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Written by Anna MuckermanAnna Muckerman

Server resume example & writing guide

Servers are an important part of any restaurant, cafe or hospitality business, as they serve food & drinks to customers, help the kitchen staff and more. To land a Server job, you need a friendly, well-organized resume that showcases your skills and personality. Our Server resume example & guide are designed to help you with this!
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Server resume example & writing guide
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Servers are an essential part of a customer’s dining experience. From the initial greeting to bringing out dessert, servers wear a lot of hats to make sure customers leave feeling satisfied. 

For those feeling less than satisfied in their current job, an outstanding server resume could find them at finer tables much faster than imagined.

Resume guide for a server resume

Resume.io is here to help, with resources that include more than 500 occupation-specific writing guides and corresponding resume samples. Using our resume builder makes the whole process simple. 

This resume writing guide, along with the server resume example, is designed especially to showcase your experience and best qualities to a busy restaurant owner or manager. 

It will teach you how to show off your skills and make your most relevant experience stand out to a busy manager or restaurant owner. Our insights and advice will cover these topics:

  • How to write a server resume
  • Choosing the right resume format for a server
  • How to add your contact information
  • Using summaries
  • Adding your server experience
  • Listing education and relevant experience
  • Picking the right resume design/layout
  • What the server market looks like, and what salary you can expect

How to write a server resume

Regardless of industry or occupation, the same basic framework is recommended for all job applicant resumes. We’ll be going through each of these components, one at a time, in this server resume writing guide and the corresponding resume examples:

Server - How to write a server resume
Server - How to write a server resume?

Cocktail server

Use This Resume

Waiter

Use This Resume

To create an excellent server resume, you might need some pointers. Here are some of the tips you can use when you first get started:

  • Try to focus on your accomplishments rather than duties. Don't make the mistake of only highlighting what you had to do. Talk about how you made a difference to each customer's experience when you served them.
  • Tailor your resume to meet the demands of the business. What does this company need? What do they expect? How can you meet their needs?
  • Make sure that you use professional and formal language. Avoid casual terms or even slang words.
Expert tip

Optimize your resume for the ATS

The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) uses algorithms and keywords to review incoming resumes. If you want to make sure that the hiring manager sees your resume, you need to optimize it to get past the software first. 

You can do that by making sure you include the right keywords in your resume. Go back to the job advert and see what you can find there. Highlight any words that stand out to you. Weaving these into your server resume will increase your chance of success.

Choosing the right resume format for a server

The chronological resume format is likely the best option for structuring your server resume, as the server resume example referred to in this guide will illustrate. As the most commonly used format for job seekers, it provides an overview of work experience attained in a series of employee positions, 

But if you are new to the workforce, making a dramatic career shift, or your most relevant experience has not been in employee positions, then take a look at alternative resume formats. A functional resume structure is sometimes suitable for emphasizing specialized skills or training, or for those who have been self-employed. 

Explore our resume templates in the resume builder, and choose the best layout for your needs. Make sure that you use a  clean, clear, modern layout so that your resume can be scanned quickly and easily.

Include your contact information

For the kind of favorable first impression you want to last when hiring managers see your resume, don't overlook the importance of an eye-pleasing header design. 

Besides creating a personal brand that visually distinguishes  your job application from the rest, the header serves a vitally important practical purpose. It clearly identifies who your resume belongs to and how you can be reached for an interview.  

Here's what you should include in your resume header: 

  • Name & title. Start off by including your first and last name. You should also include the title of the position for which you are applying.
  • Professional email address. Ensure that you include an email address that is suitable for a professional situation. One with your name in it will work the best.
  • Phone number. Include your phone number and, if needed, when you can be contacted on it.
  • Location. You don't have to include your entire address. However, you should put your city and state in your resume header.
  • LinkedIn. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date before you include it. You can hyperlink the word in your header.

