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Hotel Career

Hotel staffs provide a variety of services to guests and must do so efficiently, courteously, and accurately.

Employment of hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks is expected to grow faster than some other occupations in the industry as responsibilities become more numerous and some of these workers take on tasks previously reserved for managers.

Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks perform a variety of services for guests of hotels, motels, and other lodging establishments. They register arriving guests, assign rooms, and check out guests at the end of their stay. They also keep records of room assignments and other registration-related information on computers. When guests check out, desk clerks prepare and explain the charges, as well as process payments.

Front-desk clerks always are in the public eye and typically are the first line of customer service for a lodging property. Their attitude and behavior greatly influence the public's impressions of the establishment. They always must be courteous and helpful. Desk clerks answer questions about services, checkout times, the local community, or other matters of public interest. Clerks also report problems with guest rooms or public facilities to members of the housekeeping or maintenance.

In the smaller places, desk clerks may perform the work of a bookkeeper, advance reservation agent, cashier, laundry attendant, and telephone switchboard operator.

Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks deal directly with the public, so a professional appearance and a pleasant personality are important. A clear speaking voice and fluency in English also are essential, because these employees talk directly with hotel guests and the public and frequently use the telephone or public-address systems.

Good spelling and computer literacy are needed, because most of the work involves use of a computer. In addition, speaking a foreign language fluently is increasingly helpful, because of the growing international clientele of many properties.

Formal academic training generally is not required so many students take jobs as desk clerks on evening or weekend shifts or during school vacation periods. Most employers look for people who are friendly and customer-service oriented, well groomed, and display the maturity and self confidence to demonstrate good judgment.

Desk clerks, especially in high-volume and higher-end properties should be quick-thinking, show initiative, and be able to work as a member of a team. Hotel managers typically look for these personal characteristics when hiring first-time desk clerks, because it is easier to teach company policy and computer skills than personality traits.

General Managers have overall responsibility for the operation of the hotel. They allocate funds to departments, approve expenditures, and ensure expected standards for guest service, decor, housekeeping, food quality, and banquet operations.

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