Many young people take restaurant jobs during their high school and college years, waiting or bussing tables or working in a kitchen. When seeking to further a career in the service industry, you should understand how to highlight relevant experience on your resume. When you’re ready to move on to another industry, it is important to know what to include on your resume from restaurant work, showing increasing levels of responsibility and your exposure to leadership roles and teamwork.
Highlight the marketable skills and talents that restaurant work has equipped you with. You didn’t just bring food to guests -- you became an expert in customer service, had to speak articulately on specials and the menu and had to juggle many competing responsibilities in a high-pressure situation, all while having to be a good team player.
Quantify your accomplishments, replacing fluff with hard numbers. Instead of indicating that you handled dinner service, note how big your dining room was and how many tables you had each shift. If you helped with back-of-the-house tasks, talk about the inventory management you oversaw and the number of interviews you conducted or new hires you brought on board.
List money-handling responsibilities. If your restaurant trusted you with cash management and bank deposits, it shows that you demonstrated a good level of responsibility and trustworthiness. These are qualities that potential employers will appreciate, whether you will handle money in a new position or not.
Note team leadership positions. Your resume should highlight if you were a peer leader on issues of labor management, customer service, cooking or any other areas. If you were in an actual management position, all duties and responsibilities that showcase your leadership skills should be included.
Detail any legal or procedural requirements with which you had to be in compliance. If you oversaw compliance with items like health codes and labor laws, it demonstrates that you are able to understand complex legal documents.
Mason Kaho has been writing for over 15 years, since he was an editor for his school newspaper and worked in his university's office of communications. He has a master's degree in public policy and has published many online items for science-based organizations.