Maybe you can cook the perfect filet mignon, shuck a dozen oysters a minute, schmooze your way out of any customer complaint, or balance twenty glasses on a tray on your head. Perhaps you’ve worked with a prestigious baker or created a recipe that’s been shared two hundred thousand times on Twitter. That’s great! But how do you get potential employers to know about it?
Separating yourself from the herd by making your skills and accomplishments known without saying too much or too little is a delicate balancing act.
Let’s go through the sections on a perfect resume and discuss how to make each one more effective.
It may seem obvious, but your name, address and contact details should be the first thing a hiring person sees. These days, there’s room to be dynamic with how you present yourself. Check out templates and choose one that suits your personal brand and the restaurant position to which you are applying. Get some inspiration and find templates here. You can also do a Google search for resume templates.
Your summary is where you make your first impression – and where you shine. It’s important to write a clear description of what you bring to the table. Think about the job you are applying for and outline what you specifically bring to the role, thinking about how you’ve contributed to employers in the past.
Example of a Summary for a Restaurant Manager:
I am a passionate english and Spanish-speaking manager with a history of building cohesive, high energy, customer-focused teams. I am invested in all facets of restaurant management and am adept at balancing the goals of corporate management with day-to-day staff goals.
Culinary Skills / Highlights
Include any skills relevant to the job you’re applying for. You can also include the POS systems and restaurant technology you are familiar with, and also any experience that touches on the following four categories: technical skills, personality, salesmanship, and management. Take the time to make this section a quick overview of your best proficiencies.
This is the area where you highlight the accomplishments from each position you’ve had over the last few years. The average resume is simply a list of jobs worked, but your stand out resume will showcase the impact you made on each business. In other words, how you impacted the profitability, efficiency and success of the business. Show it with numbers when you can.
This section takes up the bulk of your resume. Here are some tips for getting it right:
Sell Yourself: Go ahead and boast about yourself. Share your skills, the size of the team you managed, the number of tables you oversaw, or the average orders you prepared per night.
Get Specific: One tactic is to reword some of your experience to directly reflect the requirements of the job you are applying for. Use the same language that is on the job posting in your previous experience (keep it honest), and eliminate the guesswork for the hiring manager.
Communicate: The hospitality industry is all about communication. While it’s one thing to say, “great communicator” in bold font, it doesn’t really show how great you are at communicating, does it? The points you choose to highlight on your resume should speak for themselves.
Show Measurable Results: The most important thing to list on your resume is the impact you made on the business. For front of house, what were your average weekly sales? What about your upset ratio? For back of house, how did you manage and contain food costs? What about that special you created – did it perform better than average? For managers, how did your incentive program build results? How much garbage did your waste management program save? How did you reduce labor costs? Keeping track of these figures is important because it proves you can walk the walk, not just talk the talk.
Example of a Measurable Result:
Spearheaded implementation of mobile POS, reducing waste due to manual errors by 67%.
List all certificates and academic experience. In the restaurant space this goes from your two years at a cooking school to that health and safety course you took at the last cafe you worked at. Think about what on the job training you received and make sure to make note of it.
Awards and Accolades
If you got ’em, flaunt ’em! Your blue ribbon race in seventh grade won’t make much of a dent here, so leave it out and mention anything that is related to your restaurant experience or personal skill set. Did you enter a dessert you created in a local competition and it literally took home the cake? Was your management style and notable track record mentioned on a restaurant blog? Did you win a Miss Congeniality Server award at that pub you worked at last year? Mention it. Any notable achievement goes to show that you have the skills and passion to do a great job.
We get it: you do stuff outside of work. Unless you’re one of those super passionate chefs that goes home only to experiment with molecular gastronomy techniques (in which case, you should definitely have that on your resume!) it’s likely you have other interests and pursuits. You’re in a theatre troupe? Great! That means you have great interpersonal skills and can put on a sunny face even when you’re having a bad day. You’re on a basketball team? Fantastic. You’re a team player, have good coordination and can likely reach the top shelf in the walk in fridge. Some hiring managers say this is the first place they look on a resume, to get a sense of what type of person you are so be honest and don’t be shy!
Writing a resume isn’t as simple as typing up all the things you’ve done in a document, sending it around, and hoping for the best. It’s about tailoring your experiences to showcase how your skills are a perfect fit for the job you’re applying for. Take time to go through all of your work experience, noting all of the tasks – big and small – that you did at each job. By taking time to find and show off the details of your work life, you’ll find qualities and results that make you stand out as the perfect candidate you are.
Andrea was a Content Marketing Specialist and Editor at TouchBistro where she wrote about restaurant and dining trends, restaurant management, and food culture. A self-affirmed food geek, Andrea devours cookbooks and food blogs. She also knows how to make a killer kale salad.