Working in fast food may not be glamorous, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t giving you valuable — and resume-worthy — experience. If you’re not sure how to spin your McDonald’s experience on your resume in a way that seems relevant to other jobs, keep reading for tips on what to include, how to format it, and sample bullet points to get you started.
How to make McDonald’s experience look good on a resume
- Start by tailoring your skills and experience to the type of job you want to apply for. If you’re staying in food service, this should be fairly easy, but if not:
- Take a look at the description of the job you’re interested in. Highlight the types of skills, experiences, and qualities they’re looking for in an applicant.
- Now, think about what makes you a good fit. This doesn’t need to be an exact match — for example, if you are applying for a job in banking or finance, you could emphasize your cash handling experience.
- For each skill or quality, come up with an example of when you demonstrated it.
- Turn your examples into resume-ready bullet points by starting with an action verb and ending with some kind of measurable result.
Combo #1: Tailor your experience
Just because your time at McDonald’s wasn’t obviously relevant to the types of jobs you’re applying for now, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a way to spin it. When you’re reading a job description, try to think of it as a type of wishlist — you don’t need to have everything on the list, but the closer you can appear to be a match, the better.
If you’re applying for a job in: Finance and accounting
Focus on: Cash handling, balancing cash registers, stocktake and inventory management, quality assurance
If you’re applying for a job in: Sales and marketing
Focus on: Customer service, customer satisfaction survey ratings, promotional sales, handing out fliers
If you’re applying for a job in: Business and management
Focus on: Leading a team, training new hires, scheduling, volunteering for last-minute shifts or overtime, staff awards
A quick and easy way to ensure your resume is tailored to the job you want is to include keywords and hard skills relevant to the job. Use the tool below to find the right ones.
Combo #2: Highlight transferable skills
If you’re aiming to transition out of fast food and into a different industry, it might not seem like your McDonald’s experience is particularly relevant. If that rings true, it’s time to fall back on your soft skills, which are always in demand.
Hiring managers in just about every industry are always looking for candidates with transferable skills like:
- Problem solving
- Conflict resolution
- Stress management
- Decision making
- Customer service and people skills
Chances are, most of these are second nature to you by now. The real trick isn’t in having these skills, but in the way you present them — for example, none of these skills (or any other soft skills) should go in your Skills section. Instead, think of a time when you demonstrated each quality and weave it into one of your bullet points.
For example, instead of listing “customer service” or “can-do attitude” in your Skills section, try a bullet point in your Experience section like:
Managed a high-volume of customer orders while maintaining a friendly and welcoming attitude, resulting in a 95% customer satisfaction rating.
Or, instead of describing yourself as a “problem solver,” prove it with a bullet point like:
Resolved an average of 50 customer complaints per day, demonstrating strong problem-solving skills and a commitment to customer satisfaction.
I’d recommend uploading your resume to the tool below to check if your resume showcases your most relevant transferable skills the right way.
Putting McDonald’s on a resume: Pros and cons
Does McDonald's look good on a resume? Like anything else, that depends on how you describe it and how relevant it is.
Why you should put McDonald’s on a resume
Employers love to see candidates with customer service experience because it indicates that you:
- Have a strong work ethic
- Can handle challenging situations
- Have experience in fast-paced environments
- Work well under pressure
Why you should leave McDonald’s off a resume
It may be time to remove your experience at McDonald’s if:
- It’s not particularly relevant to the job(s) you’re applying for now
- You have at least some experience in your actual field
- Your McDonald’s experience was a long time ago
In short: McDonald’s or other food service roles are a great way to show transferable skills when you don’t have much experience. But relevant, industry-specific experience (including education, volunteer work, and internships) will always trump older, less-relevant jobs.
More tips for a McDonald’s resume
When putting your resume together, make sure to keep some basic tips in mind:
- Use a reverse chronological resume format. List your most recent job first and always include accurate dates of employment.
- Include any (and only) education or training that’s relevant to the job you’re applying for. If you worked at McDonald’s while you were at school, you can even put your Education section first and your Work Experience underneath.
- Include numbers as much as you can. Anyone can say that they “provided excellent customer service,” but “achieved 90% customer satisfaction rating” is harder to argue with.
- Use helpful tools like our free resume scanner, which can help flag any mistakes you may have overlooked and provide you with personalized suggestions for improvement.