The Ultimate 2021 Guide for Food Service Resume Examples [Expert samples from over 100,000 users]

Top 7 ideas to create the best food service (waiter/waitress) resume:

The fast pace and high-turnover of the food service industry means there are always opportunities out there. The challenge comes with presenting yourself in the best way whether you’re applying to a high-end molecular gastronomy place or an all-American diner. Here are our top tips for standing out and getting the job:
  • Tailor your resume for the exact position and restaurant you’re applying for
  • Make sure your resume is the right length
  • Make sure everything you include is written for your audience (whether it’s a manager, HR person, etc.)
  • Be specific where possible (how many customers you served a day, for example)
  • Try to get and include referrals if possible
  • Include relevant languages
  • Show your personality
The key here is to take the time to really craft a resume that shows why you’re the ideal candidate for a specific food service position. Sending a lifeless Word resume to 20 restaurants isn’t likely to get you far. But showing you care enough to create a standout resume also tells the person hiring that you care enough to do a great job as an employee.

Start your resume now for FREE. It’s easy!

Why not build a free resume with Enhancv as you go! It takes 2 mins to get started.
Start now for free!

No credit card required

How to write a food service (waiter/waitress) resume

Start with the job description

This should be the basis of your resume. Most of us start creating a resume by thinking about ourselves and our accomplishments before considering the job we’re applying for. But this is backwards. Begin by looking at the skills and experience the job offer is asking for. Then, think about how you can best present yourself to match those. The goal is for the person reading the resume to think “This person is exactly what we’re looking for!”

Now consider the restaurant, hotel, or company

If you want to take your food service resume to the next level, you can tailor your resume to the place (and not just the job) where you’re applying. This can be anything from reflecting their general style to actually using the same colors and font they do. Just like with the above point, the goal is to seem absolutely perfect for the job and the workplace.

Use your personality to your advantage

Resumes with a lot of personality can be polarizing. But for food service jobs, your personality is extra important, so show it off! There are many ways to do this from talking about your hobbies, passions, or what you’re most proud of. Showing that you don’t just have the skills and experience they’re looking for, but also the personality, is a fantastic way to stand out from a crowd of applicants.

Show, don’t tell

We can guarantee that whoever is reading your food service resume has read a hundred others that say they have “customer service skills” or something similar. Simply stating that you are good at something simply isn’t as powerful as showing that you are. Instead, trying telling stories or giving specific numbers which demonstrate things. For example, tell a story about a time you handled an angry customer. Talk about what you did and how it was effective.

Make your resume look nice, because first impressions are powerful

Good design says a lot very quickly. One look at a Word resume says “I didn’t try very hard”, but a modern resume with great design screams “I care about the details.” When you’re trying to send that kind of message to the person hiring you, choosing a great resume design has a major impact.

How do you describe being a waiter or waitress on a resume?

This is a very common question for people still working in food service and those moving on to new careers. The good news is that while they may seem very specific, many of the challenges you face in a food service job are relevant to all kinds of work. For example, you can talk about working under pressure, managing customers, or making arrangements look aesthetically pleasing.
The bigger point is, think about what aspects of your previous food service experience can be presented to match what the job description is asking for.

6 sections recruiters and hiring managers look for in a food service (waiter/waitress) resume

You don’t necessarily have to have every single one of these, but together they cover all of your bases. So definitely consider all of these for your next food service resume.
1. Bio
2. Strengths
3. Experience
4. Languages
5. Most Proud Of
6. Certificates and Courses

1. A bio

It’s simple and seemingly straightforward, but a great bio can have a big impact. Besides giving your basic contact information, a great resume header can do much more. This includes making a strong first impression and giving the reader a clear idea of what your goal is. This can quickly provide context for the rest of your food service resume.

2. A strengths section

Done poorly, a strengths section is simple fluff. But done well, it’s an excellent place to demonstrate what you’re truly great at beyond what you can include in an experience section. Below, you can see how Hannah doesn’t just state what her skills are but explains how she developed them. This tells the reader a lot more about her and makes a case that her skills are genuine.

3. An experience section

Obviously this is at the core of nearly any resume, but too many experience sections fall flat. Niamh’s experience section shows how to make a food service, waiter, or waitress resume have a real impact. It explains what she did and what result it had, using numbers to quantify things as much as possible. As a result, she comes across as detail oriented and impactful.

Start your resume now for FREE. It’s easy!

Why not build a free resume with Enhancv as you go! It takes 2 mins to get started.
Start now for free!

No credit card required

4. Your languages

No matter where you are in the world, speaking multiple languages is a real asset in the food service industry. Whether it’s communicating with the back of the house or handling customers, managers know that speaking more than one language is a strong asset. Not to mention what speaking multiple languages says about your intelligence.

5. What you’re most proud of

When it comes to showing your personality on a food service resume, a “most proud of” or “passions” section is the easiest way to get the job done. You can show a positive attitude, eagerness to learn new things, or even just a love of food. Overall, this is one of the most flexible resume sections out there, so get creative and find ways to show who you are and why you’re ideal for the job.

6. Certifications

This section, done well, can really be the icing on the cake. Niamh’s example below perfectly demonstrates this. Her certifications in first aid, HR concepts, and business principles together show her to be driven and ready to make a real impact in any role.

How to get a referral on LinkedIn for the Food service role you want

There are few things you can do to improve your chances of getting hired more than getting referred to a position, especially in the food service industry. Referred employees are hired 60% of the time compared to the 2% of regular applicants who typically get interviewed. That’s why it really makes sense to do whatever you can do leverage your personal network to get a referral.
Even if you don’t think you know anyone in the place you’d like to work for, your 2nd degree contacts just might. So start with LinkedIn or Facebook and try attending events and meetups to establish a better network. Even if you might not be able to develop one in time for this next job, those networks will be invaluable in the future.

Check out our guide on getting referrals for any job you’re applying for.

Start your resume now for FREE. It’s easy!

Why not build a free resume with Enhancv as you go! It takes 2 mins to get started.
Start now for free!

No credit card required

Trying to land an interview? Check out more winning resume examples for inspiration

Get more inspiration

No spam, just information that will help you build a resume that makes you feel relevant and well represented.