How to Write a Great Server Resume

FT Contributor  | 

From restaurant manager to busboy, there are a variety of positions in the service industry that employs 15.3 million Americans. Serving can be a quick and lucrative role for college students, a great opportunity for a second job, or a long-term career for some people. In any case, a great resume is necessary if you want to attract the attention of a hiring manager and land an interview.

Perhaps you’re a college student looking to make a little extra money to offset the cost of school. Or, if you currently work in the service industry, you might be looking for a new work environment where you can earn more money or to obtain an opportunity with a pathway to management.

Regardless of your situation, an excellent cover letter and resume will help you land the job you want. This guide will explain how to create a great server resume.

How to Organize a Server Resume

Below, you’ll discover how to format a good server resume.

Header

The header of your resume should include your name and contact information, including your address, phone number, and professional email. Place this information at the very top of your resume, formatted at the center or left-aligned. Bold your name to catch the hiring manager’s eye and make them aware of who they’re learning about. This makes it easy for the hiring manager to reach out to you and schedule an interview if they’re interested.

Introduction

Service positions often rely heavily on interpersonal skills. Showcase those, as well as your passion for the industry, in your introduction. Discuss your unique ability to fill the role, as well as who you are, and what your service, food, or drink philosophy is. Format this section in a brief paragraph.

Skills

No resume is complete without a skills section that highlights the hard skills you possess — such as the knowledge of how to use a point of sale (POS) system or ability to do mental math — as well as your soft skills — personality, willingness to work with others, or anything that makes you a charismatic worker.

These skills should be listed in a bulleted format.

Experience

If you have previous experience in the restaurant industry, highlight it on your resume. Include the name of the restaurant you worked at in a bolded font, followed by the location. Use a bulleted list to highlight your relevant training and experience in that position.

If you have never worked in a restaurant before, include any experience that highlights positions where you demonstrated customer service or the willingness to go above and beyond to fulfill a customer’s desires. These are coveted in the restaurant industry and will be favorable to any hiring manager, regardless of the type of role you’re applying for.

Education

Regardless of where you obtained an education, listing that information on your resume can be helpful in demonstrating your willingness to succeed. Include the name of your school, the dates you attended, and the degree obtained. Bold the name of the school so it stands out from the rest of the information you’re presenting.

Also, be sure to include any food- or drink-specific education or certifications you have, such as:

  • Servsafe.
  • TIPS certification.
  • Cicerone.
  • Wine serving certifications.
  • Bartending training.
  • Management experience.
  • Books training.

These are valuable skills that people in the restaurant industry look for. If you already possess these skills, management will have  to spend less time training you, making you a more favorable applicant.

References

References can be a valuable inclusion on any resume. Only include professional references you know will speak highly of you. Avoid listing family and friends as professional references, as this isn’t favorable to hiring managers.

When listing professional references, include their name, relationship to you, and preferred method of contact. Additionally, make your reference aware that you listed them so they aren’t surprised when a hiring manager calls.

Tips for Writing a Server Resume

Below are some writing tips for the creation of your server resume.

  • Use action verbs to describe achievements. Action verbs are powerful and energetic. Use action verbs in your resume to demonstrate your valuable contributions in previous roles. Examples of good action verbs include:
    • Lead.
    • Train.
    • Manage.
    • Consult.
    • Assist
    • Develop.
    • Ensure.
    • Memorize.
    • Promote.
    • Present.
    • Prepare.
    • Introduce.
    • Execute.
  • Quantify skills and achievements.
    • Include concrete numbers to showcase the achievements you have made. For example, “Manage a section of 6 tables capable of seating 35 guests;” “serve parties of 25;” “work shifts where I typically sell $1,000 a night or have a volume of 200 guests.”
  • Edit and proofread carefully.
    • No hiring manager wants to see grammatical errors or misspelled words on a resume. Triple-check your resume before submitting it with your application.

Server Resume Template

Use the template below to start your server resume, filling in the brackets with your own information.

[Your Name.]

[Address.]
[Phone Number.]
[Professional Email.]

Introduction
[Introduce yourself and briefly explain what you bring to the table.]

Skills

  • Hard Skills:
    • [Hard skill #1.]
    • [Hard skill #2.]
    • [Hard skill #3.]
  • Soft Skills:
    • [Soft skill #1.]
    • [Soft skill #2.]
    • [Soft skill #3.]

Experience

  • [Restaurant Name — Dates worked.]
    • [Relevant experience.]
  • [Restaurant Name — Dates worked.]
    • [Relevant experience.]
  • [Restaurant Name — Dates worked.]
    • [Relevant experience.]

Education

  • [School Name — Dates attended.]
  • [Degree obtained.]
    • [Certification.]

References

  • [Reference Name — Relationship.]
    • [Reference contact.]
  • [Reference Name — Relationship.]
    • [Reference contact.]

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