Hotel Front Desk / Guest Services Skills List

Couple arriving at hotel front desk
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Hotel front desk employees (also known as guest services employees) are responsible for making sure each guest has a pleasant experience at a hotel. This typically involves checking in and checking out guests, taking reservations, and answering any questions the guests may have.

You don’t need a college degree or any relevant experience to be a hotel front desk employee, although an associate’s degree in business, administration, or hospitality can help. Some people who are interested in the hospitality industry begin as guest services employees, and then move up to supervisory positions.

Front desk employees need strong interpersonal and communication skills. They also need to be strong problem solvers. Make sure you know the skills that are required for a job as a front desk employee, and highlight those skills when applying for jobs.

How to Showcase Your Guest Services Skills

Throughout your job search process, you can highlight your relevant skills to impress hiring managers. The first step is to know what skills are needed for the job. Along with reading this list of hotel front desk skills, read the job listing. Circle all the skill words in the listing. Then, make a list of the skills you have that relate to the job. Try to mention these skill words throughout your job search process.

You can include relevant skill words in your resume. In the description of your work history or in your resume summary, you might want to use some of these keywords.

You can also use these words in your cover letter. In the body of your letter, you can mention one or two of the required skills, and give a specific example of a time when you demonstrated each skill in the workplace.

Finally, you can use these skill words in your interview. Make sure you have at least one example for a time you demonstrated some of your top skills.

Top Front Desk Skills

The front desk position at a hotel requires many different skills, and the details can vary depending on how the hotel is organized (your job may or may not include carrying guests’ bags, for example) and what market the hotel serves. Nevertheless, there are some skills that all front desk employees need.

Communication
Communication is critical for hotel front desk employees. They speak with guests in person and over the phone all day, so it is important that they speak clearly and maintain a positive tone.

Related skills: Greeting guests, nonverbal communication, oral communication, written communication

Composure
Because a front desk worker has to multitask and serve many guests at once, a good employee can keep calm under pressure. Even when the hotel is very busy, the employee should still be able to juggle a variety of tasks while remaining friendly to customers.

Related skills: Multitasking, flexibility, professionalism, professional appearance, stress management

Computer Literacy 
Working at the front desk requires using computers to keep records, process payments, and complete other tasks. While you don’t need to be an expert in the world of tech, you do need to be computer literate. You must either be already comfortable with the software the hotel uses, or be able to get up to speed quickly.

Related skills: Central Reservations Systems (CRS), mathematics, Microsoft Office, process payments, settle guest accounts

Friendliness
A front desk employee is typically the first person a guest sees upon entering a hotel. Therefore, front desk workers have to be extremely welcoming. A good guest services employee greets every guest with a smile and a friendly word.

Related skills: Customer service, courtesy, enthusiasm, energy, guest relations, interpersonal, positive attitude

Organization
Front desk employees are always multitasking; they must answer phones, greet guests, answer questions, check out customers, and more. Being organized allows a front desk worker to juggle these multiple tasks.

Related skills: Attention to detail, efficiency, prioritization, time management

Problem Solving
Being a front desk employee means you will be the first person guests bring their problems to. These problems could be minor, such as a request for restaurant recommendations. They could be major, such as a guest whose reserved room is not wheelchair accessible as requested. There could even be totally unexpected emergencies, such as a guest in a medical crisis. Your job will be to resolve the problem if possible, or to figure out who to call to get it solved. If you can respond promptly and creatively to these challenges, you can give guests a good experience, and you can earn a good review for your hotel despite a bad situation.

Related skills: Analytical, creativity, resolving complaints, responding to guest concerns and questions

Sales
While front desk employees do not necessarily need to make sales, they do have to promote specific hotel services and other offerings. They might also encourage guests to purchase more luxurious and expensive rooms. People in guest services therefore need to be comfortable promoting products and services.

Related skills: Communicate sales and promotions, promote facilities and services, promote frequent guest programs, provide information on hotel services, upsell rooms

Teamwork    
Front desk employees often have to work with others. Sometimes they have to work with other employees at the front desk to handle a difficult problem. Other times, they have to communicate with people in different departments within the hotel – including parking, housekeeping, and management – to ensure that guests are satisfied with their stays. Front desk employees should, therefore, be able to get along and work with a variety of people.

Related skills: Assisting team members, communicating with diverse people, conflict resolution