Best Server Resume Examples and Writing Guide (+ Free Template Download) [2020]

Server or restaurant server resumes require tasteful compliments to soft skills, hard skills, and previous work experience that tell your future employer that you’re a performer in the workplace.

A server or restaurant server is often referred to as a “waiter” or “waitress.” This is confused with the job title hostess, which is the title of the professional responsible for sitting the patrons at the restaurant establishment.

Serving positions are often entry-level positions that are obtained by professionals who may be at a university-level in terms of their educational experience or temporarily seeking employment.

Due to this, resumes for servers often need to be strategized to speak to soft skills, qualities of the worker, and prior work examples that exceed the expectations of education history or directly related prior work experience (IE: Prior work experience as a server).

server resume tips

Writing Guide

This writing guide is applicable for those looking to build a:

  • Waitress Resume
  • Server Resume
  • Food Server Resume

How to Write a Server or Waitress Resume

Follow these steps to write an effective bartender resume.

Step 1: Prepare the Resume Information

Gather the appropriate information to fill the resume with. This includes prior work experiences that are relevant to the server or waitress position (bartender positions, barback positions, or retail worker experience), achievements at each one of the prior work positions, hard skills and soft skills, significant career accomplishments, education history, certifications, and the job description of the position.

Step 2: Find the Right Layout

A server resume should be in reverse chronological format, also known as a hybrid or combination resume layout. This style of layout should include a resume objective (or career summary), prior work experience, education history, soft skills, and hard skills sections.

Step 3: Write the Work Experience

Before writing a career objective or career summary, write all prior work experience. Include 3-4 bullet points that summarize significant achievements for the business beneath each job experience. If unable to describe accomplishments for the business, describe projects completed or goals obtained.

If no experience is available for the resume, consider listing an internship or other job experience that shows creative efforts paying off for the business.

Use server resume keywords and action verbs described in this writing guide to make a more impactful and descriptive resume for the hiring manager or restaurant manager.

Step 4: Write the Resume Objective

It’s much easier to write a resume objective after the work experience section has been completed. Pull significant accomplishments from this section to write an impactful statement at the top of the resume.

To learn how to write a resume objective, continue reading this guide.

Step 5: Include Education, Certifications, and Skills

Education, certifications, and skills are lesser than important sections on the resume. Education experience might include having a bachelor's degree or being enrolled in school. Certifications might include CPR training or other.

Step 6: Replace Contact Information

When using a template, don’t forget to replace the contact information on the resume. For a server resume, a strong cover letter that accompanies the application is going to be beneficial for the job seeker.

Step 7: Compare to a Resume Sample

After completing, compare the resume to a server resume sample provided in this guide. Ensure all sections have been correctly input into the resume layout and that key skills, competencies, and prior work experience are being described effectively.

Be sure to include any references from prior retail work experiences if no prior work experience in the bartending position is available to list on the resume.

Soft and Hard Skills for a Server Resume

Soft skills are talents that are intangible. They are often described as personal characteristics. But in the setting of the workplace, these characteristics are developed through prior work knowledge. For example, having customer service skills.

This skill can only be developed by having prior working experiences that expose you to customers and have dealt with a customer who was either positive or negative toward you in the workplace.

Soft skills that all servers should have are:

  • Social skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Coordination skills
  • Multitasking skills
  • Listening skills
  • Note-taking skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Verbal communication skills

Additional skills to consider would be:

  • Knowledge of Food Service Regulations
  • Lifting
  • Verbal and Written Communication
  • Flexibility
  • Basic Math
  • Customer Service
  • Resolve Conflict
  • Teamwork
  • Persistence
  • Energy Level
  • Selling to Customers Needs
  • Thoroughness
  • Professionalism
  • Client Relationships
  • Central Reservations Systems (CRS)
  • Patience
  • Agility

With the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics saying that these qualities make a great server:

  • Communication skills. Food and beverage serving and related workers must listen carefully to their customers’ orders and relay them correctly to the kitchen staff so that the orders are prepared to the customers’ request.
  • Customer-service skills. Food service establishments rely on good food and customer service to keep customers and succeed in a competitive industry. As a result, workers should be courteous and be able to attend to customers’ requests.
  • Physical stamina. Food and beverage serving and related workers spend most of their work time standing, carrying heavy trays, cleaning work areas, and attending to customers’ needs.
  • Physical strength. Food and beverage serving and related workers need to be able to lift and carry stock and equipment that can weigh up to 50 pounds.

