The food service industry includes a wide variety of roles such as food and beverage attendants, line or prep cooks, servers, and several other types of food service workers. If you want to gain experience in this industry, you’ll need to know how to build a well rounded food service resume, one that is a perfect fit for the position you’re applying for. A resume is a summary of your professional background and acts as the first impression that employers have of you. This makes it a critical factor for moving up in the job application process. In order to help you reach your main objective in resume writing, we are sharing a few resume writing tips along with a free food service resume template that can be adapted to any food service role.
What Employers Look For in a Food Service Resume
Most employers in the food service industry receive several hundred, or more, applications for each job opening. Generally, recruiters scan each resume for an average of 10 – 15 seconds. This makes it critical to build a resume that highlights the skills and experiences that employers are looking for. This whole process is made even more challenging by the need for this information to be clearly communicated in less than two pages.
The main thing that employers are looking for in your food service resume, is how your skills and past experiences can be applied to their business needs. In most job descriptions, companies directly or indirectly mention the skills and level of experience they are looking for in a particular candidate. Tailoring your resume to the job posting can help you achieve this objective and increase your chances of getting an interview, and eventually a job offer. The following suggestions can help you put your best foot forward when writing each section of your food service resume. However, if you want to use a pre-written resume template, feel free to download the free resume template below.
It can be tricky to find free resume templates on the internet that are specific to the food service industry, so we created a small database of industry-related resume templates. After downloading the document, you can fill in the free resume template with your past job experiences and skills as well as adapt the resume role to the job you are applying for.
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The personal statement acts as your elevator pitch and is a summary of your career goals and past accomplishments. It should be positioned at the top of your food service resume and about 2-3 sentences long. The objective is to demonstrate that your skills and experiences match the ones listed in the job description and that your career goals and ambitions are in line with the company’s vision.
As a personal statement should align with the employer’s minimum criteria of the new hire, the following items must not be missed.
Here is an example of a personal statement for a Food and Beverage Attendant that can be adapted for your food service resume:
Motivated food and beverage attendant with over 6 years of experience serving and attending to guests at restaurants and event venues. Comfortable in high pressure environments that demand star players. Seeking a position as a food and beverage attendant at Rich Table in order to grow in the food service industry and contribute to the core food service team.
Including the name of the company within your personal statement makes your food service resume appear more personalized. It suggests that you are not blindly sending a generic free resume template and have researched that specific role and company. By customizing your resume to the company and the posted job description, you increase your odds of getting hired.
Other than these items, you can better align with the employer’s needs by including words such as motivated or committed. These words enrich your statement, elevating your overall food service resume.
As you may expect, your relevant work experience is central to your food service resume. It should come right after your personal statement. The objective here is to provide a summary of your skills and achievements from previous jobs. It demonstrates your dedication to the food and beverage industry and your positive track record.
Each of your past work experiences should be listed in descending chronological order, with the most recent employment on top, as it is given more importance. Each subheader should mention the name of the company you worked for, your role, and how long you held this role. A good rule of thumb is to describe each experience using 3-4 bullet points—written in the past tense.
Here, you can highlight any objectives that you met, managerial/supervisory activities, etc. If you want to showcase specific skills such as teamwork or communication, you can also do so in this section of your food service resume.
Food service experience can be obtained by working at restaurants, event halls, conference centres, private events, etc. Even part-time employment and temp jobs are highly relevant and showcase your ability to perform in a variety of environments.
Key things to keep in mind
Quantify your achievements
When providing examples of any objectives you have achieved, quantify them in order to give the employer a clear understanding of the magnitude of your achievements.
For example, instead of mentioning that you “supervised junior waiters”, try writing “supervised 5 junior waiters for 3 months”. This makes your achievement a lot more specific, quantifiable, and digestible. The employer can then easily picture how you could apply your skills to their location.
Focus on both hard and soft skills
Identify that you possess the hard and soft skills required for the position that you are applying for. You can find what these skills are through online searches as well as other industry professionals.
