July 14th, 2014
The competition for each hospitality job is
overwhelming. Restaurant Managers are among the most in demand professionals. A
recruiting firm must find the right candidate for their clients. The cost of a
hiring mistake is 100% on them. The restaurant loses time, but the recruiting
firm is not compensated. Understanding
this is the first step to finding the best recruiting firm for your skill set
and future goals.
A smart professional will work to develop a
long-term relationship with your recruiting team. As a Candidate you need a
company you can trust, but also one that is trusted by your industry.
What Is The Hospitality Recruiter’s
The first step is to read their website,
and search online. But do not take their ‘ad copy’ as the truth. Make sure that
they only work in the hospitality industry, and that they are known for their
work in your specialty.
Don’t trust a domain name. It is easy to
buy a domain name with www. MyKeyword .com that makes a website sound like the
industry standard. This is just a marketing tactic. Look for content on the
web. What do they write about?
Do they have a LinkedIn profile? Are their
team members and recruiters connected with their LinkedIn profile? This one
tool can tell you whether they are a ‘one man’ show, or part of a team of
highly professional recruiters.
One of the ‘marketing secrets’ is to check
out their blog. If the blog does not go back for years, then the website might
be a lead generation tool, or a turnkey website. Do real people submit to the
blog? Are there real people on the website? When you leave the website do you
have people’s names and locations?
have to wonder if a company that cannot promote their own people on their website
has the marketing and promotion skills to promote your career?
Who Are Their Clients?
Can you see who their clients are
immediately on visiting their website, or on the first contact? Make sure you
state your request clearly. You are looking for their long term clients, not
restaurants they have, at one time, placed a Candidate in, or hospitality jobs
they once filled.
recruiting company’s reputation with clients is more important than their
attempts to solicit resumes.
Can a Recruiting Company Do for My Career?
companies are misunderstood. They are often seen as scams. This is because people have the mistaken
belief that they will negotiate a job for them. Many people hire a recruiting
firm hoping to sit back and have a job dropped in their lap. This is far from
recruiting company will work to find the right Candidates for the right Client.
They work with the client to present themselves, but they won’t offer free
career development, or negotiate the best deal. In fact, a person who wants
someone else to do the hard work may not be a suitable candidate for a
July 7th, 2014
The restaurant management salary range is
wide, based on a candidate’s experience, location, and the restaurant
size. The median salary for a restaurant
manager ranges from $48 000 to $65 000.
It is important to know what you are worth when talking with a
hospitality recruiter. This may seem
like common sense, but many Candidates are ‘off the mark’ when setting their
Experience may earn higher salaries. A
Candidate may have ran a medium sized restaurant for 10 years, but that doesn’t
mean their experience makes them suitable for a large restaurant, or switching
from a franchise to a hotel restaurant.
Job experience has limits. After four years
a Candidate can ask for more, but this is not a sliding scale. The candidate
with four years experience may be worth the same amount as the candidate with
ten years experience.
The highest restaurant management salaries
are Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, according to the Horizon Hospitality salary matrix. In these
cities the salaries can soar to $98 500.
The location of a restaurant within the
city can also determine the salary. A downtown high end restaurant may not pay
as much as the restaurant that has a major three hour rush after church on
3. Job Demands
The most important aspect of the job is
understanding the restaurant patrons. A restaurant manager who can run a high
end restaurant without a glitch may be worth more if the clientele are
unforgiving of the smallest slip up.
Do not overlook psychology courses. A Bachelor
Arts in psychology is one of three degrees associated with top paying
restaurant management positions. Even a Bachelor of Science in food service
management and/or in business administration is not as important in a
One of the most sought after skills is the
ability to manage people and keep them motivated and energized. Defusing disgruntled customers and handling
stressful situations are as important as opening and closing procedures,
employee training, and being able to communicate to upper management.
Have you worked under a successful
restaurant veteran? Did you respect them and speak highly of them? Have you
clearly explained what you learned from them?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010, stated that there were 326,000
professional food service managers, including restaurant managers. This number
is expected to increase by three percent by 2020.
6. Honesty and Integrity
A recent Harvard University study claims
that 80% of job turnover is the direct result of hiring mistakes. This
typically costs a restaurant about 30% of a first year salary. The recruiter’s goal is to uncover a
Candidates true motivations, qualifications, and expectations. Honestly
representing your skill set and personality is one way to make sure you do not
lose a job due to an overlooked inconsistency.
A good recruiter will not only check your
education, they will contact the Council for Higher Education and confirm the
educational institution’s accreditation.
7. Playing the Field
The hiring process is time intensive and
expensive. Recruiters are wary of Candidates who are trying to pit one
restaurant against another. Sometimes a Candidate will start a job search and
receive an offer, in an attempt to elicit a counter offer from their current
8. Partner With a Recruiter
Many of the best hospitality jobs never hit
the hospitality job websites. The recruiting firms are a valuable asset that
saves restaurants both time and money. Candidates can access the untapped
market and have their resume move to the top of the pile when working with a
strong recruitment firm.
July 1st, 2014
You’ve visited the Hospitality Job Recruiter and
your resume has been submitted to several Clients. You may have even attended a
few interviews. You may have been well prepared and created the perfect
presentation, but didn’t land the job.
The following article will take a look at the
hiring process from the hospitality recruiter’s point-of-view. Too often job
seekers have a narrow, egocentric, focus of the job hunting process. This can
stall a Restaurant Management Candidate.
A few pointers on the recruiter or job interviewer’s perspective might
help you land the next job you apply for.
1. Good People Know Good People
The resume is perfect. An editor has reviewed
your resume, twice. Friends went over your social networking with a fine tooth
comb. What you didn’t know is that your recruiter called your references. Make
sure the people you choose as references have good communication skills and
present themselves on the telephone in a professional manner.
Recruiters know that Candidates pick the people
they feel will give a good reference. This is why a reference can influence a
2. Why Did You Quit?
Be very careful when explaining the reasons for
leaving a job position. The recruiter is looking for your W. M.O.D.D. list
(What Made our Day Difficult?) The reason you left that may sound most logical
can be the reason a recruiter turns your application down. A manager at the
last job position may have been totally unreasonable, but expanding on this may
make the recruiter believe you are unreasonable. Complaining that the
restaurant was unorganized can cause a job interviewer to wonder if you are
able to handle the Chaos of a stressful Friday night.
