How to craft a stand-out waitress or waiter resume
Waiters and waitresses are the backbones of any restaurant. No matter what restaurant you go to, you’re likely going to interact with a waiter.
But waiters do a lot more than simply take orders, serve food, and clean tables. From responding to requests to dealing with issues that arise, waiters are responsible for delivering a great experience for customers. The role is incredibly fast-paced and requires extremely strong customer service skills to succeed. As a result, hiring managers are often looking for candidates with very specific skills and experiences on their resumes.
From entry-level applicants to experienced waiters, many waiter roles receive extremely high volumes of applications. So how can you make your resume stand out from the crowd? In this article, we’ll cover 4 of the best tips for your waiter resume to improve your chances of landing an interview and getting hired.
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1. Highlight your best skills in a waiter or waitress resume
Service industry roles, like waiters, spend the majority of their time interacting with customers. The rest of their time is spent coordinating with the rest of the restaurant staff. That’s why service and communication skills are highly desirable among waiters. Often known as soft skills.
It’s much easier to teach someone the basic skills of being a waiter, like how to take orders or navigate a restaurant. However, soft skills can be much harder to train. In many situations, restaurant managers will prioritize hiring waiters with the right personal skills over professional ones.
Here are some soft skills that you can help make your resume’s skills section stand out as a waiter
- Customer service
- Conflict resolution
- Attention to detail
- Team player
- Communication skills
You can also highlight these skills more organically directly within your work experience.
Here are some good examples of communicating specific skills within role descriptions
- Conflict resolution – Effectively communicated with management and customers to resolve customer disputes.
- Customer service – Consistently received customer survey feedback indicating that customer expectations were exceeded.
- Team player – Worked closely with the host team and kitchen staff to provide guests a seamless experience during high-season.
- Detail-oriented – Efficiently inputted orders, resulting in 98% accuracy in customer orders.
If you’ve never worked in a restaurant setting as a waiter and are hoping to break into the industry, soft skills are the place where you can make an impact on the hiring manager. Just make sure that you’ve tied those key skills into the requirements on the job description.
2. Include any relevant certifications and education in your waiter or waitress resume
While waiter roles can sometimes be considered entry-level, there are often basic skills and education that are required. Some regions may also require specific certifications in order for waiters to handle food or alcohol. The names and types of certifications can vary significantly based on your location and restaurant type.
Even if there are no formal requirements, having relevant certifications is a great way to validate your skills and experience.
Some relevant certifications and education that are beneficial to include on a waiter resume
- Food handler certification
- Food safety certification
- First aid and CPR certification
If you have any other hospitality-related certifications, you may want to include these as well. For example, if you’re applying for a role in fine dining, a wine pairing certification would likely catch the eye of a hiring manager.
3. Showcase your POS and systems experience in a waiter or waitress resume
One of the biggest investments in a new employee is training. Before you can start navigating your new role independently, you’ll need to be familiar with any technology or software that is used. Being familiar with a potential restaurant’s point-of-sale system would make your application more attractive.
Popular POS systems for restaurants include Square, Lightspeed, TouchBistro, and more.
While having experience with the exact software is always helpful, it’s not always necessary. The skills are often transferable between software. Simply make it clear that you’ve used similar platforms.
Here are some examples for effectively communicating your skills and systems experience in your resume
- Efficiently managed customer orders through [software name]
- Managed cash and customer payments through [software] with 98% accuracy
- Maintained menu updates regularly using [software name]
4. Mention any additional hospitality skills in your waiter or waitress resume
When we say additional skills, we’re not talking about random skills like playing basketball or juggling. (Although some restaurants may appreciate these impressive skills!)
Depending on the specific restaurant, managers will often value new employees with diverse skill sets. This allows them to move you between different roles as required.
Here are some examples of additional skills that would be beneficial to include in a waiter resume
- Hosting and table seating strategies – many roles require waiters work closely or in tandem with hosts.
- Bartending – restaurants with bars often like to hire waiters who can double as bartenders
- Language proficiency – being fluent or even proficient in other languages can help improve the customer experience for guests, particularly in tourist areas.
Having additional skills listed on your resume can make you more employable.
Regardless of what restaurant you’re hoping to join, your resume needs to fit the bill of a waiter. You’re more than just someone delivering food and your resume is the place to prove it. Including the right skills and experience can help your CV out in a stack of resumes.
If you need some ideas to get you started, these Kickresume waiter resume examples are guaranteed to impress any restaurant manager.