The team over at getsling.com help to define what a great server looks like. They state, "Being a great server is about one simple principle: treat others the way you would like to be treated. It basically translates to making sure your customers are happy, and their dining experience goes smoothly. It goes beyond just getting all the orders right and making sure the drink glasses are always full. It includes how you present yourself, how you act, what you say (and how you say it), as well as things like timing and efficiency."

Lastly, a key interpersonal skill is friendliness. As a job seeker, don't forget to be friendly during the interview!

Server Resume Objective

Starting your resume with a resume objective is one of the best ways to encapsulate your previous work history in a short statement. This allows your future employer and the resume reader to more quickly scan your resume and comprehend your work history in a short amount of time.

Keeping your resume objective and resume summary focused on personal, academic, and previous work accomplishments will make objective impactful to your employer.

Here is an example of a resume objective for a servers resume:

5+ years as a server. Capable of handling large volumes of customers. Capable of handling unhappy customers and serving as a customer service agent on the spot. Attention to detail. Ability to multi-task and handle any problem that may come my way during rush hours.

Server Duties and Responsibilities for the Resume

When listing previous work experiences, you might not be able to recall all of the duties that you performed while on the job. This may happen when your previous work experience as a waiter or server was a few months ago or a few years ago.

Here are the general duties and responsibilities that you can list as part of the bullet points under each of your previous work experiences as a server or waiter.

  • Assist with seating patrons in the dining room and start their meal service.
  • Provide food menus to each patron.
  • Take customer orders for food and beverages.
  • Hold high-quality service standards and ensure food preparation is ready to consume.
  • Submit beverage orders to the bartender.
  • Answer questions about a menu item for customers.
  • Greet customers when they enter the restaurant.
  • Provide information on daily specials.
  • Work with a busser to clear tables and place new flatware after customers are finished with their meal.
  • Communicate customer food orders with the kitchen staff.

Server Job Description for the Resume

An experienced and qualified server who can help our patrons experience world-class dining quality and dining experience. Servers help customers with food orders, show patrons the food and beverage menu, and coordinate with staff to ensure each patron is served a beverage along with a high-quality meal in a timely manner. Capable of providing a world-class dining experience, managing time, and ensuring a clean working environment at all times.

Server Requirements

When writing a server resume, be sure to look at the job description or job posting to determine the appropriate requirements for that job. Always use a custom resume for every job application. Never use the same resume for every job application.

When considering what requirements to ensure are listed on the resume. The following is a sample of server job requirements to assist with the writing process:

  • Previous work experience in the restaurant industry.
  • High School Diploma or equivalent preferred.
  • Customer service skills and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to coordinate meal service with each person and employee that is part of the restaurant staff during rush hours.

Server (or Waitress) Resume Keywords and Action Verbs

Resume keywords and action verbs can be assistive in describing prior work experience. And can make a resume more legible. Job seekers should consider the diversity of the action verbs being used in resumes to make them more impactful.

  • Administered
  • Delegated
  • Oversaw
  • Analyzed
  • Developed
  • Planned
  • Assigned
  • Directed
  • Prioritized
  • Attained
  • Evaluated
  • Produced
  • Chaired
  • Executed
  • Recommended
  • Contracted
  • Improved
  • Scheduled
  • Consolidated
  • Increased
  • Strengthened
  • Coordinated
  • Organized
  • Supervised
  • Assessed
  • Demonstrated
  • Familiarized
  • Assisted
  • Diagnosed
  • Guided
  • Clarified
  • Educated
  • Referred

Server Resume Example (Text Version)

Below is a sample resume for a server or waiter position. In this example, this would be for an entry-level worker who is actively enrolled in university-level education.

John Smith
[email protected]
630-555-4833
linkedin.com/johnsmith

5+ years as a server. Capable of handling large volumes of customers. Capable of handling unhappy customers and serving as a customer service agent on the spot. Attention to detail. Ability to multi-task and handle any problem that may come my way during rush hours.

