallout from COVID-19, and we have advice for workers who've been affected:
- If you work in food service for a hotel, please see our Food Service Industry Transferable Skills story.
- If you work in event planning for a hotel, please see our Meetings and Events Industry Transferable Skills story.
- If you work in leisure travel, please see our Tourism Transferable Skills story.
- If you work in human resources, please see our Human Resources Transferable Skills story.
- If you work in leisure travel, please see our Marketing Transferable Skills story.
If you're worried that this is a bad time to be looking for work, don't fret. Getting a head start in the job search is a great idea since finding a new job will only get harder when the market is flooded with other job seekers a few months from now.
Those with hotel experience have skills other companies are seeking right now. Hotel workers without jobs don't have to be stalled for long in this economy. Here, we explain how you can adapt your skills to land a job in a new field.
Transferable skills and training to emphasize on your resume
From managers to dishwashers, no one in the hotel industry is immune from COVID-19 layoffs. Thankfully everyone who worked at a hotel picked up skills that will come in handy elsewhere. Such skills are referred to as transferable skills.
There are three kinds of transferable skills, and all of them are valuable to employers. They are:
- Hard skills: Measurable knowledge often certified by a degree or training program.
- Soft skills: Hard-to-measure qualities that suggest what you're like to work with.
- Technical skills: Knowledge of specific software programs and tools.
Let's look at a few key skills in each category so you'll have a better understanding of how to work them into your resume.
Hard and technical skills: Hard skills such as: Management experience, employee scheduling, organizational ability, knowledge of public safety procedures, deep cleaning, bookkeeping. Technical skills such as: Microsoft Office Suite, property management systems (such as innRoad), clerical knowledge
Soft skills: Customer service, active listening, creativity, communication, multitasking, time management, teamwork, attention to detail
Certifications and training: ServSafe Food Handler Certification, Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), Certified Lodging Manager (CLM), NCA Certified Concierge™, Certified Hotel Concierge (CHC), Certified Front Desk Representative (CFDR) and others
Education: Most entry- and mid-level hotel jobs do not require a formal education. However, getting an associate degree or taking courses in software programs and skills relevant to your field will help you. Upper-level jobs in hotel management may require a bachelor's degree in hospitality or hotel management.
These industries are hiring people with your skills
If you were in management, including general manager, assistant manager, shift manager, you might consider the following roles:
- Manager (for example, at essential retail, takeout restaurant or grocery store)
- Shift supervisor (for example, at a restaurant, like Applebee's)
- Operations manager (for example, at an essential business)
If you worked front of house, including concierge, front desk associate, hotel clerk, receptionist, you might consider the following roles:
- Sales associate (for example, at a grocery store, like Publix)
- Stocker (for example, at a grocery store, like Aldi)
- Cashier (for example, at an essential retail store, like Staples)
- Bank teller (for example, at a financial institution, like Bank of America)
- Courier (for example, at a shipping company, like FedEx)
- Barista (for example, at a cafe, like Starbucks)
- Server (for example, at a hospital)
If you worked behind the scenes in housekeeping, you might consider the following roles:
- Cleaning technician (for example, at a local cleaning service)
- Dishwasher (for example, at a nursing home)
- Custodian (for example, at a nearby hospital)
- Delivery driver (for example, for a food delivery app, like DoorDash)
- Warehouse associate (for example, at an ecommerce company, like Amazon)
See our Transferable Skills story on the housekeeping industry for more career opportunities.
If you worked behind the scenes in maintenance, you might consider the following roles:
- Maintenance associate (for example, at a health facility such as a hospital)
- Sanitation worker (for example, in a local government agency such as a City Department of Streets and Sanitation)
- Repairman (for example, at a human services facility such as a nursing home)
- Handyman (for example, at a hospital)
See our Transferable Skills story on the maintenance industry for more career opportunities.
How to apply for these roles and what you'll need
If you are applying in-person, you will need a current email address and phone number, a resume and identification, such as a driver's license or passport.
Many jobs you are pursuing, especially high-level ones, will require an online application. To apply online, you will need a current email address and phone number, a resume and identification, such as a driver's license or passport.
How to find these jobs in your community
- Global Hospitality Portal
- Hospitality Online
- Hospitality Crossing
How to create a resume that will capture an employers' attention
Resumes are important. Even when they're not required, you should have one on hand (as well as a well-written cover letter) that's customized to the position. The best way to get noticed by a hiring manager is to tailor your resume to each job. You can do this by carefully reading the job description and pulling out keywords to include in your resume.
Now, here's an example of a hotel concierge resume that has a shot at capturing an employer's attention:
Text resume example: A hotel clerk applying for a courier role
Name: Sheila Hanson
Address: Indianapolis, IN 46231
Friendly hotel clerk looking for a role as a courier. Competent in keeping guest needs balanced with business targets. Highly organized in handling administrative functions. Smooth and efficient multitasker and planner.
Summary of Qualifications
- Proficient in coordinating reservations, updating accounts and promoting customer satisfaction.
- Excellent reputation for resolving problems.
- Easily adaptable to high-pressure, dynamic situations.
- Time management
- Cash Handling
- Customer service
- Problem-solving skills
- Data entry
4/2018 – 3/2020
- Greeted over 50 daily guests at front desk and engaged in pleasant conversations while managing check-in process.
- Updated customer accounts daily with add-on room charges, including minibar use and room service bills.
- Immediately contacted housekeeping staff and maintenance department regarding guest room issues to promote quick remediation.
7/2017 – 3/2018
- Answered multi-line phone system, responded to inquiries and transferred calls to correct departments and personnel.
- Maintained financial accuracy by collecting deposits, fees and payments.
- Kept accounts in balance and ran daily reports to verify totals.
Front Desk Associate
8/2015 – 5/2017
- Managed office inventory by restocking supplies and placing purchase orders to maintain adequate stock levels.
- Interacted with 20 daily customers professionally by phone, email or in-person to provide information and directed to desired staff members.
- Tracked and recorded expenses and reconciled accounts to maintain accurate, current and compliant financial records.
Education & Training
Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management
Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis