As the recession fades and business owners become more optimistic, new establishments open, existing ones expand, and hiring starts to increase.
But this doesn’t necessarily mean that the road ahead will be easy. These jobs will still be very competitive, especially in urban areas and high end restaurants. So if you’re looking for a restaurant position , give yourself every advantage by avoiding these common resume mistakes.
1. Watch out for clerical errors.
Typos aren’t just embarrassing; they also provide an easy way for employers to narrow a stack of 50 resumes down to five. A surprisingly high number of restaurant applicants have trouble writing the word “restaurant” without the benefit of a spellcheck. And an equally high number are likely to include text speak (like the letter “u” instead of “you”) in their cover letters, emails, and other communications with employers. Don’t be one of these and you’ll already be taking a step ahead.
2. Don’t overemphasize traits that employers would rather take for granted.
Yes, you intend to show up for work on time. And if you’re going to be late for unavoidable reasons, you’ll call first. And chances are, you won’t accidentally drop food on the floor and then slide it back onto a customer’s plate. That’s great.
But focusing your resume on boasts about punctuality, reliability, and basic food hygiene will only get you so far. Use the available space on the page to talk about qualities that set you apart, for example…
3. Showcase your skill and experience with sales and customer service.
Employers don’t just want a server with a big smile or a bartender who’s patient with rambling regulars. They want to make money, not just avoid driving customers away.
When you take an order at a table, are you willing to upsell and pitch the chef’s specials? When you stand behind the bar, are you willing to represent the company’s interests with your words, actions, and recommendations? Mention this in your resume; don’t wait to be asked about it during your interview.
4. Don’t neglect your connections.
If you’re reluctant to lean on your network connections in your search for restaurant work because you think they aren’t relevant (or don’t exist at all), think again. If you have any social contacts in common with your employer, by all means mention them. Restaurants are a social business, and referring to a mutual friend, a competitor’s business that you once worked for, a shared alma mater, or a shared hometown might take you further than you realize. In any case, it really won’t hurt to try.
5. Take another look before you drop off, send in, or submit.
No matter how your potential employers choose to accept resumes, don’t just rush to the finish line. Show your resume to a friend or family member before you hand it over. Make sure the message you’re sending sounds as positive and respectful to a reader as it does to you.
Get Help from the Pros
Meanwhile, visit LiveCareer and explore the site for resume building tools and application tips that are specific to your chosen industry. Some resume rules that work for food service don’t work for other fields, and vice versa. Make sure the moves you choose will help you get ahead, not set you back.