Graduate jobs in Hospitality

How to get a job in hospitality, leisure and travel

Working in hospitality offers the chance of early management responsibility. It’s a great career choice for practical, commercially minded, can-do types who are good with people and enjoy problem solving and thinking on their feet. If you've worked part-time in a pub, restaurant or hotel during your undergraduate studies, you're well placed to pursue a career in hospitality. Our guide to getting hired in hospitality, leisure and travel covers the basics you need to know for a successful job hunt.

Having relevant work experience is key to getting a job in this industry, whether through a placement or a part-time job. There are graduate jobs and training schemes to apply for in areas such as hotel management, restaurant management and visitor attractions.

What degrees do employers in hospitality, leisure and travel look for?

A degree in a business, hospitality or retail-related subject is not usually a requirement, but may be an advantage when applying to graduate programmes for management roles in hospitality and travel. Relevant subjects include business administration, tourism management or economics. If you don’t have a relevant degree it’s all the more important to have relevant work experience.

Graduate jobs versus graduate schemes in hospitality

Routes into careers in hospitality, leisure and travel include graduate schemes run by large employers, roles with employers both large and small that provide on-the-job training, and postgraduate qualifications that will show your commitment and help you develop industry contacts. Our list of key employers gives a broad overview of your employment options and covers areas such as hotel chains, pubs, restaurants and fast-food chains, event management and leisure.

Opportunities in hospitality for graduates with 2.2s

Many hospitality, leisure and travel employers are open to applications from candidates who don’t have a 2.1. Having the right personality, attitude and experience is often more important than top academic results. Our advice on hospitality and travel employers who recruit students with 2.2s will help your research.

A popular career choice for keen travellers

If you love travel and want an international career, this could be the ideal path for you. Hospitality, leisure and travel is a buzzy, 24-hour industry that ranges from budget flights and pub and restaurant management to international luxury hotel groups. Different areas of work in hospitality and leisure include the following:

Top skills to get a job in hospitality, leisure and travel

Key skills for this industry include:

  • Good customer service
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Flexibility
  • Commercial awareness
  • Resilience, stamina and enthusiasm
  • Language skills can be an advantage, particularly as some graduate roles in hotel management may involve overseas placements.

Our top ten skills for getting a graduate job in hospitality will give you more insights into what employers are looking for.


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