Work Experience
Server
Buka De Bepo
May 2016 - May 2017
Part-Time

  • Provided high quality food service.
  • Become fully acquainted with the menu so that you can answer customer questions when they ask.
  • Help guests through their entire dining experience, from picking out menu items to ensuring they get their check on time.
  • Play a role in helping a guest with their desired food allergy needs or diet restrictions.
  • Played a pivotal role in all foodservice and ensured the experience of the restaurant was world-class.
Server
Sushi Gonzaga
May 2015 - May 2016
Part-Time

  • Provided high-quality food service.
  • Ensure that all guests receive a pleasant dining experience.
  • Assist team members with multiple tables if they are unable to process those tables.
  • Coordinate table cleaning and the changing of any silverware.
  • Ensure a hygienic environment at all times and comply with state laws on hygiene.
  • Worked closely with kitchen staff and ensured food preparation and delivery was accurate.
  • Memorized all food items and daily specials.
  • Ensured a fine dining experience at all times.
  • Learned about any new menu item from the head chef.
Hostess
Sushi Gonzaga
May 2014 - May 2015
Part-Time

  • Welcome all guests upon their entrance to the building and restaurant.
Skills
  • Data Entry
  • POS and Cashier Systems
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Alarm System Use
Soft Skills
  • Social skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Coordination skills
  • Multitasking skills
  • Listening skills
  • Note-taking skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Verbal communication skills
Education
Stanford University
Business Management
May 2015 - Present

Accolades
Investment Club President, Stanford University (2016)

Certifications
CPR Training (2015)

Server Resume Format

  • Contact Information: The job applicant’s phone number, email address, LinkedIn profile, and other pertinent information.
  • Resume Objective: Often referred to as a resume summary, resume objective, career objective, or other. This summarizes a professional's career achievements in less than 200 words.
  • Work Experience: A majority of the document will contain relevant professional history (relevant experience) for the potential employer. Includes previous job titles, years employed, and achievements.
  • Education: Displays high school, bachelor, and graduate school degrees or information. Includes years in attendance, Latin honors, and other pertinent information.
  • (Optional) Certifications: CPR training, bartending, or other licensures that make an appealing candidate.

Server Cover Letter

It's important to consider what's being said in the server's cover letter when writing a resume. Any previous job experience that's mentioned in the cover letter should be included in the resume. Any previous career accomplishments, like providing food service, should be mentioned in the cover letter and then supported through the resume.

Avoid listing career accomplishments on the resume and then using the same career accomplishments on the career objective.

Ian Smith
[email protected]
639-555-9984
Server

May 1st, 2013

Dear Mr. Johnson —

Food has always been a passion of mine. I grew up with a fairly immature palette. But when I entered into High School and started exploring food more, I realized it is a special thing. Flavor, taste, and experience are incredible to have in our lives as humans. It is a gift. I hope to bring that gift to your patrons every time I serve them.

During my tenure as a previous Server I was able to:
  • Be awarded the server of the month at least 3 times due to great customer service.
  • Served more than 1,200 patrons and guests in my time as a Server.
  • Worked closely with the chef and executive staff to help bring new dishes to the menu and bring feedback to our staff that caused menu improvements.
I look forward to interviewing with you. If there is any information that you'd like to see that I didn't include in my application, please feel free to contact me and I will return that to you as soon as possible.

Sincerely,
Ian Smith

server cover letter example

Server Resume Sample

server resume example

This server resume focuses on prior work experience in two types of server positions. And lists the duties, responsibilities, and general requirements of the server within the establishment. Education is prioritized lower on the page. And skills are incorporated into the description of the prior work experience.

Server Resume Example (PDF Version)

server resume example

Server Resume FAQ's

Job seeker questions and answers.

What role is this resume sample good for?

The following roles suit this resume example and resume sample:

  • Server
  • Restaurant Server
  • Food Server
  • Waiter
  • Waitress
  • Lead Server
  • Fine Dining Server

Or any other server position that reports to the restaurant manager.

What makes a great restaurant server resume?

Speaking to your ability to create a dining experience. How do you do it? What are your methods? What professional experience has shown you how to create an incredible time for your patrons. The more you can lean into that information, the better your resume will impress your potential employer or hiring manager. They want to know that you have experience in the restaurant industry and be able to trust you with their dining room.

Should I use a resume builder?

A resume builder can be helpful in determining your proper resume format. Though, this waitress resume and server resume example should provide you with sufficient information to be able to write your own perfect resume and respond to a job ad. Many transferable skills have been excluded from this resume template in order to lean further into what you can provide to your employer. This is what makes this template and sample unique.

server resume free template and download

Server Resume Template

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Related Hiring Resources

5+ Best Food Server Interview Questions & Answers
Banquet Server Job Description Sample (+ Free Template)
Server Cover Letter Sample
Server Resume Objective Examples
Best Restaurant Server Job Description (+ Free Template Download)
author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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