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Conducting a little research before you begin writing your travel and tourism industry resume will go a long way toward understanding what kind of information to include and how best to format your resume. Whether you’re a travel agent, a tour guide, or a travel clerk, you’ll benefit from examining a few travel and tourism resume samples and applying what you see to your own application.As you read further, you’ll find guidance to help you decide on the best resume format to use, mistakes to avoid, and tips to bring your resume to life. Each section will be discussed, and examples of complex ideas will be provided.
What to Include in a Travel and Tourism Resume
Choosing what to include in your resume can be as difficult as deciding on what to explore on a vacation, and as is the case with a final travel itinerary, there’s no perfect formula that suits everyone.Individuals in the industry will vary in their education, certifications, and career path, so each resume will differ depending on those variations as well as past experience and future career goals.There are, however, some similarities in the way your structure a resume. Traditionally, there are three different styles.The chronological resume style, which focuses on listing jobs in chronological order, is used most often and is the most familiar to hiring managers. For those who are following a traditional career path with no employment gaps, this style works well. The recommended sections for this resume style are:
- Contact info (name/phone/email)
- Resume summary statement
- Work experience
- Contact info (name/phone/email)
- Resume summary statement
- Accomplishments (new section)
- Work experience
How to Write the Travel and Tourism Resume Summary Statement
Your resume summary statement is the intro to your resume and your opportunity to hook the employer and convince them to read the rest of your document. It should be no more than three sentences, and each sentence should describe a situation when you saw a problem, came up with a solution, and ended with a positive result. The trick is to use action verbs that draw the employer into your story so they want to learn more about you.The recommended grammatical style for this element and for the rest of your resume is:
- No first-person pronouns
- Incomplete sentences are preferred over complete sentences
- Action voice is preferred over passive
- Travel agent with over a decade of experience in the leisure vacation sector. Increased customer base by 13 percent for the last three years through referrals and repeat customers. Have traveled to popular destinations to be able to speak first-hand about the laws, customs, and travel advisories. Among a staff of seven agents, with the agency average for customer service rating at 8.3 out of ten, individually was rated 9.6.
- Experienced destination marketing manager who has worked for two major east coast visitors’ and convention bureaus. Increased interest and visibility for both localities by identifying market groups, targeting them through promotional materials, and advertising at the local, national, and international levels. Working with local businesses, increased tourism by over 10 percent annually, bringing in an estimated $11M in tourism dollars in one location and over $20M in the other.
How to Write the Travel and Tourism Work Experience Section
If you haven’t decided which resume format to use, now is the time. Take a look at the travel and tourism resume samples to determine which style – chronological or functional – will work best to highlight your experience.If you’re going with the chronological format, the work experience section will list your previous employment, beginning with the most recent, and each job should have 2-3 accomplishments in bullet point form. Each job should look something like this:Travel Agent, Continental US ABC Travel/Cleveland, OH June 2008 – February 2016
- Recommended new customer tracking software for marketing purposes resulting in better customer relations and new clients as a result of referrals
- Handled leisure travel arrangements for over 120 clients annually
- Out of five agents in the office, consistently scored highest in customer service survey responses
Action Verbs to Include in Your Travel and Tourism Work Experience Section
When you describe your work experience, do your best to create an image of you as the ideal employee actually doing the job. The following list of industry-related action verbs can help get you started:
How to Write the Travel and Tourism Skills Section
As with every section of your resume, write your skills section with the potential employer and their needs in mind. Skills in the travel and tourism industry can probably be broken down into two categories. Technical skills would include experience with various travel software, and interpersonal/personal skills are critical to customer satisfaction and loyalty.Take a look at the travel and tourism resume samples to see how others present their skills and don’t feel restrained by the two category examples used here. An example of what you skills section might look like:Technical skills:
- Marketing experience with social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn
- Expert level spreadsheet skills to track customers, hot destinations, and problem areas
- Experienced user of the Global Distribution System (GDS)
- Strong listening skills
- Effective written and verbal communication skills
- Cool under pressure
How to Write the Travel and Tourism Education Section
While most travel and tourism positions, including travel agents and tour guides, don’t require a college degree, a possible exception would be the position of destination marketing manager. Usually employed by cities or states to increase tourism, they are most often required to have a bachelor’s degree in marketing or advertising.Whatever your highest level of education, be sure to list it first. You simply need to provide the name of the school/school location/degree obtained. If you’re currently working towards a degree, include that information with an “in progress” qualifier.If you’re certified by a professional organization, it’s important to list that information under a “Certifications” sub-heading. Examples include:
- Travel Agent Proficiency (TAP) test administered by The Travel Institute
- Certified Travel Associate (CTA) – The Travel Institute
- Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) – The Travel Institute
- Travel and Tourism Professional (TTP) – International Air Transport Association
- Accredited, Master or Elite Cruise Counselor – Cruise Lines International
Should I Include References in my Travel and Tourism Resume
References should not be included as part of your resume, nor should they be submitted as an attachment. There’s a good reason you haven’t see references as part of the travel and tourism resume samples you’ve looked at – they simply take up important resume space. By stating that references are available upon request, you put yourself in the favorable position of:
- Knowing the employer is interested when they request them
- Being able to notify the people on your list to expect a call
- Asking them to let your know when they’ve been contacted and the type of questions asked
Travel and Tourism Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid
- You may have had an unpleasant experience at a previous travel agency, but don’t even hint at criticizing a former employer. True or not, a potential employer doesn’t want to hire a complainer, and if that’s how you come off, your resume will end up in the reject pile. A good rule of thumb is always be positive and always be honest.
- The devil is always in the details, especially when you’re booking someone else’s vacation. You can’t afford to make mistakes. The same is true with your resume, and if a hiring manager spots a typo or misspelling in your resume, they’ll wonder about your accuracy and attention to detail in your work. Don’t give them a reason to question your ability. Proofread more than once, and if you can, ask a friend to read it too. Once you submit it, it’s too late to make changes.
- The advice to mirror the potential employer’s requirements meets two goals of a well-written resume. First, you present yourself as the employee they’ve described, but hopefully you’ll also use the keywords from the job description. It’s entirely possible that if you’re submitting your resume electronically, it’s being scrutinized by an applicant tracking system (ATS) programmed to look for those keywords. If the ATS doesn’t see them, you’re resume won’t make it to a human being. Why take that chance?
- If you’ve gone to the trouble reading this far, don’t cut yourself short by not taking advantage of reading the travel and tourism resume samples as well.
Job Prospects in the Travel and Tourism Industry
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for occupations in the US economy, and for the period 2014 to 2024, the projected average growth for all occupations is 7 percent.Unfortunately, the projected employment of travel agents for the same ten-year period is expected to decline by 12 percent. The increase in the number of travelers using the internet and mobile devices to research and book their own trips is responsible for the lower demand for travel agents.A related occupation with employment projections slightly above average is that of meeting, convention, and event planners. Since many of the skills are transferable, many organizations prefer to have a dedicated travel and event planner who also understands the culture of the company.While the BLS doesn’t provide employment projections for reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks, they do provide the following information:Industries with the highest levels of employment: Scheduled Air Transportation and Support Activities for Air Transportation Highest paying industries: Rail Transportation For tour guides and escorts:Industries with highest employment: Museums, Historical Sites; Amusement and Recreation Industries; Scenic and Sightseeing Top paying industries: RV Parks and Camps; Charter Bus Industry; Federal Executive Branch