How to write a good waiter/waitress CV (With examples)
Waiters and waitresses are sought after in a variety of establishments, from local cafes and fast food chains to upscale Michelin restaurants. Today, many restaurants experience waiter shortages after the COVID-19 lockdowns, so it is a perfect time to find your first job or to move to a better paying position. In any case, to find a waiting job, you will need to compose a resume first.
Writing a resume confuses many job-seekers, even experienced ones. To make things easier for you, we have prepared this comprehensive guide for writing a waitress/waiter resume. Upon reading it, you will learn:
- The structure of a waitress CV that brings interviews,
- What you need to remove from your resume right now, and
- Examples of strong waiter CVs.
The structure of a waiter’s CV that you should follow
A resume is a business paper, meaning that it has to follow a common structure. Here are the basic sections that every resume should have:
- Your name and contact details,
- Objective or Personal statement,
- Professional experience,
- Education, and
- Hard and soft skills.
Adding other sections is optional. If you have volunteer experience or participate in community organizations, you can add more sections to reflect this.
Now, let’s have a closer look at what every section needs to include.
Make sure your email, phone number and links to social profiles are written accurately and have no typos. Otherwise, a recruiter might not be able to contact you. Use a professional email address containing your first and second name (i.e. Jasminerobertson@mail.com).
A personal statement or resume summary works as an elevator pitch, presenting your biggest strengths and valuable experiences to an employer. Here, can summarize what you have to offer, brag the accomplishments and explain why this restaurant or pub will benefit from hiring you. Keep it brief – 3-4 sentences are enough to get the reader interested in your candidacy.
Here is an example of a waitress resume summary:
- Dedicated Waitress with 2+ years of experience providing exemplary service in the restaurant industry. Proficient in the best practices of service and managing the assigned tables effectively during busy hours. Adept at memorizing menus and upselling specific dishes to meet the targets set.
If you have no experience yet, consider writing an objective statement. An objective explains your job target and professional goals (i.e. to obtain a waiter position and build a career in the food & beverage sector).
In this section, you need to list the companies you worked for, your job titles, and dates of employment. If you already have a track record as a waiter, it is a great advantage. If not, do not worry. Waitress jobs have a low entry barrier, and many local restaurants and cafes will consider someone with no experience if you are eager to learn.
To describe your experience effectively, follow these tips:
- List only relevant jobs. If you had jobs other than waiter, administrator, bartender or barista, skip them. You can list irrelevant jobs in a different section. If you have over 10 years of experience as a waiter, no need to include every job you had. Focus on 4-5 most recent ones.
- Keep job descriptions brief. When listing your responsibilities as a server, do not mention every task you had to complete. Describe the most relevant job duties and experience that can set you apart from other candidates. Writing 5-6 bullets for each job will be enough.
- Add accomplishments. Hiring managers pay special attention to achievements as they are looking to hire someone who can deliver results. If you received an “exceeded expectations” rating, took on functions of a cook or barista, or increased an average check by upselling, mention it with figures when possible.
- Go back only 10 years. No need to describe roles you had 15 years ago. The resume should be focused on the most recent experience in the first place.
Having a high school diploma is enough to obtain a position as a waiter. No formal education is required, however, employers will welcome if you have attended training or have a relevant certification (for example, Certified Professional – Food Safety).
If you are a student or have a college degree, mention it including the institution’s name, degree and graduation date. Higher education is always a plus, no matter if it is relevant or not. Listing a high school is not necessary if you attended college.
Waitress skills for resume
Skills let the employer know what you specialize in and what your strengths are. They help evaluate your specialization in a few seconds. Moreover, skills are good for applicant tracking systems – they serve as keywords, therefore, your resume is marked as relevant to the position.
Skills for the server profession can be divided into two groups: hard and soft ones. Hard, or technical, skills relate to your hands-on knowledge and expertise. As a waiter or waitress, you can list such skills:
- Food industry knowledge
- Health and safety regulations
- Understanding of menu and special offers
- Knowledge of food types and drinks
- Food serving procedures
- Computer knowledge and POS system
Soft skills refer to personal attributes that determine how you interact with other people and adapt to a new environment. Here are some good examples of soft skills:
- Customer service
- Strong verbal communication
- Soft selling
- Attention to detail
Tips for writing an effective resume
Keep it to 1-2 pages.
