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A tour guide is not simply a person who introduces people to foreign places, historical sights, architecture, museums, or one who familiarizes them with art and culture. They are someone who takes over a myriad of varying responsibilities, which requires them to be multi-skilled and well-adapted.

Finding a great tour guide is hard enough when you are just planning a trip, but spotting the right candidate to join your team is a whole different task. Thankfully, we came up with a bunch of tips to help you navigate through a pool of potential candidates and pick someone who will be an ultimate asset, and valued team member.

What to Look for in a Tour Guide Resume

Your first encounter with a future employee likely won’t be personal but will happen via a resume(opens in a new tab). Statistics show that only about 10% of applicants will attract your attention and get asked to attend a follow-up interview(opens in a new tab). We want to bring your attention to a few points you should always check for when reviewing a potential tour guide’s resume – this will help you distinguish a good candidate for your vacancy.

1- Grammatically correct and well-structured text

First impressions, and attention to details matter. By just looking at the way a resume is structured and presented, how the sentences are formed, and how events and life details are described, you can tell a lot about a candidate. After all, being able to communicate by using compelling, well-structured sentences, and the ability to convey one’s thoughts and ideas in an easy-to-digest and engaging manner is what distinguishes a good tour guide from a mediocre one. However, nowadays, job seekers may use an editing service to proofread their resumes, so you should always pay extensive attention to every candidate and double-check their abilities before hiring.

2- Education, work experience, training

Given that one can become a tour guide without having to receive any formal education, it is helpful if your candidate had attended specialized courses, passed certification, or simply had previous work experience as a tour guide. Of course, it is not a must-have, but if your new employee has some professional knowledge under their belt your job will be much simpler.

Consider other work that has involved dealing with the general public such as retail, or customer service. All of these positions require interacting with different types of customers, and ensuring a positive experience at all times.

Also, consider prior education when choosing your future worker – those who have a degree in art, languages, history, etc. would be a better match than other candidates. Depending on the types of tours you offer, it may be beneficial to consider their education level as well, if this is a point of differentiation that your business uses to market itself. Ultimately, it’s best to not place all of your emphasis on one singular factor but rather consider the candidate on their collective knowledge and experience.

3- Skillset

There are many additional skills that can make a tour guide more equipped to deal with their duties. For example, first aid training! The tour guide’s work revolves around people, and often those are dozens of people of different ages and levels of agility. During a tour, an excursion, hike, etc., tourists may sometimes get injured, so it is very helpful if a guide can provide first aid immediately. Considering that an event may sometimes take place at secluded or remote locations, immediate medical service may not always be available, so basic medical skills are exceptionally helpful for the tour guide to possess. Some other handy but often overlooked skills that would make a candidate stand out are lifeguard training or scout experience or even repair skills if you offer bike tours. Another benefit is language skills. If a guide speaks more than one language this is a significant advantage as they can offer tours to customers who feel more comfortable going on a tour in their native language.

4- Personal qualities and hobbies

Some people don’t include personal information on their resume, but if such details are covered, they can tell you a lot about someone. For example, if your candidate plays any sports, enjoys tracking, hiking, cycling, running, etc. it can signal about their good physical form and agility, which are very helpful for a good tour guide.

Learning about a person’s qualities is helpful too – if a person enjoys communication, is empathetic, punctual, humorous, good at improvisation, etc. it would make them a much more capable and loved tour guide, who would become a great addition to your team.

If this type of information is not included in a candidate’s resume, then it is certainly a point that you should bring up during the interview process to learn more about them and gain a better insight into their personality.

These are just a few points to keep an eye out for when looking through tour guide’s resumes. These details alone can help you decide if an applicant should be contacted and invited for an interview where you can ask them more in-depth questions to help you zero in on a perfect tour guide.

Qualities to Look for in a Great Tour Guide

It is easy to describe a bad tour guide: they often showcase a lack of preparation, tend to compensate their poor knowledge with imagination, show rudeness or defensiveness in communication, as well as inattention to clients. But what distinguishes a good guide?(opens in a new tab) Let’s explore this question together.

A great guide should be:

  • Friendly, open-minded, considerate, tolerant, polite, understanding, etc., to be ready to communicate with a wide variety of people.
  • Able to speak clearly, loudly, with good diction, so that a big crowd of people could hear them and understand them.
  • Well-educated, thirsty for new knowledge, and passionate about both learning and teaching.
  • Humorous, charismatic, with a positive outlook. A tour guide has to be easily approachable and non-snobby.
  • Extraverted – loves meeting and communicating with new people, interacting with large groups.
  • Multilingual. English is an ultimate must-have, but it’s a significant bonus skill to also have basic knowledge of some other widely-used languages(opens in a new tab), for example, Spanish, French, German, etc.
  • Collected, quick-thinking and resourceful – one that can easily plan, follow a schedule, resolve organizational issues.
  • Adaptable. In 2020 the world as we know it suffered a change, which strongly affected tourism and, as a result, influenced tour guide’s responsibilities. Nowadays good tour guides should know how they must perform their duties in accordance with current governmental safety guidelines(opens in a new tab), as well as educate tourists on said regulations.
  • In touch with their audience. All tourist groups are different, so sometimes an excursion can take a different direction than previously planned. A good guide should read their audience and adjust their approach on-the-go if needed.
  • A human compass/encyclopedia. Tourists often address their guide if they have questions like “Where can I rent a car?”, “Where is the doctor’s office located?”, “Where to go for dinner?” etc, and a good guide should be able to address all these inquiries and more.
  • Capable of admitting their mistakes. After all, sometimes even if you dug deep and learned all about the subject at hand, it does not guarantee that you have not forgotten, or confused your facts. If the client has expressed an opposing opinion, a good guide will not dismiss or ridicule them, but rather double-check the fact and politely apologize, if a mistake really took place.

Concluding your Quest for an Ultimate Tour Guide

We hope that information featured above will be helpful and let you hire the perfect tour guide, which will fit well into your team and become a cherished employee for your company. An important thing one should remember is that personal characteristics are just as important as work experience or skills, and only the combination of these aspects will determine whether an applicant will be hit or miss for your company. Even if they have less experience in certain aspects, if they are open and willing to learn(opens in a new tab), they could still be a valuable addition to your team. Now that you are thoroughly equipped with tips and notions to help you choose the best candidate, hiring a new tour guide should be a piece of cake!

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