As a server, you will need to greet and seat guests, memorize allergen information as well as specials, answer questions about the menu, and accurately take orders, among other things.
Before you can do any of those things, however, you will need to land the job.
And the only way to do that is by writing a compelling server resume. That means that your resume should be formatted the right way, look professional, and show off all your skills and experience.
Now, if it’s been ages since you updated your resume (or it’s the first time you’re writing one) you might be feeling a bit out of your game.
Well, worry not! In this guide, we’re going to teach you all you need to know to create a job-winning server resume.
Here’s what the guide covers:
- Job-Winning Server Resume Example
- 8-Step Guide to Create a Compelling Server Resume
- Free Server Resume Template
And more! So let’s dive right in, starting with:
Server Resume Example
This server resume example is one to follow. Here’s exactly what it does right:
- Uses the reverse-chronological resume format. The chronological format is the most popular resume format and the best choice for a server resume.
- Includes an impactful resume summary. Through a memorable resume summary, this server resume example can successfully convince any bar or restaurant manager to keep reading.
- Impresses the manager with achievement-oriented work experience. Achievements speak louder than responsibilities. That’s why this server resume example prioritizes them over responsibilities.
- Remembers to list certifications. Certificates prove an applicant is professionally qualified, which is why this server resume example lists the certifications that are relevant to the server position.
- Keeps the education section short. To work as a server, your education comes third to your experience and skills. This server resume example keeps it short and simple.
- Lists field-relevant skills. All the skills listed on this server resume example are relevant to the position and show the applicant is right for the job.
- Includes “Languages” as an extra section. Servers mainly work with people, so speaking foreign languages is a big advantage. That’s why this server resume example has included “Languages” as a separate section.
- Takes advantage of a resume template. Instead of spending hours dealing with the resume layout and formatting, this applicant has used a free resume template.
Applying for a different position in the customer service industry? We've got a bunch more resume examples that can help you craft your perfect resume. Check some of them out below:
- Customer Service Resume
- Waiter Resume
- Barista Resume
- Bartender Resume
- Cashier Resume
- Bar and Restaurant Manager Resume
- Event Planner Resume
- Receptionist Resume
- Flight Attendant Resume
Ace Your Server Resume in 8 Simple Steps
Was the server resume example above enough of an inspiration?
Great, now it’s time to create yours!
Follow the 8 steps below to write your compelling server resume, starting with:
#1. Format Your Server Resume Right
Before you can start working on your resume’s contents, you’ve got to first deal with the resume format and layout.
It’s not only the most popular among recruiters worldwide, but it also highlights your most recent work experiences by listing them first.
Here’s what the chronological format looks like:
Once that’s taken care of, you can start working on the layout of your server resume. This includes:
- Keep your resume length one page. Managers don’t have the time to read long resumes but instead prefer a resume that only includes the most relevant information. That’s why the optimal resume length is one page.
- Clear section headers. Section headers are a good way to distinctly separate your resume’s sections from one another.
- Professional font style. The font you end up using can either make your resume look professional or rushed. That’s why you should go for a casual but professional font like Times New Roman or Roboto.
- Uniform font size. Keep the font size between 11 and 12 pts and make sure it stays the same throughout the resume.
Unless it is otherwise required in the job description, save your resume as a PDF file. That way, you can be sure it will remain the way you intended it despite the device or OS that opens it.
Or Use a Server Resume Template (And Start Filling in Your Contents Right Away)
The resume layout is important regardless of the job you’re applying to.
However, it can take hours of tweaking and fixing the layout to get an end result that looks both professional and non-generic.
Well, that’s never the case if you use resume templates.
On the contrary, you can skip all the formatting hassle and jump straight to filling in the contents AND get your resume to look modern, unique, and professional all at the same time.
And the best part? Our resumes look absolutely gorgeous:
#2. List Your Contact Details
As you can probably imagine, this is the most straightforward section in any resume.
For the bar or restaurant manager to get in touch with you, at the top of your resume include:
- Full name.
- Professional title.
- Email address.
- Phone number.
- Location (city and state/country)
Here’s an example of a server’s contact information section:
New York, NY
Remember though, before rushing to fill in the rest of your resume’s contents, double-check your contact details for typos or mistakes.
You don’t want the restaurant/bar manager to be unable to contact you because of a typo in your phone number!
#3. Write an Impressive Resume Summary/Objective
The resume profile is a 2-3 sentence long paragraph that goes at the top of your resume and aims to convince the restaurant/bar manager they should consider you as an applicant from the get-go.
Now, depending on your level of experience, your can shape up your resume profile as:
A resume summary, which includes your work experience, skills, and 1-2 of your top achievements to date. If you have years of experience to show for, you should definitely opt for the resume summary.
Positive and friendly Restaurant Server with 4+ of experience working in a fast-paced food preparation environment. Proven people skills as a successful bartender with the highest customer satisfaction among the bar’s staff. Certified food manager.
A resume objective, on the other hand, focuses on your professional goals, the reasons you want to work as a server, and how your skills and background make you the right fit. An objective is better for younger candidates lacking in work experience.
Outgoing and friendly university junior looking for a part-time job as a server. Proven time-management skills and attention to detail as a student with excellent academic results. Speaks Spanish fluently and has previous experience serving tables as a teen.