3. Are You a Nice Person?
Recruiters are looking for nice people. Do you
do nice things for people? Do you only put your efforts into ventures that have
a return? Do you ever give without expecting something in return? Good
employees do not cause trouble. Nice people stay longer. Loosing employees
because of bad attitudes can cost a restaurant more than loosing patrons.
4. Be Dedicated
What is the longest job you’ve ever held? Is
there anything on your resume that you’ve done for more than 5 consecutive
years? Recruiters are looking for people who will remain at a job posting for
longer than one year. People who quit, are expensive and disruptive to a
restaurant’s revenue and social environment.
5. Affirmation and Appreciation
When the interview is over, did you show any
affirmation or appreciation to the people who helped move up the learning
curve? Do you celebrate, reward, or
praise anyone? This will not only show what is important to you, and reveal
aspects of your behavior and personality, it will also highlight those things
that are important in your life.
6. High Performers Attract High Performers
When your resume is read, and the job interview
completed, have you presented a high performer? If you are not a high performer
than you can’t spot the high performer in your team, in fact, you may find high
performers and ‘affirmation addicts’ annoying. The human architecture of the
foodservice industry is its most critical asset.
A hiring manager can find the best people, but
if they can’t work together and create an emotionally healthy, supportive
workplace then the restaurant will trapped in a hiring revolving cycle.
November 25th, 2013
When is it time to look transition from one
restaurant manager position, to another, or to move into a restaurant general
manager’s position? Career development
can be a vital part of a manager’s survival. Stagnating in one job can be as
devastating to a career as leaving a job placement too early.
The options are obvious:
Do It Yourself
Work with a
Hospitality Recruitment Firm
Work with a Career
Wait until the economy
improves and something drops in your lap
These are all options, but which one is
right for your career? This decision can affect your wealth generating
potential for the next decade.
Step 1: Which Job Site Is The Best For Your
There are several top job posting sites but
the best one for managers is to find a firm that specializes in your niche. We’ve
all spent at least one afternoon looking for a better job. The typical sites
like indeed or monster can offer several jobs in our area of expertise.
The choice depends on where you are in your
career. If you are looking to ‘experiment’ and try something new, then grabbing
a job from a public job board may be the best choice. You may find a short
contract position, or a temp job.
Management Candidates who are looking for a
long term placement where they can take control of projects to the end, and
possibly make full time career out of their next job placement would be better
to work with a recruiting company. These companies not only have access to jobs
before they hit the job boards, but they also have insider access to jobs at
the large franchises.
Step 2: Is Relocation an Option?
There are more opportunities for people who
are willing to relocate. If you are willing to relocate, and want a long term
position then you are a ‘dream candidate’ for a recruitment firm. Working with
a recruiter will help ensure that a move across country will result in a good,
long term, job placement.
Moving for a job listed on a job placement
website, or classifieds can be risky. The employer may misrepresent the job.
There is less chance that the job will be long term. There is no proof that the
job is real, or more than a ‘let’s try this out’ job.
Step 3: Age - From Graduate To 50+ Jobs
There are jobs for the 50+ managers in the
hospitality industry, both for experienced restaurant managers and those in
transition. Robert Krzak CEO of www.geckohospitality.com , the hospitality
industry’s largest recruiter/headhunter franchise is quick to assure the 50+
managers that there are job placements for their age group. This is especially
true for those looking for long term jobs.
This is not surprising for anyone in human
resources. The younger generation often jump from one job to the next, in less
than a year. They barely ‘break even’ before they are looking for the next
challenge. The older generation were trained to expect longevity. They are
content working for a decade in one job. This is beneficial in some restaurants
that need someone to see projects through to the end.
Other job positions fit the high energy and
enthusiasm of a recent graduate. These jobs may follow the more traditional
route, hoping to snag a graduate who doesn’t have a professional career
development team in place.
I asked for advice that I could share to
50+ candidates from recruiters at http://www.geckohospitality.com
which specializes in placing restaurant managers and general managers in long
“It shouldn't change anything, but it can
tip the scales for some companies out there, sometimes in a candidates favor
and sometime it can hurt them. In this
case, it is important to not list all of your employment on your resume, but
rather the last 10 years or so. It is
also suggested that dates of education be removed from the resume as well. A candidate over 50 needs to focus on the great
experience they have had, but also be sure to convey to a perspective employer
that they are not set in their ways, but rather, a sponge that is still willing
to accept feedback.” Greater Heights Consulting LLC dba Gecko Hospitality,
“Your objective at the top of your resume
should not say anything about your "over 35 years" of hospitality
experience. Companies can make decisions whether or not to call a candidate
simply because of what they view on a resume. Make your resume as relevant to
the position as possible. Correct your on line presence to remove age related
information. Pictures of grand-kids immediately dates you.” Marty T., Eastern
Pennsylvania, Management Recruiter, http://www.geckohospitality.com
Step 4: Currently Unemployed
All the rules change if you’ve been
unemployed for more than a few weeks. The typical resume submission and job
application sites can make you appear desperate. There is the stigma in the HR
world that an unemployed person is unemployable.
It is possible to overcome this. In this
case you want to appear valuable. You want a team of highly trained
professionals on your side. Presentation is everything. The job search market
is not the place to learn how to find a job. When you are gambling with your
career and limiting your wealth generation for the next decade, you want to
Step 5: Don’t Limit Your Potential
As a career coach I can honestly state that
most people who feel they’ve reached the ceiling have limited their own
potential. Our beliefs and perceptions may be founded on information that we
believed was up to date and industry related, but that doesn’t make them true,
On the other end, our expectations may not
be realistic and result in us loosing job positions that are a perfect match
for our skill set. If your sights are set too low, or too high, then it might
be time to develop a team of professionals who make money based on your career
success. These professionals can include a recruiting firm, career coach,
writers, bloggers, colleagues, and most important a network of people who are
currently working in your dream job.
Successful people can teach you how to be
successful. But don’t think it is all one sided. When working with
professionals you can expect to do most of the growing, changing – the work.
This is part of your training. Success isn’t a goal. Success is a behavior. It
is an action. Once you learn this then your chances of having your dream job
‘dropped in your lap’ increase exponentially.
