Listed below are some general tips that may give you an advantage over other applicants, or may strengthen your application if you are dropping your resume into venues (this is called ‘cold calling’).
Hire For Attitude, Train For Skill
A mantra used by many managers in the hospitality industry is to ‘hire for attitude, and train for skill’. To elaborate, an inexperienced applicant with an outstanding attitude may have greater chances of scoring a job than an experienced applicant with a poor attitude for simply that reason – they have an outstanding attitude. What’s the point of employing a staff member with a poor attitude if their primary purpose is to entertain guests? If an applicant has the right attitude, they will (a) be easy to train and (b) be able to interact with guests and give them the ‘nights of their lives’.
So, capitalize on this. Remember that your assessor may be hiring based on attitude, not just skill.
Conduct Your Application Like An Advertising “Campaign”
Firstly, you need to treat your quest for employment as an advertising ‘campaign’. You need to understand that you probably won’t land a bar job immediately (and if you do, well done) – you’ll need to dedicate time to perfecting your resume, preparing yourself for interview questions and growing your confidence. If you are prepared, your chances of scoring a job are much higher than if you were working ‘without a net’. Learn from your mistakes, and learn from failed interviews. Treat your job search as a campaign – where you are the product that you’re trying to sell. Try and promote your most outstanding qualities, and paint the best picture possible!
Perfect Your Resume
You’ll probably need to spend some time perfecting your resume. When I say ‘perfecting’, I mean making it perfect – free of spelling errors, grammatical errors and any design and look-and-feel eyesores. The point I’m making is that you probably won’t score a bar job if you don’t put effort into it – to coin an age old saying, ‘you reap what you sow’. Make your resume look great.
Pick A Time And A Place To Apply
If you are cold calling venues, don’t drop your resume in when the venue is busy or in the middle of a service period. Only ask to speak to a manager if the venue is quiet! And, when you meet the manager, immediately ask, ‘Is now a good time to talk?’ (this shows you are conscious of the fact that the manager might be busy as you are arriving unannounced).
Keep Your Resume In Perfect Condition
When you hand over your resume, make sure it is in perfect condition. Keep each resume in a clear sleeve or something similar. Remember that your assessor may be analysing how you treat your resume – so keep all documents clean and in ‘mint’ condition!
View Your Application Through The Eyes Of Your Assessor
It helps to take a step back and examine the bigger picture. Remember that your assessor is a normal human being! Ask them how their day is going, and be friendly and spark a conversation with them.
Try and ‘turn the tables’ and view your application through the eyes of the person interviewing you. Imagine you were conducting the interview. Remember that your assessor will be analysing how you interact with them in an attempt to work out how you will interact with their customers. So:
- Remember to be positive, grateful and thankful that someone has taken the time to see you
- Be happy, positive and optimistic
- Take the approach that everything you do and say will be used towards assessing your suitability for a job (even though it might not)
- Act respectfully, and possess manners (say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’)
- Act the way you think somebody should act in this situation (how would you want someone to act in this situation, if you were the assessor?)
- Remember to dress for the occasion. Make an effort. Make sure you are well groomed.
- Demonstrate Thought Leadership and Passion
- Do your best to demonstrate your thought leadership, or your passion for the hospitality industry. Thought leadership is the act of ‘thinking outside the box’ and demonstrating that you are interested and engaged in the industry. Demonstrate your passion for the industry by constantly learning and discussing elements of the industry.
Attitude Is King, Confidence Is Queen
As I have mentioned earlier, your attitude will play a large part in dictating how successful you are in obtaining employment. Be willing to learn, willing to work hard, grateful and be easy to communicate with. Smile and be positive.
Secondly, be confident. No matter how inexperienced you are, it pays to be confident, calm and collected. Be confident in your abilities. If you are inexperienced, be confident in your ability to learn quickly.