#4. Make The Most Out of Your Work Experience Section
At the end of the day, it’s your hands-on experience as a server that speaks best about you as a candidate and that can help you stand out from other candidates.
That said, the first thing to do when writing this section is format it the right way, which includes:
- Start with your current/most recent work experience and go backward in time. Keep your work entries relevant though - the restaurant/bar manager won’t really care about your work in summer camp from your teenage years.
- Build each entry by putting your professional title first, followed by the company’s/restaurant’s name and location, as well as the time period you worked there.
- List 3-5 job responsibilities and achievements (if applicable) in bullet points. For older jobs, you can list 1-2 bullet points under each.
Now, if you’ve worked as a server for some time now, chances are you have a couple of achievements to flaunt.
Take some time to think it through and, if you think of any noteworthy achievements, make sure to prioritize them over your responsibilities - after all, those are the same for all applicants.
Here’s an example of an achievement-oriented work experience section as opposed to one that’s not:
- Boosted diner’s earnings by 20% by designing decorative and welcoming window displays.
- Trained 5 new staff members and created a new hire onboarding process.
- Made window displays
- Motivated other employees
If you can’t think of any achievements, though, don’t fret! Thoroughly listing your responsibilities can also land you the job - especially if you use action verbs and power words to make them pop out.
Are you building a resume with no work experience to apply for an entry-level position? Head over to our guide to learn how to write one effectively.
#5. Add Your Education
Serving at a bar or restaurant doesn’t require any formal education, but you should nonetheless include your education background on your resume.
Here’s how to include your education history the right way:
- List your latest (and highest) degree first.
- Start off with the degree name, institution name, and location, and the years attended.
- Feel free to skip your high school information if you have a Bachelor’s Degree.
Here’s how the education section of your server resume should look like:
Saratoga High School
#6. Include In-Demand Skills
A bar or restaurant manager looking for a server will be interested in your skillset and ability to learn the ins and outs of the job as fast as possible. That’s exactly why the skills section of your server resume should shine.
To make the most out of the section, however, you shouldn’t list every skill you have with the hopes it makes you look good.
For sure, knowing Adobe Illustrator is great, but it won’t help you much as a server.
What you should do instead is to check the server skills listed below and include the ones that you possess in your server resume.
Then, check the job ad and see what skills the position requires. If you’ve missed any skills that you have, add them to your resume too.
This way, your server resume will be as relevant as it gets.
20 Soft and Hard Skills to Include in Your Server Resume
Server Soft Skills
- Customer service
- Physical stamina
- Neat appearance
- Memory for patrons and their orders
- Conflict resolution
- Ability to keep up in a fast-paced environment
- Legible handwriting
- Time management
Server Hard Skills
- Computer skills
- Point of sale systems/cash register
- Knowledge of wine pairings and alcohol in general
- Basic math skills
- Knowledge of restaurant machinery
#7. Include These Extra Sections
If, at this point, your server resume is already one page, you can call it a day - the resume is done!
However, if you have some space left (e.g. if you’re lacking work experience), you can take advantage of these extra sections:
- Certifications. Are you certified in food safety or customer service? Any type of certification that’s relevant to serving will help you stand out from other applicants applying for the job.
- Languages. Foreign languages are an asset for most jobs and especially so for those that are centered around people and customer service.
- Volunteer experience. Did you volunteer in your community’s homeless shelter or help out in your family’s diner? Your volunteering can show you are experienced (even if you haven’t worked in the past) and that you care about giving back to the community. Bonus points if your volunteering is related to serving or customer service.
- Hobbies and interests. Show the restaurant or bar manager who you are outside of work - it may turn out you even share similar interests and help you establish rapport.
Here’s a concrete example of how these extra sections should look in a server resume:
NZSFW Food Safety Certificate (2015)
- French (Intermediate)
- Italian (Fluent)
Hobbies and Interests
#8. Attach a Server Cover Letter to Your Resume
Last but not least, you should write a cover letter and include it in your application package.
A cover letter does the following two things:
- Summarizes your most important skills and experiences and allows you to elaborate on them (e.g. how you achieved them, what you learned, or how they will be of help in this job).
- Explains certain things a resume cannot (e.g. employment gaps, motivation to work in that position, etc).
Here’s what you should do to write a cover letter that’s just as good as your server resume:
- If you know the name of the manager in the bar or restaurant you’re applying to, address the cover letter directly to them, instead of using the overly popular and impersonal “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern.”
- Start your cover letter by introducing yourself and mentioning your 2 top skills or achievements.
- In the body of your cover letter talk in detail about your skills, experiences, and achievements. This part is also where you can explain anything you didn’t have the chance to in your resume.
- End your cover letter with a call to action that will urge the manager to call you for an interview.
- Avoid any mistakes by reading our article on the most common cover letter mistakes.
Want your cover letter to be on the same level as your resume? Use one of Novorésumé’s cover letter templates!
By now, you should be ready to write a killer server resume and land the job. Before you leave, though, here are the main points we covered in this article:
- Use the reverse-chronological format for your server resume - it’s what managers know and love.
- Write an appealing resume summary or objective to get the manager hooked on reading more.
- Use action verbs and power words to highlight your achievements and responsibilities.
- Add extra sections like “Languages” and “Certifications” to set yourself apart from the competition.
- Attach a cover letter to your server resume.