If you’ve been working for a while in customer service or hospitality, you might be wondering how to make waitressing sound good on a resume. After all, it’s not like you're contributing directly to increasing revenue or managing a team. The good news is, you can still make serving sound good by focusing on concrete metrics and transferable skills.
Wondering exactly how to do that? Here’s a step by step guide.
How To Put Waitressing or Server on a Resume
- Look at the description of the job you’re applying for.
- For each key responsibility listed, think about how you’ve demonstrated similar skills — even if the task itself was completely different.
- Consolidate similar experience into a single job heading.
- Update your resume by focusing on accomplishments, not tasks.
- Include numbers to show what you did in measurable terms.
- Highlight transferable skills in your bullet points.
Once you’re done updating your resume, upload it to the tool below to check if you’ve shown enough relevant skills and quantifiable accomplishments. It’ll also identify any mistakes and give you suggestions for improvements.
Let’s take a closer look at what this all means in practice.
Tips for how to make serving sound good on a resume
Target your resume
The first step to writing any successful resume is to tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for. If you’re looking for professional jobs with a hospitality background, this may seem like a stretch, but it’s easier than it sounds.
What hiring managers are really looking for is somebody who will be successful in the position. That doesn’t have to mean that you have experience in a similar role — instead, match your accomplishments to the job you’re applying for and focus on highlighting relevant skills.
How To: If a job description lists “planning and scheduling meetings and appointments” as a key responsibility, think about a time when you had to plan or schedule something as a waitress or waiter at work. This might be organizing a weekly roster, suggesting extra staff to cover a holiday weekend, or organizing a staff function.
If the job description says:
- “Planning and scheduling meetings and appointments.”
Your resume could say:
- “Scheduled 20+ staff on weekly roster to ensure full coverage on all shifts.”
If you’re not sure which skills to highlight on your resume, use the tool below to get a list of skills and keywords relevant to the job you’re applying for.
More tips: For extra help in creating a targeted resume, use a free resume scanner to identify keywords in the job description that might be missing from your resume.
Consolidate your waitressing experience
The nature of hospitality, waitressing and similar gig work means that you may have held several similar positions over a relatively short amount of time. Instead of having to find new ways to describe waiting tables for every job on your resume, consider using a single job heading that covers similar serving jobs at different restaurants.
How To: In your work experience section, create a single heading like “Professional Wait Staff” and group all your related positions underneath.
Professional Wait Staff, [Dates]
Company #1, Location, Dates
- Bullet point
- Bullet point
Company #2, Location, Dates
- Bullet point
Company #3, Location, Dates
- Bullet point
Here's how it might look on a resume:
More Tips: Read our guide on how to list work experience on your resume for a detailed breakdown of what your work experience section should look like and when it’s appropriate to bundle different positions together.
Metrics are the key to making any resume look good. The trick is to quantify everything — even things you’ve never thought about in measurable terms.
How To: Use numbers to describe the number of customers you served, the size of your team, or the scale of the work you did.
Before: “Served food and drinks to customers in popular establishment.”
After: “Served 100+ customers daily in 20-table restaurant.”
More Tips: Our guide on how to quantify your resume has 50+ examples you can choose from on how to add meaningful numbers to your resume.
Highlight transferable skills
The good news is, serving jobs require a lot of in-demand skills you can use in other industries, like teamwork, adaptability, strong communication and interpersonal skills. But before you list “excellent customer service skills” on your resume, you should know that these are soft skills — not hard ones.
What does that mean? When it comes to soft skills, self-assessments are basically meaningless. To show a hiring manager that you have what it takes, you need to prove it.
How To: Instead of listing soft skills outright, choose accomplishments that demonstrate those skills in action.
Don’t: “Demonstrated excellent customer service skills.”
Do: “Recognized as employee of the month on 10/2020; awarded to one person out of 50 employees.”
More Tips: Read our guide on how to include soft skills on your resume for all the do’s and don’ts when it comes to highlighting transferable skills.
Waiter and waitressing resume bullet point examples
If you’re ready to get started, here are some sample bullet points you can use to make serving sound good on your resume:
- Trained 6 new waiters and developed repeatable onboarding process; reduced onboarding time of new staff by 15%.
- Part of core team involved in transition to delivery/takeaway options to help restaurant survive during Covid-19; increased customer base by 10%.
- Collaborated with marketing team to redesign menu and increase revenue by 10%.
- Recognized as employee of the month in 10/2020; awarded to one person out of 50 employees.
- Reduced unnecessary inventory and maintained a 3 percent over/short ratio, reducing waste by almost 4 percent.
- Spearheaded initiative to gain new customers; handed out 400+ promotional materials and grew revenue by 20%.
- Scheduled 20+ staff on weekly roster to ensure full coverage on all shifts, including extra coverage at short notice.
- Balanced all transactions daily with credit card machines, cash registers and check scanners.