The restaurant industry includes a wide number of exciting and versatile career options. You can find success in the restaurant industry whether you’re:
- just starting out in your career
- looking for a job to work part-time while you’re attending school
- dedicated to pursuing a full-time career in the industry
But with a low barrier of entry comes plenty of competition. So if you want to land a well-paying job, your restaurant resume needs to help you stand out and advertise your most valuable qualifications.
To help you serve up a competitive resume, we provide a variety of resume and cover letter writing guides, examples, and templates for professionals in the restaurant industry. Whether you’re looking for work as a server, host, or cook, there’s something here to help you improve your chances of landing work:
Whatever your level of experience, follow these tips to write a strong restaurant resume.
1. Highlight your restaurant resume skills
If you’ve worked as a server, hostess, or chef before, you’ve picked up a variety of skills that are relevant to any restaurant job.
List the skills you’ve gained from these positions front and center in the skills section of your resume.
For example, the following hard skills are relevant to a variety of careers in the restaurant industry:
- Intuit QuickBooks Point of Sale
- NCR Advanced Checkout Solution
- Food handling techniques
- Food preparation
- GuestBridge Reserve
- Culinary Software Services ChefTec
- Recipe and menu software
In particular, be sure to highlight your ability to deal with customers, handle unexpected situations, and perform in a fast-paced environment.
If you don’t have a lot of experience in the restaurant industry, don’t worry. Experience in a related industry like customer service or retail has likely left you with plenty of transferable skills to list on your restaurant resume.
2. Emphasize your soft skills
If you don’t have much professional experience, be sure to highlight your relevant soft skills, such as your ability to remain calm under pressure, or develop a rapport with customers. Nearly any restaurant job requires customer interaction and the ability to handle high-stress situations, making soft skills essential for success.
Here are some important restaurant-related soft skills to include on your resume:
To emphasize your skills, you should also include examples of how you put your expertise to work in your resume experience section. For example, if you listed customer service skills in your resume skills section, you could add the following bullet to your work history:
“Answered the phone to take upward of 20 bookings each night.”
If you’re writing a restaurant resume with no experience, you can still include soft skills on your resume. Just back them up with proof. For example, you may have picked up soft skills from the volunteer work listed on your resume.
Or maybe you captained the college lacrosse team, an experience that likely developed your leadership skills and ability to work in a team. These skills are also an asset in the restaurant industry.
3. Achieve the ideal restaurant resume length
Hiring managers at higher-end restaurants are typically swamped with job applications. If you want the best chance of getting hired at a good restaurant, your resume needs to communicate your qualifications quickly and clearly.
To do that, keep your resume length to a maximum of one page. Unless you have decades of experience in the restaurant industry, you shouldn’t need more than a one-page resume to summarize your important achievements and skills.
Additionally, a short resume makes it easier for employers to find your relevant information, including your contact information, education, and work experience.
4. Target your restaurant resume to the job post
One of the simplest ways to make sure your restaurant resume stands out is to adjust the content to address the needs of the restaurant you want to work for.
To do this, scan through the job listing for the job you want. Take note of any required or desired skills and qualifications, and be sure to include them in your resume (as long as you have them). Doing this impresses employers with your attention to detail and makes you look more prepared to work at their restaurant.
Not only that, but targeting your resume helps you get past the application tracking systems (ATS) that many larger chain restaurants use to simplify the hiring process.
If you don’t already know, an applicant tracking system is software that scans your resume for specific skill-related keywords in order to determine whether or not you’re qualified for the job at that restaurant. If the ATS determines you don’t have the right keywords on your resume, your application is automatically rejected.
By targeting your resume to the needs of the restaurant you want to work for, you guarantee that you have a more ATS friendly resume and are likely to impress the hiring manager.