How to Easily Get a Job as a Travel Agent in Six Steps
Are you looking to get a job as a travel agent? If you are, then you will find this post helpful.
You will learn what you need to do to improve your chances of being hired as a travel agent as soon as possible.
This post presents six steps you can take to give your application an edge over those of others, now let’s see what they are:
6 Steps to Easily get a Job as a Travel Agent
1. Prepare for the Job
Before you can become a travel agent, you need to have a high school diploma or its equivalent educational qualification in addition to completing an on-the-job training program.
Some people come into the industry with a bachelor’s degree, while several others come in with background in history, computers, languages, or geography.
The fact is that many employers prefer applicants who complete a travel agent course or program. A lot of vocational schools offer 6-to-12-weeks programs to train travel agents.
After you have completed a travel agent program, you can now get a job as a trainee.
The American Society of Travel Agents’ correspondence course, which provides a basic understanding of the travel industry, is a good example of school to enroll in for a travel agent training.
If there is another school you have in mind, please check the school’s reputation with area employers before enrolling.
If you have ever worked as a receptionist or clerk in a travel agency, then you have some relevant work experience you can use in getting into the career.
Once you are hired, you will be among those new agents who will learn how to use their employers’ computer systems. They may offer training for up to one year.
Qualities of a Good Travel Agent
Some of the qualities employers are hoping to see in those who seek travel agent jobs, and which you should develop to be a good agent include:
- Expert Communication Skills: Communication plays a vital role in the professional life of every travel agent, that’s why the best agents are expert communicators. They easily conduct communication through their online booking platforms, which provide avenues to communicate easily without the need to leave the online booking platform.
- Good Management Skills: There is great need for travel agents to have top management abilities to help them stay on top of their management games in order to minimize errors. Travel agents need the ability to manage visas, policy parameters, itineraries, and communication with travelers, clients, and suppliers.
- Technical Abilities: Today’s travel agent profession is competitive and hyper-technical, requiring only those with technology skills and technical abilities. If not, why would a client pay an agent to complete a task they can do themselves. Agents should know the tactics of communication, risk management, strategic booking, and insight and policy analysis.
- Ability to Learn: The travel industry has changed a great deal for over two decades now. Areas that travel agents must learn include how to use the Internet efficiently, how to automate robots, how to use sophisticated tracking technologies, and more. Travel agents must learn how to use the best technologies to enhance the service they provide, and they also need to understand where the industry is heading to.
- Organizational and Multitasking Skills: Travel agents need great organizational as well as multitasking skills to be able to perform their duties effectively. These include flight arrangements, payment processing, deal negotiation, dispatching of tickets, securing accommodation, and advising clients. Agents are always busy with calls, bookings, communication, etc., so they need the ability to multitask.
- Vision: It is only agents with excellent vision and inspired mind that can plan unique and special vacation for their clients. They should take the time to understand what the client wants from their trip and create moments of experience that the client will never forget.
- Great People Skills: Travel jobs have to do with meeting different faces who need services of a good travel agent. For you to be successful in this career, you need excellent communication skills and the ability to inspire and influence people. You also need the ability to tolerate your clients, and to be a good salesperson who can find value for their clients’ money with great enthusiasm.
- Passion: You need to be in the travel industry with the passion for the job, and not because of the money that is involved in it. This will enable you to give in your best to the job, because you are already someone who loves to travel often.
- Dependability: Being dependable can easily make you the number one choice travel agent that everyone goes to because they are sure they will get the best service. You can become dependable to your clients by being reliable, punctual, and accurate. Always get correct information for your clients, and do get it at the appropriate time.
2. Find Travel Agent Jobs
There are about 74,100 job listings for travel agents. Agents normally work in offices, but some who work remotely spend much of their time on the phone and the computer.
Most travel agents (about 80 percent of them), including those that work for travel agencies, are found in the travel arrangement and reservation services industry,.
Finding travel jobs is not difficult; you can use any of the various job boards available on the Internet to source for your ideal position.
3. Apply for the Job
According to the prediction of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average growth in the number of jobs for travel agents is about 10 percent through 2020.
Travel agent job seekers must try as much as they can to stand out among other applicants with their cover letters highlighting their special qualities, such as communication and customer service skills.
The introductory paragraph of your cover letter should be about your interest in the job and how you heard about the position, and you must mention any work experience you have in your opening paragraph.
Describe your potentials, such as communication skills, good time management skills, customer service, and attention to detail; organizational skills, and logistics planning.
Further qualifications such as training and work experience can be described in a different paragraph. Also describe destinations you’ve been to (countries and states) and foreign languages that you speak.
Include your certifications like professional designation from the International Airline Transport Association Training and Development Institute, or even travel counselor certification via the Travel Institute.
In closing your letter, restate your interest in learning more about the job.
Don’t call yourself the perfect candidate, but rather declare your interest in exploring the opportunity that the job offers.
Ask for an interview and mention a time when you will follow up with a phone call to schedule one. And finally, leave your contact information in the last paragraph.
