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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 server skills make you more money at a higher end restaurant. Unless you have strong restaurant networking connections chances are you will need a server 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. [If you are wondering how to find those restaurants, look at my server resume e-book for resources.]

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

Your server résumé should…


  • be easy to read
  • contain enough white space in between writing to create a clean look–no clutter
  • contain no spelling mistakes
  • contain no grammatical errors–spell check that s**t!
  • 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: A good looking Server Resume Example Here>>
  • highlight your top three or four pertinent skills or experiences
  • be proof read! (ask your smartest friend for a favor)

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? Food Runner Resume Article Here>>

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.
  • For 100 more resume filler examples look at the server resume e-book which comes with every resume purchase. (This 30 page guide comes free with any resume template purchase.)


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.
  • Graceful, careful, clean and safe when handling food.
  • 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.
  • 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

What about your cover letter?

Look At Downloadable Resume Designs
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  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. “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.

  5. 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!

  6. This was really helpful, thanks!

  7. 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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