What Hospitality Employers Are Looking For

Is it skills, qualifications, attitude or work experience employers are looking for? Once you know, it will change the way you communicate and put yourself forward to potential hospitality employers!

As part of our full-service programme, HTE Internships prepare each applicant before they get anywhere near an employer, so they know how to put their best foot forward for any interview.

HTE Internships get many questions from hospitality students, graduates and job hunters on how they should structure their CV, cover letter and how they should talk to hotels in their interview.

Before you start writing your CV or cover letter/ motivational letter, it is important for you to understand what an employer is looking for. Once you understand this, you can focus on how to communicate to potential employers.

An HR Manager once said to Jon from HTE Internships – “You hire for attitude, you train for skill”

Generally, hotels, resorts and restaurants are not looking for someone who has all the skills. Experience is always a bonus, but this will only ever get your CV through the door and possibly a phone or face to face interview.

What will always see you succeed over your competition when applying for a job is positive attitude and the “fire in their eyes” to learn and succeed in a position. High on any HR team’s list of qualities are:

  • ‘Can Do’ Attitude
  • Enthusiasm
  • Willing to learn or willing to be taught
  • Ability to pick things up quickly
  • Ability to work independently
  • Experience

Talking to many hotel and resort HR teams, we see the same pattern of overall qualities they look for in every new employee.  Overall, they are looking for someone that is going to be enthusiastic, willing to learn or willing to be taught and willing to stick out a position through the hard times and the good.

Each position has key attributes that HR teams look for on top of the general qualities outlined above.

F&B Position:

  • Wine knowledge
  • Coffee skills
  • Ability to multitask
  • Communication skills
  • Excellent presentation


  • Attention to detail
  • Reliability
  • Communication skills
  • Ability to prioritise
  • Excellent presentation

Front Desk

  • Always have a smile on your face
  • Excellent English
  • Excellent presentation
  • Ability to handle complaints


  • Physically strong
  • Ability to prioritise
  • Ability to multitask
  • Time management

Why is hospitality experience not the most important aspect?

Going back to the quote earlier in the article, “you hire for attitude, you train for skill’’. Every hotel or restaurant operates in their own way.  Each hotel or restaurant has their own way of working and their own procedures. So although previous experience is great and HR teams will notice this, it is not what will eventually get you the job.

Now that you know what hospitality employers are looking for, the next article in this series will talk about how you can communicate your great personality, positive attitude and willingness to learn through your CV or resume.


  1. Lisa says:

    Some good tips in this article, my hospitality lecturer showed this to us today in class as we are going over how to write our CV and cover letter for jobs. looking forward to your next article


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