Alchemize with Lauren

More than a little bit of bleach!

Recently I’ve had the opportunity to work with a client in the hospitality industry who was seeking additional employees for their hotel and restaurants. Guests and patrons have become accustomed to have a high level of expectations when it comes to dining or hotel stays than with many other industries. As a result, the managers in charge of hiring tend to have a difficult task.

Three words: service, service, (and more) service. Experience doesn’t hurt. And another key factor they desire is that prospective employees have an innate talent for anticipating the needs of their clientele. Offering assistance. Making their experience a memorable one. Gaining repeat and loyal customers. These are not unreasonable expectations for the guests, but making certain that the employees follow through is paramount to the overall success of the organization. Looking at the websites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp will show you this trend when you peruse the reviews of the restaurants and accommodations. The staff is constantly being evaluated and the issue of return trips and recommendations hinge on their words.

If you are seeking a career in hospitality the phrase “loves working with people” has never been truer. Not only words, this is the essence of your existence in this field. You have to feel the importance of customer satisfaction and helping to create pleasant memories. The competition for guests is overwhelming and their experience is everything to them.

Smile. And smile often. If you answer the phone with a smile it will even be detected. Yes, it’s true the caller can’t see you. But believe it or not, a smile can be heard it in your voice. Try it sometime. Listen to others when you make a phone call.

Several weeks ago a major national dental convention was held on the west coast. The dental industry is booming as a result of the many new techniques for whitening, brightening and cosmetic overhauls. More and more, most Americans agree that a winning smile can enhance success and, conversely, an unattractive smile can actually hurt a person’s chance for career and personal success. The toothpaste advertisements no longer just emphasize the reduction of cavities. The hot button is how much whiter your teeth will become. And that’s a good start. But just a start.

Along with the brightening agents the fear of bad breath is another hot topic. It isn’t enough to have bright teeth, working closely with others (in any field!) means making sure they don’t want to run the other way when you’re up close. How can you make a sale or build a solid relationship if prospects are avoiding face-to-face contact?  Although it may be embarrassing, when you go for your dental check up, speak to your dentist about these issues. A dissolving breath strip or popping a tic-tac will eliminate not all breath problems. Better to be embarrassed a little in the dentist’s office than have a dental “issue” impact your bottom line indefinitely!

The resume. The clothing. The etiquette. The smile. Yes. Your breath is without a doubt, part of your overall image.

You can be an extremely qualified candidate. You get the interview. You dress impeccably. You greet the hiring manager with a firm handshake. And never forget to engage them with your smile!

Lauren Castle is the owner of Impress Express, a professional image firm, focusing on career development, resume preparation, presentation skills, etiquette and interview coaching. We are members of the Professional Association of Resume Writers. For help with your image, posting your resume, or preparing your internet-friendly resume, contact Lauren directly at 858-459-7400. And, as always, please forward your image and career-related questions to for further information.