If food is the theme of your career and you want to spice things up a bit, you might want to change jobs and get a position that offers more pay. To do this, you’re going to need to beef up your resume and show recruiters that you have top quality ingredients for the position.
This article has lots of tips and there’s a full resume sample to inspire you.
Resume objective for food service
Food service involves the preparation and serving of food. Generally considered an entry-level job, it doesn’t normally require more than a high school or equivalent diploma. Additionally, most food service jobs involve on-the-job training.
The aim of a food service resume is to make you stand out from all the other people applying for the same job as you. While it’s short – usually no more than two or three pages – it needs to be strongly worded with just enough information for you to get noticed and invited to the all-important interview.
When a resume objective is included in a food service resume, it should be at the top of the document, below your name and contact details.
According to Monster, even though resume objectives may seem to be out-dated, they can be a good tool to help you stand out in the crowd.
When writing the objective, they advise using words that will help to endorse you as a suitable candidate.
For instance, you could say you have exceptional customer service skills that will enhance customers’ dining experiences. It is also good to state that you are responsible and reliable and that you have customers’ interests at heart.
Reliable, honest food service worker with strong organizational and customer service skills. Works well in a fast-paced environment. Brings three years of experience to the table but ready to learn new skills.
Resume skills for food service
The skills required in the food service industry will vary at least a little in relation to the specific duties in the job description.
We searched through recruitment company ads and found there are hundreds of jobs for Food Service Workers I/II.
There are also plenty of jobs for food service technicians and food service managers who must be able to multitask.
Sometimes ads are more specific and refer to hosts and hostesses, waiters and waitresses, servers, and cooks. They work closely with customers and so need strong communication and customer service skills.
Additionally, there are numerous jobs available for people who have studied food service and have a certificate, diploma, or degree that relates directly to the industry. They might get jobs as restaurant managers, food buyers, or hospital food service workers.
We are going to concentrate on jobs offered to food service workers who are sometimes categorized as Level I or II, which, according to the Foothill-De Anza Community College, indicates increased skills and usually at least two years of experience for II.
When you choose which of your skills to mention, make sure that they are relevant to the job you are applying for.
Food preparation and serving | Safety and sanitation | Communication | Verbal comprehension | Customer service | Teamwork | Computer skills including POS for taking orders
Food service work experience
Experience counts a lot in any industry. But in the food service industry, the options are so wide, you might have had 10 different jobs, only two or three of which show experience specific to the job advertised that you are applying for.
If you think it will be necessary to list positions that don’t appear to be related, think carefully about possible cross skills.
For instance, if you have worked as a waitress in a restaurant, but the job application is for a food service worker in a medical center, look for keywords or requirements that are similar in both positions, like communication, high standards of customer service, and the ability to work fast.
When you provide information about your work experience, you should always include achievements, and this is where you will insert information about previous experience that will add value to your new job.
For instance, whether you work in a medical center or a restaurant, it’s important that you follow procedures for safe food handling and are able to resolve complaints quickly and professionally.
Sample Work Experience
US Department of Veterans Affairs, RI
Food Service Worker, 2019 – 2020
Responsible for food production and service functions at the Medical Center on Rhode Island. Ensured that food service met all food and safety requirements and the food served met quality care standards.
- Recreated standard menus and improved the quality of salads and sandwiches commonly offered to patients.
- Physically loaded and delivered food carts to patient care units and supervised the removal of soiled trays.
- Disassembled, cleaned, sanitized, and re-assembled food production equipment.
- Promoted to food service supervisor.
Ball State University, IN
Food Service Worker, 2017 – 2018
Accurately assembled food supplies and materials. Set up service areas and served food. Cleaned equipment and work areas, maintaining sanitation and safety. Obtained supplies from storage areas.
- Passed the University’s food handler’s physical examination.
- Performed cashier duties using computerized machinery and calculators.
- Took responsibility for counting and recording quantities of food prepared and served.
