Waiter Resume Example & Writing Guide

A waiter resume summarizes your professional career, skills, and qualifications to impress hiring managers and secure you a job interview.
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The competition in the food service industry is fierce, and if you want to get a job as a waiter, you should start by writing an exceptional waiter resume. Whether you’re trying to get your foot in the door as an entry-level professional or looking to advance your career and get a senior position, this article is for you.

We’re going to teach you the key rules of resume writing to help you create an outstanding document. On top of that, we’ll go through some expert tips that’ll allow you to polish your server resume and make it sparkle like Michelin restaurant silverware. Let’s jump in!

Key Takeaways

  • The best format for the majority of waiters is the chronological resume format, followed by functional and combination formats.

  • Most waiter resumes should be one page long, with a font that is easy to read and a clean, elegant layout.

  • The professional experience section is typically the most important and should be the biggest in a resume.

  • Optional sections can help you add value to the document as long as they convey information that’s relevant to the role that you’re applying for.

  • A cover letter that accompanies your resume is one of the best ways to get ahead of the competition and showcase additional skills and experiences.

What is the Best Format to Use for a Waiter Resume?

Popular resume formats

The best waiter resume format for the majority of candidates is the chronological resume format. It offers an established structure for listing your past jobs and accomplishments in reverse-chronological order. That approach to resume building usually yields the best results with hiring managers, and it’s ATS-friendly.

However, if you’re completely new to the profession and have no work experience yet, you can leverage the functional resume format. It puts your skills in the spotlight, helping you emphasize your qualifications through your abilities instead of your professional history. The downside is that this format doesn’t always pass the ATS screening.

Another popular resume format is the combination or hybrid. This format is perfect for those with employment gaps or those with decades of experience. It emphasizes your skills, like in the functional format, while backing up each skill with relevant achievements in the reverse-chronological order, like in the chronological format.

Waiter Resume Layout

A resume layout refers to the visual design of the document. You want a professional resume that is easy to look at and read.

Additionally, most resumes should be one page long. That’s because hiring managers often have to go through many of them and typically only skim through most until one catches their eye.

Here are some guidelines to help you make your waiter resume visually outstanding:

Resume Layout Guidelines

  • Select a good font for your resume, like Arial, Times New Roman, or Calibri.

  • Set the font size to 10–12 pt for regular text and 14–16 pt for section headings.

  • Adjust margins to at least 1 inch on all sides.

Waiter Resume Sections

Every waiter resume needs to have these five sections:

Resume Mandatory Sections

  1. Contact information

  2. Resume objective or summary

  3. Professional experience

  4. Education

  5. Skills

Additionally, you’re free to include as many optional sections as you want, as long as there’s space on the document and they convey valuable information about your competence. Some optional sections to consider are:

Resume Optional Sections

  • Awards

  • Certifications

  • Languages

  • Hobbies & Interests

If adding all these sections to a resume feels daunting when you’re starting from scratch, you’re welcome to use our resume builder. We developed a tailored software tool that can help you craft a job-winning resume in minutes!

You can pick from a number of professionally designed templates, adjust their sections and layout, input your information in the predesignated places, and download a finished document.

Waiter Resume Template

Here’s a waiter resume template to help you follow along and better understand the article while also giving you an example of what you can find when you use our builder:

Writer Resume Template

Name and Surname

Phone number: 000-000-0000 | Email: namesurname@gmail.com | Location: City, State

[Adjective] [your job title] with [years of experience, if applicable] in [your area of expertise, if applicable] looking for a [position] job at [company name]. Eager to apply [relevant skills] gained through [work/volunteer/other experience] to help [company name] [mention what you can do for the company].

Work Experience

Most Recent/Current Job Title Company City, State [Start date] — [End date]

  • For recent jobs, use 5-6 bullet points to list your top achievements and responsibilities

  • Use action verbs to make your responsibilities and achievements stand out

  • Add numbers to quantify your achievements

Previous Job Title Company City, State [Start date] — [End date]

  • For recent jobs, use 5-6 bullet points to list your top achievements and responsibilities

  • Use action verbs to make your responsibilities and achievements stand out

  • Add numbers to quantify your achievements

Oldest Job Title Company City, State [Start date] — [End date]

  • For older jobs, use 2-3 bullet points to list your top achievements and responsibilities

  • Use action verbs to make your responsibilities and achievements stand out

  • Add numbers to quantify your achievements


[Degree] in [Major] [University/college name] [Start date] - [Graduation date]


Soft Skills

  • Skill #1

  • Skill #2

  • Skill #3

  • Skill #4

  • Skill #5

Hard Skills

  • Skill #1

  • Skill #2

  • Skill #3

  • Skill #4

  • Skill #5

Additional Sections

  • Add any relevant additional sections (languages, licenses, publications, hobbies, etc.)

How to Present Contact Information on Your Waiter Resume

The best way to present your contact information on your waiter resume is to put it in the header and factually list the necessary details.

These details include:

Contact Information Mandatory Details

  • Your name

  • Job title

  • Phone number

  • Email address

Contact Information Optional Details

You can include additional details, such as your location (but only city and state, due to privacy reasons), LinkedIn link, another relevant social media profile, etc.

