Crafting Some Résumé Magic

Mar 18 / Gandalf The Grey
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In the bustling landscape of Illinois' hospitality industry, a standout résumé is your key to unlocking exciting career opportunities. Each section of your résumé plays a crucial role in presenting your skills and experiences effectively. Let's delve deeper into each section, providing detailed guidance and examples to help you craft a winning résumé tailored to the hospitality industry in Illinois.


Your header is the first thing employers see, so it's essential to make a strong impression. Include your full name, phone number, email address, and optionally, your LinkedIn profile. Ensure your contact information is up-to-date and professional-looking.


John Smith
Phone: (555) 555-5555

Professional Summary/Objective:

Your professional summary or objective serves as a snapshot of your career aspirations and qualifications. Keep it concise but impactful, highlighting your relevant skills and experiences tailored to the position you're applying for. Avoid generic statements and focus on what makes you unique.


Objective: A results-driven hospitality professional with over 5 years of experience in managing upscale restaurants. Skilled in optimizing operations, enhancing guest experiences, and driving revenue growth. Seeking a management position at a renowned Chicago hotel to leverage expertise in delivering exceptional service and exceeding guest expectations.


This section allows you to showcase your core competencies and strengths relevant to the hospitality industry. List both hard and soft skills, emphasizing those most sought-after by employers. Use industry-specific terminology to demonstrate your familiarity with the field.

- List relevant skills such as customer service, communication, teamwork, knowledge of point-of-sale systems, etc.
- Use industry-specific keywords to grab the attention of hiring managers.


- Excellent customer service
- Proficient in point-of-sale (POS) systems such as Aloha and Micros
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills
- Team leadership and staff training
- FOH and BOH experience


Your experience section provides a detailed overview of your work history, including job titles, company names, locations, and dates of employment. Use bullet points to outline your key responsibilities and achievements in each role. Quantify your accomplishments where possible to highlight your impact.

List your previous positions in reverse chronological order, including job title, company name, location, and dates of employment. Use bullet points to describe your responsibilities and achievements. Quantify your achievements whenever possible (e.g., "Increased restaurant sales by 20% through upselling techniques").


- Restaurant Manager
- XYZ Bistro, Chicago, IL
- June 2018 - Present
- Led a team of 20+ staff members, ensuring high standards of service and guest satisfaction.
- Implemented cost-saving measures resulting in a 15% reduction in operational expenses.
- Developed and executed promotional strategies, leading to a 25% increase in weekend reservations.


Include your educational background, relevant degrees, certifications, and any specialized training related to hospitality management. Highlight academic achievements or accolades that demonstrate your commitment to excellence.

Include your highest level of education, relevant certifications, and any specialized training related to the hospitality industry. Push your experience in the industry.


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Graduated: May 2017
Hospitality Industry Training and Certifications


Hospitality Industry Training and Certifications

While I may not hold a formal degree, my education in the hospitality industry has been acquired through hands-on experience, industry-specific training programs, and certifications. I have dedicated myself to mastering the intricacies of hospitality through practical application and continuous learning.

Additional Sections (Optional):

In addition to the standard sections of your résumé, such as education and work experience, including additional sections can further enrich your profile and set you apart from other candidates in the competitive hospitality industry. These sections offer valuable opportunities to highlight your achievements, certifications, professional development endeavors, language proficiency, volunteer work, and professional affiliations. Whether you've earned industry-specific certifications, garnered awards for exceptional service, or dedicated time to volunteer efforts, these additional sections provide a platform to showcase your commitment to excellence and continuous growth within the hospitality field. By including these supplementary sections, you not only provide a comprehensive overview of your qualifications but also demonstrate your passion and dedication to delivering exceptional experiences in the dynamic world of hospitality.

The Do and Don'ts of your Résumé


  • Do use action verbs to describe your accomplishments and responsibilities, such as "managed," "implemented," or "achieved."
  • Do tailor your résumé to each job application by highlighting the most relevant experiences and skills.
  • Do quantify your achievements whenever possible to demonstrate the impact of your contributions.
  • Do proofread your résumé carefully to ensure it is free of spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Do include relevant keywords and industry-specific terminology to catch the attention of hiring managers.


  • Do not include personal information beyond your contact details, such as age, marital status, or hobbies.
  • Do not use generic phrases or clichés; be specific and authentic in your descriptions.
  • Do not fabricate or exaggerate your qualifications or experiences; honesty is essential.
  • Do not include a photo unless explicitly requested by the employer, as it can introduce bias.
  • Do not include social media links unless they are professionally relevant, such as a LinkedIn profile showcasing your professional achievements and connections.

Ways to Get Your Résumé Noticed:

  • Customize your résumé for each job application to align with the specific requirements and preferences of the employer.
  • Use a professional format and design that is visually appealing and easy to read.
  • Include a strong professional summary or objective statement that grabs the reader's attention and highlights your unique qualifications.
  • Incorporate industry-specific keywords and phrases to optimize your résumé for applicant tracking systems (ATS).
  • Network with professionals in the hospitality industry, attend industry events, and utilize online platforms like LinkedIn to connect with potential employers and expand your opportunities.

By following these do's and don'ts and implementing strategies to make your résumé stand out, you'll increase your chances of getting noticed by employers and securing interviews in the competitive hospitality job market.

Some résumés I have been handed have had the top corner folded over or a tick in or around the top. The reason is to get the reader to think they already read it, or put it "to the top of the pile" or simple just to stand out.  Believe it or not, it actually works sometimes!


In conclusion, crafting a winning résumé for the hospitality industry in Illinois requires attention to detail, customization, and a strategic approach to showcasing your qualifications effectively. By following the do's and don'ts outlined above, you can create a résumé that grabs the attention of hiring managers and sets you apart from the competition. Remember to tailor your résumé for each job application, quantifying your achievements and using industry-specific keywords to highlight your skills and experiences. Additionally, take advantage of networking opportunities and online platforms to expand your professional connections and increase your visibility in the industry. With a well-crafted résumé and proactive approach to job searching, you'll be well-positioned to land your dream job in Illinois' vibrant hospitality scene.
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