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Create a Great Server Resume

Create a server résumé


Creating a server résumé that gets you hired is no small task. You tell your friend, “I’m working on my résumé today. It should only take a couple hours.” And hours later you still are editing, and re-editing and pulling your hair out. It’s a pain in the butt. That is why a template is so helpful. It saves you time and sanity.

picture it funky-medly

Server Resume,

Follow this step by step guide of how to write your server résumé. Get inspired by my resume templates. And maybe most helpful of all, download my free Server Resume E-Book. It includes over 100+ resume filling experience and examples to cut and paste into your resume.

It’s free. And it’s helpful. And I mean it.

If you follow my advice, you and your resume will get noticed. I promise you that. But you have to follow my advice! No half assing it.

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The Best Restaurant For You


Depending on where you want to work, you’ll want to create a resume that fits the personality of you and that restaurant. Most restaurants have a lot of personality, which means you can make a resume that is as fun to look at as it is fun to read.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before you begin creating your resume. These questions will help you get a firm grasp on what kind of restaurant is best for you and then creating a resume for that job. (Get more tips by downloading my FREE Resume E-Book.)



    1. How much experience do you have?


      Just a little (and that’s where I want it to stay). Read, “How to Wait Tables” for more information.

      Just a little but I want to become a badass! Read, 10 Mistakes Great Servers Make.

      Medium amount.

      A ton-I’ve done it all!

      A ton and specialized. i.e. Sommelier, bartender, manager, etc.


      2. What is this job to you?


      Transitory-I don’t plan on staying long, so the less time to train the better.

      My main source of income for a long while- I want a place where I can stay in the same position and make $.

      I want a place where I can grow-I want to improve my resume and I want a place that will do that for me.


      3. Where are you most comfortable?


      Swanky! I want to work where it’s “happening.”

      Ma & Pop. I want a cozy place where there’s not a ton of staff and definitely NOT corporate.

      Corporate! I want rules, smaller sections, and room for advancement or transfers.

      Wine. I want to focus on growing my wine knowledge or using the knowledge I have.

      Date night. I want to work where people go to celebrate, propose, or splurge on the weekend.

      I want a place where my ideas and voice is heard.


      4. How far are you willing to commute?


      I don’t own a car, so as far as a bike or walking will allow.

      I want it to be close, but it can be within a 10 minute drive.

      I would drive 10 to 30 minutes.

      For the right job and money, I would drive over 30 minutes.


      5. Which of the following are you very good at or passionate about?


      Server: Handling a large section, with a calm demeanor.

      Host: Greeting people and making people feel welcomed.

      Sommelier/wine director: talking about, tasting, pairing, learning, or teaching about wine.

      Leadership: Keeping people motivated and sharp, and helping them to do a great job.

      e / chef / high-end server: learning about ingredients, preparations, and food plating.

      Server: etiquette, the why’s behind service procedures, learning more, becoming better, spirits, wine, culinary knowledge.

      Host: organizing parties, managing people, organizing people for maximum happiness.

      Leadership: helping people to become better at their job, everyday. Managing conflict. Not often taking the credit.

      Food runner: fast paced, busy, memory, coordinating food delivery.

      Line cook: likes to use hands, can be left solitary, doesn’t like to talk with many people during a shift.


      The questions above will help you hone in on what kind of restaurant job you are really looking for. Knowing the answers to these questions will help you create a stronger resume. Download my FREE Server Resume E-Book and I’ll show you how to find the exact right restaurant for you based on the answers you gave.


      Looks Are Important


      Server Resume, iamWaitress.comAssume that the hiring manager has a stack of resumes on their desk, because they probably do. You want your resume to jump outyou want your resume to Stand Out. And since most people create a boring resume: white paper, black ink, Times New Roman font, cookie cutter explanations of experience and skills, standing out is relatively easy.

      This might be one of the most time consuming parts of creating your resume: choosing your design.


      Where to find a server resume template


        • There are websites where you can build a basic resume online, on their online platform for a minimal price. It makes it easy, but be careful that the resume won’t reflect that. Remember, you want to stand out.


        • You can also build a resume from scratch. Find one you like on the internet and create one that is similar. The Downfall to that is it can often take longer (much longer) than you think. BUT!, it’s totally doable.


