November 29

Resume Formatting and Writing Tips

Writing a resume is one of the first steps in job hunting, but it can be difficult to recognize what a good resume format for a restaurant job looks like.

I remember when writing my first few resumes, I struggled to fit everything to one page. I’d spend hours contemplating how I was going to describe my experience and achievements in only a few sentences or bullet points but still make them significant. Then there’s formatting – what does the proper resume format for a restaurant job even look like? Over time, and with some trial and error I managed to pick up a few basic tips that helped me understand what a restaurant resume should include and ultimately made me feel more comfortable when updating an old resume or creating a new one.


Read the Job Post

To give your resume a boost, take time to really read the job post and search for keywords that fit your experience. Some examples include: Team oriented, Fast-paced, Communication, etc. If keywords from the job post describe your past experience, you can tailor your resume and better demonstrate that you have what the employer is looking for. Creating a resume specifically for a job shows that you’ve considered the position and genuinely want to apply.


Keep it Simple

Adding bells and whistles can be tempting, but they can distract from the content of your resume. The restaurant resume format should be simple. A basic document with an easy to read font (e.g. Times New Roman) is professional and straightforward, and lets the employer get right to the stuff that matters: your experience and skills. Considering a simple file type is also important. Nowadays, most job seekers send their resumes off through a system or job board. Make sure your file type is widely supported – a PDF document is a great choice for resumes and ensures the employer can actually view your resume.

It’s good to keep your content simple as well. While there are exceptions, a resume should only be one page in length. If you begin to go over, scan for any words or phrases that are unnecessary in explaining your work history and cut them out. Use short and concise sentences and remember, you can go into more detail in the interview.


Be Organized

Organizing the content of your resume is important in creating a clear and easy to read document. Overall, you want to organize by sections. Begin with your contact information at the top of the resume – this allows the employer to know who you are and how to contact you for an interview. Then you can follow with a short summary of your skills – highlighting your strengths and how they relate to the job post (this is were those keywords come in).

The majority of your resume should cover your work experience. But keep in mind, the employer doesn’t need a total history of your work experience, just include three or four of the most recent or relevant jobs organized in reverse chronological order (beginning with the most recent and moving toward the past).

After you have given a succinct description of your work history, you can mention any certifications or education that might give you leg up, such as your Food Handlers Certification, Culinary School or Liquor Licensing.


Proofread and Edit

The final and most important step of the resume writing process is to proofread, edit and repeat until you are positive the final product represents you and all your greatness! Make sure to look for errors in spelling, dates and punctuation. We tend to overlook these types of errors, especially when rushing. It helps to read your resume out loud to find any awkward language.

When you think you’re done and your resume is ready to send off, take the extra step and have a friend or family member proofread your resume one last time. Someone new can help catch any mistakes you may have missed.

In most cases, your resume is the first impression you give an employer so taking extra time and consideration in your resume can go a long way in landing an interview. Knowing the fundamentals of resume writing can help ease the frustrations of what’s necessary to include and what’s not and help you stand out from other applicants. Now that you have a few extra tips you can begin the search for your next restaurant job and start the writing process.  Good luck!



About the author

Ashley McNally likes to cook, loves to bake, and is always dreaming of her next meal. With over 13 years of experience working in various roles within a restaurant — McNally has made a home in hospitality.

About the author

Ashley McNally likes to cook, loves to bake, and is always dreaming of her next meal. With over 13 years of experience working in various roles within a restaurant — McNally has made a home in hospitality.