By Jose Cofone, recruitment operations manager for New Frontiers Travel Recruitment

The travel industry offers many opportunities, but how do you get a foot in the door?

The UK tourism industry, including hospitality, is one of the largest in the world, made up of 180,000 businesses directly employing 1.4 million people across all skill levels. More school leavers begin their careers in tourism and hospitality than in any other industry (UK Labour Force Survey 2008).

Jose Cofone has some tips for those looking for a 
job in the trade.

Search for opportunities

Using a recruitment agency is not the best way to get a first job in the industry as the majority of companies use an agency to fill roles that require more experience.

Also, the company pays agencies a fee for each candidate they place. This means companies are reluctant to take inexperienced personnel from a recruitment company as they would then have to train the candidate for the position.

Contacting companies directly is the best way to get into the industry. They will be more open to hiring someone with minimum experience and be more willing to provide product and systems training as they will not have paid a recruitment fee.

Target the right companies

Prior to starting your search, you should list your skills and knowledge and target companies that require those skills.

For example, if you have travelled extensively in Latin America, target Latin America specialists.

Why not search on Google and sites such as Abta.com and Aito.co.uk for companies matching your skillset. Both also feature job advertisements. Other websites where you can search for travel companies and jobs include 
jobs.travelweekly.co.uk.

Internships

Another option is to undertake an internship or work experience. Details of two companies that provide leads for companies searching for interns are Enternships.com and Wexo.co.uk.

Get your CV right

When contacting companies, ensure your CV is eye-catching and will get you that all-important interview. Your CV is an employer’s first impression of your personality, skills and ability. Its content, presentation and how you convey your experience and qualifications, say a great deal about you.

CVs should be informative, concise and truthful – references and other details will be checked. The majority of CVs lack all the information required by employers, so pay attention to this area first.

If your CV is difficult to read, too short or too long, doesn’t make sense or looks irrelevant, you probably won’t get an interview.

So, how do you get noticed? Here are some simple hints for you, on what to include in your CV:


  • Tailor your CV to specific jobs: When applying to any role, carefully read the vacancy details, taking into consideration required skills and experiences. Visit the company website to get a clear indication of their needs and wants. Ensure these requirements are shown on your CV.

  • Travel profile: If you mention you have a passion for travelling, say where you have travelled to. List the countries with a brief synopsis. Your travel profile alone can get you that elusive job.

  • Specialist skills: Mention any unique selling points that will help you stand out from the crowd.