Travel and Tourism Expert has Words of Wisdom & Advice for the Furloughed, the Laid Off and the Part-Timers Looking for Work: As a part of its multi-faceted program aimed at helping the thousands of people who lost their positions at the hotels, attractions, restaurants, tour companies and other business as a result of the corona virus-driven pandemic, the U.S. Hospitality, Tourism, Travel and Activities (HTTA) Recovery Registry recently had long-time industry leader Antoine Berberi, CEO & principal at Cedar Hospitality Partners, to talk with hundreds of those seeking some help and direction in their search for a new start or re-star in travel and tourism.
Berberi, who has some three decades of experience in senior management positions at some of the best-known hotel brands in the world, fielded some 20 questions from those who attended the webinar. INBOUND took a closer look at a couple of his answers and prepared them for its readers. Slightly edited for clarity, they are below. (Jonathan Elkoubi, chief commercial officer for NYC-based VisitorTix and managing founder of HTTA.US, moderated the discussion and asked the questions.)
Question: How do you stay positive when all of the news around you is bad?
Berberi: You ‘ve got to work on keeping the noise away. It’s so noisy out there. And it’s very easy when you’re at home to start listening to everything that’s happening because you have more time. When you’re not working that’s all you’re doing. You’re on social media all of the time. You’re listening to every possible comment, and you’re getting worried because every day there is a possible comment. Every day someone says it’s the end of the world, it’s never going to come back. Then, somebody else will come in and say, no it’s positive, it’s OK. You got to stay upbeat by focusing on the positive and focusing on developing yourself. If you’re not able to know what to do, start learning. Start reading. Start working on developing a new talent. Start thinking about yourself in a positive way. Because it starts with you. And once you start feeling good about yourself, you’re going to be able to tune out all of those negatives.
Shaping a Resume: Be Specific in What You Want and What You Can Do
Question: Many people have been sending resumes to hundreds of companies and they never hear back. Do you have specific best practice recommendations to avoid finding yourself in such a scenario? … What does it have to do with something called ATS or Application Tracking Software?
Berberi: Words matter. When you have so many resumes now that are going out—recruiters are getting 250 resumes for every job opening—and the recruiters also limited time to go over all of the resumes. So they use systems, ATS or other systems. You know, people are found on LinkedIn through LinkedIn Recruiter, which really uses “bullying,” which is really all about the key words that you have on your resume. So, you have to look at what is on your resume. And do you have the right words?
Please: No Blanket Resumes
I suggest: don’t just have one resume that’s going to fit every job. Look at the job description. Every time there’s a job opening, there is a specific job description. Learn from the job description. Investigate the actual words themselves, and make sure that some of those words are actually on your resume.
Many times, we just send a resume … and I’ve seen that because I’ve done recruitment … and I knew people who were really good for the position, but their resumes never popped out on LinkedIn Recruiter. So, if I didn’t know them, I wouldn’t have been able to find them.
So, key words are so important, especially now when there is so much competition. Change your resume. It’s OK. Change some of the key words to benefit the specific job description. Put the letter that accompanies it … there’s always a way to add more things and add more files. Add a specific introductory letter that really speaks to the job description.
Study the Information on Your Prospective Employer’s Website
(On your cover letter) Don’t tell me what you’re good at. Tell me how you’re going to bring value to that specific job that they’re advertising. And the key words are all there. You know that those key words are there because they put them in the job descriptions. They’re in the company profile and culture. They’re on their website.
For example: What do you call the team members? Do you call them “team member?” Do you call them “associates?” “Do you call them “colleagues?” If you send a letter and use the same words that they’re using on their website, it gives you an edge because they start relating—you’re using the same words and the same meaning as they are. And that makes it a real connection.
Again, don’t just send a blanket resume to everybody—the same resume that looks the same to everyone. Try to modify the actual job description. You’ll learn from it. Do your homework, and send it specifically. On LinkedIn, there is also a feature where, if you’re applying on LinkedIn, you’re able to send a message to the actual recruiter. Do that.
There are a lot of ways in which you can differentiate yourself. If you’re applying for a job and it says, “Would you like to send a note to the recruiter, and this is the name of the recruiter …” Even if they’re not on your LinkedIn profile, you can send them a message. I’ve noticed that that if you send them a message specifically, they will respond.
So, when they’re getting all these 250 people sending them a resume. And then they see your name, so something’s going to trigger, “Oh, I like this guy. I don’t know where I’ve known him from (Maybe they’ve even forgotten that you’ve just sent him a note.), but you connected with them somehow. And you used the same words as the company …
Go specifically to the person who is going to make the decision. And you can always find out. Do your homework. It’s very easy. Call the company. Find out more. Get the e-mail if you can find it on LinkedIn. Be more personalized. Adjust accordingly to the job description. And you well get a call again. For the complete recording of the webinar, visit https://htta.us/