All Promotions Are Not Vertical

When you think of someone getting a promotion, it normally goes like this – Assistant Director > Director > Executive Director.  People normally move up the chain of command in a pretty orderly manner.  Once you have proven yourself and have performed satisfactorily in your current position you can be elevated to the next level.  Promotion by definition means “the act of moving someone to a higher or more important position or rank.”  But who really decides what a promotion is for YOU?  Only you can decide that.

Most people look at what they do everyday as just a job.  It is just something that they do to make money to support themselves and their family.  However, you should look at your job in a different way.  You should look at it as an assignment and it is what you have been assigned to do for a particular period of time.  Once you have finished your assignment, then it is time to move on.  At that point you are eligible for a promotion.  BUT not all promotions are vertical – some are lateral or horizontal and may come in many forms.

I was promoted to a manager position a while back, then later transferred to 2 other locations doing the exact same thing.  Even though my job title and duties didn’t change, it was a still a promotion because my assignment at each previous location was complete. I had done what was required of me – trained employees, increased sales, organized the store, built customer base, etc.  Also throughout my career I have been laid off twice, but I considered each time to be a promotion. Why? Because with each lay off, I was able to reprogram myself and switch industries and take my career to the next level.  So, for me personally, I was moving up in rank.

Do you want a promotion? Do you want to be elevated to the next level? Do you think it is time for you to move on?  You first have to perform your current job satisfactorily and complete your assignment…..THEN your promotion will come.  I know you think you are ready now, but perhaps you need just a little bit more training and/or experience. One thing I have learned throughout my career is that each assignment is just preparation for the next.  Just be patient, your promotion will come and it may come in a different form than you expected.


How Should I Prepare for a Phone / Skype Interview?

Employers receive 100+ resumes for every 1 job they post. The whole process of posting a job, reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates, extending a job offer, and training a new hire is very long and tiring.  So, employers use phone/Skype interviews to assist them with the process.  By using these tools, employers are able to narrow down the potential candidates to the top 3 they want to bring on site.  That being said, there are certain things to consider with each one so that you make the most of the interviews.


They are still interviews and should be taken just as seriously as a regular interview.  Remember, you have to pass this stage to get to the next stage which is the on site interview.


For phone interviews, you should not have any noise in the background i.e. music, dog barking, roommate talking, phone ringing, etc.  For Skype interviews, there shouldn’t be any distractions in the view of the camera i.e. messy desk, tv on in the background, etc.


Have a friend call you on the phone and ask you some questions so you get used to answering questions over the phone without seeing the person you are speaking to. For Skype, practice speaking so you will know how to adjust the volume.   See what colors show up best on the computer to help you decide what to wear.


Because they don’t have the luxury of interviewing you face to face they will more than likely have someone else sit in on the interview to help them get a feel for you.  So, don’t be surprised if you are interviewed by more than 1 person.


 Use your personality and enthusiasm to make up for the fact you are not there in person.  Your excitement should be “felt” through the phone and the computer screen.

What Does Your Resume Say About You?

Have you ever wondered what an employer thinks when he/she looks at your resume?


John Doe

1234 W. Campbell Road        Dallas, TX 75240          214-890-7654

Employer:  Email address means he is immature.

Summary of Qualifications:  Excellent verbal and written communication skills, team player, detail-oriented, people person, great attitude, hard worker, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher and Access.

Employer:  Candidate does not know that I am busy and only have 10 seconds to look at this resume.  Does not know how to sell/brand himself – did not summarize who he is.  Has not researched the job/company because he did not tailor his resume – no keywords or industry terms.  Probably sending out same resume to all jobs he is applying for. Can just say Microsoft Office instead of listing them individually.  Candidate is lazy.  I really should stop reading this resume at this point.

