Rebecca Chan is a director at Michael Page Hong Kong. Her team specialises in recruiting accounting and sales professionals.
Find the missing links in your hospitality career, says Rebecca Chan of Michael Page
For the past year, I’ve been hunting for a new job in hospitality. I’ve worked in restaurants since leaving school, but want to move into food and beverage (F&B) consulting. However, a lot of the jobs advertised require degrees and I don’t have one. I’ve applied for a few roles but never get any interviews. Are they dismissing my application because I lack a formal qualification, even though I have years of experience?
There is a wide range of roles on offer in the hospitality industry and, in most cases, employers are most interested in candidates with relevant work experience. When it comes to F&B consulting, the value of such experience heavily relies on referrals and personal connections.
Employers also require potential candidates to have restaurant set-up skills and a successful track record as a restaurant manager.
The fact that you do not have a degree may not be the biggest hindering factor, but having a formal qualification is always an advantage.
I would advise you to identify the missing links in your career to date, and focus on gaining the specific experience needed for F&B consulting in your upcoming roles.
You should also make sure your resume is impressive. A detailed and convincing resume should include the following:
● education details
● employment history
● contact details
When listing your employment history, note the size of each company so that potential employers will have a better idea of what sort of businesses you have worked with.
When describing your role in the company, make sure you include all responsibilities undertaken and any promotions you received. Include the impact of your work on the business.
It’s also important to include a section in your resume that lists all your awards and achievements, whether in the F&B industry or otherwise. This gives the potential employer a good idea of your character, and your ability to network with others.
Similarly, be sure to include a section that details any community development or charity work that you are involved in, and any associations or clubs that you belong to.
Proving that you enjoy community-based activities and are social by nature will give you an edge in the hospitality business.
You should adapt your resume for each job application, highlighting strengths relevant to the position, and continuously emphasise your extensive experience in your cover letters.
Alternatively, a promotion within your current company is a good place to start. You could use your expertise to move up to a management position at first, and later work with the business owners in a consulting capacity.
This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Find the missing links in your career.