Once you have an idea of the type of job you want in tourism, and once you have completed any required training, it’s time to land that coveted job. This requires a methodical plan. Do you have a résumé that highlights your key skills? Have you prepared for difficult interview questions? Have you targeted companies you're going to contact directly? Are you prepared with the latest techniques for marketing yourself and networking effectively? If you answered no to any of these questions, it’s time to get busy with the following steps.
Preparing your résumé and cover letter
One of your first steps should be to prepare an up-to-date résumé that highlights your training, work experience, additional language skills and volunteer activities. Attention to detail is important to all employers, so ensure that your cover letter and résumé are free of spelling and grammatical errors. A cover letter should be no more than one page – preferably bullet points or short paragraphs. You should customize it for each job application. To learn more, visit Resume, Cover Letter and Interview Tips and Hiring Experts Reveal the Six Biggest Mistakes Job Seekers Make.
Learn about your potential employers
Learn who the employers are in your area by contacting your local chamber of commerce or regional destination marketing association office for brochures and guides for tourism businesses in your area. Tourism industry associations also exist for most sectors and are a great source for making initial contacts and obtaining information about the sector they represent. Our Tourism Company Directory is another resource where you can find links to companies across BC.
Are there people in your community or circle of acquaintances who are doing the type of work that interests you? Contact them to find out what skills and experience they think you'll need. Read through job descriptions on job-search websites, including the go2 Job Board. From your research, develop a list of companies you want to work for, then contact the companies directly regarding current or future job opportunities.
Use your network
Not all jobs are advertised. Many positions are filled by people who have been recommended by someone they know. Be sure to tell friends, relatives and neighbours that you are looking for a tourism job; they may know somebody who is hiring or who can help get you started. To learn about tourism conferences, job fairs and events where you can meet industry professionals, check out our News & Events section.
Become a volunteer
Volunteering helps you meet people in the tourism industry and build experience, which is especially important for job seekers who are just starting out in the workforce. Some employers hire volunteers to help during the busy season, and many event organizers offer volunteer opportunities. Visit volunteer.ca, goVolunteer.ca and volunteervancouver.ca to learn about such opportunities.
Generally, tourism is an industry that operates around the clock and experiences high and low seasons. Be flexible and expect to work shifts outside of a typical work week. Plan to be available on evenings and weekends, especially when you are starting out.
Tapping into social media is also an effective way to connect to employers, because jobs are often advertised using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also connect with employers through go2’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.