Skills Needed for a Successful Career



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Skills Needed for a Successful Career

  • A career is a profession or work in a particular field, such as foodservice, that individuals choose for themselves.
  • People advance in their careers by mastering the skills needed for their jobs and by showing that they are qualified to take on new responsibilities.
  • Training and additional education can help motivated individuals move higher up the career ladder.
  • A career ladder is a series of jobs through which people can grow to further their careers.
  • Important career skills: 
    • Communication and teamwork
    • Positive attitude
    • Willingness to learn
    • Technology skills
    • Math skills
    • Analyzing and problem solving
    • Knife and other equipment skills
    • Food safety knowledge
    • Product knowledge
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How to Develop Career Skills Now

  • To develop the skills necessary to succeed in the restaurant and foodservice industry, you should:
    • Make a commitment to put forth your best efforts.
    • Work part time in the industry while in school.
    • Don’t be afraid to take on challenges in school and work to learn new skills.
    • Be active in school clubs and activities.
    • Volunteer time in the community.
    • Take some time to read and learn on your own.
    • Familiarize yourself with basic computer functions and software programs.
    • Take advantage of every opportunity to improve learning and work habits while still in school and working part time.
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The Job Search

  • Students who learn how to find a job now have a head start when they’re ready to work full time.
  • Job hunting can be exciting and fun. The job market is the ideal place to tell others about abilities, talents, and dreams.
  • People find jobs in a wide variety of ways. Some employers recruit graduates from a particular high school. Many recruit from colleges and universities. Others print employment ads online and in local newspapers.
  • Search job ads in online job search engines and job banks by keyword, discipline, and location.
  • Job ads in newspapers are listed alphabetically by job title or job category.
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Preparing a Résumé, Portfolio, and Cover Letter

  • The tools needed for conducting a job search include a résumé, portfolio, and cover letter.
  • A résumé is a written summary of experience, skills, and achievements that relate to the job being sought.
  • A résumé is like a sales brochure that tells an employer why the applicant is the best person to hire for the job.
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Preparing a Résumé, Portfolio, and Cover Letter (cont.)

  • A résumé should be short—no more than one page—and contain only the most important information.
  • Include relevant work experience on a résumé. If no work experience has been gained so far, concentrate on the activities that show skills and abilities and how they relate to the job.
  • References are unrelated people who can provide information about the applicant’s character, work ability/ethic, or academic standing.
  • A résumé changes as the applicant gains more experience, training, and education.
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Building a Successful Portfolio

  • A portfolio displays an applicant’s finest efforts and is a good self-marketing tool to show potential employers.
  • Select samples that highlight your best talents. Each sample should be accompanied by a brief explanation of why it is important.
  • A portfolio is best displayed in a three-ring binder or folder. It should be about 10 pages in length and easy to carry to interviews.
  • Start collecting materials for a portfolio while still in school. Creating a complete and accurate portfolio is an ongoing process.
  • Electronic portfolios are a great way to showcase a collection of work and require minimal effort to access.
  • A portfolio is a collection of samples that showcase interests, talents, contributions, and studies.
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Creating a Winning Cover Letter

  • Send a cover letter along with your résumé to potential employers.
  • It can be a printed letter or a cover e-mail message.
  • A cover letter or message highlights your strengths and confirm your interest in the position being offered.
  • Keep the cover message brief and be sure to use correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • A cover letter is a brief letter in which an applicant introduces him- or herself to an employer.
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Section 12.1 Summary

  • A résumé should be short and contain only the most important information such as your objective, qualifications, experience, education, special skills, training or certification, and references.
  • A cover letter should grab the reader’s attention, hold the interest of the reader, tell the reader why you want to work for that company, and end by saying that you look forward to a meeting for an interview.
  • A portfolio is a collection of samples that highlight your interests, talents, contributions, and studies.
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Job Application

  • The job application shows how well you can follow instructions, your ability to communicate, and your employment history.
  • When filling out a job application, be sure to write or print clearly.
  • On questions about money on the application, write “Open.” Learn about the job before making any decisions about the salary.
  • Even if you have no work experience, you still may have qualities and skills that are needed in the workplace.
  • You will be asked to sign or acknowledge on the application that you have answered all questions and given information that is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge.
  • The job application gives general information and reveals some insights about an applicant to the employer.
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College Applications

  • When writing the essay, provide information that indicates that you will be successful.
  • You will need to have high school transcripts sent to the college.
  • Applications and essays must be delivered to schools by a specified deadline.
  • Most careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry require at least a high school diploma, or the equivalent, as does admission to a college or trade school.
  • Although not all restaurant and foodservice careers require a college education, today many do.
  • College or trade school applications require information about your education. They may ask you to state the program or course of study for which you are applying, and may request you to write a short essay.
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Scholarships

