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Waiter / Waitress Resume: Sample & Complete Guide [20+ Examples]

Waiter / Waitress Resume: Sample & Complete Guide [20+ Examples]

Christian Eilers
Christian Eilers
Resume Expert at Zety

You're read to write your waiter or waitress resume.

 

From balancing trays of cocktails to memorizing orders to keeping them happy and returning for more, you're a star.

 

This job’s been waiting for you!

 

But there are plenty of wait staff applicants out there. So many, in fact, that for the restaurant it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet.

 

Don’t worry!

 

We’ll go through the recipe for success together, step by step, like a multi-course dinner. 

 

This waiter / waitress resume guide will show you:

 

  • Waiter and waitress resume examples better than 9 out of 10 other resumes.
  • How to build a wait staff resume that'll get you more restaurant interviews.
  • Tips and examples of how to put skills and achievements on a waiter resume.
  • How to describe your experience on a resume for waitresses to get any job you want.

 

Here’s a sample waitressing resume made using our resume builder:

 

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

 

waiter waitress resume templates

Sample Waiter Resume—See more templates and create your resume here.

 

See other examples of food service resumes too!

 

 

How to describe a waiter / waitress job on a resume?

 

If you're applying for a job completely unrelated to waiting, you need to pick the tasks that best fit the job you are pursuing, rather than the job you came from.

 

How to make waitressing sound good on a resume?

 

Waiting tables, like any job, needs to be described in a way that grabs the restaurant manager’s attention while giving them all the standard information: your contact details, heading statement, work experience, skills, education, and choice other sections.

 

Follow along on our complete waitress/waiter resume guide, and we’ll show you just how to make waitressing look good on a resume.

 

1

What’s the Best Format for a Waiter / Waitress Resume?

  

Like a starving, impatient dining guest, you need to catch the restaurant manager's attention from the very beginning.

 

Before you start writing, however, get the layout correct:

 

How to Format a Waitress Resume with Experience

 

Know how to be a waitress because you’ve been one before?

 

Great! You’ve got the advantageThe reverse-chronological format is best for your experienced wait staff resume.

 

This format emphasizes your waiting duties, dining floor experience, and restaurant work history.

 

You’ll list your most recent work positions first, and go back through past jobs in reverse-chronological order from there.

 

As the most standard format, it tends to be the easiest to read and scan - for hiring managers and applicant tracking systems (ATS) alike. More on the ATS later, though.

 

Before (or right after) deciding which format to choose for a waitress resume, make a resume outline to help you plan out the organization and resume layout to get it right. See this article for more: Resume Outline Examples: Complete How-To Guide With 15+ Tips

 

How to Format a Waitress Resume with No Experience

 

But, what if you have a waitress/waiter resume with no experience?

 

Well, here’s the thing: you might not have experience for this job, but you have experience relevant to the job.

 

On a first-time server resume, you’ll still list other jobs you’ve held in reverse-chronological order.

 

However, this time you won’t just talk about your professional waiting duties and responsibilities.

 

Rather, you’ll highlight relevant skills and achievements from past jobs in bullet points, neatly aligned like the daily specials on the menu board.

 

List them under relevant subheadings like: Communication Skills.

 

Pick and choose transferable skills to match the professional waiter resume job description from the ad.

 

Have no waiting work experience at all? Not to worry! Instead, the education section moves to the top, followed by other sections (e.g., volunteering, languages), which we’ll talk about more in just a moment.

 

Next, save your waiter resume as a PDF. The PDF format keeps the layout in shape.

 

Pro Tip: Check the job description for to make sure PDFs are OK. Some Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) can clog like your arteries after a lobster bisque on a PDF-formatted resume. The ATS scans for resume keywords, and if it can’t read your file, it’ll assume you can’t do anything right.

 

Not entirely sure about the right format for your waiter resume? See our guide: 3 Resume Formats: How to Choose the Best One [Examples]

 

2

Waitress / Waiter Resume Summary or Objective?

 

You want to catch their eye. You want to make an impression. You want them to love you the same way diners love your charismatic serving personality.

 

Remember that you have 6 seconds?

 

You’ll want to do this all quickly.

You need a resume objective or resume summary.

But which one?

Don’t worry! We’ll go over the two now, and you’ll be able to pick the best one to appeal to any restaurants looking for servers.

 

Example Server Resume Summary

 

Have experience earning tips for waitressing before?

 

Great! Then opt for the resume summary:

 

  • It highlights your related front-of-house work history.
  • It promotes you with a previous restaurant achievement.

