Recently the Hyatt College team has received calls from our hotels seeking candidates for entry level management roles and additional requests for Corporate Management Trainees. Although it’s bad timing, since the recruiting season is over and students we met on campus have been placed, it’s a great sign that things are turning around. For those of you that are concerned about finding future internships and full time placement opportunities it seems there is a light at the end of the bad economy tunnel.
It will most likely take a while for us to get back to the strong campus recruiting numbers we had back in 2008 but there are some things you can do to better your chances when looking for future internships and full time positions after graduation. This includes staying positive, being flexible regarding positions and locations and networking.
Staying positive just happens to be the key to your survival. I graduated in June of 2001 only months before a horrific tragedy that affected our country and economy. All around me fellow students, colleagues and friends lost job offers or were laid off. The good news is things turned around–they always do–and it’s just a matter of time. In the meantime, it’s important to not only stay positive but be flexible.
As one of three Hyatt College Recruiters, each of us recruit at minimum 8 schools per semester; meet over 65 students at each campus and average about 20 interviews per university. Therefore, each one of us interview an average of 100 students per semester all looking for the same position. Consider this: Candidate A and B are top students, leaders within their university, involved in extracurricular activities, great experience and both have a 4.0 GPA. The difference is, Candidate A is willing to start anywhere including a Front Desk Agent because he understands that within 6 months he will have proven himself and will be promoted. Candidate B only wants an Asst. Manager position upon graduation and will only reside in Virginia. Due to Candidate A’s willingness to be flexible this candidate will most likely be chosen.
Willingness to swallow your pride and be open to entry level positions to get your foot in the door is extremely important. Whether it is a line position or an internship, these opportunities allow you to prove yourself to the company. Most likely if you are successful in these roles you will be considered for future supervisory and management openings.
Expanding your relocation preferences is also necessary. The more open you are to relocation the more opportunities will be available to you. This can be difficult as most companies do not provide relocation for non-management roles. However, relocating on your own dime can be worth it in the end. When a candidate decides to relocate on their own because of an opportunity within the company, they are really differentiating themselves amongst their competition. Taking the initiative and taking any opportunity the company offers shows dedication and true commitment.
It is difficult for students to realize they are not just competing amongst the students in their own class or their university. Each candidate is competing amongst all students at each school with the same degree, same experiences, and for the same limited opportunities. Realizing there’s more than one road that leads to their desired goal is the key to obtaining their career path. Sometimes looking at the whole picture is the solution. If becoming a Rooms Director is your goal, there are at least 5 positions underneath the Managers in the Rooms division that will allow you to gain more experience and create a better foundation for your future career. All of these entry level experiences will give you an advantage over your competition.
Along with staying positive and being flexible under the current conditions, it is also important to network. This means creating new networks with those you have recently come into contact with, and continuing those relationships you have already made with industry leaders, professors, and peers. Many companies are using social media tools to keep you up to date with their company. Media tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are a great way to learn more about companies you may be interested in. If you have created a great relationship with a representative from a company, they may be the one to help you get that first interview!
If you have recently graduated and relocation is not an option for you, now is the time to consider making yourself a more qualified candidate for when things turn around. Develop a second language and travel to unique cultural destinations around the world to broaden your experiences. If going to graduate school is an option for you, now is the time to continue your education. In addition, consider refining and developing specific skills that set you apart from another candidate.
The bottom line is, don’t let limited opportunities stand in your way. Let it drive you to be more passionate about your search. Have the best resume you can, apply for as many jobs as you feel qualified for, be as positive and flexible as possible and don’t lose hope. Remember, there are many roads that you can take to achieve your goal and there is no wrong direction to begin. Things are turning around and now’s the time to get on the top of the hiring list by being on top of your game.
Heidi is one of 3 College Recruiting Managers for Hyatt. She is responsible for recruiting top talent at hospitality universities across the country, primarily for Hyatt’s Corporate Management Training program and Corporate Internship program. Heidi visits up to 14 campuses twice a year to promote the Hyatt brand and college programs. Most recently Heidi has become involved with External Functional Recruitment for Culinary Management positions in North America. She earned her BS Degree in Interpersonal Communication with a minor in Business from Ohio University in 2001. Heidi has been with Hyatt for 9 years and started in the programs she now recruits for. To learn more about opportunities with Hyatt please visit explorehyatt.jobs, follow Hyatt on twitter @hyattcareers, become a Hyatt Facebook fan at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts Careers and follow the Campus blog at hyattrecruiting.blogspot.com.