Working in hospitality might seem casual to most, especially if it's your first job in the industry. Sure the hours might be infrequent; however, your work ethic and the manner in which you a during your employment and will set you up for success BIG TIME down the track. Here is how to get noticed for all the right reasons.  

A reference is essentially a recommendation from an individual who can vouch for your qualifications for a job. They can be split into two different categories – personal and professional – and both can be used when moving through the job application process in the hospitality industry.

When building your CV with employment related content, such as places of work, positions, dates and duties, ensure that this is always up to date. Consider these super powerful actions now, so every time you apply for a new role, your vital signs of employability are clear for any prospective employer to cross check.

To make it super easy for you, we've focused on professional references. Here are our top five questions that every hospitality reference will need to answer.

#1 What was your position and how long you worked there

Real talk. Your future employer will want to know the position you were hired for and how long you were employed. Be honest and update your CV exactly as what occurred.

As you make your way through your career, your employment timeline needs to be accurate. Avoid large gaps of more than a month. If you were travelling during a lengthy period, it's more than ok to include this.

#2 Why you left the business

It's unrealistic for anyone to stay in the same job forever. However, it's a must to leave on good terms, and as such, a future employer may want to know why you decided to leave a previous role. This will indicate as to whether you are a suitable choice, especially if the businesses are very similar and in essence, offer comparable employment conditions.  

Always leave on good terms. Provide adequate notice to your employer, regardless what your contract states. Unless of course, the situation is intolerable. Or contact our office and request advice.

#3 What were your main responsibilities/duties

When starting a new hospitality job, ensure it is clear from day one what you have been hired to do. Some best practice operators may provide you with a job description, which clearly describes what is expected of you. Be accountable and complete these tasks with professionalism and pride and your hospitality reference will be proud to explain how good you were at what you were hired to do!

#4 What are your key strengths

Similarly to the above, you should aim to deliver above and beyond your main responsibilities, meaning you consistently look for opportunities to do more than what is expected of you.

We find these traits are more often than not, indicative of peoples strengths. These could be personality traits like, how well you performed and interacted with colleagues and customers or more technical strengths like, your ability to train new staff in customer service standards.

These will be visible to any employer and will count towards a very positive reference.

#5 How reliable are you

Our final point but in essence, the most important message an employer will want to understand of your employability is, are you reliable?

Did you work autonomously, did you complete tasks with minimal supervision and within an expected time frames or were you on time for your shifts.

If you take these five points and ensure you demonstrate these throughout each position no matter how casual the employment is, you will be setting yourself up for very positive feedback from every employer that you work for and in the long run, this will condition you to be a future leader in the industry.

Final thought; connect with your employer on LinkedIn and ask for a recommendation of your work.


About the author Marlowe Bennett

Drawing on 22 years personal experience and over 23,000 professional hours working across Sydney’s hospitality industry, these articles intend to inspire young candidates to join our industry and support aligned operators in building positive employment environments for the aspiring hospitality professional. Please feel free to contact me directly if you feel I could help or if you would like us to cover an important topic or industry matter.


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