How to Launch Your Career in Private Service

Many of you ask us for advice on starting a career in private service. It is a unique world where there isn’t one straight path to success.
Working in private service requires equal part experience and personality, complemented by training. But contrarily to many other fields, formal schooling isn’t mandatory.
Registering with an agency like Elite Domo will help you find a position in private service, but there are a few things that you need to do before you get an interview with one of our experts:
Get some experience. It is often a prerequisite to be hired in private service, so it may seem difficult to get a first experience. You may decide to try an entry position to better understand service in a private household, and eventually be promoted to your coveted position. Or you may prefer to work in related fields, such as luxury hotels, resorts and cruise boats. Those jobs will teach you a lot about service and team work, but they are very different from working in a private household. In a private household, you must not only demonstrate the utmost dedication and discretion, you must also learn to anticipate your employer’s needs, every single day.
Presentation matters. You never have a second chance to make a first good impression. So make that first impression a positive one:

  • Your resume and LinkedIn profile must be impeccable, precise and with no spelling errors.
  • Choose a quality profile photo that looks professional (vacation photos or pictures with friends are not an option).
  • Watch how you portrait yourself on social networks where what you share is public.
  • Build a network of contacts. If you know private service employees who can inform you when positions become available and recommend you to their employer, it will help you be hired.
  • Training helps bring your service level to international standards and will make you feel more confident in interviews and at work, but it doesn’t compensate for lack of experience. While many private service professionals learn “on the go”, there are courses for butlers and house managers, such as those offered by the International Butler Academy in the Netherlands.
  • Register with more than one agency to maximize your chances of finding the employer that will be the right fit for you. When you are called to meet with recruiters, make sure that you are well prepared for the interview.
  • Bring recommendation letters from your former employers and check that they will be reachable.
  • Provide all information and be honest. It is better to tell everything upfront than to risk loosing their trust.
  • Dress professionally and arrive on time.

For more tips, check out our toolbox.
Do you have any advice to give your peers? Tell us in the comments below!
Nicolas Marion is founder and CEO of Elite Domo. Beyond his expertise in private service staff recruitment and training, he has over 20 years of experience in the corporate world and service industry.

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