Don't include: 

  • Date of birth. You don't need to state your date of birth as it may lead to age discrimination.
  • Personal details. Your prospective employer doesn't need to know your marital status, for example.
Do

Mary Simmons, Server

Denver, Colorado

01273 192 2832

[email protected]

Don't

Mary Simmons

12 New Street, Denver, Colorado, 80019

01273 192 2832

[email protected]

Make use of a summary

For a restaurant hiring manager, your resume summary is the written version of what the customer sees: a smiling face ready to make them feel at home. It’s also the place to prove your expertise to a manager who needs a disciplined, motivated, and patient server — pronto! 

The summary (sometimes called a profile or personal statement) should highlight your strongest characteristics while also giving the facts. 

Some sample questions your summary statements might answer: How many years of experience do you have? Were you a top earner at your last restaurant? What skills did you master? Maybe it’s bartending; maybe it’s upselling the menu. Whatever your greatest strength as a server is, now’s the time to mention it in your resume summary. 

If you have formal training or certifications, give the manager a taste for that, too. They can read the details in the following sections of your resume.

Here’s where creating writing comes to play in resume writing. Use descriptors that are clear, precise and energetic. 

For example, instead of “friendly,” try attentive, welcoming,Seasoned server with 10+ years of experience working in delivering first-class service to dining patrons in busy restaurants at banquets. or approachable. Instead of saying you were motivated, explain how you quickly and effectively managed a dining room of 115 seats. Check out our list of action verbs that you may want to include.

Looking for some inspiration? Here are some resume examples to consider:

You can find adaptable server resume examples summary below:

Entry-level adaptable resume summary/profile example

Eager and hard-working professional looking for a casual, shift-job as a server. Adept at multi-tasking and handling a fast-paced environment. Friendly and approachable manner with an eagerness to learn and offer high-level customer service. 

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Mid-level adaptable resume summary/profile example

Professional and enthusiastic food server with over three years of experience in the hospitality sector. Upbeat energy, confidence and poise have earned praise from employers and customers alike, along with my ability to multi-task and work well under pressure. 

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Senior-level adaptable resume summary/profile example

Seasoned server with 10+ years of experience working in delivering first-class service to dining patrons in busy restaurants at banquets. Extremely customer-focused and dedicated to maintaining restaurant and food industry standards, while enhancing the positive reputation of dining establishments.

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Outline your server work experience

The employment history section of your resume shows managers you know how to take charge and keep customers happy. List your work experience in reverse chronological order, working backward from your current or latest position. Describe your duties in terms of tangible accomplishments, giving facts and figures wherever possible. 

These are some sample sources of numbers to substantiate the employment history section of your server resume:

  • How big was the team that you worked with? Did you have any leadership roles like training others?
  • How many seats were in the restaurant? How many customers did you routinely serve during a shift?
  • How many dishes were on the menu? Were you able to memorize their names and components?

Server jobs go beyond just making sure the food gets from the kitchen to the table. Drink and food servers are often asked to prepare cold dishes, salads, desserts, and drinks.

They’re responsible for setting up the dining before the food service and making sure utensils and glasses are washed and properly stored when the night is over. 

During the shift, they put orders into the point of sale (POS) system and make sure the customers are able to pay and leave in a timely manner. 

All of these tasks on a resume show that the server is a well-rounded custodian of the dining experience, not merely a food runner.

Here is a server employment history resume sample.

Adaptable employment history example

Server at Roister, Chicago 
February 2019 - Present 

  • Recorded food and drink orders and served customer requests to the standards required.
  • Maintained full product knowledge of menu and specials.
  • Made suggestions to customers based on preferences.
  • Worked as a team member with other restaurant professionals to ensure satisifed customers.
  • Handled food with sanitation and safety in mind.

 

Server at Little Goat, Chicago 
June 2018 - February 2019 

  • Efficient and effective customer service contributed to improved rates of return business.
  • Passed food orders through to kitchen staff clearly and quickly.
  • Cleaned and reset tables promptly and efficiently for incoming customers, with a noticeable impact on reduced wait times.
  • Helped managers train new serving staff.