Let’s see that in an example:

Header Example

Patricia Cosme Waiter + 212 245 9280 patricia.cosme@example.com New York, NY linkedin.com/in/patriciacosme

Here are some tips to help you perfect this section:

Tips to Write Header

  • Avoid including sensitive personal information like age, gender, religious or political affiliations, etc.

  • Don’t add a photo to your resume.

  • Use an adequate email address. If you have an unprofessional one, make a new address before including it in your resume.

How to Write a Waiter Resume Objective/Summary

You should write your objective or summary as a brief description of your waiter resume. These are introductory paragraphs that should emphasize your key strengths to hook the hiring manager into reading the rest of your resume.

An objective is best suited for entry-level waiters. It’s written to highlight skills, motivation, career goals, and maybe even achievements from previous jobs that are related to customer service.

Experienced waiters should write a summary to emphasize one or two of their most notable accomplishments, giving hiring managers a taste of what they are capable of.

Entry-Level Waiter Resume Objective

Let’s start with a well-written entry-level waiter resume objective, where a candidate used their previous job as a sales associate to write a compelling paragraph:

Entry-Level Waiter Resume Objective Example

Attentive customer service specialist looking for a waiter position at Wholesome Meals. As a sales associate at C Market, attained a 98% customer satisfaction rating and earned 3 pay raises in 15 months by demonstrating dependability and accountability. Looking to enhance my sales and interpersonal skills on the road to becoming a head waiter.

Compare that to the bad example that lacks any substantial information about the candidate’s skill level or career goals:

Bad Example

Looking for a waiter job. I have no experience but I am willing to learn on the job. Excellent team player.

Experienced Waiter Resume Summary

As an experienced professional, you want to include some of the exceptional results in your waiter resume summary to immediately show potential employers how they can benefit from your competence. Here’s a good example:

Experienced Waiter Resume Summary

Certified food handler with 5+ years of experience providing exceptional customer experiences in the service industry looking for a head waiter position at Dine Organic. Exceeded the organization’s sales targets by upselling drinks and appetizers in the previous establishment. Collaborated with up to 15 staff members to ensure timely service during peak hours.

If you don’t provide any concrete data about your achievements, you’ll end up with a vague and low-quality summary like this one:

Bad Example

Adept waiter with years of experience looking for a head position at your establishment. Exceptional leadership and management skills.

Waiter Resume Professional Experience

The professional experience section typically represents the core of waiter resumes, so let’s find out how to make it outstanding.

General Tips

The optimal way for most waiters to craft their work experience section is to list their past jobs in reverse-chronological order. This gives hiring managers a clear look into their career progression and shows them what they are capable of.

Here are the details to include for each previous job:

Professional Experience Mandatory Details

  • Job title

  • Company name

  • Dates of employment in an MM/YYYY format

  • List of achievements

Now that you have the basic structure, here are five expert tips on how you can polish this section to perfection:

Tips to Write Professional Experience

  1. You want to emphasize achievements and results over everyday tasks and assignments.

  2. Having between 3 and 5 bullet points with accomplishments per job is the sweet spot.

  3. Recent jobs usually carry more weight than earlier work, so you should include more bullet points with achievements for them.

  4. Use numbers, percentages, and statistics to quantify your results, give them measurable value, and increase their believability.

  5. Incorporate action verbs and power words into your writing to make your resume more memorable.

Waiter With No Experience

You can still write a compelling work history section when you’re crafting a waiter resume with no experience. The trick is to use comparable activities, such as volunteer experience, school projects, or previous jobs that require a similar skill set.

In this example, the candidate leveraged their work as a cashier to emphasize their competence in the service industry:

Waiter With No Experience Example

Work Experience

Cashier Zing Grocery Store Swanville, MN June 2021–February 2024

  • Enhanced customer experience through prompt service and friendly demeanor, achieving a 97% positive feedback rate based on the company’s survey.

  • Accurately processed more than 200 transactions per shift, ensuring smooth service and maintaining a 100% accuracy rate even during peak hours.

  • Increased the average store transaction value by 17% through upselling by giving personalized recommendations to customers.

Experienced Waiter

As an experienced waiter, you want to showcase a comprehensive array of competencies. This includes the ability to lead, manage, organize, upsell, and more.

Here’s a good example:

Experienced Waiter Example

Work Experience

Waiter Golden Plate New York, NY April 2020–Present

  • Focused on delivering outstanding customer experience, which resulted in a 23% increase in repeat patronage.

  • Led a team of 13 staff members, including organizing shifts, maintaining transparent communication, resolving conflicts, and ensuring maximum operating efficiency during peak hours.

  • Coordinated with the sommelier to increase wine sales by 35% by updating the restaurant’s wine list and creating tailored recommendations based on the meal and customer preferences.

Waiter Resume Education Section

The education section serves to enhance your credibility. Still, this is typically a brief section to leave more room for your professional experience.