November 18th, 2013
Have you ever pressed ‘send’ on an email
then realized you sent the email to the wrong person. Hopefully you did not
alert your current boss that you are looking for a new job. There are several
ways to avoid making a drastic mistake.
1. Job Search Email
Do not use a free email. If you’ve created
a job website or blog, then you can create an email for job searches only. Do
not use your personal email. It ‘brands’ you as personal, not professional.
The same importance needs to be addressed in
your signature. Make sure all your contact information is included. Remember
that the hiring manager may be swamped with emails and might use search to find
If you include your website and LinkedIn
information then the recruiter may be able to find extra information, or
references, without needing to search.
2. Reply All
The problems with using the reply all
button is obvious. If you are use to using the reply all button, then you
increase your chances of having the wrong person receive an email. There is
also the impression that the hiring manager, or contact person, is not
important enough to receive their own email.
Address your email to one contact person.
Send a BBC to yourself so you have a record of the email. Make sure the job
position, number, and your name is in the subject line.
If you do not know who to address the email
to then ask, or address the email to ‘Dear Hiring Manager’
3. Importance feature
Never mark an email as low importance –
4. Keep Emails Short and Sweet.
A general guideline is to write an email
and then cut it down to 150 words. It is amazing how easily you can edit out
all the fluff. If you need to write a longer email then break it into sections
using sub titles that highlight and summarize the topic.
5. Answer Questions
Make sure you’ve answered all the questions
the recruiter asked. There is nothing worse than exchanging more emails than
necessary. It also shows the recipient that you were uninterested in the topic.
It is not acceptable to use improper
grammar or incorrect spelling. This includes any texts you may send. It is
important to use the same grammar and spelling that you would use in a formal
7. Answer Emails Immediately
If you wait three days to respond to an
email then you’ve lost an opportunity. In the professional world email replies
are sent promptly. If you fail to respond to a job search email then you can
8. Stay Away from All Capital Letters and
Don’t Use Emoticons
This is annoying and can be misinterpreted
as anger or rudeness.
Emoticons should never be used. There is no
way to properly interpret them, and they send the wrong message to a recruiter
who is looking for someone responsible enough to manage a profitable
9. Write Well and Proofread
Do not trust spell check. Quickly scan
emails before sending them to a professional. Silly and embarrassing mistakes
can become costly, career damaging, blunders.
Emails have become one of the forms of
communication that we pay little attention to. We forget to read what we wrote
and make sure we’ve conveyed our message effectively and succinctly. Google
sentence structure and writing a well constructed email will say more about
your skills as a manager than the best website or resume.
Sending a test message is a good idea.
Sometimes you can see errors that you missed in the draft.
Keep your attachments clean and neat. Make
sure they are printable. Sending your resume in PDF format is better than
sending a word document. Even if you have a copy of your resume on your
website, attach it to every email. Never make the recruiter or hiring manager
chase down your information.
November 11th, 2013
Unemployment creates a series of events
that can force you to seek another career. Causality can destroy the brightest
career in a few short months. Unemployment forces managers back into the work
force. They are now older. Their hard skill set is more out of date. Their
management skills need to be updated. This is not always an easy thing.
A restaurant manager who remained employed
for the last 10 years is now competing for jobs with people who’ve invested a
year studying life coaching, communication, personality analysis. All these are
terms that were nondescript when this manager started the last job. Now, they
are the difference between being employed and quickly becoming unemployable.
It can take a while to catch up on skills,
especially when there are financial obligations to fulfill. It can be
difficult, but there are ways to make your resume look like you are proactive
and desirable in today’s market place.
First and foremost, contact a hospitality
recruiter to help you find a restaurant management job, or a position in the
hospitality industry. Their goal is to keep you working.
There are companies that offer online
internships to qualified candidates. There will not be any restaurant manager
internships, but there may be openings that can broaden your skill set. This is
also a short term way to prevent a big hole in your resume.
This is a good way to stay active, but make
sure that you are building your management skills. A position handing out
brochures door to door is not going to help your career. Taking control of a
project and seeing it through to completion, before the deadline, is an
There are very few management jobs with a
temp agency, but if you’ve been out of work for a few months then a temp agency
may be the best way to fill the gap.
Take a university course. If finances are
tight then audit the course. This can make it look like you took a sabbatical
from work to study. It also shows that you are pro active and aggressively
improving your skills.
The courses must reflect ‘problem solving’ skills
that the Hiring Manager needs to address. This is an excellent way to show your
soft skills without having to spoon feed the information to the Recruiter.
There are many websites that offer
consulting jobs, online. Sites like Guru.com and Elance.com can help connect
managers with ‘relevant’ jobs.
Setting up shop as a coach/consultant can
be a great way to stay active and promote your skills, stay employed, and
improve your skill set.
How many times have you listened to someone
and thought “what’s the point?” There’s a line between talking about something
relevant to the conversation and blatant egocentric, self promotion. When using social sites as a way to promote
your career thing ‘showing not telling.’ Being told puts distance between you and
your audience. Showing creates interaction and relationship. The audience engages
the audience. Learn to keep the focus on the other person. Ask questions,
encourage conversation, and help people come to their own conclusions,
influenced by what you want them to know.
This may not create a strong resume. This
type of promotion will help build your network and ‘show’ your skills through references
and online communication.
There are several ways to get references. LinkedIn
is one way. Written references, or votes on a freelance website are also a
powerful way to promote your skills. These references can be promoted on your
business card and your resume.
Focus on the Important Aspects of Your Job
Many candidates have a narrow focus of what
companies want in a manager. They are often shocked to see how far ‘off base’
or unrealistic their beliefs and perceptions really are.
“Steady growth pattern through the
industry. Being an assistant manager for over 5 years would make a recruiter
wonder why you were not able to move up to a higher position. Conversation
skills, many managers will talk about their ability to control food costs, or
'really kick it' in the kitchen, but aren't comfortable talking to guests
during table visits. Results, what
accomplishments has the candidate made? Sales increases, cost controls. The
recruiter wants to know you understand the business of running a restaurant.” Marty
T., Eastern Pennsylvania, Management Recruiter, http://www.geckohospitality.com
November 4th, 2013
Is Your Resume Stopping Ruining Your Job
Prospects? It is possible that a Recruiter will spend less than 30 seconds
reading your resume before phoning you. If you are not receiving calls for an
interview then there is something in your resume that is limiting your
Reason # 1: The Scanner
As technology advances the practical
aspects make life easier, but can make it more difficult to land the perfect
job. The scanning technology works to eliminate ‘off topic’ resumes. Review the
job posting thoroughly for keywords. A scanner may be reading the resumes,
searching for these words. If your resume lacks them then it is dismissed.
