My Open Letter to Candidates!


In my quest to make our industry a better place and following some recent (and more frequently occurring) signs of inaccuracy in candidate resumes and applications, I have written an open letter, pleading for applicants to read and react…

Dear potential candidate,

Thank you so much for sending us your application!

We have noticed from your resume that you have spent the past 20 years seamlessly going from one assignment to the next, across Asia and North Africa, in Europe and the Middle East, on to China and beyond. In fact, the perfect career, with not even a single day of work missed between jobs.

Your various achievements during your tenure in each position in those countries, and with the employers you have listed, are impressive to say the least, very impressive indeed.

It does however seem strange that during a recent look at your Facebook page, your life, and the events featured, look very different to those on your resume when applying for the job, and if not for the photos, it could be an entirely different person.

The perfect picture, lovingly painted of your career, suddenly looks more like an ‘abstract’ work, rather than something from an ‘Old Master’ and begs the question whether you might have been stretching the truth just that little bit too far…

Anyway, we decided to do some more research just for fun, and were surprised to learn that the recent two-year term, at the resort mentioned on your resume, turned out to be only a short 3-month stint, followed by many months off work (no doubt, inspiration for more works of art). Further, we noticed that your LinkedIn profile paints yet another picture of a very different you – you run your own business? you haven’t worked in the hospitality industry for some time? I have heard of multiple personality syndromes, but this is really something quite new to me.

I am at a slight loss to understand why you would decide to present this impressionist view of your career, when so much can be easily checked through the various modes of enquiry, long before even calling for a personal reference. Have you heard of the digital age…or the internet?

The question really arises, – are you incredibly careless? a poor administrator? plain stupid? or just trying your luck that you will not be found out…

If I can be so bold, perhaps I can suggest a couple of other important facts that may be worth checking before submitting your resume and job application.

Notwithstanding, the caveat that employment laws vary considerable across the world, so in turn, what is normal practice in one region may be different in another…

When asked for your date of birth, please provide it. It is usually for good reason (certainly with us, but generally with most reputable employers). Sure, we live in a world of ageism, but It’s essential data when being considered by a client in many countries that have restrictions on work permits above a certain age. In general, you can pretty much work out someone’s age, so really no need to try to hide it. Oh, and that mysterious ‘typo’ on the year of birth hasn’t really worked since trying to get into a bar when you were 16!

That job we advertised on the remote island resort which said single candidates only (or those traveling single for work), means that the location is not able to accommodate you, your wife and 6 pre-school children, so please save yourself, and us, the torture of disclosing this after 6 interviews!

The other job we advertised which said no children included in the salary & package means just that… Sorry, but the days of fat expats contracts are sadly diminishing, so employers increasingly will not pay for the family relocation, schools fees (often around $25k per child) or medical insurance.

We asked you to briefly outline your past work experience, responsibilities and achievements. Please STOP writing your entire job description you received from HR – no one really cares about that! We are interested in what you really did and if you are unable to put that on paper BRIEFLY (in a couple of sentences) then maybe you are not the right person for the job.

I know we asked for a photo and in some places, this is politically incorrect, but a good quality photograph can still really help you create a good impression. That said, we really don’t want a picture of you in a bikini on the beach (we can go to Facebook for that!) and it really is time you updated that professional photo you had taken 25 years ago…

We asked you to BRIEFLY outline your past work experience etc. Unfortunately, that 25-page diatribe provided was discarded – life is too short to read all those words, and we also had to make time to check your Facebook profile!

We asked you to ‘outline your achievements”, however, we weren’t really after the entire content of the confidential financial report you send to your owners, interesting as it was… Keep it short & sharp, and vague – no employer wants their confidential information broadcast.

And finally, without wishing to become boring – remember, the rubber band snaps if stretched too far, so keep it honest!

About the author

Karl Faux is a veteran Hotelier and Managing Partner with Elite Search – a leading hospitality recruitment firm.
For more information about Karl and Elite Search visit and The Elite Hotelier


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