Shorten the job descriptions if they are too long, or omit the early jobs completely. The recommended length of a waiter resume is one page if you have little experience, and two pages if you have 5+ years of experience.
Do not list every job or project you’ve had.
Focus on the most recent ones, and those emphasizing your customer service and food industry experience. If some of your jobs only lasted for 1-2 months, consider removing them. Your goal is not to present your full career history, but to sell your strengths and achievements in the most recent roles.
Use consistent formatting.
Apply the same font type and size for the entire text of the resume (opt for popular choices such as Calibri or Helvetica). Keep the font between 10 and 12 pts so that it’s comfortable to read. You may use some color or formatting to emphasize the most important elements in the resume.
Keep the tone professional.
Avoid slang, conversational language and contractions in the document. Write in full sentences, but don’t use the first person pronouns. If English is not your first language, consider hiring a proofreader to fix grammar, syntax, collocations and typos.
Add numbers and results of work.
Recruiters like numbers, so be specific wherever possible. Add years of experience as a waiter in general, the number of visitors you served, the number of waiter assistants you trained, how much money you saved or brought to the employer, etc. Specific resumes get more interview calls than generic ones.
Add a matching cover letter.
Unless the employer asks not to submit a letter, always include one. According to the statistic, 53% of employers prefer candidates who attach a cover letter with a resume. Moreover, a cover letter gives you a great opportunity to show your personality, values and explain career gaps and transitions, if any.
Follow the employer’s guidelines.
Read the job posting and follow the application guidelines closely. An employer might ask you to apply through email, job board, or the restaurant website. Some will ask you to mention a specific keyword in a resume to make sure you read the job ad attentively. You need to follow these instructions, otherwise, your application might not be considered.
What not to include in your waiter or waitress resume?
Here are some examples of what you need to left out to keep your resume professional:
- Your picture. In the US, adding a photo to a resume is not appropriate, however, it is welcomed in some countries. If you look for a job outside the US, figure it out in advance whether it is considered professional to add a picture.
- Personal information. Your age, ethnicity, marital status and religious beliefs do not belong to a resume. Adding such information is considered inappropriate and may lead to discrimination.
- Salary information. Although it is not prohibited to specify a salary, doing so limits your salary negotiation with this employer. Without specifying the exact numbers, you can negotiate a higher salary amount.
- Multiple phone numbers and emails. List one phone number and one email, and do not confuse the recruiter.
- Details irrelevant to your job. Describing your hobby in much detail, specifying why you left the previous employer and other details like these can turn off the recruiter. Keep your resume strictly professional.
2 waitress CV examples for your inspiration
Before writing your resume, review some good examples to get an idea of how to organize the resume content and what to include. Remember that is not recommended to copy and paste the job descriptions from the internet, as your bullet points should reflect your unique strengths.
Experienced waitress resume example
As you can see, this resume is very concise and fits all the necessary information into just one page. It starts with a short summary where the job-seeker summarizes the types of clients she served. Job descriptions are brief, yet they give specific details about the responsibilities and accomplishments of this candidate. Skills and education are mentioned briefly, as the main emphasis is put on the experience.
Generally, this resume makes a good impression and underlines the candidate’s ability to drive results, increase client satisfaction and sales, and collaborate with the restaurant team.
Resume example with no experience
This candidate has no prior experience as a waiter. She uses a resume objective instead of a summary to explain what role she is seeking. When listing professional experience, this candidate manages to speak through figures and quantify the achievements in the previous customer service roles.
Among the accomplishments she lists exceeding sales goals, getting a high client satisfaction rating and an Associate of the Month award. They are not directly relevant but prove a strong customer service focus and ambition. This job-seeker also lists transferable skills and a link to a LinkedIn profile.
Writing a resume for waitress position is a manageable task, although it requires some analysis and good writing skills. With a today’s guide, you can improve your old resume or create a new one from scratch, effectively emphasizing your passion for food and beverage and strong customer service skills.
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