Hotel receptionists, or front desk clerks, are often the first employees you see when checking into a hotel. The job duties of a hotel receptionist are similar to those working in other industries and involve working with equipment such as telephones, computers, and fax and copy machines. However, hotel receptionists are hired for shifts that stretch late into the night and early morning hours due to the 24-hour nature of the hotel and lodging business.
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Hotel receptionists are responsible for providing excellent customer service to hotel guests and patrons. Often stationed at the front desk, receptionists assist guests with check-in and checkout procedures and respond to customer questions, concerns and complaints professionally and promptly. In addition, hotel receptionists manage room assignments, relay messages to guests and handle room reservations. Hotel guests also reach out to receptionists for help with special requests, such as storing personal jewellery, reserving transportation or ordering tickets for a play.
Employers require a high school diploma for hotel receptionists and front desk clerk positions. Though a college degree is not mandatory for a hotel receptionist position, hospitality courses can help students prepare for a career in the lodging sector. Most training happens on the job. However, candidates should already possess a basic knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel, and telephone and e-mail etiquette.
Front desk personnel must have an amiable and outgoing personality. Since this role frequently interacts with people, excellent customer service and oral communication skills are required for receptionist positions. Basic computer skills are needed to enter and track room reservations, and manage billing systems. Candidates should also be highly organised and able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
The median salary for hotel, motel and resort desk clerks was £12,662 in May 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also reports that the median pay for receptionists and desk clerks was £7.60 per hour during the same time period. A May 2010 SalaryExpert report states that front deck receptionists made an average salary of £22,480 in Chicago, £21,591 in Phoenix and £19,546 in Miami.
A May 2008 salary report published by the BLS predicts that hotel, motel and resort desk clerk jobs would increase 14 per cent between 2008 and 2018. In addition, receptionist and information clerk jobs are expected to grow 15 per cent during the same decade. The rapid expansion of the hotel industry and development of new hotels will create a demand for hotel staff. Also, the BLS predicted that travellers will increase leisure and business travel as the economy pulls out of the 2007 to 2010 economic recession.
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