Resumes, Recruitment and the Tedium of the Fundamentals!

About this time of year, every year, we seem to publish an article about resumes and recruitment.

“New Year, New You” type articles abound with advice and instructions to get your resume noticed and in front of a recruiter, or what to say at an interview.

An article in the Wall Street Journal last year suggested that in some demographics, in the quest to get their resume noticed, many candidate resumes showed more similarities to an Instagram post or Tinder bio, than to the professional document intended to get them a job interview! Bitmoji’s, photos, strange formats, colours and more, were being sold as a way to stand out and show creativity and fresh thinking.

I do understand it can be hard to get noticed, but in the digital age where bots and AI is used to identify candidates from employer applicant tracking systems, the picture of you drinking a Mojito in Hawaii is probably not going to help your cause…

In hospitality, another slightly depressing trend at the upper end of the business is an unhealthy obsession with awards and celebrities. Everywhere you look, so much of the media coverage in magazines and on-line has us bombarded by reviews, rating and awards – best hotel lists, gold lists, Michelin stars, celebrity chefs, TripAdvisor awards… it seems to be never ending.

So what? you might ask – this is just marketing and so it is, however, it seems increasingly like some employers have caught the bug. “I only want to consider General Managers with experience in award winning hotels” or “I only want chefs with a Michelin star background” are indicative of several recent requests from potential clients.

Just because a chef worked in a restaurant with an award or star, remember, he may only have held the frying pan for the star rated chef, this does not make him a good cook!

So, at the risk of repeating myself, here are my 4 words of wisdom…

Don’t forget the fundamentals!

When recruiting your team – look for a good education, appropriate training, well known quality employers and a stable work history as the starting point. Hospitality isn’t rocket science, so personality, responsiveness and focus on great customer service and the ability to soldier on when insanely busy and stressed (and still smile!) are probably more important than once having sat next to Gordon Ramsay on a bus!

In these crazy times, with Covid, staff shortages, increasingly short lead times and more, the fundamentals really should never change (that’s why they’re called the fundamentals!).

It may seem a little tedious and unsexy to focus on these age-old characteristics of our industry, but these will be at the forefront of your ongoing success. So, don’t obsess about the awards or be seduced by fancy looking resumes. Focus on the things that will make and create lasting value for your guests and in turn your business.

About the Author


Tim Johns is a former Hotelier and Managing Partner with Elite Search – a leading hospitality recruitment firm. For more information about Tim and Elite Search visit and The Elite Hotelier

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