Turning average servers into rockstar servers.

Create a Great Server Resume

Create a server résumé you’re proud of

 

Maybe you are beginning your career in restaurants ( if so check out “how to wait tables“), and need to put together your first server résumé, or maybe you have taken the advice of my article “Make more money; there are two ways” and you became the best server at your current restaurant, and now it’s time your skills make you more money at a higher end restaurant.

Unless you have a networking connection to your next serving position chances are you will need a résumé, and a good one at that.  Waiting tables is a profession where a degree is not needed, which creates a lot of competition, especially for a job at a restaurant where the servers make serious money.

Click on the button below and look through my server résumé templates…

 

…for inspiration or as a template for your résumé.  Just replace what I have written with your gold nuggets of work experience and knowledge to create your own unique server résumé. Or, look at them for resume inspiration.  Either way, take a look at the templates to see if they can help you land your next serving/restaurant job, they are at the bottom of this article!

Look at the Resume Templates

Now, let’s talk about what it takes to create a great server résumé!

 

Your résumé should…

 

  • be easy to read
  • contain enough white space in between writing to create a clean look
  • contain no spelling mistakes
  • have no grammar mistakes
  • be honest
  • have uniformity of bullets, fonts and sizes
  • be targeted (e.g. “To obtain a serving position at XYZ Steakhouse”, not “To obtain a serving position”)
  • Use power words to describe yourself and your achievements
  • be well organized
  • be very easy to read yet eye catching
  • highlight your top three or four pertinent skills or experiences
  • be proof read!

Top–Intro, who you are and what you want

 

Who you are, contact information.

Your name and how you can be reached should be at the top of your résumé, or at least in an area that stands out.

What’s your desired result? What are you applying for?

Why you are handing in your résumé?  It may seem obvious to you, but maybe it isn’t to the manager.  The hiring manager may be seeking an assistant manager, a Sommelier, a food runner, a host and a server, waitress, waiter.  Which position are you interested in filling?

Choose from one of the following to begin creating a résumé:

  1. Objective:
  2. Job objective:
  3. Goal:
  4. Desire:
  5. Position desired:

Now choose the sentence to add after the colon above:

  • To obtain a serving position within XYZ restaurant’s  fine dining service team.
  • To obtain a serving position at XYZ restaurant that will utilize my talent and experience.
  • Seeking a waitress position as a waiter at  XYZ restaurant.
  • To interview for any serving or general guest experience opportunities at XYZ restaurant.
  • Motivated waitress seeks restaurant position with potential for career advancement at XYZ restaurant.

It is very important that you state the restaurants name in this portion.  It looks good to the hiring manager by showing that you have genuine desire of working for their restaurant, not any restaurant. (Whether that's true or not.)

 

top of resume capture

 

Middle– what you’ve done and why you’re awesome

 

Where you have worked:

List your jobs in reverse chronological order and only give details on your most recent waitress description duties or relevant jobs.  What you have been up to most recently is of greater importance than detailing what you did years ago or worse, at a job that has nothing to do with the restaurant industry.

Focus on the jobs that you have had for a substantial amount of time. If you skip around from restaurant to restaurant, no matter how much experience you have gained from those jobs, it looks bad to hiring managers.

Your experience:

Other titles to this section could be:

  1. Experience
  2. Professional History
  3. Professional Experience
  4. Career History
  5. Restaurant Experience
  6. Serving Experience

What kind of experience does your unique background bring to this position?  Why are you a better candidate than any of the others? Look at the examples below for inspiration:

  • Over one year of experience as a server and waitress.
  • Skills in serving food and beverages to guests and patrons.
  • Proven ability in recommending wines that complement guests’ meal choices.
  • Sommelier at a ‘Wine Spectator two glass award’ restaurant.
  • Generate repeat and referral business.
  • Cicerone beer server at popular micro pub.
  • Training server at previous restaurant.  Duties included: weekly training seminar for staff, approve servers closing duties, insured all servers followed company procedures.
  • Comfortable in giving detailed explanations to guests on how a variety of menu items are prepared by describing ingredients and methods of preparation.
  • Informally recognized as lead server by staff, owner and management with responsibility for coaching new and seasoned staff regarding menu, wine, procedures and XYZ restaurants high and proactive expectations for guest service.
  • Worked in a team serving environment and maintained that theme every moment of every day.
  • Actively participated in weekly meetings with staff and management on ways of running a tighter ship and cultivate ideas to stay at the lead of an industry that by nature is progressive and highly customer service-oriented.
  • Raised customer checks by up-selling/suggesting additional courses and better drink choices.
  • Conducted weekly educational wine tastings for customers in 2006 and 2007.
  • Consistently exceed sales goals by effectively managing my section and displaying effective multi-tasking.
  • Helped create a new menu format that created an increase in nightly profit by 10%.
  • Wine buyer and wine steward for restaurant with a 200+ bottle wine selection.

Are you the interviewer or the interviewee?

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Your Skills

Your skills are different than your experience.  Skills are developed as a by-product of your experiences, professionally or personally gained. Examples include:

  • Solid experience working proactively within teams and leading teams, ensuring optimized and timely service.
  • Strong attention for detail with 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.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills–at all levels.
  • The ability to work in a group towards and obtain a common goal.
  • Detail oriented, with a proven ability to identify, analyze and solve problems.
  • 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.
  • Known for exceeding customer expectations and maintaining poise and a sense of humor in stressful environments.
  • Graceful, careful, clean and safe when handling food.
  • Excellent customer relations and team building skills.
  • Natural leader with the ability to motivate fellow servers and provide superb service to all guests.
  • Excels in a high volume and paced restaurant environment.
  • Absolutely dedicated to providing a positive and memorable experience for all guests.
  • 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 a fast-paced environment.
  • Cultivate profitable client relationships.
  • Consistently win any sales contests held.

 

Closing–last pieces of important information

 

For a servers résumé, the closing, or the end, is an area where you can include the final pieces of information about yourself that make you stand out from the rest.  Some people are bilingual, some have certifications and some have advanced education that make them stand out.  What do you have?  Include that unique information at the end/bottom of your server résumé. Choose one or two to add to the bottom of yours.

  1. References
  2. Qualifications
  3. Education
  4. Certifications
  5. Languages
  6. Special or unique skills
  7. Awards
  8. Professional affiliations

 

 Templates and examples:

Click on the links below for inspiration, and erase, copy and paste your way to a new résumé!

Look at the Resume Templates

 

Contact me directly if you have a specific question.

Monster jobs Server résumé example

 

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Join iamWaitress on Google+!

9 Comments
  1. “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.

  2. 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!

  3. This was really helpful, thanks!

  4. 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.
    Cheers

    • 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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About Me
Website: http://iamWaitress.com
Email: jennifer@iamWaitress.com