 

Here is an example of a head waitress resume summary:

 

right

Personable head waitress with 4+ years expertise in a fast-paced Italian restaurant. Achieved region-best culinary satisfaction rating according to national food critic (98.16%). Seeking to advance my career by growing with the Bahari Restaurant team.

wrong

I have been a head waitress for the last 4 years. In addition to my knowledge of various front-of-house duties (e.g., taking orders, dispatching food), I am also familiar with kitchen appliances and gourmet food recipes from helping the BOH staff.

 

Do you see the differences?

 

Take the “Wrong” one: it’s great that you were able to handle the duties at both the front and the back of the restaurant. However - and no disrespect - but who cares? You’re just listing regular restaurant tasks as if they were server accomplishments, which they aren’t.

 

In the first example, we give evidence of your waitress resume skills, achievements, and experience.

 

Writer’s block? If you’re having trouble getting started on your wait staff resume, check out this guide: How to Start a Resume: A Complete Guide With Tips & 15+ Examples

 

Craving more advice and examples of summaries for waitress resumes? Check out our guide: How To Write A Resume Summary: 21 Best Examples You Will See

 

Example Wait Staff Resume Objective

 

Don’t have experience working in the server’s position you’re applying for?

 

That’s fine.

 

Many service industry resumes are in the same gravy boat.

 

Go with the waiter or waitress resume objective:

 

  • It highlights your server skills and qualities.
  • It promotes you with a related achievement.
  • It briefly explains the career path change.

 

Here’s an example of an objective on a food service resume for a waiter job with no experience:

 

right

Diligent sous chef with 5+ years experience with small Greek restaurant. Obtained highest grades in food safety (100%) and blind taste tests (97.3%). Seeking to further food service career by growing with the Eataly team as the new server.

wrong

I am a Greek sous chef eager to become a waiter. I don’t have experience in Italian cuisine, but people often say that I am a quick learner. I am highly motivated because I enjoy Italian food and culture.

  

See the differences here?

 

Eataly is taking a bigger chance by hiring someone without experience - in this case, a sous chef for a waiter role and a Greek cuisine expert moving to Italian cuisine. 

 

In the first one, we used some transferable skills from the Greek restaurant and some proud achievements for the win. The second one doesn’t show enough to hold the hiring manager’s appetite.

 

Pro Tip: Personalize your waiter/waitress resume by dropping the restaurant’s name into your resume summary or objective.

 

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

 

Hungry for more advice and examples of resume objectives for waitress resumes? Check out our guide: 20+ Resume Objective Examples - Use Them On Your Resume (Tips)

 

3

How to Describe Your Serving & Waiting Experience

 

“Wow. I’m so glad I chose this!”

 

That’s not only what you’d like your diners to say upon tasting the food you serve them - it’s the reaction you want from the hiring manager when they look at your professional waiter resume.

 

To get there, rave about the experience on your resume in a way which tingles their taste buds like a tart pickled relish.

 

Here’s how:

 

Waitress or Waiter Resume with Experience:

 

Worked the tables at one or more waiting jobs before?

 

Then you've got an advantage, and it’s as easy as a TV dinner.

 

Have a look at these creative waiter and waitress resume samples:

  

right

Head Waitress / Server
January 2013 - December 2016
Yakitori Taisho Restaurant, New York, NY

Key Waitressing Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Coached waiters, waitresses, bartenders, and hosts on rotating menu items.
  • Encouraged wait staff to influence dessert-pairing decisions based on taste and menu.
  • Instituted survey to calculate demand for new menu items, which soon became adopted by other restaurants.

Key Waitress Achievements

  • Identified table placement and management solution which led to a patron wait time reduction of 17%
  • Assisted restaurant manager with employee administration applications, reducing workload by 39%
wrong

Waitress / Server

January 2013 - December 2016

Yakitori Taisho Restaurant, New York, NY 

Key Waiter Responsibilities

  • Served menu items and beverages.
  • Kept workplace clean and tidy.
  • Responsible for satisfying customers’ demands.

 

See the differences?

 

That wrong example is how many waiter resumes look, listing duties as if they're accomplishments.

 

But the right one goes further, adding accomplishments with numbers to prove you're the server they're looking for.

 

Trade Trifles & Trivia: Waitress or server? “Waiter” (or “waitress”) is another word for “server.” “Server” is a newer term, and gets rid of the gender differentiation, but many people prefer to use “waiter” or “waitress” still, as they don’t have the negative connotation that “serving” does.

 

Looking for advice on how to make a resume and cover letter for other food service jobs? Check out our guides on how to make a fast food resume, how to make a chef resume, and how to make a barista resume.

 

Waiter or Waitress Resume With No Experience:

 

Have you not ever worked as a waiter or waitress in the past?

 

No problem.