 

Barista And Cashier at Pour Cleveland, Cleveland 
July 2014 - June 2018 

  • Prepared specialty coffee and tea beverages in a fast-paced environment.
  • Provided excellent customer service.
  • Played integral team role to efficiently complete orders and maintain the cafe's pristine conditions and orderly workflow
Copied!

How to write a server resume with no experience

Working as a server is a popular part-time gig for students and young people. If you’re just starting out as a server, don’t fret. Local restaurant owners know they can teach you the skills needed to become successful; you just have to be willing to learn. 

You have personality and determination on your side, but if you have any additional experience that might be relevant, make sure to mention these examples.

Sample related activities:

Examples of skills that can be transferable to a server role:

  • service’ needs while working in a retail store
  • Ability to work long hours on your feet after spending a summer in lawn care
  • Attention to detail and the individual needs of each customer after working as a camp counselor.
Expert tip

Look for the most important qualities in your existing experience and mold them to fit the fast-paced demands of the life of a server.

Include the relevant key skills that make you a great server

Soft skills

Regardless of your experience level, showing off your communication and soft skills — commonly known as people skills —  on your resume is essential to landing your next server job.

Examples include: dependable, honest, hard-working, attentive, efficient. Show employers that you have the innate characteristics of a server that would be hard for them to create in someone who is unfriendly and sluggish. 

It’s especially advantageous to focus more on this section if you are just starting out as a server and don’t have as many of the abilities that come from on-the-job training and experience. And don’t forget to mention on your resume that not only do you take feedback well, you actively seek it out as part of the learning process.

Hard skills

The more server experience you have, the more prominence should be given to your hard skills. 

If you’ve been a server for a while now, a manager assumes you know how to treat guests with respect. Now, use your resume to show them that you’ve picked up more precise industry knowledge.

Skills section example
  • Excellent Customer Service Skills
  • Food Safety Practices
  • Communication Skills
  • Friendly and Outgoing Attitude
  • Multitasking Skills
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Languages

Including language proficiency on your resume can be very valuable in a restaurant setting where customers may come from all over the world. List each of your languages and your fluency level. A manager may be very thankful to find someone who can bridge the gap.

Adaptable Language section example

French: Conversational

Russian: Beginner

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Detail your education & relevant server certifications

Whether you have formal education or are just starting out, this server resume section is about showing you’re willing to learn and improve. Servers often don’t need formal education in the area of hospitality since many responsibilities can be learned on the job. However, if you are knowledgeable in the areas of tourism, hospitality management, or food service this can be a major bonus, especially when looking for higher-level server jobs. 

Even if you don’t have a degree in a related field, it doesn’t hurt to show that you’ve studied on your resume. If you’re just starting out, you can include your high school diploma. And for college students and high school students, be sure to include your diploma in progress in the education section of your server resume.

This is also the time to mention any additional certificates on your resume. Examples include bartending, restaurant service, food safety, or other related areas.

Below is the education section from a server resume example.

Adaptable education example

Associate of Photography, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago 
August 2018 - Present 

  • Merit Scholarship Recipient, graduation 2020


Honors Diploma, John F. Kennedy High School, Cleveland 
August 2014 - May 2018

Copied!

Pick the right resume layout and design for a server resume

For a server resume, clean and simple resume layout is a must. Whether you’re a new server or an experienced one, an attractive resume document sends the message that you are a professional. It’s not necessary to include color, pictures or other creative elements on your server resume, since a manager is looking for someone who can do the job efficiently and with a smile. 

If you have some graphic design experience, you can probably handle creating a resume format yourself. If not, using a professionally designed resume template can make the process much easier. 

From the Resume.io collection of field-tested resume templates, you can easily download one that suits you best and customize it to your preferences and style. Our resume builder tool allows you to plug in your own text to fit your experience and needs.

When selecting a template, it's important to evaluate the branding of the restaurant you're applying to. For example, a quirky cafe might appreciate a creative template, while a fine-dining Japanese restaurant may favor a design from the professional category. In most cases, a simple template would be perfect for server resumes. And if you change your mind, it's easy to switch templates at any stage. 