        • Word also has server resume templates. The downfall to these is the same as the internet builder, they can look kind of generic-y. But you can easily add a few reflections of your personality with color, bold, font or interesting content that stands out.


        iamWaitress has a collection of

      • downloadable server resumes templates that range in personality from structured to totally fun and full of personality. With my templates you download them to your own computer and from there you can change the Titles, the color, and the experiences and skills.



      Look at resumes...



      Start Making a Resume



      The Top of You Server Resume



      Picture it-blue

      Server Resume,

      #1. Who are you???

      There is nothing as wasteful as creating a great server resume only to forget to put your name and telephone number at the top. I have seen resumes on manager’s desks that look great, yet have no name, telephone number or e-mail. I’m not making that up.




      #2. What’s your desired result? What are you applying for?

      The answer to this question falls under the “Objective” portion of your resume.

      The answer may seem obvious to you, but it isn’t to the manager. Be clear about what job you are looking for. If Objective feels too old school for you, think outside the box and use one of the following:


      Job objective:


      My potential contribution:


      Position desired:

      The point of my resume:



      Use the name of the restaurant in your “Objective” Section.


      Your Resume Should STAND OUT From The Rest.

      Anyone and everyone can walk around town handing in generic resumes with lame, “Experienced server looking to obtain a serving position in a fast paced restaurant,” but that is an amateur move. Once you read the “Search and Prepare” portion of the Server Resume E-Book, and you actually know where you want to work, honor the manager with their restaurant’s name in the Objective section of your resume. You’ll be amazed how far that extra mile will take you.


      Objective examples


      Here are a few examples of what you could put as your Objective (or whatever word you decide to use). Just remember to use the specific name of the restaurant.


          • To obtain a serving position within iamWaitress Restaurant fine dining service team.
          • To obtain a serving position at iamWaitress Restaurant that will utilize my talent and experience.
          • Seeking a waitress position at iamWaitress Restaurant.
          • To interview for any serving or general guest experience opportunities at iamWaitress Restaurant.
          • I’m a motivated waitress who would like to advance my career potential within iamWaitress Restaurant.
          • Looking for a Waitress Forever Home at iamWaitress Restaurant.
          • I’m a server who thrives in family owned restaurants that have class and swank. That’s why I am seeking an interview for a serving position at iamWaitress Restaurant.



      The Middle of Your Server Resume


      The meat of the resume, and what managers are most interested in is your experience. Managers are usually interested in what you have done before, how you did it (procedures) and how many times you did it. Think, Successful Repetition.


      Title your experience section something like:



      Professional History

      Professional Experience

      Career History

      Restaurant Experience

      Serving Experience

      Past Jobs

      Pertinent History

      Qualifying Past Experiences

      If you are going to list your previous jobs, list them in reverse chronological order: newest at the top, oldest at the bottom. Recent to past.

      If you have a few years of experience behind you, you don’t have to list every job you’ve ever had, especially if you’ve bounced around a lot, or have a job that you weren’t at for more than a few months.


      If you are concerned about leaving gaps in your employment then I have a trick for you. Instead of giving exact dates like this:


      Waitress Restaurant: September 2014 – September 2016

      Waiter Restaurant: May 2014 – September 2014

      Resume Restaurant: April 2013 – May 2014


      Use the general “Seasonal” term like this:


      Waitress Restaurant: Fall 2014 – Fall 2016

      Resume Restaurant: Spring 2013 – Summer 2014


      Server Resume,

      Server Resume,


      Once you’ve got the time line laid out you can move on to what you actually did there. Stay away from generic wording, like “responsible for closing duties,” or “trained new staff,” which is great experience, but it’s packaged in horrible descriptions. What a yawn fest!


      To help you get started, focus on three to five experiences you have had that you are most proud of, and that you think are the most important or relevant. From there, focus on coming up with designer packaging and excellent wording to explain these experiences in more intricate detail. Put thought into their explanations. What are the specific things within these experiences that made them so awesome?

      Look at these slight changes I made to get an idea of what I am talking about.


          • Consistently had highest check average.

          • Created a spiel for my guests that produced consistently higher check average than co-workers.


          • Had many request tables.

          • Within three months I had an average of four request tables every week and grew that number throughout my year.


          • Was responsible for closing duties and did them quickly and efficiently.

          • Became a closer in 2015 and streamlined the closing process shaving 30 minutes off of every close. This saved the company about $10,000 annually.


          • Clear headed, calm and exceptional at prioritizing tasks, especially under “pressure.”

