How to Make a Waiter/Waitress Resume in 2020
You’re a waitress or waiter.
You serve unbeatable service to your hungry customers.
But now it’s time to serve an unbeatable resume to your future employer.
This involves presenting your skills and experiences on a silver platter.
Not sure how to do this?
Well, just follow the simple steps in this guide.
We will cover:
- An example of a finished waiter or waitress resume that works
- How to write a waiter or waitress resume that’ll fill up your interview diary
- How to make your waiter or waitress resume stand out [with top tips & tricks]
Before we get into the details, here’s a waiter and waitress resume example, created with our very own resume builder:
Looks great, right?! Follow the steps below to create a resume that’ll have the restaurants in a frenzy to invite you for a trial shift.
How to Format a Waitress or Waiter Resume
Before you can serve the hiring manager, you need to set the table!
But what does this mean?
Well, the resume needs to follow a format that is easy to digest.
This will please the hiring manager, which is always a good thing!
The most common resume format is “reverse-chronological”, and it is one that we always recommend to waiters and waitresses.
Essentially, this format allows the hiring manager to immediately see the benefits in hiring you, rather than having to dig down to the bottom of the page. We recommend all waiters and waitresses start with this format.
The following two resume formats also get our approval:
- Functional Resume – If you’re confident in your ability, but lack the restaurant experience, this resume format is recommended. A functional resume focuses on skills, which makes it ideal for those who lack experience or who have gaps in their employment history.
- Combination Resume – Got both skills AND work experience? Then you’ll want to use this format. Specifically, the format combines both “Functional” and “Reverse-Chronological”.
Once you’ve chosen the correct format for your personal situation, you need to organize set a few resume layout rules.
For a professional look, we recommend…
- Margins - Border with a one-inch margins on all sides
- Font - Pick a professional font that stands out, but not too much
- Font Size - Use 11-12pt for general text and 14-16pt for headings
- Line Spacing - Use 1.0 or 1.15 line spacing
- Resume Length - Try and stick to a 1-page limit. For guidance, view these one-page resume templates.
Use a Waitress or Waiter Resume Template
There’s no argument that Word is a great program for creating simple files.
But when it comes to presenting a well-formatted resume, you should look elsewhere.
You see, Word isn’t the best for holding structure.
Want to avoid an afternoon of headache? Use a waiter or waitressing resume template.
What to Include in a Waiter or Waitress Resume
The main sections in a waiter or waitress resume are:
- Work Experience
- Contact Information
To really make an impression, you can also add these optional sections:
- Awards & Certification
- Interests & Hobbies
So those are the resume sections, but what do you write for each of them?
Let’s find out!
Want to know more about the different sections? View our guide on What to Put on a Resume.
How to Correctly Display your Contact Information
Now, there’s no need for creative content here, but it must be factually correct.
Get this section wrong, and you can forget about receiving any interview invitations!
The contact information section must include:
- Full Name
- Title - Align this to the role you’re applying for, so “Waitress” or “Waiter”
- Phone Number – Check each number carefully
- Email Address - Keep your email professional (email@example.com), unlike that one from your childhood (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Location - Applying for a job abroad? Mention your location.
- Hanna Fakester - Waitress. 101-358-6095. email@example.com
- Hanna Fakester - Superwoman Waitress. 101-358-6095. firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Write a Waitress/Waiter Resume Summary or Objective
Restaurants are always on the lookout for staff.
But this is a fact that only increases competition among your peer group.
With so much competition in the job market, it is no surprise that recruiters spend less than 6 seconds on each resume.
Yep, you heard that correctly!
Although scary, this fact highlights the importance of a powerful resume.
Specifically, you need an opener that hooks the reader in a matter of seconds.
To do this, use a resume summary or objective.
As a waitress or waiter, you know that a friendly introduction is important. Similarly, both resume summaries and objectives are short introductions that go on top of your resume, just under your contact information.