Here are the details to include:

Education Section Mandatory Details

  • Your highest degree

  • The institution that issued it

  • Years of attendance

In practice, that looks like this:

Education Example


High School Diploma Norman Thomas High School, New York, NY 2015–2029

Of course, you can always put more emphasis on your education if you don’t have professional experience. In that case, you can add a bullet list, similar to the work history section. Use it to include notable and relevant achievements like extracurricular activities, projects, relevant coursework, etc.

Waiter Resume Skills

interview questions and answers

Adding waiter skills to your resume is all about including relevant abilities and then proving you have them.

First, you want to research the company you’re looking to join and carefully read the job ad to find out which qualifications they are looking for in candidates. This will allow you to create a tailored list of skills to put in a dedicated skills section in your resume.

Once you begin adding them to the document, you should keep soft and hard skills separate. Since hard skills are job-specific, technical, taught, and learned, they are quite different in nature from soft skills, which are transferable between professions and typically polished through experience.

In addition to putting your abilities into a separate section, you want to mention the most important ones in other parts of your waiter resume, notably your objective, summary, and work experience sections. By pairing your skills with accomplishments, you’ll make them more concrete in the eyes of hiring managers.

Waiter Hard Skills

Here are some of the most notable hard skills you can add to your waiter resume:

Waiter Hard Skills Example

  • Food safety

  • Food orders

  • Food handling

  • POS systems

  • OpenTable

  • Hootsuite

  • BevSpot

  • Bartending

  • Alcoholic beverage regulation

Waiter Soft Skills

Here are some in-demand soft skills for waiters:

Waiter Soft Skills Example

Waiter Resume Other Sections

critical thinking skills

Optional sections can further demonstrate your competence, qualifications, and motivation for the job. Let’s find out some of the most prominent ones that you can add to your waiter or waitress resume.


Listing awards on your resume highlights that your work has been recognized as exceptional. This is one of the best ways to distinguish yourself from other applicants. The awards can range from “Employee of the Month” accolades to those obtained at waiter competitions.

When adding them to your resume, you can include them after all the mandatory sections. You can list the awards in reverse-chronological order by including the name of the award, the issuing body, and the year.


Certifications—similarly to the education section—validate your skills. More than that, they display dedication to the craft and a willingness to go above and beyond what’s necessary to provide exceptional service and do outstanding work. For some roles, certifications can even be mandatory.

For instance, a certified professional in food safety can be in charge of quality control and risk prevention. On the other hand, waiters with a Certified Food Manager (CFM) certification can more easily apply for managerial and executive roles.


Language skills can be vital in the hospitality industry, where interaction with customers is a common occurrence. Proficiency in multiple languages allows waiters to communicate with a diverse clientele more effectively and provide a more personalized experience.

When adding language skills to your waiter resume, you want to pick an established scale, like the Interagency Language Roundtable, and list the languages starting with the one you’re most proficient in.

Hobbies & Interests

While the section about your hobbies and interests might not seem as important as your skills and work experience, it’s a great way to add a touch of personality to an otherwise professional document.

The main purpose of this section is to show who you are outside of work and make you more memorable to hiring managers. Moreover, this section can provide ideas for icebreakers during interviews.

Do I Need to Write a Cover Letter as a Waiter?

You need to write a cover letter if you want to maximize your chances of leaving a good impression on hiring managers. While this is typically not a mandatory document, it supplements your resume and gives you an additional means of conveying information about your competence.

matching cover letter and resume template

3 Expert Tips for Creating a Standout Waiter Resume

Let’s finish this comprehensive guide with a bang by providing you with a couple of expert tips to help you perfect your waiter resume:

Tips to Create a Standout Waiter Resume

  1. Incorporate keywords in your resume to help with the ATS and grab the attention of the hiring managers. Certain parts of the writing, like your skills and job title, can trigger the scanning software. Moreover, hiring managers are looking for skills that match their organization’s needs.

  2. Modify your resume every time you apply for a new position. Take the time to go through all the skills you listed and the accomplishments you demonstrated to ensure that they are as relevant to the specific role as possible.

  3. Carefully proofread your resume before submitting it. Even the smallest typing mistakes can detract from the overall good impression your document leaves on the reader. Moreover, a spotless resume highlights attention to detail, which is an important soft skill in the professional landscape.

Closing Thoughts

The job outlook for waiters and waitresses is in a projected decline of -3% between 2022 and 2032. Even then, that results in about 440,000 openings per year, and one of the best ways to secure one of those spots is with a well-written waiter resume.

As you factually talk about your skills and experience, don’t forget to add a dash of personality to your resume to make it stand out. That way, you’ll have the hiring manager’s attention and likely progress to the interview stage faster.

Take advantage of this guide and examine the waiter resume examples provided to gain inspiration when crafting your document. Also, don’t forget to use our resume builder if you need help. Best of luck!

Sheila Kravitz
Sheila Kravitz
Content Writer & Head Editor
By day, Sheila Kravitz writes stellar content and works as a head editor. At night, she spends her time winning at trivia nights or playing Dungeons & Dragons with her friends. Whether she’s writing or editing, she gives her maximum effort and ensures no error gets past her watchful eyes. When she’s doing none of the above, Sheila likes to spend time with her cats and her partner, endlessly watching crime documentaries on Netflix.

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