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jordym84's avatar

How do I get a job? (Details inside)

Asked by jordym84 (4737 points ) July 9th, 2012

I moved to NYC about a month ago in hopes of finding a job, ideally in hospitality (I have a bachelors in Hospitality and Food Service Management). I’ve submitted over 40 applications and still haven’t heard from a single employer.

I’m confident in my education/experience (I went to a prestigious university in upstate NY and worked as a student supervisor and teaching assistant while there, and did 3 internships in Disney World, a hospitality powerhouse) and skills (including written and verbal fluency in 5 different languages, great customer service skills, excellent technical skills, etc), and yet don’t seem to be getting anywhere.

I’m staying with a very close friend from college and she’s been great in accommodating me and allowing me to stay for as long as I need to. However, because of the way I was brought up, I’ve been feeling restless and unhappy about the fact that I can’t contribute financially. Even though she’s been gracious in allowing me to stay here, I can’t help but feel like I’m beginning to overstay my welcome. It is her place after all and it can get annoying to always come home from work to find me here, sitting on the couch, something I’m not proud of – she hasn’t mentioned anything, but I wouldn’t blame her at all if she were starting to get annoyed.

My routine is the same every single day: I wake up after she’s left for work, shower, eat breakfast, tidy up around the house, and sit on the couch with my computer applying for jobs with the TV on in the background for the rest of the day. I’ve never been this stagnant for this long and it’s definitely starting to get to me.

Any suggestions on what I should do to increase my chances of getting a call back for an interview?

Thank you in advance!

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9 Answers

DeanV's avatar

How many places have you applied to in person? I know many places discourage that type of thing, but I’d imagine a bit of face-to-face interaction can prove vital when looking for a job in something so based in people skills like food service.

jordym84's avatar

@DeanV just to clarify, I’m not applying to food service jobs…restaurants aren’t my thing, I’m more into the lodging aspect of hospitality. I haven’t done any face-to-face yet, but I’m beginning to consider it. I just don’t know how effective it would be in a place like NYC, especially since most places of employment seem to discourage it and I wouldn’t want that to hurt my chances.

funkdaddy's avatar

After my first few jobs I’ve only ever gotten jobs in two ways. I’ve either met or known someone who works there already and had them get me past the first review or I’ve picked out the perfect companies for my experience and told them why I want to work for them.

If you feel you’re well qualified and don’t have tremendous financial responsibilities at this point why not stop spraying your resume and focus on making an impression on 1–5 employers that need a person just like you. They’re in the business you want to be in, they do the work you enjoy, they do it in a way you appreciate, and you’d be a perfect fit because you bring x, y, and z to the table. Tell them how awesome they are and then tell them how great you are. If they say no, tell them you’re also cheap ;)

Other than that, start networking. Some ideas -

> Is there a hospitality professionals group of some sort? Do they have meetings?
> Are there headhunting or staffing agencies that specialize in the type of work you’re looking for? They get paid when you get a job, so they’re motivated and connected.
> Could you take an NYC based internship (possibly with pay) to get in the door?
> Have you contacted the people at Disney that you worked for to see if they have any suggestions or contacts in NYC?
> Have you been in touch with your school and favorite professors in the field? Most people who teach learned by doing. They’ve also taught a lot of other people who now have jobs and share a connection with you in both the professor and the school.

People hire a known quantity before they’ll ever call an unknown. You just need to find a way to get known.

Bellatrix's avatar

I realise you don’t want to do food service work or the like but my experience has been it is always easier to get a job when you are in a job. So if you can pick up a job serving in a restaurant or in retail take it until you find the job you want. I would certainly be out there walking the streets, handing out resumes and making it clear I want work. You can then pay some rent, you will feel better about yourself and it will take the desperation out of your searching.

I had never been out of work when I came to Australia. Three months later – nothing. I was starting to doubt myself. I walked around industrial estates and found some temp work. After that I applied for jobs and got them. It was as if I now had ‘Australian’ experience on my resume and so I was worthy of hiring. Perhaps it’s the same in NY. Nobody is going to put you down for working in a food service job while looking for a better job.

flutherother's avatar

Register with employment agencies, they can be very helpful in getting you a job. I couldn’t bear to do it all from home I would get out there and meet people face to face, shopkeepers, fast food salesmen, hotel receptionists, retailers, factories. Let them know you are looking for employment and see what they suggest. You might not get your ideal job but you would get something I am sure.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

(Former hotel person for 25 years here.)

First, congratulations on your degree. Keep in mind that in the hospitality industry, it can be a double-edged sword. While it may open up some opportunities down the road, most managers prefer to see some hands-on experience. If you have any, please make sure to include it on your resume, along with any hotel computer systems you know.

As for applying online, have you been using Hospitality Online and HCareers? Both are geared specifically for the hospitality industry. They also list the management companies who run/own them, and it would be good to get familiar with which companies are prominent in the NYC area.

Get off the sofa and get out on the streets. It will be imperative that you learn your way around if you end up in any type of front office job. Visit hotels. Check them out. Plus, it gives you some information to keep in your hip pocket should you get an interview. If there is a hotel brochure, take it. It may come in handy.

While there, ask to set up an appt. with the HR managers or hotel manager. If they are unavailable at that time, ask for their business card. Even if you contact that person later and they tell you that they currently don’t have a job available, they might be able to provide a lead to someone that does. When I was an HR rep. at a hotel in DC, I would always pass on a lead to my counterparts at our sister properties in the area.

Most of the hotels in NYC are big enough that they have a complicated hierarchy of supervisors and managers. Take the advice of those above that say be willing to take an entry level job. With your degree, and if you have an ounce of true passion for the industry, it won’t be long before a promotion comes your way. I’ve seen this happen at every hotel I’ve ever worked in.

If you want some interview tips, feel free to send me a PM. Good luck, and please keep us posted.

marinelife's avatar

Do you list all of your work experience that you described including your internships right up front on your resume? (You should.)

Have you tried temp agencies?

jordym84's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer About 90% of the applications I’ve sent to hotels have been through HCareers and I’ve honestly lost faith in that website and the companies that post their open positions on there. I haven’t gotten a single call back from any of them even though I’ve applied to over 40 positions just on HCareers. It seems as though the only way to get a job in a NYC hotel is by knowing someone who works there and having them put in a good word for you…

@marinelife Yes, I have listed all my work, education, relevant experience, and skills in my resume. And yes, I’m currently listed with a temp agency.

Thank you all for your comments!! I had an interview last week (through the temp agency) and it went really, really well and a few days later I got a call back with a job offer!! :) Although it’s still not what I want to do long-term, it’s a great start with good pay and benefits and it’ll do for now to keep me busy until I can find something in my field of interest. I will start training a week from tomorrow and couldn’t be more excited to finally have something to do after being idle for so long! :)

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Thank you for the update, and congratulations on getting an interview. Please keep us posted.

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