          • I maintain my composure and rarely get weeded. I am the server that can always handle another table.


          • 5 years bartending experience.

          • 5 years experience behind the bar which has given be time to learn grace and elegant. I have taught myself to be on stage and am fun to watch while making drinks.




      Your Skills


      Your skills are the underlying things that you are good–they are a by-product of your experiences, professionally or personally gained.
      Your skills are an imperative part of your server resume and they are different than your experience. Your skills are the underlying things that you are good–they are a by-product of your experiences, professionally or personally gained.


      Familiar with fine dining culinary terms and a proven ability to quickly learn all aspects of new menus and specialties.

      Reputation for putting guests at ease and maintaining composure in stressful situations.

      Talented at serving food safely, securely and gracefully.

      Solid experience working with people from all cultures and backgrounds, I am comfortable with everyone and put guests at ease.

      The ability to work in a group towards a common goal.

      Passionate about serving diners in a warm, efficient and courteous manner.

      Posses a fantastic memory and excellent listening skills, resulting in highly accurate order placement.

      Graceful, careful, clean and safe when handling food.

      Excels in a high volume and paced restaurant environment.

      Skilled at anticipating, pinpointing and fulfilling guests’ needs and clarifying special orders.

      Reputation for putting guests at ease, having a composed control over large parties, and consistently guiding guests to trust my service, relax and just enjoy.

      Successful multitasking while remaining professional and courteous in any fast-paced environment.

      Consistently win any sales contests held.

      Server Resume, iamWaitress

      Server Resume, iamWaitress



      Cover Letter (in your resume)


      I always recommend including a server cover letter with your resume. And not just a generic cover letter, one that is ADDRESSED TO THE HIRING MANAGER!!! You want your resume read? Call the restaurant and get the name of the hiring manager, and then use it in your cover letter.

      If you don’t want to write a cover letter, I have a solution for you. Many of my resume templates have an area that I call a “Cover letter blurb.” It is a small area on the resume itself that is specifically for a small, one paragraph “cover letter.” It’s awesome. It’s my new favorite thing. It allows you to communicate with the manager (by name), but is not overwhelming to write.


      Look at the cover letter blurb in the top portion of the resume below.


      Blurbs & Blocks- medly


      The Bottom Of Your Resume



      What else? Anything?!? You can share whatever in the heck you want. Know a language? Play World of Warcraft? Like to rock climb? Awesome at math? Sing in the choir? Include it! (If you want.)

      Your resume doesn’t have to be the resume your parents created for their job at IBM in 1980. You can have fun. You can tell who you are. You can show personality.

      Do any of the following remind you of something you possess?






      Special or unique skills


      Professional affiliations



      Next Steps:


      Download my FREE Resume E-Book. (Helps you fill in your resume and gives excellent ideas.)

      Look at iamWaitress Server Resume Templates. (Saves you about 2 hours of time and headache.)

      Write a Server Cover Letter. (Helps you get noticed.)

      Join iamWaitress on Google+!

  1. Hello, Jennifer! Thanks for the great tips! I just had one question, is it ok to stick you picture to your resume, so they can put a face to the name?

    • Hey Rubee. Good question. It really depends on your comfort level, the restaurant you are applying to and that your resume template supports a picture. You don’t just want to throw a picture on a resume, it should make sense.
      Since you are asking my opinion I will give it. YES! It is absolutely okay to put your picture on a resume. Go for it. Show the world that beautiful face!

  2. How would somebody go about writing a resume if they have no serving experience

    • Hello Aniebiet- If you look through my resume templates you’ll see a few that are perfect for little or no experience. My Restaurant Resume Guide also covers how to lay out the resume and what to focus on/what to fill it with. It goes in depth and is really helpful (no b.s). Here’s a little snippet:

      For those of you that have minimal or no experience, I suggest you change the title of “Expereince” to something that points out the strengths you do possess. There is no reason to keep the heading “restaurant experience” if you have none.

      If you don’t use the word “experience” you still want to create an area that will highlight the reasons you would be a good fit for the job you want.

      If, for example, you want to focus on the experiences you have had in life that reflect well on your ability to do the job you are applying for, title the section appropriately. Some examples are: life experiences, pertinences, practicalities, background, or pertinent practice.