You should also prepare and send a compelling resume together with the cover letter to the prospective employer. You can learn how to write an effective resume for the job here: What makes a great resume.
4. Prepare for Pre-employment Assessment Tests
The reason for pre-employment assessment tests is to discover personality qualities and special characteristics in job applicants. The job may require a specific personality trait, and at the end of the test, the results will help the employer to determine the candidates to invite for an interview and the ones to eliminate.
It is important to prepare beforehand for this test before the actual date. This will help you to ward off anything that may impede your success – things like uneasiness, uncertainty, and anxiety can dominate your personality and therefore cause you to fail the test.
You can get adequate preparation for a job test by using the services of a reliable online job test service provider.
Make sure to practice with lots of sample questions before taking the actually tests.
5. Prepare for Interviews – Major Important Travel Agent Interview Questions and Answers
You should understand the power of preparation and constant practice. If musicians don’t rehearse they can’t sing loudly and boldly; so it is with interviews.
When you prepare well for the travel agent job interview, you will build your self-confidence and stand a better position to win the position.
At the interview, you need to be able to speak fluently with a smile. Show your true personality and prove your competence for the position by answering assuredly and confidently.
Let your interviewer know that you have what it takes to succeed in the position and make known your major relevant qualities and work experience. These are the traits that will help secure the travel agent job for you.
Now, here are questions you might come across during a travel agent job interview session:
What challenges are you expecting to confront in the travel agent position?
With this question, employers want to know what you are looking for in your next job, and whether you would be a good fit for the position. You should answer by discussing how you would like to use effectively your skills and experience if you were hired for the job. You can further express your ability to face challenges and the flexibility and skills necessary to handle a challenging job. Go on to describe examples of challenges you’ve met in the past and goals you have achieved.
Describe a typical work week for travel agent position.
First consider the position you are applying for and how it relates with your present and past jobs. Connect your past experience with the job opening, and keep your answers focused on work and prove that you are organized.
What are your greatest weaknesses?
When answering this question, think of a small flaw like, “I occasionally develop inpatient attitude towards those working under me especially when they are unable to understand my points” and “I sometimes get unfocused on small details.” Show the employer that you are aware of the problem and you are making some effort to correct it.
Why should we hire you as a travel agent?
This question requires that you link your experience, skills, personality, and education to the position. You need to understand the job description and the company’s culture. Refer to examples of how you are a good team player.
They want to know what actually sets you apart from the others. Do you truly love the job? Are you really motivated, confident, and energetic? Are you committed to your job? Then discuss the situation and let your prospective employer know that you had some experience in the past and will use the same here.
Do you have any knowledge about our company?
Before coming for the interview, make sure to learn about the company. Visit the company’s website and look in the “about us” and “careers” sections.
Also, visit the company’s LinkedIn page to view information about it. Use Google to search out keyword phrase like “press releases” followed by the company name and you will see the most current news stories shared by the company.
Try to grab as much information as you can from the company’s information, and include the type of products and services that the company sells, when it started business, and its culture or mission statements.
Why do you want to work for us?
The interviewer wants to know how much of the company’s culture, values, and vision that you know.
Highlight the organization’s strongest points in your answers, meaning that when the company emphasizes on a specific trait, you should develop the desire to work with the team.
You should try as much as you can to be honest in answering the questions, avoiding the temptation to agree to the company’s culture that does not truly motivate you, but just for the sake of winning the job you simply consent.
What kind of salary do you expect to be paid?
“That’s really a difficult question. May I know the salary range for this position?” If the interviewer doesn’t tell you, you can go on to say that it depends on the details of the job. And then give a wide range.
Do you have any questions to ask us?
“Sir, I would like to have my feedback, so that I can analyze and improve my strengths and correct my weaknesses,” and “Sir, with due respect I would like to know more about training and development programs” are two good answers for this question.
Don’t ask about place of posting, leave, salary, bonus, or anything similar to these; but rather ask more about the company to prove how early you can make a contribution to your organization (the above two answers have explained this).
6. Follow up
The thank you note that you send after a job interview is to differentiate you from the rest of the candidates, and give you a better chance of being hired.
Because interviewers meet a lot of people during a job interview, they find it difficult to remember all the candidates and how each of them answered his/her questions. That gives you a better opportunity when you send a follow-up email or letter.
Your thank-you letter should be well-written, following the rules that guide such a letter. Specific moments of conversation with an interviewer can be mentioned in the letter.
Your thank you note is also a great opportunity to wipe out any errors you might have made during the conversation. Poor statements you made during the interview can be rephrased and vital information you neglected to point out can be added.
Now that you’ve communicated with someone at the company, you’re more conscious of what’s concerned in the position than you were when you first applied for the post.
Use the information you gathered at the interview to emphasize the value you will be bringing to the table if hired in your thank-you letter; you can also highlight the particularly aspect of the job that you are interested in.
State your interest in the position and let them know if it’s your dream job. Don’t forget to request references and generally be in touch.
Getting a job as a travel agent can be competitive, but by using the information in this post you can significantly improve your chances of success.