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Careers advice: Tips for applying for and landing travel jobs during the pandemic

Barbara Kolosinska, director at C&M Recruitment, offers tips for applying for jobs in the current climate


How can you make a CV the best it can be?

With more travel jobs now coming back on the market, it’s more important than ever to make your CV look as good as possible, as more people will be competing for fewer jobs than before.

Your CV should be bullet pointed, with your most recent job listed first. Don’t include photos or your date of birth, and keep it in Word or PDF format so it’s easy to read – some big travel companies and recruitment agencies also use AI to register CVs, and if they’re in an odd format they’ll be disregarded.

If it’s a creative role and you want to include examples of past work, just include links. Keep the layout consistent, include your achievements and tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for. Be succinct, but don’t worry if it’s three pages long if all the experience you mention is relevant.

Your cover letter can include elements that you couldn’t fit into your CV.

How is the travel jobs market, and what roles are out there?
It’s picking up. Since September, we’ve seen a month-on-month increase in job vacancies coming in. When the vaccine news starts impacting consumer confidence, it will have a knock-on effect on travel companies, which in turn will have a positive effect on recruitment.

We’re seeing digital, trade and consumer marketing roles, finance roles, as well as sales positions in cruise, retail and reservations. Specialist tour operators, villa specialists and luxury operators have also been recruiting.


It’s the travel companies that are on top of cash flow and that have had the opportunity to look at hiring plans that are now getting the cream of the crop when it comes to candidates.

Any trends you’ve spotted since the pandemic?
Candidates are looking for more flexibility, with opportunities to work from home around 30% of the time. Companies that offer this will have a bigger pool of candidates to pick from.

Companies seem to be taking longer to interview and offer start dates at the moment, although we advise not to delay on decisions, as it’s important to treat prospective employees well.

Some employers are also asking candidates to take pay cuts, in line with the rest of their staff, with a view to pay going up when things improve.

Are you recommending any training to candidates?
We’ve joined forces with Travilearn, who offer business management training courses. If you’ve been furloughed or made redundant, training is key.

How can candidates impress a potential employer?
Do your research about the company. If you’re sending a speculative CV – which I think is fine to do in the current climate – make sure you’re sending it to the right person and tailoring it to the relevant department.

Also ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and that your social media profiles are not full of embarrassing photos, as companies do check!

Any new initiatives from C&M to help people looking for a job?
We launched our Talenteering portal last year, which is for candidates who have been made redundant. It contains lots of useful information such as how to write a CV or conduct yourself in an interview. We’ve had lots of good feedback from it. We’ve also collaborated with tech recruitment specialist WDCS to offer a specialist technology recruitment service for the travel industry.

Any tips for staying upbeat during the application process?
If you’ve lost your job, don’t feel embarrassed – many others have as well and future employers will understand.

It’s a full-time job looking for a job, so make sure you structure your day so that it feels like a job – get up, get dressed, get fresh air every day. I’m a big believer that a healthy body equals a healthy mind.

Also, engage with those in the industry and remember you’re part of a bigger community. Reach out if you’re struggling – the travel industry is one big family and very caring.

And remember, we’re almost at the end of this, and the positive effects of the vaccine will have an impact on the travel industry and recruitment. Watch this space and be patient – it will happen!

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