January 5

How to Write a Kick-Ass Restaurant Resume

A Guide To Writing a Simple Yet Effective Restaurant Resume So You Can Land Your Dream Job and Enter the Beautiful Hospitality Field!

While restaurant work is unique, the hiring process follows many of the same steps as any other industry, and it all starts with submitting a resume. 

Crafting a resume that highlights your skills in a way that connects with the job you’re applying for is essential to making a great first impression and hopefully landing that interview—but it’s easier said than done. 

Many of us hate talking about ourselves and find it challenging to connect the dots between our experiences and what is asked for in a job post. 

To help you out, we’re breaking down the basics of writing a kick-ass restaurant resume so you can start your job search on the right foot. 

3 Steps To Writing a Resume for a Restaurant

Restaurant resumes don’t need to be super fancy—but there are a few steps that you don’t want to miss. We’ll break down the basics here. 

Step 1: Introduce Yourself with a Professional Summary or an Objective Statement

Including a professional summary or an objective statement at the top of your resume is a great way to stand out from other applicants. It can demonstrate your enthusiasm and build context around your resume and the job you’re applying for.  

While they seem similar, they do serve different purposes. Knowing when to use one over the other is best to get the most out of your resume. 

A professional summary is appropriate if you’re experienced in the role you’re applying for. 

Highlight your qualifications in a short paragraph of about 2-3 sentences. 

Basic Professional Summary Example:

“Dedicated hospitality professional with over five years of experience providing exceptional service in fast-casual restaurant settings. Leveraging a strong knowledge of wine, beer, and spirits, I increased sales by 15% through thoughtful recommendations that enhanced the customer experience.”

Adding specific achievements, like increasing sales, decreasing food waste, improving operations, etc, are nice to have in a resume—but it’s not always necessary. Don’t get hung up on it if you’re unsure what to include. A general statement will work just fine! 

If you’re applying for an entry-level position or changing careers, an objective statement would be more fitting than a professional summary. 

Again, include 2-3 sentences highlighting your career goals and what you hope to achieve in the position you’re applying for. 

Basic Objective Statement Example:

“Motivated retail professional with a strong background in customer service, eager to bring my skills to a full-service restaurant as a host. My enthusiasm for the hospitality industry and my commitment to exceptional service make me a valuable asset to your team.” 

Whether including a professional summary or an objective statement, you always want to tailor it toward the role you’re applying for. So you’ll likely do some light editing to this part of your resume between applications. 

Pro Tip:  The professional or objective statement shouldn’t replace a cover letter. While it may seem redundant, you can go into more detail in a cover letter and address specific job requirements.

Step Two: Build Your Work History

Your experience is the star of your resume—so you’ll want to spend some time fine-tuning your message by ensuring that you only include relevant information. 

Tips to consider when writing your work history: 

  • Include the most recent 3-5 experiences
  • Organize experiences in reverse chronological order
  • Focus on the core responsibilities and achievements of each role
  • Use action verbs and keywords from the job descriptions

Suppose your work history has gaps, or you don’t have recent hospitality experience. In that case, you should include a cover letter to explain the reasoning and highlight your career goals when applying for the positions. 

You can also tailor each work history to highlight transferable skills that will help you succeed in the role you’re applying for. But again, be sure to utilize that cover letter to further connect the dots between your resume and your application. 

While you might not need to edit your work history each time you apply for a job—it’s a good idea to go through and find opportunities to tailor experiences. 

Pro Tip: Create an original resume document that you can use as your starting point. Then, each time you want to apply for a job, make a copy and edit it to tailor it to the specific role. 

Step 3: Add Education, Certifications, and Additional Sections

Reserve the last part of your resume to include education, volunteer experiences, or certifications relevant to the role. 

Education and volunteer experiences should be listed with dates and in reverse chronological order as you did with your work history, while certifications can be listed in any order. 

Remember, just because you have a long list of things to include doesn’t mean you need to add them all to your resume—so prioritize the experiences and certifications that will give you a leg up as a candidate. 

Alternatively, you can add a skills section if you don’t have relevant education or certifications. Use bullets to organize a list of soft and technical skills that prepare you to succeed in the role. 

It’s a good idea to format this section into two columns to optimize the space in your resume. 

Pro Tip: If you have any recognitions or awards, be sure to include them as an additional section below your work history. 

Characteristics of a Good Restaurant Resume 

If this isn’t your first rodeo and you’re just looking for general recommendations to ensure your resume isn’t overlooked—no problem. 

As an employment site for the hospitality industry, we see thousands upon thousands of resumes daily and know a good one when we see it. 

Here are the top characteristics of a good restaurant resume:  

  1. Relevant
    Every experience, certification, and skill included in your resume must be relevant to the position you’re applying to. Review your resume for information unrelated to the job description and either remove it or make it relevant.
  2. Concise
    Ideally, your resume should only be a single page long. Ensuring the relevancy of the information you include will help, but you can also remove any fluff words or extra descriptions that obscure your qualifications for the position. 
  3. Tailored 
    The key to a great resume is showing how your experience aligns with the job you’re applying for. Review the job description and tailor your professional or objective statements, work experiences, and education or certifications. Use keywords to address specific requirements listed in the job description. 
  4. Simple
    Your resume needs to be easy to comprehend and scan—don’t let complex formatting get in the way. Just stick to a simple format, utilizing subheadings and bullet points, and let your experience speak for itself. 
  5. Proof Read
    Proofing your resume is essential to making a great first impression. You don’t want blaring typos, grammatical errors, or formatting issues to make your resume look unprofessional and rushed. Getting fresh eyes on your resume by sharing it with a friend is a great way to spot any problems. 

Once your resume is built and ready to go, check out who’s hiring on Poached! As the nation’s leading hospitality employment site, you’ll find the best jobs in your area or land a fun destination job, and the best part is that it’s free to anyone looking for work in the industry! 

Plus, we have tools to help you manage your resumes and applications to stay on track of your career goals. 


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.