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Your Transferable Skills in Housekeeping Might Qualify You for These Other Roles

While many in the field of housekeeping may be currently out of work, there is an opportunity for them to really clean up with their next role. When the coronavirus hit, thousands of housekeepers were laid off because employers like hotels saw business plummet. Even private housekeepers have lost their jobs since families are canceling services because they don’t want to or can’t allow anyone inside their homes while the country deals with shelter-in-place orders.

Hotel housekeeper working in a room

However, the coronavirus pandemic has made cleaning skills more essential — and more sought after. In mid-March as the COVID-19 outbreak was spreading across most of the United States, there was a 75 percent increase in the cleaning services sector as there was demand to disinfect public gathering spaces and workplaces. 

"There's been a huge spike in demand for cleaning workers," Julia Pollack, a labor economist at ZipRecruiter, told MarketWatch in a story published on March 12th. "We didn't see much of a change in February, but the first few weeks of March we are seeing a big shift."

If you're a worker who lost your job as a housekeeper, maid, sanitation worker, janitor or other cleaning-related position, there are jobs that fit your skills. The key is starting your job search now to be a step ahead of the competition.

There are still cleaning roles out there. The trick is learning how to write a resume that articulates your skills in a way that makes you shine. Here, we show you how to highlight your skills and experience in a way that will help you get your next role.

Transferable skills and training to emphasize on your resume

You may have cleaned a hotel, worked in a family home, been a custodian at a local elementary school or managed a housekeeping team. Regardless of your role, you have skills that are of value to other employers in various industries. These are called transferable skills.

These transferable skills can be hard skills, technical skills or soft skills, like communication and problem-solving, that make you great at your job. When you learn how to emphasize these skills on your resume, you help an employer see your value and what you'll bring to the table when you are hired.

You want to include hard, technical and soft skills and relevant training or certifications that you may have earned during your time in housekeeping. Here are some that you should consider adding to your resume:

Hard and technical skills: Hard skills include experience operating cleaning equipment, like floor polishers, experience managing inventory, experience scheduling cleaning crews, experience managing maintenance projects, strong organization and time-management skills. Technical skills include proficiency with inventory software or scheduling software, experience using Microsoft Office

Soft skills: Customer service, communication, empathy, collaboration, flexibility, teamwork, ability to take direction, problem-solving

Certifications and training: Certified Executive Housekeeper and Registered Executive Housekeeper, Certified Facilities Manager certification, OSHA Housekeeping Safety training

Education: If your highest level of education is high school or if you earned a GED, add that under the Education header. While housekeeping roles typically do not require a degree, if you have one, add it to your resume and skip adding your high school information. If you've taken additional coursework in management or hospitality, for example, be sure to include that under Education as well. Cleaning or housekeeping certificates should be listed under a separate header.

These industries are hiring people with your skills

If you were a maid, sanitation worker, housekeeper, janitor, custodian, cleaner, cleaning services manager or facilities manager, you might be qualified for one of these roles. 

  • Sanitation worker (for example, for Recology)
  • Janitor (for example, at a nursing home)
  • Custodian (for example, for an essential retailer like WalMart)
  • Cleaner (for example, for a supply chain company)
  • Cleaning services manager (for example, managing a team of janitors at a hospital)
  • Facilities manager (for example, for an essential businesses)

How to apply for these roles and what you'll need

When applying in person, you will need to have a current resume that highlights your relevant skills, a current email and phone number, and identification such as a driver's license or passport.

If you're applying online, you will also need a current email address and phone number and an up-to-date resume that reflects the skills the employer is seeking.

An employer may also request a cover letter, which is a good opportunity to briefly outline why you're a good fit for the job and why you want to work for the employer.

How to find these jobs in your community

How to create a resume that will capture an employer's attention

While many essential employers have relaxed their hiring standard in their push to hire the workers they need quickly, it's still critical to have a strong resume. Focus on writing a resume that directly addresses the skills and experience that are outlined in the job ad and customize each document to highlight those along with your applicable transferable skills.

In addition, a well-written cover letter that addresses why you want the job and why you're a good fit will make a more personal connection to the hiring manager and make you more memorable. After all, more than half of all job seekers skip the step of writing a cover letter so taking the time to write a simple but thorough letter will set you apart from other applicants.

Text resume example: A maid applying for cleaning services role

Name: Ashley Davila
Address: Burlington, CT 06013
Phone: (555) 555-5555
Email: example@example.com

Summary Statement: Exceptionally organized Maid bringing years in commercial and residential cleaning. Adept at efficiently completing tasks in independent or team-based fashions to achieve and maintain high client satisfaction.

Summary of Skills:

  • Quality control guidelines
  • Sorting and washing laundry
  • Dusting furniture
  • Mopping and sweeping
  • Vacuuming
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Communication skills
  •  Conscientious
  • Residential cleaning
  • Relationship Development
  • Customer service

Work History

House Maid
The Falsom Cleaning Group
New Haven, CT
4/2018–3/2020

  • Serviced bathrooms, including cleaning, sanitizing and supply replenishment.
  • Examined 15 rooms, halls and lobbies to determine need for repairs and replacement of furniture or equipment.
  • Accepted accountability for all assigned building keys, master keys and access cards.

Maid
Roscoe Medical Inc.
Hartford, CT
11/2016–6/2017

  • Disposed of trash and recyclables each day to avoid waste buildup.
  • Completed laundry services with special attention to care instructions, including hand-washing and dry cleaning. 
  • Cleaned bathrooms and kitchens with sanitizing products to prevent spread of germs and reduce likelihood of illness.

Assistant Housekeeper
Fargo Cleaning Works
South Glastonbury, CT
6/2013–11/2015

  • Arranged for provision of extra room bedding, linens, towels and furniture to satisfy senior guests with special needs.
  • Serviced 10 community bathrooms, including cleaning, sanitizing and supply replenishment.
  • Ordered and stocked supplies to avoid shortages and excess inventory.

Education & Training

High School Diploma
Glastonbury High School
Glastonbury, CT

Occupational Safety and Health Academy Training
Course 610 – Housekeeping Safety
2013

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Anita Bruzzese

Career Advice Expert

Anita Bruzzese is an award-winning journalist with more than 25 years of experience, writing for such publications as USA Today, Shape Magazine, and Mashable. She is also the author of two career advice books, and has appeared on The Today Show as a career expert.Anita has been interviewed for O, The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and Huffington Post. Visit her website at www.45things.com.