But what is the difference between a summary and an objective?
A resume summary is a 2-4 sentence summary of your most notable restaurant experiences and achievements.
Waitress or Waiter Resume Summary Example
- Experienced waitress with more than five years of restaurant experience providing personable table service at prestigious establishments in London. Awarded “Employee of the Month” for 36 months out of 48 months. Seeking a waitressing role at Restaurant X, where my service skills can be leveraged to achieve the highest quality of service at Restaurant XYZ.
A resume objective is a 2-4 sentence snapshot of your goals and aspirations.
Waitress or Waiter Resume Objective Example
- Enthusiastic and friendly waitress looking for a waitressing role at Restaurant Z. Passionate about keeping customers happy and satisfied. Relevant experience includes serving groups of customers at a local cafe. Skilled in POS and table setting, with a vast knowledge of Italian cuisine.
So, should restaurant staff use a summary or an objective?
Generally, applicants with relevant work experience should choose a resume summary. An objective is suited to people with the basic skills, but lack relevant experience, like those who are transferring to the restaurant industry for the first time.
How to Make Your Waiter or Waitress Work Experience Stand Out
Recruiters love nothing more than an employee with work experience.
As such, this section is your best chance to impress.
Here’s the best way for waitresses and waiters to structure the work experience section:
- Position name
- Company Name
- Responsibilities & Achievements
Here’s an example:
The Rising Sun
07/2017 – 03/2020
- Served food to 80+ people a night and multiple tables at a time
- Educated customers on menu items and daily specials, while offering my personal recommendations based on their feedback
- Welcomed and seated customers in a 96-guest restaurant , while taking their preferences into account to keep everyone happy
- Always engaged customers with a personal, yet professional manner, which helped me to win “Employee of the Month” four months in a row
Focus on how you were a valuable asset at your previous place of work. Doing so will allow the recruiter to see the obvious benefits to making you a member of the team.
Instead of saying:
“Member of bar staff”
“Served food to 80+ people a night and multiple tables at a time”
Simply put, the first statement says nothing. It shows you were a member of staff, but doesn’t go into any other details about your position.
The second statement shows that you had to serve tables under stressful conditions to a large amount of customers.
Hard numbers that prove your skills – can’t argue with that!
What if You Don’t Have Any Restaurant Work Experience?
Maybe you’re studying and looking for your first waitress or waiter job?
Or maybe, you have experience in hospitality, but never in a restaurant setting?
Don’t worry, there are other options.
You just need to show that you have the basic skills and that you’re willing to learn.
For example, if you’ve worked as a hotel receptionist, you can talk about any crossover skills and experiences. Just like a waitress, you would have to be friendly, deal with groups of people, and operate a cash register.
Use Action Words to Make Your Waiter or Waitress Resume POP!
Spare a thought for the hiring manager for a minute…
You see, they are faced with the same words in every single resume they read.
But it doesn’t have to be like that.
In fact, you can use some action words to make your achievements stand out:
How to Correctly List your Education
Next, it’s time to talk about your education.
There’s nothing too complicated with this section, just simply enter your education history in the following format:
- Degree Type & Major
- University Name
- Years Studied
- GPA, Honours, Courses, and anything else you might want to add
Here’s what it should look like:
Majoring in Culinary Arts
Boston State University
2018 - Present
- Relevant Courses: Food and Beverage Operations, Food Microbiology and Hygiene, Kitchen Techniques, and Pastry Techniques
Now, you don’t need a degree or higher education to be a waitress, so you may have a few questions in regards to this section. Here are the answers to some of the most frequent questions that we get:
What if I haven’t completed education yet?
- Simply mention every year or the modules that you have studied to date.
Should I include my high school education?
- Generally, you should only include your highest form of education.
What do I put first, my education or experience?
- For a waiter or waitress role, your experiences always come first.
Need more advice? Check out our guide on how to list education on a resume.
