Top Tips for Graduates

We invited the employers exhibiting at Passion 4 Hospitality to give us their top three tips to graduates attending the careers fair and looking for employment. Here's what they said...

Celine Neveu, Talent & Culture Training Co-Ordinator, Novotel London West

The three hot tips I would give to the Graduates are:

1. Show your passion for hospitality.

2. Show your personality.

3. Smile and interact with people.

Jessica Berry, Talent Manager, The Doyle Collection

1. Keep an open mind

You might think that you know exactly what type of job you want and what company would suit you. Don’t let that stop you from speaking with other people and keeping your options open. The perfect job for you might come from a place you don’t expect!

2. Network

Not only are these great events for meeting future employers, but also for increasing your network in the industry. Talk with fellow job seekers, add each other on LinkedIn, grab a coffee after the event and chat about your experiences.

3. Research

Flattery will get you everywhere! Check out the companies who will be there ahead of time so you can google them and impress them with your knowledge. The research will also help you to plan your day so you don’t miss out on talking to everyone.

Louise Phelps, Group Talent Manager, Splendid Hospitality

1. Be Authentic 

Be yourself, people hire people remember. We want to see the real you, who you really are. What are your passions? What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Why did you pick hospitality? Let us see you for who you are.

2. Understand How Your Strengths Can Deliver The Output of The Role

We know that not every one of our graduates might have work experience. But it’s great for us to know how motivated you are for the position, and how much you understand about your own strengths. Knowing how you can leverage your own strengths to make you successful is a key insight.

3. Demonstrate Self Development

It’s really important for any of our candidates to able to show a willingness to develop themselves. Whether this be with a hobby, your academic achievements or in a professional capacity - we love candidates who are as passionate about developing themselves as we are. 

Lisa Marie Ryan, Managing Partner, SpaYse

1. Ensure you prepare a CV relevant to the role you're applying to. Keep the important information the same such as role, location and dates but select key points about that experience that you'd like to highlight to support your application. Tailor your CV to provide evidence you can fulfil the key 'must haves' of the role you're applying for.

2. When going for interview just be yourself. This is easier said than done however, you've passed the first test and now most interviewers have invited you in to gauge whether or not you'll suit the current team dynamics and also find out more about your long-term goals.

3. Aim to engage with your interviewer; building rapport, using open body language and maintaining good eye contact is imperative. If using an agency, if the role isn't exactly what you expected or looking for then express this explaining why and investigate if another role available would be more suitable. If your interviewer understands exactly what you are looking for it saves time for both parties. Good Luck!

David Carroll, Talent & Resourcing Officer, Exclusive Hotels and Venues (c/o Pennyhill Park, an Exclusive Hotel & Spa)

These are the four qualities we look for in our people:

1. Be full of Character & Self-Confidence.

2. Be Approachable, Warm & ‘Teamly’.

3. Be Adaptable, Energetic & Seek Opportunities.

4. Be Sincere, Responsible & Enthusiastic.

Danita van Charldorp, Human Resources Manager, Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill

1. Always send/bring your updated CV (It facilitates the whole process and it also shows us that you have come prepared).

2. Dress to Impress.

3. Attitude is more important than experience. Behave naturally and be open to different opportunities.

Adam Rowledge FIH, General Manager, Georgian House Hotel

1. Never underestimate the importance of networking events & sites such as LinkedIn.

2. Do your research and be prepared.

3. Relax and Smile!

Olivia Newton, Residences HR Manager, The Mandarin Oriental

1. Do your research – read as much as you can, not by just looking at our company website but also looking at what the key issues are in the industry and thinking about what that means for us, the company you are applying to. In the days leading up to a fair, scan the news headlines and relevant industry sector pages of news websites to get a feel for what's going on in the sectors that interest you The more you read from relevant trade magazines, from key industry names on Twitter and LinkedIn, and the more you think about your own perspective on these issues, the better you will do.

