Ask Nan: The Revival of Common Sense

Everywhere I look it appears that Common Sense (capitalized here for its importance) has taken a big hit these days, be it in the political, economic, moral, or even job search arena.  There was a time in my hospitality career that we were conscientious about how we communicated; we were “Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.” That means we did everything we could think of to put our best foot forward out of respect for our employer, our guests, and ourselves.

I hailed from the exemplary Common Sense training of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and carried those hospitality standards with me throughout my career and to this day at Kopplin & Kuebler. So it dismays me when candidates apply for positions and submit the same cover letter with the same grammatical and punctuation errors only having changed the name of the club.  Then they wonder why they are not taken seriously for a position.  Let me apply a little Common Sense. . . never miss an opportunity to make an exemplary first impression!

Following instructions seems to not apply, as well.  There is a reason we ask for the candidate’s credentials in certain formats and to be named as such:  Last Name, First Name Resume; Last Name, First Name Cover Letter.  With thousands of resumes to download, what better way to identify them?  A funny side note – we used the example of:  Doe, John Resume & Doe, John Cover Letter a while back, and you can’t believe how many John Doe resumes we received.  Again, apply a little Common Sense.

Being “less than truthful” on your resume about your education credentials still seems to be one of the top issues that disqualify candidates.  If you attended college but didn’t receive your degree, make sure that is explained. We verify degrees, period.  There is no reason to misrepresent the facts when you can simply and honestly explain to the search executive why you didn’t attend college or finish your degree.

Another area of communication that should be regarded in the “professional first impression pitfalls” arena is that of text messaging, emailing, and posting/commenting on social media.  Put on your “professional hospitality hat” and respond or post professionally. Don’t attach goofy photos of yourself to your email.  A hurried and unprofessional response by a candidate to a potential employer has unfortunately resulted in the offer of employment being rescinded.  Common Sense would tell you that you have to be professional in all of your communications; personal and professional.

There is one other Common Sense idea that should apply to all candidates when considering applying for opportunities.  Make sure you have discussed the “pros and cons” of a career move with your family before you even begin.  It is not fair to clubs to go through the whole search process in selecting their final candidates, only to have a candidate decide their family is not on board.

Applying a little Common Sense can go a long way in advancing your job search with Kopplin & Kuebler.

– Nan Fisher
Nan has worked with Dick Kopplin for over 14 years. She is the Administrative Manager at Kopplin & Kuebler. E-mail your“Ask Nan” questions to: