Jobs in the fast-food industry are often associated with teenagers, students, and those unable to get a better job, but this is a massive misconception! A fast-food job can be so much more, and many are now turning it into a lifelong career.
Fast-food chains are starting to invest more in their employees, to keep them on board longer, and now is a great time to start looking for your next job in fast food.
Step one is to update your resume, and we are going to use examples and a complete resume sample (see below) to show you how it’s done.
Resume objective for fast food jobs
Not all fast food jobs require a resume, and many chains have their own application process where you apply online. However, you still want to have a resume ready, just in case they ask for it during the interview.
According to Study.com, we are approaching a 10% employment growth for fast food workers, which is great news for anyone pursuing a new career, but it could also mean more competition and you need a competitive resume.
Entry-level fast-food jobs rarely require experience, and that is why your resume objective is a great opportunity to shine. Here you can show your personality, use clever and positive-sounding adjectives, and highlight traits to make the hiring manager notice you.
Resume objectives were generally included in the resumes we sampled, and it is one thing we would recommend including in yours.
Customer service skills are important when you work in the fast-food industry, and you want to come across as a pleasant person to work with.
You may want to focus more on hard skills and experience if you are applying for a higher position, but usually, you can’t go wrong with personality traits when applying for a fast-food job.
Task-oriented and hard-working individual with a passion for customer service and professional growth. Works well under pressure and thrives in fast-paced environments, and hopes to form an essential part of a team.
Resume skills for fast food jobs
Working in fast food is all about customer service, working fast and knowing how to handle pressure; you need to be quick on your feet, friendly and a natural problem solver.
When you walk into a fast-food restaurant, what makes the difference between a good experience and a bad experience? The food, sure, but the service is often what makes people come back.
Think about how you would expect a fast-food worker to act and be, and try to channel this in your resume skill section. What sets a good fast food service worker apart?
When a hiring manager sets out to hire a new employee, he or she is likely to look for someone who will treat customers well and help maintain the restaurant’s (hopefully) good reputation.
Other types of skills worth listing, which we came across while sampling various fast food resumes and job posts, are cashier experience and inventory expertise, along with any leadership experience you may have.
When looking at MyMajors.com, they also highlight skills like time management, good comprehension skills and a flair for math.
Hard-working | Critical thinker | English & Spanish | Dependable | Cashier experience | Independent | Excellent math skills | Customer-oriented | Creative
Fast food worker work experience
To get a job in the fast-food industry, you aren’t usually required to have any specific work experience. It will definitely help if you have worked in the business before, or if you have previous cashier experience, but any work experience you’ve obtained can be listed.
If you have worked in multiple locations, you might want to narrow it down and keep only fast food work experience, experience working in a store, or some type of leadership experience.
The type of work experience you should list on your fast food resume also depends on the position you are applying for. If you are aspiring to be a fast-food chef, for example, then you will likely need to be even more specific here.
We sampled dozens of work posts and resumes in our research for this article, and we found that the work experience usually listed on fast food resumes was very varied.
It varied by state (The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms the existence of fast-food work opportunities all over the country), type of employment, and depending on the age group of the applicants, so just be very honest in your work experience section and list what you deem relevant.
Sample Work Experience
McDonald’s, Oceanside, CA
Crew Team Member, 2017 – 2020
Performed cashier duties, refilled the soda fountain, welcomed guests, and kept the restaurant clean and in order. Assisted in the kitchen, kept track of inventory and worked as part of a team.
- Received praise for having a perfect attendance record with no missed shifts.
- Trained a total of 7 new McDonald’s employees.
- Performed CPR on a client who suffered a heart attack inside the restaurant and saved his life.
- Suggested a chance in clean up routines which was both cost effective and more efficient.
Chipotle, Washington, D.C.
Restaurant Team Member, 2015 – 2017
Worked on the front lines and served food to customers in a fast-paced work environment. Prepared fresh food every day and followed all sanitary guidelines.
- Was named employee of the month three times in a row.
- Helped two new employees learn basic Spanish to better attend customers and live up to the restaurant concept.
- Used excellent math skills to speed up the payment process and keep the line moving faster.
- Served thousands of customers per month and never received a single complaint.
Papa John’s, Lawrenceburg, TN
Team member, 2011 – 2015
Responsible for restocking fridges, keeping the reception area and counter clean, taking orders, suggesting menu items to customers, ordering merchandise and preparing shift reports.
- Discovered an error in the system which, when fixed, led to the company saving $1,000 a month.
- Received compliments for keeping the back room organized, clean and well-stocked.
- Multitasked and voluntarily stepped in to help with dishes when needed, to keep the kitchen working more efficiently.
- Was asked to handle customer complaints due to excellent customer service skills and likable personality.
Fast food worked education
As you may have guessed, you need no formal education other than a High School diploma to work in a fast-food restaurant, and many restaurants won’t even require that.
Why is this? Because personality is what matters, and the majority of restaurants are willing to train inexperienced staff.
We noticed two things when sampling job posts and fast food resumes. The first was that most workplaces do not seem to have educational requirements. Second – many fast food applicants do have academic degrees.
This led us to the conclusion that you should definitely list any degrees you have, because while it is not required, there is still a chance a hiring manager might pick someone with a degree over someone without.