For food service workers, some examples of hard skills could be familiarity with restaurant equipment, proficiency in different serving styles, etc. Soft skills could include selling menu items, handling complaints professionally, etc. If the job description contains any particular skills, it is recommended that you include them (with examples) wherever possible to further strengthen your food service resume.
Use action verbs
These words can immediately grab the attention of recruiters as they emphasize the nature of your past tasks/achievements. Action verbs are used to illustrate your impact and purpose as a food service worker.
Some of the most commonly used action verbs are: improved, optimized, trained, maintained, etc. Each bullet point should begin with an action word. For example, the food service resumes of experienced food service workers who have trained colleagues might include a statement such as: Trained a team of 10 junior service workers over 6 months.
TIP: More experienced employees may want to add a separate key achievements subsection that lists any awards or important milestones. The objective in resume writing is to stand out and this will surely help. (The standard free resume templates might not include this, so you will have to format this into your food service resume.)
If you are a student or a recent grad with limited or no work experience, it’s still possible to include relevant experiences in your resume. For instance, instead of listing professional work experiences, you can list volunteer engagements, internships, and any related school/college projects that you worked on. The idea is to add experiences that suggest that you are a well-rounded candidate who has gained various hard and soft skills pertaining to the job description.
Your goal is to be seen as a fast learner who can ramp up quickly after starting your job. However, you should keep in mind that it is highly challenging to create a strong food service resume with no experience and that you may have to cast a wider net when applying.
Whether you’ve worked hard to get a degree or spent the last few months acquiring a certificate, you should always include these achievements in your food service resume. Typically, the two most recent or most relevant degrees/certifications are mentioned on a resume. List the major/certification title, institution, and graduation/expected graduation date. A degree from a prominent hospitality management program such as Laussane or a certificate such as food handlers would be ideal in a food service resume. Not all degrees or certifications may be directly applicable to the job role and description, but they do emphasize your commitment to finishing something that you have set out to do.
Awards or scholarships can be mentioned in your resume—especially in the absence of relevant education. Even though you might have limited or no work experience, these accomplishments illustrate that you are a talented and high achieving individual with a lot of potential.
Add some color to your resume by including a short hobbies and interests section. Having a hobby in common with one of your employers can serve as a good conversation starter in your interview. If you happen to participate in any hobbies that might help you be better at your job, make sure to list them here. For example a food and beverage attendant who enjoys wine tasting on their own time, may have a deeper knowledge base about wine pairings than some of their counterparts. These types of hobbies can really help your food service resume stand out.
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Summary and Other Hot Tips for Writing a Perfect Food Service Resume
It goes without saying that each section of your resume conveys a distinct aspect of your candidate profile. Together, they form a well-rounded picture of your eligibility. That can all be disrupted if candidates forget to apply a concise writing style and basic spelling and grammar rules throughout the resume. Each sentence should be to the point and easy to read. For instance, bullet points are common because they are easily digestible. Avoid spelling and grammar errors by getting others to proofread your food service resume. There’s nothing worse than when employers reject candidates for these preventable mistakes.
Okay, so your food service resume impressed the hiring manager, now what? They will be contacting you for an interview. Make it easy for them to find your information by including it at the top of your resume, right under your name.
When providing contact details, include a valid email that you check often, your phone number, and, if you have one, your LinkedIn profile—so that employers can look up any additional work details if needed. (Note: Remember to keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date and accurate. Make sure that your work experiences on your profile reflect those listed in your food service resume.)
Always try to meet your objective in resume writing… get an interview and get hired.
Finding a job in the food service industry can be tricky. Landing an interview is even harder. It all starts with putting your best foot forward and applying to the job with a perfect food service resume. Whether you are applying for a position as a food and beverage attendant, bartender, or chef assist, you can use the tips and tricks in this article to strengthen your resume.
If you don’t want to start from scratch and still want to submit a standout food service resume, you can use one of our free resume templates. The simple resume template below is industry focused and can be adapted to the role that you are applying for within the food service industry.
Stay tuned for future articles and resources on free resume templates for hospitality.