Hospitality Industry Skills List and Examples

Terms to Include to Help Bolster Your Resume

Hotel receptionist on phone
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The hospitality industry is a consistent form of employment in many areas and a great place for young people to break into the professional world. While many positions are entry-level, others demand much skill and offer both great prestige and excellent compensation.

Here is a list of skills that employers seek in candidates for employment in the hospitality industry. You can use this list to identify which relevant skills you already have and which you should feature those in your application materials and job interview. This list is not exclusive.

Some businesses may look for additional skills, which is why it is important to read job descriptions carefully. Also, many hotels also hire for positions that are not particularly distinctive of the hospitality industry, such as office staff.

Hospitality Industry Skills

Hotel Operations
Hotels employ front-desk staff, housekeeping staff, restaurant staff, managers, and sometimes porters, event planners, and a concierge, depending on the type of hotel. Most of these positions require excellent customer service skills, attention to detail, teamwork, and good personal grooming. Creative problem-solving (because travelers sometimes have unexpected problems) and a thorough knowledge of local resources and attractions are important as well.

Food Service
Foodservice includes everything from fast food to working as a server in a high-end restaurant. All of these jobs require excellent customer service skills, careful attention to detail (forgetting a minor detail could give a customer food poisoning or trigger a life-threatening allergy), and a thorough knowledge of the restaurant’s current offerings. The work is fast-paced, and a good memory is crucial.

Food and Beverage Preparation
Food and beverage preparation may include customer service (for example, for bartenders or coffee baristas), or these jobs may be entirely behind the scenes (for example, line cooks). In addition to specific skill using the tools of the trade, such as espresso machines and kitchen equipment, more general abilities are required. These include, again, attention to detail, plus a commitment to safety, the ability to work well as part of a team, and the ability to work quickly and calmly in a high-pressure environment.

Maintenance and Cleaning
Someone has to keep restaurants, hotels, and clubs clean and sanitary. Other work includes repairing equipment, changing light bulbs, and replacing broken locks on bathroom stall doors, for example. There is substantial overlap between the custodial and maintenance skills sets, and some positions may combine both roles to some extent. These skills include everything from the safe and appropriate use of cleaning chemicals to basic electrical repair and carpentry. Teamwork is often important, as is a strong work ethic.

Hospitality management requires skills some that are specific to the industry and others that are important in any management context. When applying for such a position you will have to demonstrate teamwork, leadership, budgeting, strategic thinking, customer service, and a thorough understanding of your specific business—whether that means being able to speak intelligently about food and wine for a restaurant manager, to understanding when the busy season is for your hotel and why.

Personal Skills
Your personal attributes are also known as soft skills. Your technical skills and credentials will get your resume noticed and open the door for an interview, but it is your soft skills that will convince the interviewer that you are the right person for the job. They are called “soft” because they are difficult to define and assess clearly, but they are critical. These include the social skills that allow you to work harmoniously with other employees and the maturity to responsibly manage your workload and to adapt to changing situations.