List your High School diploma or GED here if you do not have a college or university education, and leave this section out of your resume if you did not yet obtain your High School degree (unless, of course, you are still in High School, as you can then list your education as ongoing).
Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Master’s Degree in Mathematics, 2016 – 2018
Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
Bachelor of Arts in English, 2011 – 2015
Doherty High School, Colorado Springs, CO
High School Diploma, 2007 – 2010
List courses only if you have taken a course (or multiple courses) related to the food industry, marketing, or entrepreneurship.
In our research, we did not see a course section in most of the resumes sampled, and hiring managers did not seem interested in such a section either in our job post research.
Hiring managers don’t tend to spend more than a few seconds on a resume before deciding if it’s worth reading, so you don’t want to take up their time with experiences and achievements they aren’t interested in.
Omit this section if you have not taken any relevant courses. Examples of a few of the courses that would be considered relevant can be seen below.
- Snack Bar-Cafe and Fast Food Management
- Masterclass in Fast Food Cooking
- Hospitality Management
In the fast-food industry, training is almost always provided on the job, often before you start your first workday. Certification is rarely needed for entry-level fast-food work, and even for management positions, it tends to be optional depending on your state.
If you are curious about licensing options for fast food and restaurant workers, you can have a look at the National Restaurant Association and their ServeSafe certification programs, but this is not something you need when applying for a fast-food position.
A smart move is to look up what is required for working in the food industry in your home state, but we saw very few certificates listed in the sample resumes we pulled in our research.
What you can add is a CPR & First Aid certificate, because while it probably won’t be required – it is always a nice thing to have and something that tends to impress hiring managers.
Someone could slip in the kitchen or a client could hurt themselves, and then it is nice to know an employee is prepared to help.
- First-Aid & CPR Certificate
Complete fast food worker resume sample
The best way we could think of to show you how to write a great fast food resume was to write a fast food resume sample based on a real job post!
It is important to always take the job post and the language used to write it into consideration when writing a resume, so let’s have a look at how you can use the job posting or ad to your advantage.
The first thing we can see above is that they are not asking for any professional experience, nor for a High School diploma or a college degree.
A higher position within the fast-food industry might, but this company just wants someone who is 16 years old or older.
The language used to write the job post gives away the type of person they are looking for! They want someone who is high-energy, friendly, passionate about their job and great with customers, and also someone who is organized and clean. Let’s use this information in a complete sample resume.
Restaurant Team Member
Customer-oriented and passionate individual seeking a new challenge and the opportunity to be a part of a team. Cashier experience, fluent in English, Spanish and French, knowledge of food preparation and a desire to grow with the business.
Driven | Multitasker | Cashier experience | Knowledge of food preparation | English, Spanish & French | Positive | Outgoing | Team player | Eager to learn | Enthusiastic
Five Guys, Washington, D.C.
Crew Member, 2018 – 2020
Worked the kitchen, the line and communicated with a small team in a fast-paced environment. Responsible for food preparation, cleaning and cashier duties, and keeping customers happy.
- Handled a large number of daily customers while still maintaining quality and excellent service.
- Received compliments from customers for efficiently resolving service related issues.
- Built dynamic relationships with customers which increased repeat business with 58.7%.
- Suggested and implemented a change to the restaurant decor, to facilitate wheelchair access.
- First-Aid & CPR
- Valid Driver’s License (MD)
Washington Metropolitan High School, Washington, D.C.
High School Diploma, 2015 – 2018
The fast-food industry is almost always hiring, and hiring managers tend to focus more on personality and enthusiasm than on past experience or educational achievements.
It is a business that is expected to grow, and there is no better time to get your resume ready and polished than now.
Many see fast-food work as something temporary, but it is a business with plenty of opportunities for those who would like to turn it into a career.
- The most important parts of a fast-food resume are the resume objective and the skill section, as this is where you get a chance to showcase your personality, your passion, and your enthusiasm.
- Speaking more than one language tends to be desired for fast food positions, as these restaurants receive large numbers of visitors from other countries and other cultures. Speaking multiple languages enables you to provide better service.
- Academic degrees and past work experience are not as important as in many other careers, and most workplaces appear to be willing to train new and inexperienced employees.
Tips from Experts
“The fast-food industry is expected to grow by 11% by 2028, and workers aren’t just High School students either. They are baby boomers and people in their second and third careers!” – Scripps National News
“Let’s give the hiring manager a positive, work-forced answer that shows you are an employable person.” – Richard McMunn, Author at PassMyInterview.com
“In fast food, resumes are not that important. Yes, they are necessary because the hiring manager keeps that resume in order to contact you, but the hiring manager isn’t going to simply look at your resume and hire you on the spot without even meeting you.” – Christian Aguilar, Development Blogger
A job in the fast-food industry should not be underestimated, and it doesn’t have to be something temporary unless you want it to be.
Many fast-food workers climb up the ladder to team leader positions and more, and there are many career opportunities within the fast-food industry.
With this in mind, we recommend putting together an impressive resume, even if it might not be necessary to get an entry-level job. Getting a job in the fast-food industry isn’t hard, but if you are considering a career in fast food, then a strong and well-written resume is something we would recommend.