Business meetings, conventions, regional conferences, statewide gatherings, sporting events and family getaways have been canceled or are in limbo this year, and hotel workers are paying for it.
In short order, the coronavirus pandemic has turned hotels and resorts into ghost towns, with 80 percent of rooms sitting empty. This is bad news for workers in an industry that supports 8.3 million jobs.
The cost has been huge — Marriott furloughed tens of thousands of employees, Disney furloughed 100,000 — and we've only seen the tip of the iceberg. Insiders predict as many as 44 percent of hotel workers (or four million people) could lose their jobs by the time this is over. The industry is seeking $250 billion to stop the bleeding.
Hotels also play a vital role in holding meetings, conventions, gatherings and conferences — a $330 billion industry according to a recent study. Direct spending based on meetings surpasses spending on the air, rail and water transportation sectors combined, according to Meetings & Conventions, an online site that provides news analysis, research and guidance on the industry for meetings professionals. Experts are uncertain when these industry are coming back.
Yet, hotels are connected to and impacted by the health of other industries, such as Food and Beverage, Events and Travel. These sectors have also been decimated by the economic fallout from COVID-19, and we have advice for their workers:
- If you work in food service for a hotel, please see our Food and Beverage Industry Skills Match story.
- If you work in event planning for a hotel, please see our Events Industry Skills Match story.
- If you work in leisure travel, please see our Travel Skills Match story.
- If you work in human resources, please see our Human Resources Skills Match story.
- If you work in marketing, please see our Marketing Skills Match story.
The good news for hotel workers: Your work experience has prepared you to forge a new path. In this article, we’ll explain how to find a job in an economy that has been fundamentally changed by the coronavirus.
Transferable skills to emphasize on your resume:
Whether you were cleaning rooms or managing hotel finances, you accumulated a stockpile of skills that can be used in other jobs. These are known as transferable skills.
While jobs at hotels might be scarce right now, employers in other fields are searching for workers who possess the types of skills you developed while in hospitality. Many of the skills are hard and technical skills, and some are known as soft skills — hard-to-teach qualities that allow you to work well with others.
Let’s review some of the valuable hard, technical and soft skills you likely honed while working in hospitality so you can better emphasize them in your resume. They are:
Hard skills: Management experience, employee scheduling, organizational ability, knowledge of public safety procedures, deep cleaning, bookkeeping
Technical skills: 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) and others
These industries are hiring people with your skills:
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 an essential retail store, like Target)
- Stocker (for example, at a grocery store, like Aldi)
- Cashier (for example, at an essential retail store, like Walmart)
- 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, including housekeeping, maintenance, kitchen work, 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 Skills Match 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)
See our Skills Match story on the Maintenance Industry for more career opportunities.
If you were in management, including general manager, assistant manager, shift manager:
- Manager (for example, at essential retail, takeout restaurant or grocery store)
How to apply for these roles and what you’ll need:
- Identification, such as a driver’s license or passport
- A current email address and phone number
- A resume
- A brief cover letter
- A resume
- A current email address and phone number
How to find these jobs in your community:
- LiveCareer Jobs
- Off Their Plate
- Snag a Job
- Hospitality Link
- Global Hospitality Portal
- Hospitality Online
- Hospitality Crossing
Do I need a resume during the COVID crisis?
Yes, even in the middle of a pandemic, you should be ready to present your resume. While some employers are shortening their hiring process, a resume is still necessary for them to make quick decisions. A strong resume and a well-written cover letter will always set you apart. Cover letters will not be required for every position, but they present one more opportunity to distinguish yourself.
Here’s an example of what your resume would look like if you were a concierge at a hotel.
Text resume example: Lead concierge applying for a senior sales associate role
Name: Emma Bristol
Address: Asheville, NC 28801
Experienced hospitality professional with three years in customer service and proven leadership ability seeks a role as a senior sales associate at retail business. Friendly demeanor, highly collaborative and creative problem-solver.
Summary of Skills:
- Impressive attention to detail
- Excels at customer service
- Experienced with scheduling software
- Strong interpersonal skills to promote guest satisfaction
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
Courtyard by Marriott
- Instructed concierge team on appearance and manners to best serve guests and enhance their experience.
- Coordinated visitor requests for dining and tourist attractions utilizing research on nearby venues and locales
- Detailed security policies and procedures to guests and hotel staff to promote safety.
- Made reservations for spa services, dining and other events ensuring guests were comfortable and satisfied
- Supported local business by promoting events to visitors.
- Maintained front desk’s concierge book to ensure the most up-to-date and relevant information.
- Scheduled deliveries of flowers, gifts and other products.
- Contacted previous and potential guests via email with information on events to help the hotel grow its client base.
Education & Certifications
Bearden High School
LiveCareer Resume Builder example: Lead concierge applying for a senior sales associate role