Reason #2: Generic Resumes
After resumes are scanned they are given to
a hiring manager. Job seekers often create a generic resume, hoping it will
land them a job. When a Hiring Manager finds a resume that doesn’t appear to be
a carbon copy of previous resumes then they may stop and read it.
Generic resumes proves to the restaurant
that you have developed your ‘managerial skills’. Face it, if you cannot create
a resume then how can you be expected to manage a restaurant?
Reason #3: You Didn’t Sell Yourself
You are a multifaceted person. It is
difficult creating a brand and sticking to it. What is devastating is to create
a brand that cannot land you a manager’s position in a prestigious
restaurant. This can happen when you are
not offering convincing experience.
You’ve written your resume and shortened
it. You’ve added keywords that highlight specific accomplishments. You’ve shown
where you’ve made a difference. What you forgot to do was to create a ‘package’
that can be delivered to the recruiter. If you cannot ‘bring it all together’
then all your work is wasted. This is
why it is so important to start promoting yourself long before you need to find
a job. Selling is a talent. It can be
learned, but that doesn’t negate the fact that there is an art to selling. The
more intangible the product (you) the harder it is to sell.
Networking mistakes are the biggest. Most
people do not like networking. It is intense and emotional. Most Candidates use
a network as a “tool”. It is used once or twice, to solve a specific task (Job
Search), and then neglect the network. This does not build trust. In fact, it
damages your personal brand by making you look egocentric. This job hunt
strategy is called “exploiting your network”. Once you’ve exploited your
network, and fail to find a job, where do you go?
If the members of your network feel
‘disposable’ they will not pass good job openings on to you. This can be
difficult in the restaurant industry where no one wants to talk about a
restaurant without a manager.
Another problem that is difficult to
overcome is the emotional impact. Job seekers go through an emotional roller
coaster as time passes. The clock is ticking. If you are out of a job too long
then you may be deemed as unemployable. This can be avoided by learning the
“Law of Attraction.” Negotiation skills will also be one of your best assets.
The most important thing is to keep
working. Do not stagnate. Do not quit. Life happens while you are waiting for
luck to drop a job in your lack. How you manage this time can be your strongest
promotion tool. It can highlight your ambition and motivation better than any
other job search tool.
I asked 15 professional hospitality
recruiters at http://www.geckohospitality.com
what the #1 way to get a job was and their answer was ‘work with a
network.’ This was followed, 100%, by
‘utilize your network properly. Don’t exploit your network.’
October 29th, 2013
As a career and life coach I deal with soft
skills on a daily basis. These are not inherent in humans. They are learned
behaviors that many people do not learn. What is surprising is the number of
people who do learn these behaviors. When we develop soft skills we have a
‘change of perspective’ that changes how we interact with people.
When I talk to recruiters about their
conversation skills I often receive the same feedback.
“Steady growth pattern through the
industry. Being an assistant manager for over 5 years would make a recruiter
wonder why you were not able to move up to a higher position. Conversation
skills, many managers will talk about their ability to control food costs, or 'really
kick it' in the kitchen, but aren't comfortable talking to guests during table
visits. Results, what accomplishments
have the candidate made? Sales increases, cost controls. The recruiter wants to
know you understand the business of running a restaurant." Marty T.,
Eastern Pennsylvania, Management Recruiter, http://www.geckohospitality.com
This statement sums up the secret to
success succinctly, “Honesty Genuine enthusiasm Excellent communication skills,”
Sterling Leadership Consulting, LLC dba Gecko Hospitality.
The problem with soft skills is that many
of us believe we have them when we don’t. We see ‘fear of losing a good job’ as
motivation. We mistake a reluctance to take responsibility as being a team
player. We don’t want to learn good communication skills, so we see ourselves
as self motivated.
1. Honesty and Integrity
2. Strong Work Ethic
3. Emotional Intelligence – including the ability to accept feedback
4. Self Motivated/Confident
5. High energy/positive attitude
6. Team Player
8. Good Communication/Negotiation
9. Problem Solving
You can read 100 articles on promoting your
soft skills. There is a wide variety of advice, most of it wrong. A soft skill
is something that is inherent in your beliefs about who you are. These are
reflected in your behavior. Small subtle things reflect your beliefs. Something
as small as a hand gesture, or the way you answer a question can speak volumes.
Experienced companies have candidate’s
complete personality tests. These are designed to identify the client’s
priorities, beliefs, and also uncover whether the client has lied.
The first step to developing your soft
skills is to ask friends and family to offer an honest evaluation. It is very
common to learn that others do not see us with the same rose tinted glasses as
we see ourselves. It is also common to discover that you are one person at
home, and another at work.
This information comes as a surprise to
many who feel that behaviors are an integral part of your identity. These
people feel that the world should ‘take them as they are’. This rarely works in
today’s job market.
Another problem with soft skills is simply
put, ‘if you need to list your soft skills for your manager then they are not
part of your behaviors.’
Learning to develop soft skills is easy,
but it can take a while to experience a change in your behavior. It can take
several months. As you learn to develop your soft skills you will change your
method of solving problems, dealing with conflict, and handling workplace drama
and politics. People will see a difference and start commenting on the change.
Actions speak louder than words. This is a
simple fact. When reading a resume recently I saw one clause ‘I am a good
problem solver with excellent communication skills.’ I immediately skimmed down the resume looking
for problems this person had solved. Large blanks in the resume showed that
they couldn’t solve the problem of unemployment. There were no volunteer or
internships, no education upgrades, and no examples of solved problems. Either
this person lied, or doesn’t see this soft skill as important to their job. The
only other alternative is that this person’s communication skills are not
developed enough to ‘prove’ their claims.
October 22nd, 2013
We’ve build several dozen articles designed
to teach Restaurant Managers how to sell their expertise and skills to
Recruiters. This article is designed to help Candidates find ways to promote
their skills. It is more important to avoid making mistakes than it is to learn
how to complete a task. Your resume is worthless if you believe that handing it
out to employers is the sole purpose of the resume.
