Become a Hotel Receptionist

Hotel receptionists are responsible for helping guests to make reservations, welcoming people to the hotel, answering questions and meeting the needs of guests during their stay. Receptionists are expected to be friendly, professional, responsive and able to multi-task. Become a hotel receptionist by gaining office and hospitality experience, showing potential employers that you can provide excellent customer service.


Learning About the Role

  1. Understand the job description. While job duties will vary from hotel to hotel, there are certain responsibilities that all hotel receptionists are required to manage. These include handling reservations and cancellations, processing payments, answering guests’ questions, taking messages, and answering the phone.[1]
    • This role requires you to be able to stay calm during stressful situations. Practice both your patience and your negotiating skills.
  2. Prepare to work a variety of shifts. Working as a hotel receptionist will require you to work days, nights, weekends, and sometimes overnight. Be prepared to keep a flexible schedule.[2]
  3. Get a well-balanced education. A minimum of a high school diploma will be required, and some college courses or a degree in hospitality will also help you to become a hotel receptionist. Learning a second language, especially one used by tourists in the location that you wish to work in, can be advantageous.[1]
    • Take English and communications classes that will provide you with the ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.
    • Take math and finance classes so that you are prepared to handle payments and money.
    • Look for opportunities to take hospitality courses. Many community colleges and online schools offer classes in travel, tourism, and hotel management.

Gaining Experience

  1. Obtain experience in office and front desk functions. Work as a receptionist or an office assistant in a professional setting. This will help you learn skills required of a hotel receptionist.[3]
    • Getting experience managing a front desk can make you a valuable candidate for hire. Remain on good terms with former employers so that they can provide you with a recommendation.
    • Answer phones, greet customers, organize paper and computer files, and get experience managing multiple administrative functions.
  2. Sharpen your customer service skills. Working as a clerk in a retail setting, or a call center will give you the customer service experience that you need to become a hotel receptionist.[4]
    • Provide answers to questions, resolve complaints, and maintain a cheerful, positive and professional attitude when dealing with customers.
  3. Learn various types of computer software. Stay up-to-date with technology, since you may need to learn new computer programs quickly. Many hotels will have specific databases and online reservation systems that they use.[5]
    • Learn how to use the Microsoft Office suite, including Word, Excel, Access and Outlook. Become familiar with creating a spreadsheet of data.
  4. Put together a resume that reflects your education and experience. Make sure that you have an objective section, which highlights your goal of becoming a hotel receptionist. Emphasize your strengths and any relevant skills.

Finding a Job

  1. Look for job opportunities. Check online job search websites such as CareerBuilder, Monster and Indeed. You can perform a search using specific keywords such as "hotel receptionist" and choosing the city or state you want to work in.
  2. Call hotels in your area. Call the front desk and ask whether they are hiring a receptionist. You may instead want to visit in person so that employees will be able to connect your face with your name.[6]
    • Drop off your resume at local hotels where you would like to work. Ask to speak to the manager and introduce yourself. This will give you a chance to demonstrate your professional and positive attitude.
  3. Apply for the job. Once you find a job, send a resume and a cover letter to the hiring manager. Your cover letter should express why you are interested in the receptionist role, and which assets you have that you would bring to the role. If you have previous experience working as an administrative assistant or receptionist, be sure to mention that in the cover letter.[7]
    • Keep your cover letter limited to one typed page, as the employer has to read through many applications. Use positive and energetic language to convey your personality throughout.
  4. Interview for the role. Wear professional clothes, and take note of what their current receptionist wears in order to maintain a consistent look. Hotels value their branding, so if the hotel uses specific colors in their logo and branding, wear those colors to the interview. Be prepared to answer questions about your past experiences and your future goals with the company.[8]
    • Following the interview, send an email thanking the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you. Hopefully, you will hear back within a week or two with news that you got the job.


  • Learn a foreign language. Being able to communicate with international guests will help you get a job as a hotel receptionist.
  • Talk to hotel receptionists about their jobs. A professional will be able to tell you about their daily work, and can give you some advice on how to become a hotel receptionist, and what skills and strengths you will need to develop.

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