Across the Poachedjobs.com nation, countless restaurants and bars are expanding their seating capacity by opening their patio and sidewalk tables, while catering calendars fill with weddings and summer celebrations. The industry’s staffing up and that means more employment opportunities, but they won’t hire just any joker that darkens their doorway.
Here’s the exclusive Poachedjobs.com list of how-to-get-hired pointers that’ll get you on the schedule this summer:
The Basics of Springtime Job Search
WHERE AM I?
Front of the house = servers, bartenders, bussers, food runners and floor managers. Back of the house = cooks, chefs, expos and dishwashers. Know what you are capable of and apply accordingly.
HAVE YOUR PERMITS IN HAND AND UP TO DATE
Liquor service and food handler’s permits take little time to obtain and not having them up-to-date is a really silly reason to get passed over for a job. (see Poachedjobs.com’s Handy Links page).
I LOVE THIS PLACE, WHAT DID YOU SAY IT WAS CALLED?
Know with whom you’re applying: where is it, their menu, pace, and their regular clientele or risk missing the job and looking like an ass. You didn’t know it was a snack bar at a medical marijuana dispensary? Whose fault is that?
Don’t apply if you don’t have any. If you have worked in casual dining for 6 months and the posting asks for 3+ years fine dining experience, you’d better have some pretty compelling reasons as to why you think you can make the leap (aside from “fast learner and great people skills” – you’re not the first to use that line).
Resume Tips for Spring Jobs Search
CLEAR + SIMPLE = SEXY
State your employment history with business names and, unless there’s one in every city, describe the type of business (“kebab window at music venue”) along with the city where the business is located. State the duration of employment in each position listed, along with your skills and experience. Concise language with bullet points and action words will make your resume easier to read and understand, endearing you to someone short on time who may have to filter through hundreds of resumes for a single position.
Grammar and spelling mistakes put your competence and eye for detail into question, no matter how much experience you have had. Run a grammar and spell check AND have someone read it. Spellcheck will not let you know when you made a “friend” a “fiend”, nor when you testify that you are a “goof people person”.
EXPERIENCED-ISH, OR HOW TO MAKE NEW WORK FOR YOU
Not so seasoned yet? Highlight past experiences that are relative to a service-based industry. Have you done internships, volunteered or staged in food/drink environments? Get that on the page! Multi-tasking, interacting with different types of personalities and time management are necessary in any part of a restaurant.
SERVICE INTERUPTUS: TACKY, TACKY, TACKY
Keep your bunny slippers on and get your resume right to the hiring manager’s desk with Poached online. However, if you must drop your resume off in person, do so just before or within the first hour of opening. Never attempt this when the staff is obviously busy as you’re basically proving you’re insensitive to your potential co-workers and don’t understand the work – your résumé will get circular-filed before you can say, “order up”.
Interviews Tips for Spring Job Search
DID YOU ACTUALLY WANT THIS JOB?
Be on time. Always.
DON’T DRESS LIKE A DIRTBAG
Wear clean, wrinkle-free clothes at every in-person interaction. Always think about what the people hiring you will be looking for, so if it’s a fine dining place, consider a suit; if it’s more casual, adapt accordingly, but leave your Korn tank top at home (unless, unbeknownst to us, Korn has recently opened a sno-cone shack, in which case let us know and tank it up).
TAKE NAMES AND SHAKE (UNLESS THEY’RE GUTTING STURGEON)
Give good eye contact, smile, and remember to whom you’re introduced. Offer firm handshakes when appropriate and don’t be offended if people prepping food opt to just smile and nod your direction.
NEVER TALK SHIT ABOUT YOUR EX
We know you don’t work there anymore, but ALL restaurant communities are small ones, so assume that you are talking to the best friend of that creepy sous chef who made your life Hell at the last place – you learned SOMETHING from that experience, right? Spinning a bad situation at a previous job in a positive light can go a long way in getting hired.
AVAILABLE EVERY OTHER MONDAY AFTERNOON
Most restaurants and bars do the lion’s share of their business at night. New hires often have to weather very early or late duties and/or may be asked to cover weekend and holiday shifts. There’s also a chance these shifts may not tip well, if at all, depending on your position, but hat’s how almost everyone starts out in this industry. Sound awful? I am sure there’s a nice desk with a telephone waiting for you out there somewhere.
THE FAST LANE TO MONEY AND ADORATION
Want better shifts, hours and tips? Pick up any and every shift offered within reason – bailing out fellow employees with emergencies is good Karma. Taking hours means you’re making money (and not blowing it on brunches, drop-in Zumba classes, and bowling league beers) while making your manager’s life easier and that tactic, my friend, will pay off in more ways than one.
We’re posting more jobs than ever this spring, so strike while the iron’s hot and your options are plentiful: smear on an unshakable smile, roll up your sleeves, and earn that shift meal.