Recruiters have been encouraging their Candidates
to build a strong social profile for years.
“Lack of social media identity can cause
concern by prospective employer, non-professional or poor profile can indicate
poor match for companies.” J.Scott Radel, Cleveland, Management Recruiter, http://www.geckohospitality.com
“Companies, recruiters are looking at your
Facebook and LinkedIn pages before they are even calling a candidate. Are your
pages professional? Do they present you in the right light? Pictures of you
chugging a beer or doing a shot of liquor will make a prospective recruiter
wince. Your picture should be a head
shot, and you should be dressed professionally, you need to set the right
impression. Be careful of your 'likes' these also paint a picture of the type
of person you are. What groups do you
belong to, on-line? Are you involved in
professional groups, do you participate in discussions. These are all things
that will give a recruiter a reason to call.”Marty T., Eastern Pennsylvania,
Management Recruiter, http://www.geckohospitality.com
Step 1: Promote Your Brand
It is easy to focus on promoting your brand
while you are employed. It is easy to keep your LinkedIn and Blogs up when you
are sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring. We are motivated by need. Losing
a job creates several needs, and fears. That is why the savvy job seeker works
to improve their brand and promote it, long before they need a job.
If you wait till you need a job to build
your brand then you can expect to waste time experimenting, testing, and
refining. This is valuable time needed to promote. Intelligent managers are constantly
promoting. This gives them time to smooth out their performance, discard what
doesn’t work, and improve what does.
It can take months to build an effective
LinkedIn Profile. This is one of the most important online tools a Candidate
will ever have. It has one purpose – to build trust. LinkedIn is like
It is not about you. Do not focus on
yourself but on your ‘customer’. Promotion is about building a network of
friends and colleagues who are willing to work together for building a
relationship. Their similar needs and motivations bring them together. This is
a perfect place to post your resume and press kit.
Step 2: Job Seeker Press Kit
Do you have a press kit? If you currently
have a professional blog then you also have a press kit. Standing between you
and your dream job is a recruiter. This person must sort through hundreds of
resumes and match candidates to open positions. These people become experts at
spotting careless errors. They have no rapport with you. You have less than 15
seconds to impress them. There are better ways to find a job. Many of them put
the power of finding a job in your hands. A press kit offers something you can
‘give away’ that will enhance your resume.
Step 3: Follow Up
One of the best ways to build trust is to
interact with the hiring manager. Some Candidates have learned the value of sending
thank you cards. Every career coach tells their clients to do this. Every
Recruiter wonders why they don’t.
Your thank you can include the URL of your
blog, LinkedIn, or website. It has one purpose, to give the HR manager a piece
of paper to file. If the hiring manager has a hand written note they may be
more likely to consider you for the next job. This is one way to land a job
before it is posted.
Listen and Build Trust
Lack of trust is the #1 reason that
networking doesn’t work. Networking isn’t about you. It is about building
relationships that lead to your next job. It is about building a brand. It is
about building trust. Candidates who build trust are more likely to be
considered for a job.
Networking also gives you an opportunity to
listen to stories. When a hiring manager opens up and shares a story you are
instantly getting an insider’s look to the problems at the top of their
Keep reading through our blog at http://www.geckohospitality.com/restaurant_job_seeker/.
There are more than two years worth of articles designed to help Job Seekers
find their dream job.
October 15th, 2013
“Build it and they will come.”
While this statement made a lasting
impression in the movie, art does not mimic real life in this case. Today’s job
seeker needs to do more than sitting by the phone, or handing out resumes. In
fact, the good jobs never hit the classified ads. In some cases, the jobs
posted on the classifieds might be just a ‘fishing expedition’ with no job to
Recruiters do not peruse the job boards
looking for qualified candidates. They will type their specific skill set into
a browser and see what pops up. Job seekers can take advantage of this by
making sure their areas of expertise are available when employers go looking.
Don’t Waste Time Online. Use Your Time
wisely. Even the top recruiters are encouraging their clients to brand
“Right now, social media is a huge resource
for the current job seeker. If used correctly sites such as Linkedin really
provide candidates endless means of networking.... social media can be an
excellent tool when it is used correctly. However, if you are not careful these
can also be career killers. Make sure to always privatize anything that can be
construed as destructive to yourself or others on your personal site or blog.
Once it is on the internet, someone will see it! ” Bob, Eastern Pennsylvania, Management
Step 1: A Web Resume
This needs to be light, simple,
professionally made – and mobile friendly. Do not post a Word document online.
Make your website in a good HTML code. You can attach a PDF version to your
site but do not make the PDF your whole site.
One of the best places to post a resume is
on your LinkedIn profile. This is an excellent place to list your skills and
show the recruiter that you take Job Hunting seriously.
Step 2: A Professional Blog
Create a blog and talk about your
experience and skills. Focus on your passions, and provide advice and
experience. A blog differs from a website in several ways. You can maintain it
weekly, keeping a copy of old posts. It allows users to interact with you.
The trick is to be smart about what you
post. Be diligent and the recruiters will surf your blog to find the ‘proof’
that you are the best Candidate for the job.
A website is advertising focused
A blog is relationship focused
These need to send the same message. Don’t
waste your time. If your resume, blog, website, LinkedIn, and other sites do
not give the same message then the recruiters will be less likely to respond.
Step 3: Promote Your Personal Brand
You are your product. You are your brand.
Everything you do, say, write, publish, are all part of your personal brand.
Whether you hand a professionally made, graphic business card to a person, or
you shove a resume in their face, you are identifying your brand.
Building a brand is not about creating
something new. It is about looking at the messages you are sending and fine
tuning them so that they ‘sell’ you to a potential employer. The successful job
seeker sheds the ‘what you see is what you get’ attitude and builds a
compelling personal brand. Then they will spend their time promoting that
brand. Your brand needs to become part of you. It is the message you send.
A personal brand will help you avoid some
of the most common job seeker mistakes. This is important, that is why we
include several Step by Step tutorials that will help you build your brand.
