Sydney is a great place to be at the moment, our restaurant and bar scene has exploded in the last couple of years. Here at JRM Hospitality we have daily contact with restaurant owners, General Managers and Head Chefs and have gained a good understanding of what they look for when hiring a new employee.
We would like to share some simple tips with you on how you can land that dream job.
As we all know there is a high demand for good quality staff in our industry. Head Chefs and hiring managers often get swamped with resumes from keen applicants.
But how can you stand out?
One question that we always make sure to ask the hiring managers and chefs that we speak to is; “What are the 3 most important characteristics you look for in your employees?
Their answers are almost always the same:
- Work Ethic
- Eagerness to learn
Depending on what position you are going for, we have found that these characteristics are often more important than your previous experience and skills. This is particularly true for more junior positions.
To have the right attitude and to show that you are keen on the role and willing to work hard and learn is gold for any employer. This will also give you the opportunity to develop your skills and gain as much as possible out of your new job. We will talk you through some bullet points of how you can express good attitude, work ethic and an eagerness to learn.
A resume is often your first point of contact. It’s important that your resume stands out. Here are some basic tips on how you can create a simple but effective resume.
- Make sure that your resume is up to date. You would be surprised how many people that don’t update their resumes before applying for a new role. This is very frustrating for hiring managers and can also put your application at the bottom of the pile.
- A well-written resume should include: Name, contact details (email and phone number) and work entitlement/visa restrictions if any.
In a survey conducted at JRM, we found that the 3 first things that either a hiring manager or potential employer are looking for on your resume are:
Most recent employer
Position held and Responsibilities
Availability and/or Visa Status
What this tells us is that although drive and passion might come before skills in some cases, it’s still important that you clearly state and detail your previous experience.
- Write a short but interesting introduction that expresses your attitude and short term goals. Make it direct and to the point, no one has time to read a long cover letter these days!
- Your resume should start with your most recent employer and state the following: Your Position i.e. Chef de Partie Name of Employer Length of employment i.e. June 2013- March 2015 4-6 Bullet points of your most relevant work tasks and responsibilities in that role. Keep your resume short but informative. Depending on your length of career, try to keep the resume to 2 pages.
- Clearly, state any qualifications or certificates that you have obtained. Hospitality Degrees, RSA, RSG or Food Safety Certificates etc.
- References can be printed on your resume but just make sure that you have asked your referee for permission first. If not, you can add “References available on request”
Congratulations, you have been chosen to attend an interview with the potential employer, now it’s your time to shine.
There are some crucial rules in how to behave at your first point of contact.
First interaction: When you receive that first call, make sure that you know who you are talking to. You might have applied for a number of hospitality jobs, this is quite common, so if you are not sure immediately, then don’t be afraid to clarify. Keeping a note of the companies and positions that you have applied for could save some time and potential embarrassment at this stage.
Make yourself available: This is not always easy, particularly if you are currently working, but it is important to be flexible! Don’t say things like, “I was going to go to the beach that day” or “I need to sleep that day”. This is extremely off-putting to a potential employer as it shows very little commitment at the very first stage of the process.
Do your research! Before you attend your scheduled interview, do your research on the business. Look at the website, menu and research the owner/chef. This will show that you are interested in the business and the opportunity. This will show in the interview and it is very likely that you will be asked what you already know about the business.
Show up early! 5 minutes early is 10 minutes late. Make sure that you have planned your trip there, and allow extra time for unexpected delays. If you are running late, make sure that you call to let them know.
Presentation. Dress smart. Depending on the role that you have applied for, you might not need to be in a suit, but make sure that it is clear to see that you have made an effort. No smoking just before you go in and don’t wear any overpowering perfume or aftershave. It might be good to have some mints handy.
Know your CV. Make sure that you know your previous employment periods and the responsibilities that you’ve stated on your resume. Prepare as if you are going to be questioned on every position and responsibility.
Be positive. Show that you are passionate about your industry and express why you are interested in this role and what you can bring to the team. “Because you need a job” is not a good reason to have applied.
Ask questions. Don’t be scared of asking questions about the position and the expectations that the business has on the role in question. Depending on the hiring process this could be one of the only chances you get to ask questions. Think about these questions in advance and even write them down.
Never ask: What is the Salary? How many hours will I be expected to work? What is your sick leave policy?
Trials If you get asked to come in for a trial, make yourself available and make sure that you know what you will need to bring on the day and when and where you need to be. On the day, be polite, ask questions and show that you are keen to work and learn the job.
If you have any questions or need assistance in creating your resume, feel free to contact us as we offer professional resume creation as well as mentoring and guidance for your interview.