- Assigned work to student employees and directed them.
Fresh Picks Cafe, NH
School Cafeteria Food Service Worker, 2016
Assisted with food preparation, assembly, presentation, and serving. Tasked with cleaning tables and ensuring clean crockery and cutlery were delivered back to the tables after meals.
- Increased popularity with students by being friendly and appreciative of compliments.
- Awarded Best Trainee Cafeteria Worker of 2016.
- Underwent food safety training part-time and completed the StateFoodSafety certification.
- Assisted with inventories.
Food service education
Food service workers who are employed in entry-level positions including line cooks, hosts/hostesses, servers, cashiers and so on generally need nothing more than a high school or equivalent GED diploma.
To move on to more senior food service positions, it may be necessary to study for a food service certificate which includes courses in specialized fields like cooking, food safety procedures, nutrition, and hospitality, and they take about two years to complete.
Some courses are available online.
Graduate certificates take less than a year to complete (usually four to eight months) and require a high school diploma or GED certificate for admission.
Note that some graduate certificates in human nutrition, like the one offered by The University of Maine, are only open to graduates (bachelor’s degree) or candidates who have completed specific college-level courses including biology, anatomy, physiology, and nutrition.
It is also important to realize that many US states have laws that regulate nutrition services, so if you do opt to do a graduate certificate in nutrition, make sure it will be accepted as a qualification.
American University Washington
Graduate Certificate: Nutrition Education, 2015
The most likely courses any food service worker or manager will take will be linked to certification, for example, to get a food handler’s card or permit (see Certification below).
Generally, most of the learning required for food service industry jobs is done once you have been employed.
But those hungry for more knowledge can take all sorts of courses from cooking courses to those that add to their computer skills or administrative abilities. For example, having a good working knowledge of Microsoft Office (MO) could be an advantage.
Courses relating to hospitality and nutrition might also be helpful.
If you’ve completed any courses that might be relevant to the job you are applying for, mention them.
- Food handlers online course
- MO Suite
Certifications are not usually required for food service jobs, although a food handler’s card is commonly called for.
StateFoodSafety certification is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The Food Handler accreditation is approved by the US Government and most state health departments.
Study material comprises training videos.
It covers topics including how food causes illness or allergic reactions, how to prevent contamination of food and food-contact surfaces, and how to identify symptoms of illness that should be reported to a food service manager.
Another option is the ServSafe Food Handler certification that is offered by the US National Restaurant Association.
This certification also follows training that is focused on basic food safety, food cross-contamination, and cleaning and sanitation. This program is accredited by the non-profit Conference for Food Protection (CFP) and ANSI.
If you haven’t completed a certificate program, once you have sufficient experience, you can get career advancement by getting culinary or hospitality certification.
- StateFoodSafety Food Handler
- ServSafe Food Handler
Complete food service resume sample
When we sampled food service resumes and job posts while compiling the information for this article, we looked for a position that might be challenging to apply for.
We chose this one for a food services ambassador that is focused on ensuring customer’s needs are met and customer service is of the highest quality. We have used it as a tool to help you write a well-crafted resume for any food service position.
You will notice that this job is offered by Providence Health & Services, a company mentioned as part of the work experience included in this sample resume. Finding better-paid work within the same company you have worked for is usually a good move.
Another aspect you should notice is that the job requires some sort of training in nutrition or hospitality. It also requires experience in a large-scale food service operation or hospital. What better experience than in the same company, in a different hospital?
Food Service Worker
Dedicated food service worker with six years of food service experience ready to become an ambassador for Providence Health. Open, honest, and service-motivated. Graduate certificate of nutrition education and current Washington State Food Handler’s permit.
Written and communication skills | Interpersonal skills | Collaborative team operator | Cooperative | Flexible | Customer service | Basic computer skills | Safe food preparation | Ability to serve in every way
Providence Health & Services (Regional Medical Center Everett), WA
Food Service Worker, 2019 – 2020
Performed routine and specialized assignments in the hospital’s kitchen, cafeteria, patient tray line, and participated in special event catering. Operated equipment and followed washing and cleaning policies and procedures.
