Dress for Success in the Hospitality Industry



Whether you are attending an open call, going in for a scheduled interview or dropping off your resume in person, increase your chances of landing a job in hospitality by giving the right impression. 

Since hospitality is all about keeping the focus squarely on the guests, in a job interview you should try to attract enough attention to be memorable but not enough raise concerns that your presence will detract from the clientele. Remember that your aim is to make it as easy as possible for the manager to picture you as part of the team. 

Cafe Britt


Handshake - 2 men

Unlike other industries where there is a uniform dress code, hospitality runs the gamut from black tie to bikini tops, depending on the venue. Although there is no one set of rules on how to present yourself, we can offer some helpful pointers.

  1. Be well-groomed. Cleanliness is especially important in the hospitality industry, since in almost all cases you are dealing with the general public and more often than not with their food and drink. Present yourself fresh from the shower, wearing spotless attire and making sure that your hair is away from your face and your hands are pristine. Do wear deodorant but don’t douse yourself in cologne. 

  2. Dress up rather than down or, in other words, err on the side of conservatism. Unless the job posting clearly states that you should come clad in shorts and a t-shirt, it is best to opt for more formal attire Men should opt for a shirt and tie, while women should wear a pants or dress suit. If you deem that too formal or do not have a suit on hand, you can take it down a notch by choosing a well-pressed shirt or top paired with pants or a mid-length skirt. In the case of both genders, leave the piercings and flashy jewellery at home.

  3. Mimic their style. If you are applying to a place where the staff wears a uniform, dress in a similar -but not identical- manner. If you resemble the staff, there are very good chances you will join them.

  4. When it comes to colors, designs and accessories less is more. Simply put, choose neutral shades rather than colors; leave the message tees and bold patterns at home; footwear should not be noticeable and headwear removed at the door.

  5. A picture speaks a thousand words. Many hiring managers, especially in the case of open calls, request applicants to provide a photo of themselves along with their resumes. Should this be the case, follow the guidelines mentioned above, while keeping these additional hints in mind: avoid selfies and group shots as much as possible; opt for a photo of yourself preparing a drink rather than imbibing one; smile and look friendly but not alluring or flirtatious -you are applying for a job not an online date.

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