How to write a hospitality cover letter (with template)
Updated 11 April 2023
When applying for jobs in the hospitality industry, it's important to write an effective cover letter as part of your application. A cover letter shows recruiters your commitment and passion for the role. It's also an opportunity to tell employers more about yourself than is ordinarily communicated through a CV alone. In this article, we explain what a hospitality cover letter is, provide tips for writing one, plus show a template and give an example of an effective cover letter.
What is a hospitality cover letter?
A hospitality cover letter is an additional document sent to prospective employers during a job application alongside a traditional CV. This document highlights your specific industry and role skills, providing an in-depth look at your qualifications in your own words. It addresses a hiring manager directly and explains why you're a suitable and desirable candidate for the advertised role.
How to write a cover letter for a hospitality job
For a hospitality cover letter to be effective, it follows a certain structure. This ensures that it reads well and covers all the necessary points. Here's a step-by-step guide for this type of letter:
1. Begin with a greeting
Always begin a cover letter with a polite and formal greeting. Address the recruiter by name, and note their job role. This shows you've taken the time to research them and the company. This also makes the cover letter seem more personal, much like a private conversation between you and the recruiter.
2. Create an effective opening
It's important to grab the reader's attention in the first few sentences. Introduce yourself and why you're applying for the position. This is the point at which you point out how enthusiastic you are about the prospect of working with the company, and why you're the ideal candidate for the role. It's important to hook the reader's attention here so they keep reading your cover letter.
3. Highlight your achievements
Use this next section to highlight your career achievements, especially those you are most proud of. Make sure to always link them back to the job requirements and key hospitality skills. For example, describe a large party or event that you were waitstaff at and how you dealt with it. Also, make note of your strengths and why they match up well with the role at hand. Ensure all the achievements you discuss are relevant to the position you're applying for.
4. Mention relevant skills
After carefully reading through the application, reiterate how your skills align with what's expected of the successful applicant. For example, if a recruiter is looking for someone used to working in fast-paced environments, discuss how you have excellent timekeeping abilities and work well under pressure.
5. Finish with a conclusion
Finish your cover letter by reiterating why you're suitable for the role and thanking the hiring manager for their time. Make sure to leave your personal details, so it makes it easy for the recruiter to contact you in the future regarding the role. This is also the point at which you sign off the cover letter using the standard letter format. If inclined to do so, you can use either a handwritten or digital signature.
Tips for an effective cover letter in hospitality
Here is a list of tips to help you prepare your submission:
It's essential to proofread and check your cover letter prior to sending it. You can do so by asking a friend or a professional to double-check it and provide feedback on their findings. This is to ensure it reads well, is grammatically correct and error-free. Sending a cover letter that is free of errors demonstrates your commitment to quality, which is an attractive trait in a candidate.
Read the job application carefully
Some job applications are long and detailed. It's critical that you read through a job application carefully and multiple times to ensure you understand the nuances of the hospitality role you're applying for. This means you can be as detailed and specific as possible in your cover letter. It also makes sure you definitely want the role you're applying for and are completely aware of the expectations attached to the position. There are many different sectors to hospitality, so ensure you're applying for a job you think you would be good at and enjoy.
Opt to send one
Not every hospitality job requires a cover letter along with your CV, but it's usually beneficial to add more context to your experience and qualification. This is because it makes you stand out from other candidates in the application process. It demonstrates to hiring managers that you're a candidate willing to go the extra mile and are very dedicated to the position. Including a cover letter with your application can make you more noticeable to recruiters and is more likely to lead to further interviews.
Keep it short
Hiring managers have potentially hundreds of applications to sort through for some hospitality job roles. This means that they quickly decide whether an application is worth short-listing. Ensure your cover letter is concise and to the point, reinforcing your important hospitality skills. This grabs a recruiter's attention and is more appealing to read. Make sure your cover letter is no more than a few paragraphs long.
Always remember to back up your work and experience claims with real-life examples from within the hospitality industry. This further demonstrates your suitability for the hospitality role and your core skills and attributes. Consider a few valuable instances that summarise your point in a concise and effective way.
Related: 11 diverse hospitality jobs
Cover letter for hospitality jobs template
Cover letters are most effective when they're adapted and changed for every individual job role, meaning a cover letter changes regularly. This is why having a core cover letter template to adapt to each role is a good idea. It helps to save you time when applying to multiple roles and is easy to reference. Find below a template that you can fill with relevant information for any hospitality role:
From: [Your name]
[ Your contact information]
To: [Name of the hiring manager]
[Name of the company or business]
[Company address and contact information]
Dear [Name of the hiring manager, include Mr/Ms and surname if appropriate],
[In the first paragraph, introduce yourself and your reason for applying for the hospitality job role. Discuss how you heard about the position and if someone referred you, if relevant.]
[In the mid-paragraph(s) highlight key hospitality skills, experience and qualifications relevant to the job role. Select a few brief examples to include and demonstrate your hospitality capabilities.]
[The final paragraph summarises your main points and reiterates your suitability. Confirm why you're the best candidate for the role and your passion and interest in the company. Thank the hiring manager for their time and mention how you look forward to hearing from them in the future. Close the cover letter with a formal salutation and your name and contact details.]
[Your full name printed]
[Your relevant contact details]
Example of cover letter in hospitality
It's advantageous to research and study effective hospitality job cover letters before writing your own. This helps you know what to include and gives you inspiration for your own writing. Find below an example of a full cover letter to reference when writing your own :
From: Tim Gray
14 Wind Street London SW4
To: John Smith
I was very excited when I came across your position as a restaurant server at the Seaside Hotel. I have had a passion and skill for culinary service for as long as I can remember and have pursued it as a career ever since I left education. I visit the Seaside Hotel regularly and am a huge fan of your selection of food and drink, so this role felt like the ideal fit for me.
I have worked in various restaurants and hotels for over 10 years and am currently employed by The Greenacre Hotel as a restaurant server. In my role, I am serving food and drink to diners and give them first-class personal service. I thrive in any kitchen and front-of-house environment and love working as part of a team. Over the years with Greenacre, I have built up a list of regular customers that love me serving them every time they return. I would love to bring my initiative and service skills to your company.
My skill and passion for food service assure me that I am the best fit for the vacant position within your team. I would love to discuss this more with you in the future. Thank you so much for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
Disclaimer: The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.
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