These articles are in our resume job seekers blog, not our corporate blog. Take
the time to visit http://www.geckohospitality.com/restaurant_job_seeker/
Step 4: Stop Wasting Time
people are into processes. They love to create. They are ‘in love’ with
the idea of being a manager, but do not want the lifestyle. It is easy to see
who falls into this category. Candidates that spend weeks on a website then do
not finish it. Managers who do not promote their online sites, or those who do
not network, all fall into this category. They are busy with tasks but do not
get down to the most important job – selling their skills.
October 9th, 2013
One of the hardest pitches to sell is
marketing a sill set. It is one of those ‘intangibles’ that cannot be
shown. A manager’s skill set is an
intangible. How do you prove you can do the job? At one time in their career a
manager needs to step into the shoes of a sales person and convince a recruiter
that they can do the job, but how?
Unfortunately, most of the skills needed to
tell you how to ‘sell your managerial skills’ are also intangibles. It is
difficult to explain everything needed in a simple article. What we can do is
put you on the right path to finding out whether you are able to sell yourself.
The Elevator Speech
This is a sales tool that every Management
Candidate needs to develop, long before they need it. As a career coach, I’ve
worked with many people who brought professionally made resumes to me. On first
glance they appear to be everything a management Candidate could desire.
However, after reading the document I was left wondering ‘What can this person
The resume in question showed a lot of
employment history and listed tasks that I knew were part of the job – it was
taken for granted. What this job failed to do was sell. As a Management
Candidate you need to look in the mirror and see your most valuable product.
Your resume needs to reflect this.
Your resume is your elevator speech. It
tells the world who you are, and what you do – well. When I read a resume that
lists ‘tasks’ I see someone who ‘works for a paycheck.’ When I see a resume
with passion, action, and accomplishments I see someone who will work hard to
reach my goals.
And that is the ‘secret to success’ in the
hospitality industry. The Candidate’s task is to get hired. The recruiters task
is to solve a problem. The problem isn’t an empty chair behind the manager’s
desk. In fact, a good manager can delegate tasks and free themselves from the
desk. What today’s business want are people who see a direct relationship
between their time at work and the revenue generated by the restaurant.
There are a few ways to get started:
1. What do you do well?
2. Have you saved your previous employers
3. Have you increased revenue?
4. Can you manage people, well?
5. Are you a good analyst who can find and
6. Are you good at taking the leadership
role through a transition?
7. Can you see the employer’s vision?
The Job Life Cycle
Not every job needs a manager that will
stay forever. Some restaurants have a two – five year plan that needs a
Restaurant Manager who can ‘make things happen.’ Don’t lock yourself into the belief that
every job is a forever job. Take the bold step and write a resume that will win
you a ‘project’. This may help keep you employed when other Candidates cannot
find a job.
We published 6 – 10 articles a month on
this blog. Each is dedicated to helping restaurant professionals find the
perfect match. Take the time to surf this website. When you are ready, ask one
of our restaurant recruiters to help you find the perfect job.
Be Patient and Work with Your Recruiter
“I had a candidate that I spoke with
regularly for close to 4 years. He was
an A player that was earning a great salary.
He was comfortable where he was at and knew his job inside and out, but
there would never be an opportunity to move into multi unit management with
them. His performance was very strong,
and as a result, so was his bonus payout.
This candidate was looking for a concept
that could compensate him in a manner he was accustomed to, but also provide
him with an opportunity to one day get into multi unit management. He didn't think it would be possible, but we
found it for him with a growing concept that knows how important it is to have
the right people running their units, and believed in compensating them
accordingly. He joined the team and
within a year, he became a DM for them, and he was just promoted to a Regional
Managers position.” Mike, New Orleans, Management Recruiter, http://www.geckohospitality.com
August 19th, 2013
The hospitality industry is one of the most exciting in the world. There are very few industries where you can work up through the ranks to become a restaurant manager, or general manager. Career progression is very important, but do not limit your career development to building experience and learning the job.
The skills needed to become a good restaurant manager are learned at every station on the restaurant floor. The first thing you need to learn is that the guest is always right. This is a theory that can take some time to develop. There are intangibles that are learned ‘on the floor’ that cannot be taught in any school. No college or university can teach you how to improve the customer’s dining experience. No course can teach you how to motivate a team member to value the customer, even when their personal life is in turmoil.
Learning to respect the customer followed by learning to respect and be concerned for fellow employees. A good manager values all jobs. They are able to make the dish washer feel as important as the Kitchen Manager. As a potential managerial candidate learns to ‘lead’ and motivate others, they will learn the importance of communication.
These intangible elements are what will open opportunities for people to work their way up in the restaurant industry. However, there are a few ‘secrets’ that a restaurant management candidate needs to know.
When looking for a restaurant manager’s position, keep your current job. It is easier to find a job when you have a job. Consider using a recruiter so that you do not broadcast to your current employers that you are looking for a new position.
Don’t lose patience. Mangers in the restaurant industry need to deal with some challenging people. They need to keep their head when things become stressful. Learning patience is necessary in developing a manager’s career. Candidates cannot jump from one job to another. Job hopping, even if you stay at each restaurant for one year, to advance your career, will become a red flag for future recruiters.
August 12th, 2013
Is your career ready to move into management? Can you see yourself as an effective restaurant manager? Are you basing your perception on self assessment, career development aptitude tests, or your feeling that you can do a better job than your current manager? Your assumption may be correct.
The good news is that very few people are born leaders. Most managers are developed and nurtured. However, there are attributes such as integrity, honesty, and people skills that cannot be taught. These intangibles can influence a Candidate’s managerial effectiveness.
In the past a Candidate had ten or more years to develop their career. Today the timeframe is shorter, and the learning curve is steeper. A motivated managerial candidate will develop their career both in, and out, of the workplace. The competencies for the average management position require a blend of both skill and talent. One of the best ways to test your aptitude is to complete a self-evaluation. These self evaluation courses can be found anywhere. Relevant ones for Restaurant Managers are available from Hospitality Recruitment Companies.
The next step is to create a plan. Becoming a restaurant manager is a process, not an overnight event. Do not expect to graduate school and walk into your first management position. Be honest with yourself. Do you have the personality type, or personal habits to become a manager?
If your goal is to become a restaurant manager then set your sites high. Create a Career Development Path that will help you become the most effective leader you can be. One part of this process that requires motivation and determination is the ability to manage change. A restaurant manager needs to be able to handle their own anxiety, and plan out change for themselves and their team in a way that motivates and excites. This is a skill that needs to be developed. The time this takes is individual to each prospective manager.