  • Most people need help to pay for tuition and other expenses at colleges, trade schools, and community colleges. To find scholarships:
    • Contact the financial aid office of the school to find out what types of scholarships the school offers and how to apply for them.
    • Search the Internet.
    • Talk with a guidance counselor.
  • Some states and schools also have financial aid to offer students. This includes grants, educational loans, and work study.
  • To qualify for financial aid, the student and the student’s parents need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/).
  • A scholarship is a grant or financial aid award to a student for the purpose of attending college.
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Section 12.2 Summary

  • A job application form gives general information, and it reveals some insights about you to the employer.
  • When completing a job application form, write or print clearly, use correct grammar and punctuation, and organize your thoughts.
  • College and trade school applications require information about your education and may ask you to complete a short essay.
  • Consult your high school guidance office or library before choosing a college or trade school. Visit the schools that are you interested in to see what they have to offer in person.
  • Scholarship application forms are similar to college applications. They have deadlines and ask personal information about you and your financial situation.
  • Contact the financial aid office of the school you are interested in to find out what types of scholarships the school offers.
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Preparing for the Job Interview

  • This first impression to a potential employer will make the strongest statement about an applicant.
  • Key points in making a great first impression include:
    • Punctuality: The first rule of business etiquette is to arrive at the interview on time.
    • Appearance: Applicants who look neat and clean give the impression that their work will also be neat and clean.
    • Good personal hygiene: When applying for a position in the restaurant or foodservice industry, the most important point to remember is that applicants will be working with food and people.
  • At the job interview, an applicant meets with an employer to discuss qualifications for a job.
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Preparing for the Job Interview (cont.)

    • Positive attitude: If applicants smile and are enthusiastic, it suggests that they will do their work with that same attitude.
    • Good manners: Good manners are the basis for business etiquette.
  • When meeting the interviewer, applicants should smile, extend their hands, and exchange a friendly greeting.
  • Remember to learn basic facts about the company before the interview.
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The Interview

  • Most job interviews last about an hour, depending on the job level.
  • The employer asks questions to get to know you better and to see whether your talents would be a suitable match for the available job.
  • Think of the interview as a chance to visit a workplace, to learn more about an interesting job, and an opportunity to meet new people.
  • Practicing interviewing skills with a friend is a good way to prepare for the real interview.
  • Closed questions can be answered with a simple yes or no, or with a brief, factual statement.
  • Open-ended questions are designed to encourage you to talk about yourself, make you feel more comfortable, and give the interviewer important information and valuable insight about you.
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The Interview (cont.)

  • For questions regarding salary on previous jobs, tell the truth.
  • Avoid talking negatively about previous managers and coworkers.
  • The interviewer is not allowed to ask about your race, national origin, gender, religion, marital status, age, physical or mental disabilities, or sexual preference.
  • Before ending the interview, the potential employer will ask whether you have any questions. This is the chance for you to show that you have confidence in yourself and to make sure the job is a good match for your personal and professional goals.
  • When the interview is ended, smile, shake the person’s hand, and thank the interviewer for taking the time to explain the job.
  • Before leaving, gather contact information from the interviewer and follow up on the interview. A simple thank-you note can make you stand out from the crowd of job seekers.
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Section 12.3 Summary

  • An effective job interview includes making a good impression, being punctual, presenting a clean and neat appearance, having good personal hygiene, promoting a positive attitude, using good manners, smiling and extending your hand to greet the interviewer, and showing that you have learned basic facts about the company.
  • Closed questions can be answered with a yes or no, or with a brief, factual statement. Open-ended questions encourage you to talk about yourself. Be an active participant in the interview.
  • When the interview is ended, smile, shake the person’s hand, and thank the interviewer for taking the time to explain the job to you. If you do want the job, this is the time to say so.
  • After the interview, send a thank-you note to show the employer that you want the job and to reinforce your qualifications. Also, make a follow-up phone call to the interviewer.
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Health and Wellness

  • The most important thing employees can do to ensure that they advance in the restaurant and foodservice career is to take care of body and mind. Staying healthy is the key to building skills, gaining experience, and working up the career ladder.
  • Eat right.
  • Get exercise.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Find something else to love.
  • Don’t take drugs, and, when of legal age to do so, drink alcohol responsibly.
  • Take advantage of the resources offered.
  • Have a plan for saving money.
  • Find a job that makes you happy.
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Stress and Time Management

  • Stress may be caused by factors such as time pressures, grades, getting into college, and relationships.
  • Stress management is a process people use to identify what causes stress for them in the workplace as well as in their personal lives, and then to apply various strategies to minimize its effects.
  • Time management uses tools to increase a person’s efficiency and productivity.
  • Restaurant and foodservice leaders who manage stress factors and their time so they maintain a quality of life for themselves help foster that behavior in their employees.
  • Stress is the condition or feeling that demands exceed the resources available for use.
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Resigning from a Job

