Growth Trends for Related Jobs

How to Make Serving Skills Look Good on a Resume

careertrend article image

When you’re looking for a new job, you need to write a resume outlining your work experience. Your resume should highlight the skills you developed in past employment. The skills should relate to the position you are seeking with employers to whom you are submitting your resume. Skills developed while working in the service industry should be highlighted when you’re outlining your qualifications.

Waiter or Waitress Jobs

Highlight customer service and diplomacy skills. The restaurant owner relies on the waitstaff to manage relationships with the clientele. When something goes wrong, the managers hope the waitstaff has the tact and diplomacy to assuage the customer without having to involve management. A good waiter or waitress can find clever ways of appeasing even the most contentious restaurant guest.

Document your ability to manage time effectively. Waitstaff typically handle between three to seven tables at once. Each table may be at various stages of its meal. This means the waiter must keep track of the dining activities of several people simultaneously. Not only that, but the waitstaff also is typically charged with what are called side duties, essentially assigned chores such as making sure there’s adequate glassware available to all waitstaff, or that there’s always fresh coffee, or that the ice cube bins or silverware trays are always well stocked. To be effective in this job, a waiter must have incredible time management skills. Use your resume to highlight your time management skills as well as your ability to work in a fast-paced environment. It’s important.

Outline your money management skills by describing how you handled cash as a waiter. Many times, a waiter must arrive at work with his own bank of cash for making change. Over a busy Friday night, he may be involved in up to or at least 50 transactions, either cash or credit based, of different amounts. Being responsible with money is an attribute worth mentioning on a resume.

Waitstaff must be able to work cross-functionally with all restaurant employees, including managers, kitchen staff, bartenders, dishwashers and busing staff. Typically, before a shift, the staff will gather to discuss the specials being served, menu items that are unavailable or other issues that may affect the staff during the shift. Represent yourself on your resume as someone who works well with others and is an active participant in regular company meetings.

Sales goals are often set for waitstaff. The success of a restaurant is based on the sale of food and beverages. Often management will train their waitstaff to “upsell,” which means that if a customer orders an item, the waiter will make a suggestion that may enhance the diner’s experience but also will cost more money. The waiter with the highest sales on a shift is often rewarded. Document sales goals on your resume. Document training related to your sales successes, but more importantly, highlight your goal setting and achievements. All employers like to see that you are goal oriented.

Housekeeping Jobs

Highlight your skill at paying attention to detail. A good housekeeper notices the little things the rest of the world overlooks, like spiderwebs in the corner of the ceiling or the fingerprints inside cabinets. Not all people have this skill, and believe it or not, it transfers across all jobs. If you’re detailed in housekeeping, you’re likely detailed in most everything you do.

Make note of your ability to multitask and prioritize. In all jobs prioritizing is critical. Knowing what tasks are most important is crucial in housekeeping.

Document your good communication skills. Most housekeepers have to be able to assess their clients' needs through effective communication. When there are problems, good communication skills go a long way. This is a skill that should appear on your resume.


Dana Mial McMahon's writing career began in 1999 while working for a major pharmaceutical company in Cambridge, Mass., where she wrote technical guides and cross-functional instructional guides. She is publishing a children's book series called "Lemonade, Marmalade and Jam." She has also written for Lovey Girl Designs. McMahon holds a Bachelor of Science in natural science from Worcester State College.

Photo Credits