      Maybe you want to be hired on as a host. You could then point out the experience you obtained from being on your prom’s party planning committee, or that you are a regular host to home dinner parties, or that you pass out bottled water to marathon runners at 5k’s in your town. For those examples, you could title the section, “life experiences,” or “why I’m going to be a natural at hosting.”

      Some people have no experiences that can be tied to the restaurant industry. If that is true for you, don’t worry. Simply focus on what you are good at, the experiences you have had, or the accomplishments that make you most proud.

      Some headline examples for you could be: creations, travels, gadgetry, imaginations, acting, story time, extra curricular, or community. Within these examples, there are stories and merits that tell the story of you and what you do with your time.

      A cover letter is always helpful, and in the cases where there is no experience, it is very necessary. Think short and sweet. Get their attention and tell them, in clear writing, that you do not have restaurant experience but are dying to get your foot in the door, and you can’t think of a better restaurant to learn from than [fill in their restaurant name].

      Some of you might be thinking, “Um, Jennifer, I am trying to get a job at a dive bar, a cover letter seems a little much.” That is exactly why you need to include one!—no one else is doing it. Want to stand out? Use a fricken’ cover letter!

      If you are applying to less than stellar places, let the personality of the cover letter be loose, fun, creative, funny, or whatever will match up with the feel of that restaurant or bar. Just because a cover letter is professional doesn’t mean you can’t have a blast with it.

  3. Hey! I read you said to include the mangers name in the cover letter, but I am applying for a server at a job fair and won’t known a managers name because the restaurant has not opened yet. So who should I address it to? Thanks!

    • Hey there. The fact that you are going to include a cover letter in the first place will put you ahead of the game. You can’t possibly know who will be there so a simple “Hello,” “Hiring manager” will be great. Best of luck!

  4. Any tips for cover letters? I apply for most jobs through a popular online service and there is a small section for a short and sweet cover letter. I appreciate your input. Keep up the great work!

  5. “Seeking a waitress position as a waiter at XYZ restaurant.”

    Perhaps “Seeing a waitress/waiter position at XYZ restaurant.”

    I’m a fan of Server.

    • I don’t know, over redundancy is pretty vital to looking professional. Ya, no, just kidding. I must have goofed. Thanks for the catch fivekitten!
      Server, waitress, waiter, whatever you, awesome reader, are comfortable with.
      Quick note: I was always offended over “waitress.” I can’t tell you why, but I was. Then I thought, “you know Jennifer, you’re a waitress and that’s really okay.” I even involved it as the name of my website/business. I guess in a way I want to take away any weird feelings people have about the term… On the other hand, I understand the “server” preference. I even considered it for my name: iamServer, but thought that sounded no bueno.

  6. Loved this! Been struggling with updating my resume, and as soon as I started with this, I didn’t want to stop! Putting off my resume for weeks and I got it done in 2 hours. Perfect! Many kudos Jennifer

    • Awesome Christiane. I am thrilled to hear that! Best of luck to you on your quest for a new job.

      • Hello This was a very helpful guideline to create a professional resume. Really love it. I have worked at banquet hall this summer and but now want to look for a job at a restaurant. I’ve heard from many people even some managers who say they really don’t put emphasis on resumes or cover letter and if they do they only want relevant information on it. this guideline provides exactly that but my concern is how do I make first impression when I hand in this resume to the manager. Usually they are busy and if I take some of their very important time to talk to them I really need to make a good impression. What are some things I should say? because I heard that they usually care to talk face to face and that has more emphasis then the resume.

        • Hey Umang. There is one tip that I have for EVERYONE that I feel is of #1 importance and that is THE USE OF FOH HIRING MANAGER’S NAME!!! Call the restaurant where you want to work and ask for their name, use it in your cover letter or the resume itself.
          Just think of all the resume’s they receive. Everyone wants a job…any job. How lame is that? Imagine if you found out this really awesome person wanted to date you…but really, they wanted to date anyone…they just want someone in their life. Then imagine a really awesome who is super picky…and they want to date you. Who would you rather give a chance to? Mr/Ms. Desperate or Mr/Ms. Choosy? Same thing in hiring. Be picky and show them that they are #1!

  7. This was really helpful, thanks!

  8. Thank you for your well organized and helpful website. I was able to build a stronger resume and am much more confident in my job search.

    • Thanks Samantha! Cheers to you and best of luck. And remember, don’t settle for any job…work at the restaurant that you want to work at, Okay?

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