Personal presentation is a huge part of just about any industry. According to sociological research, we tend to attribute to those who are well-presented with added qualities including sociability, friendliness, and competence. Alternatively, those who don't measure up to society's standards of grooming, aesthetic, and all around presentation are often perceived as being less productive, incompetent, and lazy.
With eleven years of experience as a hospitality recruitment agency and over fifty years as a collective team, BENCHMARQUE has seen it all when it comes to hospitality presentation. The good, the bad, and the really terrible.
Luckily, we're here to help. Read on and discover our top three tips on how to present yourself as a hospitality professional, regardless of your position within the industry.
1. Physical Presentation
Like it or not, you are being judged on your appearance and body language within seconds of any interaction. This is magnified if you're searching for a hospitality position or if you're currently working on the front lines of any hospitality venue.
Ensure that you're well-groomed, well-rested, and that you're looking put together. Here are the basics when it comes to professional physical presentation:
- Stand up straight and avoid crossing your arms or putting your hands in your pockets.
- Be very aware of your personal hygiene. We're not going to get into details but just shower as a bare minimum, people.
- Make eye contact. Whether you're interacting with guests on the floor, speaking to partners or managers and everything in between, eye contact is the most important non-verbal form of communication. This shows that you're engaged, interested, and present with whomever you're speaking to.
2. Behave Professionally
While behaving "professionally" sounds vague, it's an important element that should be carried out in every aspect of the hospitality industry. Behaving professionally includes acting responsibly, being accountable, and communicative. Essentially, this means behaving like an adult, being proactive when problems may arise, and having a calm attitude throughout.
If you're looking for a job in hospitality, behaving professionally means being assertive, attentive, and communicative even before you land a job. For example, if you're calling a prospective employer, always start by introducing yourself and stating the reason for your call. If you've been invited for an interview (yay!) make sure that you know exactly where you're going and at what time. If you're not 100% certain, follow up with a call right away.
Speaking of interviews, be on time. We can't stress this enough. Plan ahead, leave yourself enough time and always aim to arrive 5-10 minutes early. With the exception of an emergency, there is no excuse for being late and it's a terrible first impression.
If you're currently working in hospitality, behaving professionally means presenting your best self forward at work, every day. Of course everyone has their bad days and you're only human but the biggest advise that we can give is to be aware of your flaws, try your best on the job, and learn from your mistakes. Did you forget to clear all the tables that your manager asked you to? Apologise, take ownership, and do what you can to avoid making this mistake in the future by communicating it. Your supervisors, peers, and managers alike will appreciate your honesty and your commitment to the job.
If a conflict arises in the workplace, the most important thing to remember is to be calm. Try and avoid letting your emotions taking over, as it's not proactive and won't help anyone in the situation. Also, try and remember that your behaviour at work is being passively observed by everyone. This means everyone from coworkers, passer-bys, guests, managers, etcetera. Being regarded as a professional by those around you can only help in getting a promotion in the future, scoring a pay rise, gaining a mentor, and having a positive reference if or when you move on to your next position.
3. Be Aware of Your Online Presence
Believe us when we say that background checks are done on just about every channel before you're invited for an interview or trial shift. Yes, potential employers look at your Facebook, yes they look at your Instagram, and any other platform that may arise.
To avoid missing out on a job because of your online presence, keep your partying photos to a minimum. We're not saying that you can't have anything online. Obviously we understand that everyone has a life outside of work but that photo of you and all your friends appearing to be blackout drunk shouldn't be visible to the world. Consider your privacy settings and what you're sharing with the world before you post. Any offensive or inappropriate comments online can also be grounds for dismissal, so post, comment, and share responsibly.
Looking for some hospitality career inspiration? Look no further than our Humans of Hospo series, where we feature hospitality legends who are currently dominating in their field.
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