Myths vs. Facts: The Truth About Landing a Job in Hospitality

Myths vs. Facts:  Breaking down the misconceptions, urban legends, and false facts around the job search process in the hospitality industry.

MYTH #1: I have to work in a hotel to have a career in hospitality.

Fact:  While working in a hotel is one option for many students, there are other limitless alternatives.  The hospitality industry offers a variety of careers including opportunities at tourism boards, online travel companies such as Orbitz and Expedia, events and entertainment companies as well as hospitality marketing and consulting agencies.

MYTH #2:  All hospitality careers are in food and beverage service.

Fact:  There are actually many sides to hospitality: corporate positions, which include business development, brand strategy, and revenue management for the organization, and front-line positions that consist of event management, guest relations, and operations management.  The great benefit of working in the hospitality industry is that there are numerous dynamic and specialized career paths to explore.

MYTH #3: I can use the same resume and cover letter for each hospitality position.

Fact:  Students need to tailor each resume and cover letter to reflect the position and organization they are applying for. Submitting a focused cover letter and resume highlighting company specific trends, hospitality coursework and projects, as well as your passion for the career path is key to setting yourself apart and grabbing the eye of an industry recruiter.  Schedule a coaching appointment to have your resume and cover letter reviewed by a Wasserman Center Career Coach.

MYTH #4:  Only students with hospitality experience will land positions.

Fact:  While internships are very important in the hospitality industry, employers are also looking for transferable skills from previous professional and academic experiences. Students with experience in another industry should highlight skills specific to hospitality on their resume and in their cover letter.  For example, skills including customer service, project management, sales, teamwork, and budgeting are important in most hospitality positions but can be gained in other fields. Your goal is to show an employer that you understand the needs of the industry and necessary skills to be successful.

MYTH #5:  Students don’t have to network in the hospitality industry.

Fact:  Approximately 75% of students find positions through networking with alumni, professors, friends, and previous colleagues.  Building relationships is vital to gaining contacts that provide opportunities within the hospitality industry.  During your job search you should set a goal to grow and develop your professional network by identifying individuals that you know and who are within your reach.  Students should also take advantage of the NYU Professional Mentor Network and industry events available through the Wasserman Center.  In addition, professional associations such as Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) are great resources to learn about industry trends and networking events.

Learn more about the hospitality industry by attending these Wasserman Center events:

Building a Career in Events, Entertainment, & Travel, February 12th 4:00-5:30p.m.

NYU Hospitality & Tourism Industry Expo, February 23rd 4:00-6:00p.m.

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