The most important thing you need to do is ‘getting started.’ Success is a habit. If you work towards becoming a manager you may realize your goals. If you keep waiting for ‘something to happen’ then it probably will not.
August 5th, 2013
When you attend a job interview you will spend the day answering canned answers. The company representative will spend the day listening to well rehearsed ‘canned’ answers and responses. Company reps become numb and stop hearing what Candidates say to them. HR professionals repeat the same complaints when writing about their jobs.
Company Recruiters are accustomed to hearing the same types of statements. “I want this job because it will enable me to utilize and employ my skills, and knowledge and aptitude. I believe that can make strong contributions to the establishment and at the same time build upon my existing skills.” Who talks like this in the real world?
The problem with this statement is that it is generic. Which skills and knowledge will it utilize? What aptitude? What type of strong contributions? And why is it important to build upon existing skills? The premise behind these answers is solid, but the wording must be your own. The answer must be personal to you and to the restaurant.
Recruiters want to meet the real person behind the job applicant. They will watch the body language to ensure there is a correlation between what you are saying and how you are behaving. If you are working hard to remember your script then your words will have very little weight with the recruiter.
Another secret that many HR professionals do not tell Candidates is that they ‘may’ purposely try to make them act defensive. If they can cause a Management Candidate to feel defensive, or knock them off their game, then how can the Candidate handle the stress of a management job?
Another tip for restaurant managers looking to improve their career is to make sure they stay at one job for more than one year. The longer you stay with your past employers, the more a company will invest in your career. At the same time, if you jump from job to job you will soon find yourself unemployable.
One final secret to keep in mind at a job fair is to stay ‘fresh’. If your body odor is strong, your clothing wrinkled, or your hair unkept then it will reflect poorly against you. This is true even if it is 4pm after a long day of interviews. It may be worth your while to take time to freshen up about 2pm, change your shirt, and fix your hair.
July 29th, 2013
When Candidates understand the interview questions and how they benefit a company, the candidate can be more engaging, selfless, and comfortable in the job interview. The HR manager’s knowledge, and wisdom can go a long way to evaluate a Candidate’s potential in their organization. However, it can be difficult, and frustrating, to figure out how to ask questions in a way that empowers a Candidate so they can present themselves in the best light.
The skilled interviewer tries to engage the Candidate’s heart as well as their mind. They are looking for statements like ‘I normally wouldn’t say this during an interview...’. The HR manager, or recruiter, is trying to talk to the real person. They want to get past the polished interview ‘performance.’
The interviewer will start with a broad question like ‘Walk me through your career progression, leading me to your most recent managerial position.’ They will then focus on why the Candidate left their last position.
The recruiter is not looking for reasons or excuses. They want to know where the candidate is in their career development, and what criteria they are using to select their next employment position. In short, what is this Candidate is looking for in their next job. Remember, the company’s breakeven point is one year. They lose money, and waste time, if the client stays less than one year.
The Hiring representative is trying to incite a discussion. Unfortunately, some Candidates see this as an overture of friendship and become too familiar, or dramatic. This often happens when a job Candidate hears words like ‘overqualified’. The hr manager is not closing a door. Successful Candidates use this knowledge and help the recruiter by explaining that they will not continue looking for a job after employment, or that a lesser job will fit into their career development.
Other questions that are misunderstand by Candidates include ‘what is your greatest strength’, ‘if you can change three things about yourself’, ‘How do you evaluate success’? An experienced Candidate will answer these questions with the focus on the company, their needs, etc. Unfortunately, most Candidates focus on achievements, skills, and personality traits that have very little value for the company.
Understanding the motivation behind the interview questions can dramatically alter a management candidate’s answers.
July 22nd, 2013
How can I immediately benefit the company? The answer to this is the employer’s key consideration. Job seekers who are at the mid level of their career development, or higher, understand that it isn’t about the Candidate. It is about finding a manager who can make the company money, or save time and lower the budget while increasing the revenue.
Many new managers try to sell their talent as a people person, their organizational skills, and their extensive communication skills. They try to present a bold and confident Candidate without ever answering the recruiter’s unspoken question, ‘what is in it for me.’
The purpose of a job interview is to determine whether a job candidate can help the company achieve its objectives. The smart Candidate researches the company to learn the employer’s current position, threats, and opportunities. Then apply their KSA (knowledge, skills, and abilities) to prove that they can uniquely help solve their problems, and reach their goals, quickly and effectively.
The question, ‘What can you contribute to this company,’ is one of the least understood. The recruiter is not looking for a list of what a Candidate has done in the past. The successful candidate will understand what the current recruiter is looking for, and limit their response to events that relate to the current job positions.
There is a reason that most HR managers ask such a shallow question. They want to separate the good managers from the job seekers.
Look at it from a recruiter’s point of view. They have a stack of resumes from Candidates who attend the job interview with excellent skills, experience, and education. Many of these have achieved amazing results in past projects and jobs. Another Candidate with a first class resume is still not worth a second glance.
Instead, when a Candidate answers the above question by referencing something current, and important to the company, the recruiter finally has someone who may put the company first. And this, is what the employer wants.
July 15th, 2013
Whether you call it an infomercial or an elevator pitch, job seekers only have a few seconds to attract a recruiter’s attention. These speeches are vital to a Candidate’s success at a job fair.
Career fairs can be daunting for the average job seekers, even management Candidates. The stress, noise, confusion, and frustration/apathy of recruiters can frazzle the most experienced management Candidates. That is why the successful Candidates prepare and practice. A firm handshake, solid eye contact, and a relaxed tone of voice are more important than the words you say. If you don’t exude confidence and relaxation you will not be taken serious as a management candidate.
SAMPLE SCRIPT 5 seconds Personal Information, education 5 seconds Why you are here and type of opportunity you are seeking 5 seconds Experience, work, internship, volunteering 5 seconds Accomplishments, problems solved, companies benefited 10 seconds Knowledge of the company
It may be necessary to research the companies before the job fair so you are knowledgeable about the company, and can address their particular concerns. This will ensure that, after your introduction, you can ask the employer a captivating question. The biggest mistake most Candidates make is to create a self portrait that the candidate feels makes them shine. Recruiters and HR managers hear these ‘brag stories’ from job seekers every day. A better strategy is to focus on the company. What do they need? What is their mission statement? What reflects their management strategy? Once you know what the company is looking for then you are able to create a 30 second infomercial that will sell you, by offering the company a Candidate they cannot overlook. One way to do this is to spend less time explaining who you are, and include a statement that explains what you do and can do for the company.
