Get to grips with social media for that dream hospitality job

When applying for hotel vacancies and other opportunities in the hospitality sector, having that added skill on your CV that you may not have previously deemed important could be crucial.

As well as having all the basic boxes ticked in terms of hospitality skills, there are other areas which can really help your case when applying for a job.

These could be practical such as languages or being au fait with other cultures' practices, or they could be something like social and digital media skills, which, while seeming not entirely relevant, could put you ahead of the rest of the field.

The importance of social media and being proficient in sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn has grown immensely over recent years with companies from all sectors using it for a variety of purposes.

Many use it for advertising, others for communication purposes, and some for both so being able to use it confidently and bring ideas to the table during your application or interview will ensure you are given as good a chance as possible.

In a recent panel discussion, Hotel Industry magazine asked Virginia Suliman, vice president, digital design and development at Hilton Worldwide, Penny Holland, Moddershall Oaks director and Joel Davis, director at agency:2, what they thought about social media.

Ms Holland said she felt social media was "certainly the best relationship marketing tool out there at the moment", highlighting just how important it is for candidates to ensure they know their retweeting from their liking.

Mr Davis said people also needed to be aware of the specific outcomes wanted from each campaign, rather than opting for a blanket approach.

He said: "Evidently, strategy will vary from hotel to hotel, depending on what is trying to be achieved.

"Are you talking about recruitment, launching a new product, increasing hotel bookings, or is this campaign more about internal communications? At the end of the day, a good social media strategy comes down to the specific objectives of the campaign."

This is particularly important as you can showcase at interview the various ways in which hotels can use social media. Obviously it may not always completely relevant to your role but any added understanding of how the hospitality sector works can be an advantage.

Ms Suliman spoke to the magazine about her brand's Twitter handle, @HiltonSuggests, which she says "helps guests in various cities throughout the world with recommendations".

She went on to say: "A traveller in London may tweet asking where to grab dinner and one of our London team members will tweet back with a trusted, local recommendation.

"We have seen great success with this handle and travellers are really impressed that we are listening and willing to help."

Being au fait with how the hospitality sector uses social media and other tools to grow can be an advantage when it comes to securing that dream role.

Obviously, there are more essential boxes to tick first but in such a competitive sector, every little helps.

Berkeley Scott provides specialist advice and support to help you with your career in hospitality