  • People leave jobs because of a better opportunity, change in school schedule, or any number of reasons.
  • It’s standard business practice to give your current employer a two-week notice before leaving.
  • Inform your employer in person, or write a letter of resignation. Do not resign in an email.
  • Take care in writing a letter of resignation. Include the reasons for leaving, but always be polite.
  • Always to leave on a positive note. Keep long-term goals in mind and rise above any negative words and attitudes of others.
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Staying Educated and Involved

  • Continuous improvement or professional development is essential for success in restaurant or foodservice management.
  • Certifications are usually administered through professional organizations. Certification indicates that a student has demonstrated a high level of skill and has met specific performance requirements by participating in a rigorous process to become certified. Achieving certifications is one key way to improve yourself professionally.
  • Attending continuing education courses through either a local college or university also is essential for a manager to stay updated with the latest information in the industry.
  • Part of self-development is being involved in the industry. Opportunities present themselves to students who are aware of what’s out there.
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Staying Educated and Involved (cont.)

  • Professional organization membership is one way to stay on the “cutting edge” of the hospitality and restaurant industry.
  • Industry publications are another resource to consider for professional development opportunities.
  • Restaurant and foodservice managers stay connected to the industry by networking with other industry professionals. The purpose of networking is to connect with several people to build relationships that may result in career advancement, industry updates, and knowledge or career enhancements.
  • Networking is also valuable because it helps keep professionals current with industry trends.
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Section 12.4 Summary

  • To stay healthy as an industry employee, eat right, exercise, avoid unhealthy habits, take advantage of available resources, sleep, save money, and find a job that makes you happy.
  • Stress management is a process that people use to identify what causes stress for personal life and then to apply various strategies to minimize its effects.
  • Use time management tools to increase efficiency and productivity while reducing stress.
  • To resign from a job, write a letter of resignation that includes the reasons for leaving. The letter should be positive and thank the employer for the opportunity to work at the company.
  • Professional development is a continuous process of improvement. It allows a professional to stay current on industry trends, participate in professional organizations, become certified, and network.
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Entry-level Jobs

  • Host/hostess/cashier: Hosts greet customers, assist guests with coats or items to check; take reservations; seat customers; ask whether departing customers enjoyed their meals; thank customers for their visit; and answer customers’ questions about hours of the operation, types of credit cards accepted, and what menu items are available. In some operations, hosts act as the cashier; in others, cashiers are separate positions.
  • Server: In a full-service operation, servers greet customers; take their order; serve the order; check on customers’ needs after serving the meal; and continue to provide service until customers have left the table.
  • The following are brief descriptions of the responsibilities in some popular entry-level jobs in restaurant and foodservice.
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Entry-level Jobs (cont.)

  • Quick-service counter servers: Counter servers greet customers, take their orders, accept payment, and thank customers for their patronage.
  • Buser: The buser is primarily responsible for clearing and grooming the table.
  • Prep cooks: Prep cooks help the more experienced cooks and chefs prepare and cook guests’ orders.
  • Dishwasher: Clean, sparkling, sanitary tableware is essential to an enjoyable meal, and dishwashers see that this function is fulfilled.
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A Selection of Careers

  • Careers in the Restaurant and Foodservice Industry
    • Owner/operators and entrepreneurs, general managers, managers, assistant managers, executive chef, sous chefs, banquet chefs, pastry chefs, station cooks, food writers, food stylists, foodservice marketers, research and development chefs, food scientists, nutritionists and dietitians, food production and food processing, accountants, controllers, trainers, retail food managers, foodservice and hospitality educators
  • Careers in Lodging
    • General management, accounting and financial management, human resources, marketing and sales, front office, housekeeping, engineering and facility maintenance, security, food and beverage, concierge
  • Careers in Travel and Tourism: Transportation
    • Travel agent, corporate travel office employees, airline careers, trains, cruise ships, charter services, buses, limousines, and cars
  • Careers in Travel and Tourism: Tourism
    • Tour guide, tourism office employees, convention and meeting planners, travel writers and photographers, theme park and amusement park employees, National Park Service (NPS)
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Section 12.5 Summary

  • Entry-level positions in the restaurant and foodservice industry include host/hostess, server, quick-service counter servers, buser, prep cooks, and dishwashers.
  • Careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry include owner, general manager, manager, assistant manager, executive chef, sous chef, banquet chef, pastry chef, station cook, food writer, food stylist, dietician/nutritionist, food production and food processing, accountant/controller, trainer, retail food manager, and foodservice education.
  • Careers in the lodging industry are typically divided into those with customer contact and those that support the running of the operation.
  • Careers in the travel and tourism area focus on the many ways that people spend their time and money when they’re away from home.
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