What does a Receptionist do and his or her responsibilities

Posted on May 20, 2014 by Divan Erasmus

How to do this job

Where to look for this Job

Receptionist responsibilities wondering what a receptionist does and what his or her responsibilities are?

If you have stumbled across this page, you have probably decided to become a hotel front desk receptionist. This position is extremely important in a hotel because you are literally the face that the customers see. You will be expected to be friendly, professional and help guests with all sorts of everyday tasks. But, you are probably wondering exactly what being a hotel clerk is like and what will be required of you to become one. If so, you have come to the right place.

A receptionist position is extremely unique and, unless you have worked in this industry, you probably have not held a job quite like this one. This is a job that is focused around customer service. At the reception desk you can expect to see all sorts of requests, complaints and questions and it is your job to oversee it all.

Your day will begin when you walk through the front door. Normally, you will wear a hotel regulated uniform, so it is important to present yourself as friendly and professional from the moment you walk in the front door. Don’t be surprised if you are stopped on your way in by a guest with questions.

After you have arrived, you will then learn the things that have occurred during the previous shift. There may be items that you will need to take care of that are left over from the previous shift and you will need to take note of these items. You will also need to begin organizing yourself for the day. This could include room assignments, payment collections or even preparing the breakfast area if applicable.

Throughout the day you will experience a wide range of things. Your main focus will be welcoming new guests to the hotel and helping previous guests with the checkout process. However, you will often find that current guests have questions about various items related to their stay.

Some guests may have developed complaints while they are staying in the hotel. It is your job to help alleviate any concerns that they may have. For tourists, you are also expected to know many things about the town in which you work. You should be prepared to offer advice on restaurants and attractions in the area as well as directions to popular locations around town.

Becoming a hotel clerk is pretty straight forward, but you may find some variations between various hotel chains. First, make sure that you fully understand the job description. There are typical duties that are completed at the reception desk, but there may be additional items that you will be expected to do as well.

You should also understand that working in this industry may require you to work nights, days, weekends and holidays. Since a hotel never closes, you should be prepared to work some pretty strange hours, so keep your schedule flexible.

You should also develop your education to help with your knowledge of certain areas as well. For example, although a high school diploma is typically the only requirement, some college classes may help develop your skills quicker as well. As a receptionist you will be expected to communicate clearly and handle payments so it is wise to invest in a few communications, hospitality and finance classes.

Don’t forget to build your resume. A hotel clerk is a vital part of the hotel staff and a lot is expected of them. In order to develop your skills begin your career as an office receptionist. Here you will learn to effectively answer phones, organize paperwork and will begin the process of learning how to multi-task and handle all forms of administrative duties.

Make sure that your customer service skills are up to par as well. Since you will be dealing with both customer complaints and questions, you should be prepared to handle a multitude of situations. Working in the customer service industry prior to becoming a hotel clerk is an important move to help develop your career.

If you are a bit behind with your computer skills, you should begin taking computer classes to keep you up to speed. Most everything is completed with a computer these days and the hotel industry is no different. Keep your Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access and Outlook) up to date and if need be, take a refresher course.

Finally, you need to prepare a resume that showcases your receptionist skills. Fine tune your resume around the job that you are seeking and make sure that the experience that you have listed showcases the experience that the job is requiring. Once you have completed these tasks, you can begin looking for job listings.

What to Expect as a Receptionist / Front Desk Agent

How to do the job of a Receptionist

According to Marriot’s website , the requirements for becoming a Front Desk Agent / Receptionist are listed below:


  • High School diploma or equivalent, plus one year front desk/guest service experience. Some college preferred. Must speak fluent English.
  • Other languages preferred.
  • This job requires ability to perform the following:
  • Frequently standing up behind the desk and front office areas
  • Carrying or lifting items weighing up to 50 pounds
  • Handling objects, products and computer equipment
  • Use a keyboard to operate various property management and reservations systems, etc.


  • Communication skills are utilized a significant amount of time when interacting with guests and employees.
  • Reading and writing abilities are utilized often.
  • Basic math skills are used frequently.
  • Problem solving, reasoning, motivating and training abilities are often used.
  • May be required to work nights, weekends, and/or holidays.

Becoming a receptionist is not something that can be done overnight. In order to become the best hotel clerk that you can be, it takes time, dedication and a flexible schedule. You should be prepared for the difficult customers that you may face and always present yourself in a friendly, professional manner. If you are looking to become a hotel clerk in the future, begin building your resume today in order to keep yourself competitive and experienced.

hope you liked the blog post and feel free to leave a comment for us to read or respond to.