Expert tip

Choose the right format for your resume! 

Since you’ll most likely be handing the resume to restaurant owners in person — or emailing to the manager prior to an interview — be sure to download the final version of your server resume as a PDF. 

This will not only allow for optimal printing of a hard copy, but also ensures the formatting of your electronic document is retained so it looks exactly the same on another computer. The resume builder tool makes it easy to save, download and send pdf files in just a few clicks.

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Server job market and outlook

According to the National Restaurant Association (U.S.), 1 in 3 Americans have their first job experience in restaurants. Nearly 6 in 10 adults have worked in restaurants at some point. It’s a great way to start your professional journey.

Statistical insight
  • About 63,300 new jobs for car sales representatives are projected over the next decade.
  • Car sales representative salaries have increased 9% for car sales representatives in the last 5 years.
  • There are 189,827 active car sales representative job openings in the US.

Landing a top job

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for waiters and waitresses is projected to grow by 20% from 2020 to 2030 — much faster than the average for all occupations — which translates to about  407,600 new server jobs. That means work is there — if you know how to sell yourself on your resume.  

But statistics also show that while work in run-of-the-mill restaurants is plentiful, the competition for server positions at the sort of tuxedo-clad dining rooms that bring in top-notch tips is much tougher. For these types of jobs, you need to prove that you know the ins and outs of formal food service and have an exceptional level of professionalism. If you’re after that type of job, it’s worth putting more effort into your server resume now: servers report that high-end restaurant work can pay more than six figures in tips annually.

Server resume, text only

Server resume, text only

Profile

Professional and enthusiastic food server with over three years of experience delivering first-class service to dining patrons in busy restaurants at banquets. Upbeat energy, confidence and poise have earned praise from employers and customers alike, along with my ability to multitask and work well under pressure. Extremely customer-focused and dedicated to maintaining restaurant and food industry standards, while enhancing the positive reputation of dining establishments.


Employment history

Server at Roister, Chicago 
February 2019 - Present 

  • Recorded food and drink orders and served customer requests to the standards required.
  • Maintained full product knowledge of menu and specials.
  • Made suggestions to customers based on preferences.
  • Worked as a team member with other restaurant professionals to ensure satisifed customers.
  • Handled food with sanitation and safety in mind.

 

Server at Little Goat, Chicago 
June 2018 - February 2019 

  • Efficient and effective customer service contributed to improved rates of return business.
  • Passed food orders through to kitchen staff clearly and quickly.
  • Cleaned and reset tables promptly and efficiently for incoming customers, with a noticeable impact on reduced wait times.
  • Helped managers train new serving staff.

 

Barista And Cashier at Pour Cleveland, Cleveland 
July 2014 - June 2018 

  • Prepared specialty coffee and tea beverages in a fast-paced environment.
  • Provided excellent customer service.
  • Played integral team role to efficiently complete orders and maintain the cafe's pristine conditions and orderly workflow


Skills

  • Excellent Customer Service Skills
  • Food Safety Practices
  • Communication Skills
  • Friendly and Outgoing Attitude
  • Multitasking Skills


Education

Associate of Photography, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago 
August 2018 - Present 

  • Merit Scholarship Recipient, graduation 2020


Honors Diploma, John F. Kennedy High School, Cleveland 
August 2014 - May 2018

Copied!

Key takeaways for a server resume

Server positions remain one of the best entry-level jobs, in terms of earning ability and abundance of available positions. The high server turnover rate will continue to be a challenge to employers in the industry, which means work will be plentiful as the market grows over the next decade. Higher-paying server jobs exist, but access tends to be very competitive, so it’s essential that your server resume highlights your professional experiences in an authoritative way.

Success in a serving job has a lot to do with personality. But do make sure managers have a good sense of your more concrete abilities, especially in the resume summary section at the top. If you don’t have previous serving experience, try to draw parallels in your resume between other types of work and the qualities needed for serving.

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