 

Just show the restaurant that you’re worth your salt:

 

right

Barista
January 2013 - December 2015
The Cozy Cafe, New York, NY 

Key Responsibilities

  • Coached several types of servers on barista duties and managed barista training on food safety.
  • Encouraged and influenced cafe guests to make dessert-pairing decisions based on taste and menu.
  • Instituted customer promotional survey to assess coffee demand, which soon became adopted franchise-wide.

Key Achievements

  • Identified crowd management solution which led to a line reduction of 17%
  • Assisted manager with business applications, reducing workload by 39%

 

 

Tailoring your food service resume is an absolute MUST. Read our dedicated guide: How to Tailor a Resume to a Job Description

 

No past waiting experience? See this guide: How to Write a Resume with No Work Experience

 

4

Is Your Education Section Undercooked? It Might Be.

 

The education section on a waiter resume is like sitting a party of 2 at an 8-top—

 

A space waster, right?

 

Guess again.

 

Just because you don't need a university degree on a resume for waitresses or waiters does not mean you can skip it or be lazy through it.

 

Here’s how to include a degree on your server resume:

 

2008 Diploma in Restaurant and Culinary Hospitality
Institute of Culinary Education, Los Angeles, CA
3.9 GPA

 

But what if you are still completing your university degree?

 

Here’s how to list a degree that is still in progress:

 

Diploma in Restaurant and Culinary Hospitality
Institute of Culinary Education, Boston, MA
Expected Graduation in 2020

 

All you have is your high school diploma?

 

 

List your high school like this:

 

Townsend Harris High School, Flushing, NY
Graduated: 2012

 

If you’ve completed a degree, skip listing your high school.

 

Pro Tip: On your waiter or waitress resume, don't add your GPA. A too-low GPA will just turn them off, so it's best to skip adding it entirely.

 

Would you like some more ways on how you can make the best use of education on your waitress or waiter resume? Then check out: How to Place Education on a Resume

 

5

How to Put Skills on a Waiter or Waitress Resume

 

Two things make a restaurant manager sit right up: a five-star review from the local critic and . . .

 

A great wait staff resume.

 

 

A skills section on your resume for waiters or waitresses is like the garnish you add to dishes just before serving them - important, but only the right ones. You wouldn’t add basil sprigs around the side of a tiramisu, would you? 

 

How do we add just the right amount to describe your job experience?

 

First, make a list of some generic hard and soft skills to put on a resume for waitresses.

 

Hard skills are specific abilities and know-how (e.g., Drink Dispenser 5000). Soft skills are self-developed, life-learned attributes (e.g., people skills, adaptability).

 

Here are basic waiter and waitress resume skills examples:

 

Waiter Waitress Resume Skills
List of Skills for Waitressing & Waiting

Waiting Resume Hard Skills

Wait Staff Resume Soft Skills

POS (Point of Sale) Systems

People Skills

Cash & Credit Transactions

Time Management

Dining Room Setup & Layout

Multitasking

Drink Dispenser 5000 Maintenance & Use

Communication Skills

Restaurant Intercom Operation

Food Safety Consciousness

 

However! These are good skills for a resume - for average server resume examples.

 

You’re not average, right?

 

Don’t let your waiter resume be average, either. To make your resume unique, don’t just list these generic skills relevant to wait staff. Replace that weak sauce with something tangier.

 

It’s time to browse the wait staff job listing like the specials board, but instead of finding a deal on the dish you desire, you’ll underline resume keywords that match the restaurant manager’s appetite.

 

Pro Tip: Type a bunch of your skills for waiter resume(s) into an Excel column, with a number (1-10) of importance and restaurant relevance in the adjacent column. Then, filter the worst ones down like a fine colander until you have the best 5 or 6.

 

Ugh! So many waitress resume rules! Don’t worry, we’ve simplified them here: Resume Dos and Don'ts: 50+ Tips & Advice on Building Great Resumes

 

Waiter or Waitress resume job description skills and requirements:

 

Server / Hostess / (Lower East Side)

 

FOH: Old Monk is a contemporary Indian Soul food restaurant located at East Village. We are seeking enthusiastic team players with knowledge of food, wines, beers, and spirits. Candidates must be passionate about hospitality and thrive in a fast-paced environment. We're looking for outgoing professionals with a desire to help us create a strong team and an enjoyable restaurant for both guests and staff alike. Basic knowledge of Indian cuisine [1] is preferred. Will train.

 

Qualifications (Waitress / Server)

  • 6 months to 1 year of relevant restaurant experience
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Must be able to work weekends and holidays

 

Preferred Knowledge 

  • TIPS certified [2]
  • Digital dining / RESY POS system knowledge (Host/Hostess)
  • Knowledge of wines, spirits, and beers [3]

 

TO APPLY, please reply via email with your resume file attached (PDF, DOCX, or DOC) and cover letter in the body of the email. Please do not copy and paste resume. Thanks!

