To become a reservationist, you must be able to provide exemplary customer service, have a pleasant telephone demeanor and a clear speaking voice. Reservationists may also be required to learn specialized computer programs that are often used by businesses when taking reservations in order to avoid overbooking. Most reservationist positions also require applicants to have a high school diploma or comparable certification. You may also become a reservationist through on-the-job training at a hotel, restaurant or transportation agency.
As a reservationist, you will be required to work directly with the public, so strong customer service skills are a must. Whether you intend to be an airline reservationist or a restaurant reservationist, you must have good oral and written communication skills. A positive attitude, patience and a willingness to serve others are also among the natural skills needed to become a reservationist.
Depending on where you intend to work, you may have to undergo formal training before you can become a reservationist. Local colleges sometimes offer courses, as do private travel agencies. Investigate the industry you plan to enter to determine what kind of training is needed, if any.
Reservationist job listings may be featured in your local classifieds. You may also research individual companies online to determine if any of these have current job openings for reservationists. If you do not have previous experience, specifically look for companies that offer on-the-job reservationist training.
Increasingly, hotel reservationist and ticket agent positions are hiring employees to work from remote locations. In order to become a reservationist who is allowed to work from home, however, special telephone equipment and computer software may be required. Such positions also may require new employees to train for a set period of time at a supervised location before being allowed to work remotely.
In order to become a reservationist, you may be required to learn special codes and jargon specific to the industry you work in. This is particularly true if you plan to work in the travel industry. When arranging or confirming travel destinations for clients, you must know various codes used to identify airports and other ports.
When taking the initial steps to become a reservationist, you may want to consider working in less than ideal positions while gaining the skills and experience you need to advance your career. For instance, it is not unusual for businesses that require reservations to operate on 24-hour schedules. As a new reservationist, you may find jobs that require you to work overnight shifts or other odd hours or that only offer work on a very part-time basis, but that also offer valuable training and experience.