Top 10 Skills for a Waiter or Waitress Resume
Whether you’re skilled enough to juggle three plates with one hand or have the ability to remember five orders from the top of your head, the hiring manager will want to know.
However… you can’t list every skill in your arsenal.
So, what do hiring managers want to see?
Essentially, you need to look at the job ad to identify which skills the restaurant is looking for.
Here are some of the most common skills...
Hard Skills for Waiter/Waitress Resume:
- Math (basic calculations)
- POS & cash register
- Table setting
- Italian cuisine
- Cognac, whisky, vodka, rum, gin
Soft Skills for Waiter/Waitress Resume:
- Personable and friendly
- Endurance (long hours)
- Conflict resolution
- Time management
- Team player
- The hiring manager will typically ask interviewees for examples of when they have shown the skill listed. As such, only include skills that you actually posses.
Here’s a more comprehensive list of 150+ must-have skills this year.
What Else Can You Include?
Hurrah! We’ve now covered all of the essential sections.
But don’t call final-orders just yet.
Your resume needs to stand out!
Adding the following sections could be the deciding factor in whether you’re hired for the waitress or waiter role.
Awards & Certifications
Have you ever been employee of the month?
Have you completed any relevant courses on coursera?
If you’ve got something to be proud of, put it in your resume!
Here’s a quick example:
- “Employee of the Month” - The Rising Sun
- “Learning How to Learn” - Coursera Certificate
Applying to an Italian restaurant?
Then being fluent in Italian is a good way to shortcut your resume to the top of the pile.
Whether the job description requires it or not, being able to speak multiple languages is impressive – and no one can argue with that!
Rank the languages by proficiency:
Interests & Hobbies
Now, you may be wondering, “how is my soccer hobby related to my work as a waiter?”
Well, your hobbies allow the hiring manager to learn more about you as a person.
Interests show that you’ll be a good addition to the team, especially if your hobbies involve social interaction.
Here’s which hobbies & interests you may want to mention.
Include a Cover Letter with Your Resume
Want to really make an impression?
Then you should write a convincing cover letter.
You see, a resume is great at giving the essential facts, but nothing speaks to a hiring manager like a well-written cover letter.
The hiring manager has to read through generic resume after generic resume.
In fact, it’s not uncommon for the hiring manager to get confused between multiple applications!
A cover letter instantly allows you to make a personal connection.
Oh, and cover letters shows the hiring manager that you care about working for their company.
Here’s how to create a structure that works:
You should complete the following sections:
Personal Contact Information
Include your full name, profession, phone number, email, and address
Hiring Manager’s Contact Information
Include their full name, position, location, email
To hook the hiring manager, the start of your resume needs to pack a punch. Use concise language to mention:
- Your name
- The position you’re applying for
- Your experience summary and best achievement to date
Once you’ve sparked the hiring manager’s interest, you can delve further into the following specifics...
- Why you chose this specific restaurant
- What you know about the restaurant culture
- How your skills will be beneficial to the restaurant
- If there are any similar industries or positions you have worked in before
Avoid ending the conversation abruptly, you should:
- Conclude the main points of your letter
- Thank the hiring manager for their time and the opportunity
- End with a call to action. This is a good way to continue the conversation further. A simple “At your earliest opportunity, I’d love to discuss more about how I can Restaurant X” will work.
Although you should remain personal, the letter should end in a professional manner. Use domething like, “Kind regards” or “Sincerely.”
For extra advice and inspiration, read our step-by-step guide on how to write a cover letter.
Because if you followed the above advice, you’re about to get that waitress or waiter job!
Let’s total up everything we’ve consumed:
- Choose the correct format for your specific situation. Prioritize the reverse-chronological format, and then follow the best practices on content layout
- Draw the recruiter in with a short, snappy resume summary or objective
- In your work experience section, highlight your most relevant and best achievements, rather than your restaurant duties
- Make your application personal and specific with a convincing cover letter