- Responsible for assuring supplies were stocked
- Ensured that cash was collected, deposited, and documented every day.
- Suggested new, more exciting recipes to improve the customer experience. At least 70% of these were accepted and are being used.
- Took six months off to complete my graduate certificate of nutrition education.
Pullman Regional Hospital, WA
Food Service Worker, 2017 – 2018
Part-time position preparing and serving specified food for patients and cafeteria customers. Took responsibility for ensuring food was served and eaten in a safe and sanitary environment.
- Analyzed patient and non-patient needs and wants to determine how much food was required. Evaluated food products for customer acceptance.
- Worked closely with the clinical and nutrition staff.
- Accurately followed written menus and patient preference sheets for food preparation and set-up of trays.
- Participated in an evaluation process for fellow employees.
University of Washington Medical Center
Food Service Worker I, 2015 – 2016
Served food in the cafeteria and in the patient tray make-up area following individual patient menus. Opened cans, apportioned contents, washed and prepared vegetables for cooking. Assembled salads, sandwiches, and desserts.
- Inbetween service, mostly undertook basic service including cleaning tables, washing dishes, emptying garbage, and rearranging tables.
- Frequently invited to relieve or assist other employees in higher-level food preparation tasks to meet emergency or on-the-job training situations.
- Operated kitchen equipment as well as washers and dryers for laundry.
- Received a certificate for promoting positive public relations and helping to create a pleasant, relaxed environment.
- StateFoodSafety Food Handler
American University Washington
Graduate Certificate: Nutrition Education, 2020
- Safe food handling
- Meeting the nutritional needs of the poor and vulnerable
Food service is usually regarded as an entry-level job in the enormous food and beverage industry. Certainly, jobs that are advertised for food service workers are relatively basic and don’t require much, if any, formal education.
There are, though, food service jobs that pay better and these are accessible with experience and/or education.
Here we have focused on jobs that are advertised as “food service” and which might be open to newcomers to the field or to those who have operated as food service workers for a few years.
- Even though resume objectives are considered old fashioned in some fields, they can be used to advantage when applying for a food service position. But you need to keep it short and make sure that it provides a positive snapshot of the value you can add to the company.
- The skills required to be a successful food service worker range from maintaining safety and sanitation standards to being friendly and welcoming. While most skills recur in different job postings, make sure that the skills you have to offer fit the requirements of the job description you are working with.
- However basic the food service job you want is, there will be competition, and you need to craft your resume to elevate your abilities and values. Think of it as a marketing exercise.
Tips from Experts
“Your resume and cover letter must be geared to your audience. Before you start writing assess yourself. Know what skills and experience you bring to the table. Research the field so you can use its keywords in your resume. Use action verb phrases to describe your experiences. Instead of “Responsibilities included training staff,“ say “Trained five new staff.” – Smith College Lazarus Center for Career Development
“Food service may be the classic stereotype of an unskilled job, but plenty of people have launched their professional lives by flipping burgers, making pizzas or doling out donuts. It might feel as if you’re just pressing buttons and wrapping up greasy products while wearing a silly hat. But food service experience is actually a good way to develop a variety of skills that can transfer into other fields.” – Lewis & Clark, Templeton Campus Career Center
“A food service worker does not need any experience but a high school diploma or GED equivalent is preferred. One of the most important skills that a food service worker will have is attention to detail. Another skill is organization as the food service worker will have to be able to help the kitchen run effectively.” – Glassdoor Recruitment Company
If you are hungry for change, look for a new food service job that appeals to you and start working on your resume. Never use the same resume for every job you apply for. You are the same person, but jobs have different requirements and you need to be sure that you fit those needs.
We have provided lots of tips in this article and hope you will use them to write a winning resume for your next food service job application. Good luck!