Pursuing part time work can sometimes be more challenging than finding full time work, since not all employers are willing or able to accommodate specific scheduling requirements. If you're looking for part time work, especially in the restaurant business, make sure your skills, talents and trustworthiness outshine any potential hesitancy employers may feel regarding your scheduling needs. Keep these tips in mind during the application process.
Land a Part Time Restaurant Position
Follow these seven steps to land a job in a restaurant:
- If possible, don't start by immediately requesting work exclusively on Saturday nights. In the restaurant business, experienced employees and managers know that this is a coveted time slot for servers, bartenders and others who earn their salaries primarily through tips. Saturday nights are often scheduled according to seniority, politics and other delicate factors that will probably be internal and not apparent to you. So even if Saturday is the only night you have available, recognize the significance of what you're asking for, and make your request with respect and discretion.
- If you need Saturday nights, try to offer a low traffic shift as well, one that may not be as popular and may be difficult for your employer to staff, like Monday morning.
- Be very clear with your employer about 1) when you can work, and 2) when you'd like to work. Don't make confusing or uncertain requests. The clearer and firmer you are about your schedule from the start, the easier it will be to accommodate you.
- Be very clear about your level of experience, not just with food service in general, but with this specific type of restaurant and this specific type of customer base. If this is an Italian family style bistro, for example, or a local sports bar, or an upscale steakhouse, make sure your employer understands your familiarity with this cuisine and this kind of clientele.
- If you don't have any experience at all, or limited experience with this kind of venue, you'll need to market your people skills and your ability to help your employer make a great impression with customers. Be ready to discuss how your work history in other fields carries over into this one.
- Presentation is key. When you approach your employer in person, make sure you stand up straight, smile, make direct eye contact, and speak clearly. Look sharp—make sure your clothes present you well. Your potential employer will be looking you over through the eyes of her customers. She'll need to like what she sees.
- Be persistent. If an employer takes your resume, skims it, and hurries off saying she'll get back to you, don't just go home and wait by the phone. Call to check in the following day. If you receive no response, call again or visit the restaurant in person two days later to follow up.
Looking For a Job? Start with a Strong Resume
While your personal presentation will convey a sense of your trustworthiness, it's not always possible to meet restaurant managers face-to-face when you apply for a job. More often, you'll be asked to simply drop off a resume and application form at the front desk. So make sure your resume makes a powerful case on your behalf. Use LiveCareer's resume building tool to format each section of your document correctly. And after you've completed a first draft, get the editing guidance you need to stand out from the crowd and gain an edge in this competitive business.