2. Be ready with specific questions to ask- these questions should not be about basic information that you could easily read on our website. Instead, form questions that include how your skills will be valuable to that particular company or ask questions about something you read on the website to show you have done your research.

3. Create an “elevator pitch” to describe yourself briefly to recruiters. This is a 30-second speech that summarises who you are, what you do and why you would make a good candidate to join our company. It doesn't have to be a hard sell of your skills, just a simple, brief introduction. Get yourself noticed and be ahead of the game! Any experience could be a great experience: even if you don’t have much professional experience, talk about any other projects you have been involved in.

Amy Ritchie, People Development Manager, The Principal London

1. Be passionate.

2. Be prepared.

3. Be yourself.

Adelaide White, Community Manager- Catapult

1. Gain experience

Employers relish applicants with a wide array of experience, because essentially, the more you've worked, the more you bring to the table. Trying various positions will not only improve your skill level but also add value to your application.

2. Confidence is key

Using language as an example, saying "I am" and "I know" as opposed to "I think" and "I feel" will show you as a confident and self-assured applicant.

3. Try everything

Looking for a full-time job? Not sure what to do or where to start? Try flexible part-time work; it's a great way to test the waters and kick things off.

4. Stay busy

Being unemployed can be risky as employers tend to look for gaps in your work history. Having a part-time job on the side while you apply for a full-time position is not only a productive use of your free time, but it's also a fantastic way to spice up your CV. Not to mention it will impress the socks off of prospective employers.

Edward Gallier MIH, Head of Learning & Development, Jurys Inn Hotels

Tips from Kyle Garland, Jurys Inn first-year graduate from Surrey University

1. Gain as much extra circular/professional experience at University as possible. Whether its joining a sports club, supporting a charity you're passionate about or becoming a course mentor, in today’s Graduate market its increasingly important to gain all the experience you can to stand out from the crowd. Make sure you consider and highlight the skills/knowledge you have gained during these experiences, and how they could support Jurys Inn in reaching its goals.

2. Challenge your preconceptions. As a Graduate Manager with the company, you are the future of Jurys Inn! No matter how much or little experience you have in Hospitality, its critically important to throw yourself into every situation faced and to absorb as much learning as possible! You will reap the rewards of a can-do attitude when developing from a Duty Manager to a Head of Department which Jurys Inn supports you every step of the way!

3. Preparation is key for the assessment centre! Make no mistake, the Jurys Inn Assessment Centre is a challenging day, however nothing as a Graduate you won't be able to handle. To maximise your chance of success, however, preparation is key! This means researching what the company does, who owns the organisation, what the Graduate Programme looks like and identifying some skills and competencies you have to really make a difference with the company. Jurys Inns empower you to make a difference and to really drive business improvements, but ultimately it’s down to you to make it happen!

Tips from Chole Bruyas, final year Jurys Inn Graduate

1. Be flexible, willing to travel and change property. Be ready to pack up and move because the greater opportunities for you might not be just next door.

2. Be ready to be seen, network, use social media and brand yourself.

3. Be patient and resilient, give your best, learn, listen, be a sponge by collecting as much information as you can, always with the right behaviour. It will pay off, this is a great experience!!!!

Kim Scheddel, Graduate Recruitment Manager Corporate and UK&I, Hilton 

Hot tips for applying with Hilton 

1. Do your company research and familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of the position you are applying for.

2. Research exactly what jobs Hilton has available and focus your time and effort on those jobs that really meet your career ambitions

3. We are a business where people serve people, find your passion and practice how to convey your message during an interview

Further information

Read more about our Passion 4 Hospitality event

Follow the event on Instagram and Twitter - @IoH_Online #P4H2018

If you are graduating this year, consider joining the Institute of Hospitality. Membership is being offered to you for just £25 (instead of the usual £165). Visit the Institute of Hospitality stand at Passion 4 Hospitality or visit the Class of 2018 web page for further details.