Try to land a job in the field. You won't be hired as an executive housekeeper without experience, but you can land a position in the housekeeping department. This will give you a good chance to learn more about this career firsthand.
A hotel internship can give you a taste of the career without the pressures and obligations of a full-time job. Many recruiters pay more attention to former interns than to those with no past affiliation with the hotel.
Try to set up an information interview or a job shadowing experience with executive housekeepers to better understand their duties and learn about the rewards and challenges of their job.
The primary duty of executive housekeepers is to ensure the cleanliness of the hotel. They supervise, coordinate, and direct the activities of the hotel housekeeping department. They determine the cleaning needs of different areas in the hotel—lobby, sleeping rooms, restaurants, pools—and schedule cleaning crews accordingly. Areas are inspected regularly to make certain safety standards and departmental policies are being met. They hire and train the cleaning staff, as well as recommend promotions, transfers, and, if necessary, dismissals. Executive housekeepers are also responsible for keeping inventory of cleaning supplies and equipment, as well as hotel linens, towels, and soaps. They deal directly with vendors to learn about the latest in cleaning solutions, equipment, and techniques.
The cleaning of uniforms worn by the hotel staff, as well as all hotel laundry, is among the executive housekeepers' responsibilities. They prepare reports concerning room occupancy, department budget expenses, and employee work records for payroll. Some executive housekeepers may help decorate the hotel. Some also direct the setup for conventions and banquets.
Though executive housekeepers may share in some of the cleaning duties, in larger hotels their role is mostly administrative. Some extremely busy hotels may even hire assistant executive housekeepers or assistant directors to share in the administrative duties of keeping house. Shift supervisors are directly responsible for the employees and the work done on their particular shift. (Because hotels run 24 hours a day, many have implemented a three-shift system.) Floor managers and inspectors supervise the team of room attendants assigned to a particular floor. A status person handles any special requests a guest might make while at the hotel.
The cleaning staff also keeps the lobby neat and orderly. They empty trash cans and ashtrays, gather glasses from the lobby tables, dust furniture, clean mirrors, and vacuum carpets and rugs. Hotel restaurants are also cleaned and maintained throughout the day. Pools and health clubs must be cleaned and sanitized. Room attendants are responsible for the guest rooms. They tidy sleeping rooms and bathrooms, replenish towels, soaps, shampoos, and lotions as well as attend to any special requests for cribs, ironing boards, or extra supplies. They also stock and keep records of the mini-bar.