Most important, highlight your career goals. Tell the company where your career is going. Just remember that the company wants to hire someone who will stay ‘long term’.
July 8th, 2013
Career fairs are organized by Career Planning Services and Recruiting companies. Job seekers are given the opportunity to visit several company representatives in one venue. Career fairs allow managers seeking jobs that will advance their career paths. Be prepared to collect literature and business cards, as well and distribute your resume.
Here are a few things that you’ll need to know when attending a career fair.
• Have extra copies of your resume. Carry them in a portfolio
• Research companies that will be in attendance
• Bring business cards
• Prepare questions that you want to ask, and information you would like from the company representatives.
• Remember that first impressions are critical.
• Focus on your transferable skills.
• Make sure that you have a firm handshake and meet people’s eyes before you attend the Career Fair.
• Eat a good, healthy breakfast.
• Prepare a 30 second infomercial to present to each employer
• Practice your 30 second infomercial
• Make sure when preparing your infomercial and questions that you focus on how you can benefit the company. Try not to focus on a list of your skills and talents.
At the Job Fair
• Arrive early
• Organize your day to reach the maximum number of booths.
• Make a list of your ‘dream jobs’ and your ‘most feasible opportunities.’
• Turn your cell phone off
• Bring extra pins to keep your name tag neat and level
• Keep an open mind to all opportunities an organization has to offer.
• Be prepared to answer and ask questions
• Do not drink too much coffee
• Do not be shy. If the rep doesn’t handle hiring directly then ask for a referral.
• Take notes after each interview.
After the Career Fair
• Develop a plan of action.
• Follow up with the companies you liked.
• Write thank you letters to the various reps.
• Send a resume and cover letter to the companies you did not have time to visit with.
• Call to follow up with the company’s you met with – refer to your notes.
The most important thing to remember is that you are ‘on stage’ from the moment you exit your car, until you drive out of the parking lot. You have no idea who you will meet when taking a break outside, in the food court wolfing a hotdog down, or even in the rest room.
July 1st, 2013
One of the best ways to find the best job postings is to work with recruitment firms, and attend their job fairs. However, even when you are attending a job fair suggested by your recruiter, you still need to prepare.
The first thing you need to determine is what companies are going to attend the career fair. Which ones will be interested in your management style, and your experience as a restaurant manager? Do not make the mistake of overlooking the smaller companies. These will often have fewer applicants. They may also have more interest in managers who have a more ‘ground up’ resume.
The first thing to do when arriving at the job fair is to map out the booths. Circle those that interest you and number them in order of importance. Visit your choice jobs first, while you are full of energy, enthusiasm, and ‘fresh.’
After organizing your day, take a second look at your top booths. You are at the career fair to sell yourself. Are you able to project a confident attitude? Can you exude confidence when talking to the recruiter?
It may be better to visit the booths where you feel confident that you can fill the job positions first. Once you have a few good interviews you will have the confidence needed to interview at one of the more in-demand companies.
There are several things you can do to build your confidence:
Dressing professionally seems easy enough, but this cannot be stressed too strongly. Maybe whatever is in your closet isn’t the right outfit for the career you want in the future. It might e a good idea to keep a second shirt and tie in reserve if you plan to be interviewing all day.
Know your resume verbatim. Practice expanding any bullet point on your resume, verbally. Stuttering, stalling, or breaking eye contact can be seen as insecurity.
Know the companies you want to work for. Research them enough to be able to answer questions intelligently, and can explain how your skill set will benefit their restaurant.
June 24th, 2013
One of the worst things a Candidate can do during their job search is to create a lasting impression as an annoyance. Hiring Managers and Recruiters have the power to place Candidates in a job, now and in the future. Sense of Entitlement
Many of today’s graduates and younger managers have a sense of entitlement. In the past Candidates ‘paid their dues’ and worked for the success of their employer. Many of today’s Candidates have a sense of entitlement. They believe the employer owes them. A common attitude among some job seekers is that the employer needs to invest in their success. It is not uncommon for some professionals to believe that others in the organization should make sacrifices, and to ‘cover the slack’ so that their career can advance. This tops the list of ways to lose a restaurant manager’s position. The manager is the one who is responsible for keeping the ship afloat. Their career is built on the success of all they manage. A Candidate with a sense of entitlement will drain the restaurant’s resources. Being Ungrateful
It is never a good idea to be rude or angry when working with a professional who is working to place Candidates in the right job. It is true that the Recruiter is working for the Candidate. However, the Recruiter’s reputation depends on placing the right Candidate in the Right restaurant. Instead of being angry, it may be time for a Candidate to take a long internal look at why they are overlooked for their dream job. Instead of being rude and hurting your chances of being reconsidered for another opening, ask the Recruiter or Hiring Manager for advice.
Not Asking Good Questions The hiring manager is busy. They are under the gun to put the right Candidate in the right position. Every day counts. The hiring manager wants to hear the questions that show you are interested in the company, culture, and job details – during the interview. This is not the time to be shy and unorganized. Do not wait until the interview and expect the Recruiter to introduce them to the company. The HR professional is looking for professionals who have done their homework and are ready to discuss the job. This is more important the higher up the restaurant management organization a Candidate is hoping to land a job.
Disrespecting The Organization’s Time In the past aggressive, motivated manager would drop into an organization and submit their resume. Today, restaurants have a specific hiring process. The best jobs never hit the job search websites. The best way to land an interview is to
Asking Bad Questions No question will end an interview as quickly as, ‘What is your restaurant’s focus?’ This is an automatic disqualifier. This is also true for questions that can be answered by visiting the Recruitment Firm’s website, or the restaurant’s website. Other questions that can end a job interview include: “Can I work from home some days?” “Is it okay if I come in late to avoid traffic.” “What are the company perks?” “How many holidays do I get?” “I want 4 days off this Christmas. I’ve already booked a vacation.” This type of question tells the interviewer that you are focused on the wrong priorities