Are you applying for a job as a waiter or waitress? For some positions, you will apply by completing an online application, or you may be required to apply in-person. For others, you may be required to submit a resume and cover letter for consideration, including your waiter or waitressing skills.
When you write a cover letter for a waiter job, it's important to highlight the skills you have that match the job requirements listed in the job posting.
Your resume should include your most relevant work experience, typically in reverse chronological order.
What to Include in Your Resume
Highlight your customer service skills. Restaurant managers are eager to hire front-of-house staff who understand the importance of providing exemplary customer service to guests. Emphasize your dedication to creating positive guest experiences, your proactiveness in identifying diners’ needs, and your tact in responding to difficult customers.
Remember the importance of soft skills. Not only must wait staff have exemplary customer service skills: they must also demonstrate soft skills such as dependability, timeliness, flexibility in being available for different shifts, and a solid work ethic. Review this list of skills required for waitstaff jobs before you get started, then take the time to match your qualifications to the job. This way, your application materials will show the employer that you're a qualified candidate for the position.
Include all relevant experience. Provide descriptions of your previous restaurant jobs, accompanied by bulleted statements about your achievements and significant contributions in each role. Also mention any restaurant point-of-sale (POS) systems or other computer technologies you are familiar with.
Detail your education and certifications. In the “Education” section of your resume, list any college degrees you hold or are currently pursuing. You should also mention any SafeServ, MAST, or other industry-specific certifications you have earned.
Tips for Writing an Effective Resume for a Waiter / Waitress
Tailor each resume to the job. Both your resume and your cover letter should be revised to speak to the specific requirements of different employers. Read the job posting carefully, and then make sure your resume emphasizes the qualifications most valued by the employer.
A good way to do this is to include keywords in your resume from the job listing. Highlight the important words in the job listing (including qualifications, skills, etc.) and include them in your resume to demonstrate that you are a desirable candidate for the position.
Use examples. Review these resume and cover letter templates to learn what information you should include, how to present your most relevant experiences, and how make your application stand out from the competition. You can then use them as a basis for your own documents, personalizing them to reflect your own training and experience.
Consider the format. There is no single “perfect” format for a resume. Although most employers expect to receive resumes where one’s experience is presented in reverse-chronological order, you may find that a different format would work better for you, depending on the position you are applying for, your work history, or your level of experience.
Edit, edit, edit. Your resume and cover letter need to be letter-perfect. Take the time to thoroughly edit your resume, correcting any spelling or grammar errors (or have a competent friend do this for you if you feel unsure about your grammatical skills). The formatting also needs to be consistent, with the same style of bullet points used throughout and the same size font for all of your section headings.
Waiter Resume Example
This is an example of a resume for a waiter position. Download the resume template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Waiter Resume Example (Text Version)
789 Billings Blvd
Paw Paw, MI 49079
Serving diners with enthusiasm and efficiency
Can handle a high volume of customers in fast-paced environments, ranging from casual to fine dining.
Key skills include:
- Friendly, outgoing, and personable
- TouchBistro, Toast, and Upserve experience
- Quick learner
PROFESSIONAL & VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE
BETH’S BISTRO, Paw Paw, Mich.
WAITER (July 2017—Present)
Provide service for patrons at a fine-dining establishment.
- Consistently record highest sales-per-shift average among staff.
- Regularly asked to train new employees.
AUSTIN’S STEAKHOUSE, Mattawan, Mich.
WAITER (August 2016—June 2017)
Took orders, served meals, set and cleared tables, and dealt with the exchange of money at a fast-paced restaurant.
TOLL’S PANCAKE GRIDDLE, Paw Paw, Mich.
HOST (June 2015—July 2016)
Scheduled reservations and helped manage seating in a popular and busy restaurant.
PAW PAW NORTH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, Mattawan, Mich.
VOLUNTEER TUTOR (September 2016—Present)
Tutor and mentor second- and third-graders in reading.
EDUCATION & CREDENTIALS
KALAMAZOO VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE, Texas Twp., Mich.
Associate of Arts degree, expected 2020
PAW PAW CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL, Paw Paw, Mich.
Waiter Email Cover Letter Example
This is an example of an email cover letter for a waitress position. Download the waitress cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Waiter Email Cover Letter Example (Text Version)
Subject: Waiter Job Opening - Damien Finkle
Dear Hiring Manager,
Please accept my enthusiastic application for the waiter position you recently advertised on Monster.com. You state that Michael’s Restaurant requires a waiter with experience in the food industry, strong customer service skills, and the ability to work under pressure. I believe I fulfill all of these requirements and am therefore an excellent candidate for the position.
I have an extensive background in the food industry. I worked for two years at a fast-food restaurant. During this time I gained experience in nearly every aspect of food service. I took orders and served customers their meals, handled the cash register, and performed daily inventory checks. As a waiter for Michael’s Restaurant, I could assist not only in taking orders and serving customers but also in a variety of other capacities in which you might need assistance.
I have also worked in customer service for years. As a cashier at a grocery store for two years, I assisted as many as one hundred customers daily; I not only helped people bag groceries and make payments, but I also offered assistance in finding obscure products and effectively using our coupons. At Riley’s Fast Food Joint, I also interacted with dozens of customers each day; I always made sure to provide clear and thorough answers to questions about our meal options and the cost of items. I know I could bring this friendly, helpful customer service to a position as a waiter at Michael’s Restaurant.
Finally, I work my best under pressure and believe I would thrive in your restaurant’s fast-paced environment. Working at the grocery store and fast food restaurant, I grew accustomed to serving dozens if not hundreds of people daily. Despite the crowds and long lines, I always maintained my quality customer service. As the captain of my high school swim team, I also learned to handle extreme pressure. For example, when a teammate was injured during a swim meet, I coolly helped reorganize the team and put a new swimmer in his place. I was always the one my teammates turned to in stressful situations, and I know I would be equally cool, calm and collected as a waiter. My experience in the food industry and in customer service, and my ability to thrive under pressure make me an excellent candidate for your waiter position.
I have enclosed my resume and will call within the next week to see if we might arrange a time to speak together. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
123 Elm Street
Albany, NY 12224
How to Get Your Resume Noticed
HIGHLIGHT YOUR CREDENTIALS: Emphasize your customer service and waitstaff experience, restaurant industry certifications, and your knowledge of restaurant computer technologies.
SHOWCASE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Quantifying your achievements in previous jobs with numbers or percentages will help make your resume stand out from those of the other job applicants.
TAILOR YOUR RESUME TO THE JOB: Customize your resume for each job to which you are applying so that it focuses on presenting the specific qualifications the employer is seeking.