  

See the skills on this server and host duties resume job description? Let me show you a few examples:

 

good
  • Exceptional understanding of various Indian cuisines [1]
  • Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPS) Certification [2]
  • Terrific knowledge of alcoholic beverages [3]
bad
  • Food Service
  • Certification
  • Beverages

 

See the differences between the two?

 

The second one is as bland as a tough, unseasoned steak.

 

The first one, however, looks like the perfect dish - just the one the restaurant manager was looking to serve dining guests.

 

Don’t have the right skills, and you could miss out on your ideal job opportunity. See our guide: 30+ Best Examples of What Skills to Put on a Resume (Proven Tips)

 

6

How to Add Other Sections for an Effective Waitressing Resume

 

Time to sprinkle in a dash of our secret sauce: extra resume sections.

 

Additional sections go past the standard, or core, resume parts to round you out as an individual and candidate.

 

wrong
  • Volunteered after Typhoon Tammy reconstructing homes.
  • Voracious reader (over 200 books per year).
  • Voted “Strongest Employee” three years in a row.

 

See what’s wrong here?

 

These are proud accomplishments, for sure. However, they’re just not relevant for a waitress resume.

 

Check out these more suitable examples:

 

Volunteer Experience

 

Volunteering on a resume is always awesome, but some are more appropriate than others:

 

right
  • Volunteered in fast-paced kitchen at local homeless shelter.

  

Hobbies & Interests

 

Like the perfect wine, there are personal interests and pastimes which pair particularly well with a resume for waiters or waitresses:

 

right
  • Softball - captain of local team for three years.
  • Avid food blogger and restaurant reviewer.

 

Certifications & Awards

 

Food service, food handling, and hospitality certificates and awards are ideal for any food server resume:

 

right
  • ServSafe Food Safety & Food Handler Certification (2022 expiration).
  • Voted “Friendliest Employee” 3 months in a row.

  

Professional certifications are proof you have the knowledge and skills to do the waiter job right. See this article for more: How to List Certifications on a Resume: Guide (+20 Examples)

 

Languages

 

Proficient in a second language for your resume? Knowing a second or third language is like understanding the ins and outs of both French cuisine and Japanese.

 

right
  • French: Professional Working Proficiency

 

Have a glance at our guide to choose the best additional areas for your waiter or waitress job: 20+ Best Examples of Hobbies & Interests To Put on a Resume (5 Tips)

 

7

Cover Letter for Waitresses and Waiters

 

Would you serve a surf-and-turf without one of those little lobster crackers to get inside that claw?

 

No, right?

 

A resume without a matching food industry cover letter is also not ready to serve.

 

Here are a few flavorful tips to deliver a cover letter for restaurant servers they’ll just eat up:

 

  • Explain why this particular server job excites you.
  • Drop names - name the hiring manager and restaurant to personalize it.
  • Inform them why they need you for this kitchen job.

 

Mention something about the restaurant that you relate to. You dropped their name and caught their attention - now seal the deal with this next personalization.

 

Pro Tip: Research the restaurant online and mention something in particular that stands out to you. This is something your server resume can’t include and will really catch their eye!

 

There are right ways to do a cover letter for waitresses/waiters, and there are wrong ways. For more, read our cover letter tips or find out exactly what to include on a cover letter.

 

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

 

matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

 

Key Takeaway

 

Whether you’re a career waitress or pursuing a waiter career, if you’ve followed this guide, you should have a food service or fine dining resume that is the crème de la crème. Here are the key strategies:

 

  • Personalize, Personalize, Personalize. The restaurant will be accepting applications by the baker’s dozen. Address them by name in your waitress or waiter cover letter. Mention the restaurant in the heading. Make yours stand out.
  • You want to join them, so make them need you. Garnish it with action verbs and impressive achievements to wow them. Paint the best picture of yourself.
  • Double- and triple-check. Spend an extra few minutes making sure that your FOH resume and cover letter are up to par. 

 

You now should have a great resume for wait staff jobs that’s ready to be served to even the most discerning hiring managers. Time to attach the final cover letter and resume to an email and send it off.

 

 

Have any culinary questions on how to write a waitress resume? Not sure how to describe your waiter skills or achievements? Get at us in the comments below and we’ll answer your restaurant questions. Thanks for reading!

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Christian Eilers
Christian Eilers
Christian is a career expert who has been writing for Zety since 2017. From job hunting to acing interviews to settling in on the first days at a new career, his guides cover the entire career spectrum.
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