Education:  UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS      Bachelor of Hospitality Management        GPA: 2.75

Employer:  Candidate is putting more emphasis on school name than degree received because it is in ALL CAPS.  Does not know the actual degree he is getting.  Does not know how to sell his education and what he learned. I have no idea when I can hire this person because they did not put a graduation date.  Does not know that you don’t list GPA less than 3.0 but since he listed it, it shows he is not focused.  I don’t know where this school is because he did not list city and state.

Work History:   OLIVE GARDEN               Host                       1/2012 – 5/2012

  • Cleaned tables and swept the floor
  • Flexible, worked every position and a variety of shifts
  • Answered the phone
  • Straightened lobby area
  • Always on time
  • Worked while going to school full-time

EMPLOYER:  Placed more emphasis on company name than job title.  Only worked here 4 months – may be a job hopper.  Doesn’t know how to list accomplishments. Took up too much space on his resume with this job because he listed 6 bullets for a job he was only at for 4 months.  Poor written communication skills which contradicts “Excellent verbal and written communication skills” in Summary of Qualifications.  I don’t know where this job is because he did not list city and state. 

Student Organizations/Professional Affiliations:      None

EMPLOYER:  Not well-rounded.  Not active in the community.  Not a leader in his industry.  Doesn’t have networking skills.  Probably lacks training in professional development.   



John Doe

1234 W. Campbell Road                Dallas, TX 75240                214-890-7654 

Employer:  No red flags yet!

Summary of Qualifications:

  • Speaks English and Spanish fluently and can communicate with a variety of customers
  • 4 years’ experience in customer service and 2 years’ experience in the hotel industry
  • Experience balancing cash drawer at end of shift totaling $2K or more
  • Strong passion for helping others and serving as first point of contact
  • Adept to working at a fast pace and handling a high volume of phone calls daily (50+)
  • Demonstrated history in upselling to meet customers’ individual needs and exceeding sales goals
  • Ability to serve as a liaison between different departments and interact with individuals on all levels
  • Proven track record in resolving customer issues to ensure complete guest satisfaction
  • Computer Skills:  Frontdesk Anywhere, RoomKey PMS, Social Media, Microsoft Office

Employer:  Candidate has tailored this section to match my job description and has given me tangible information to sell his skills and abilities.  I want to keep reading to find out more.


Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management           University of North Texas, Denton, TX             Expected Graduation:  May 2013

Major GPA:  3.4                                                                 Dean’s List  (2011-2012)

Relevant Coursework:  Introduction to Hospitality, Restaurant Operations I & II, Food Sanitation, Business Ethics, Business Communications and Contemporary  Issues in Business.

Employer:  Candidate placed emphasis on his degree because it is listed first.  I can hire this candidate soon because he graduates in May.  I have an idea of courses he has taken and what he has been exposed to.  His GPA shows he is focused on his studies. 

Work History:

Host (temporary)                  Olive Garden                        Dallas, TX                1/2012 – 5/2012

  • Greeted 200+ guests daily upon entering the restaurant and determined their needs i.e. dine in, take out, preferred seating, etc.
  • Answered customers’ questions and addressed their concerns via phone, face-to-face, and interactive website
  • Assisted 5 – 7 team members per shift with delivering orders in a timely manner and maintaining a visually appealing environment

Employer:  Candidate placed emphasis on the job tile.  He was hired in as a temp so that explains why he only worked there 4 months.  Can handle high volume of customers in person and from remote locations.  Will do what it takes to make sure the team is successful.  Probably good at speaking with others and making them feel comfortable.  Listed most important tasks to show accomplishments.  I would feel comfortable having him interact with  my clients.  This person is trainable.

Student Organizations/Professional Affiliations:

National Society of Minorities in Hospitality        2011 – Present

  • Treasurer    2012

Professional Leadership Program                       2012

UNT Green Jackets                                               2011

Employer:  Candidate is active on campus.  Has leadership experience and is concerned about his community.  I definitely want to find out more about him.  I am going to call him for an interview!


If you need assistance with restructuring your resume, please contact Dena Bilbrew at