The world is changing. Employment is changing. The Job Interview is changing. Marketable Skills are changing – fast. This has touched every industry including ours, the hospitality industry. This is good, and bad. If you didn’t spend thousands of dollars and years in university then it is good news. If you are went to university but didn’t volunteer, intern, or work on soft skills then the future doesn’t look good.
It isn’t easy to know how to take advantage of opportunities. You need to know the industry. There are more managers and executives trying to break into the hospitality industry. Mainly, because it is the only strong growth industry left in North America.
Most fail because they don’t realize that the hospitality industry depends heavily on recruitment firms to vent Qualified Management Candidates. It is just the way the hotels and restaurants have done it for the last few decades.
The second mistake management candidates make is relying on their portfolio and past achievements. These are not as valuable as they use to be. Almost every management candidate leaves university with a working knowledge of financial planning, scheduling, and organizational behavior. It is the soft skills they lack, and the ones that are most sought after in the hospitality industry.
Leaders Who Don’t Lead – Interesting Concept
There is a disconnect between how universities are teaching Leadership, Communication, and time management and the skills employers need.
I worked with a life coach/transition coach and member of the International Association of Coaching. She told me that the IAC do not recognize most university coaching programs for certification. Why? Because universities are notorious for teaching you WHAT you need to do, but not teaching you HOW to do it.
I understand what she means. I’ve interviewed dozens of professionals who have extensive lists of leadership workshops and courses on their resume, but they are mirroring my body language like they just left a Zig Ziggler sales coaching conference. Personally, I know who I am and what message I want to get across to people. I want to know who you are, so mimicking me only tells me that you are insecure, or manipulative – both of these convince me that you might have sat in on leadership classes but you never took anything away. You never owned the information you learned.
The Phrase ‘Team Player’ Makes Me Cringe!
Another problem I have with management candidates is their ‘team work’ or ‘team player’ skills. I’m sorry, but don’t tell me you are a team player – show me. What have you done on the job, and off the job? Are you in a band, theater company, play sports? Do you volunteer your time?
A team player is a social person. The term means you are willing to put others needs before yours to achieve a common goal. Where do I see you doing this in your resume? Honestly, you can say that you were part of two or three different projects, but how do I know whether you were vital in the success, or was the one causing conflict, wasting time at meetings, and sitting at home on Saturday while the rest of the team worked overtime to pick up the slack?
Success is a Habit
If you are claiming that you were successful in your last job then I want to see that too. Don’t tell me about it. Success is a habit so I should be able to see a common thread throughout your life. Do you finish things? Are there gaps in your employment history where it appears you enjoyed the time off, but didn’t build your skills.
It you have gaps in your resume then ton’t tell me you have good organizational and time management skills, because your resume clearly states that you don’t. Also, don’t tell me you were a ‘go getter’ and ‘team leader.’ Don’t tell me that you are a ‘company person’ and that you are a ‘work a holic.’ That note I will be writing down on your interview form will not be good.
In fact, keep all of that off your resume. Successful people have personality traits in common with other successful people. Learn these traits and practice them. Make them a part of your life. Don’t think that practicing 2 or 3 days before the job interview will fool me. I can pick out a fake within the first few minute.
In fact – Don’t try to Be Anything or Anyone
What I will be impressed with is people who ‘be themselves.’ You may be a little rough around the edges. Your communication skills may be at the highschool level. You may be the type of person to second guesses their choices, and is always making sure they pass everything past management before they make changes. But – what you may not know – is that is the exact ‘soft skills’ I need for the current position.