During the pandemic, the hospitality and catering business took a big hit. Despite global employment insecurity, we’ve helped millions of professionals land their dream job roles. Keen to be next?
To create a captivating CV, you’ll need to serve up the best of your work experience in the hospitality and catering industry to impress recruiters and get back on track.
How? Take some advice from us with our helpful CV guide for hospitality and catering professionals. cvapp.nz is a powerful tool for job seekers, with CV guides and CV examples for 300+ professions plus an easy-to-use CV builder. With our tools, you will be on your way to a CV that has recruiters eating out of your hand (yep, pun intended!)
This CV guide, along with the corresponding CV example will cover the following topics:
- What does a hospitality and catering professional do?
- How to write a hospitality and catering CV (tips and tricks)
- The best format for a hospitality and catering CV
- Advice on each section of your CV (summary, work history, education, skills)
- Professional CV layout and design hints.
What does a hospitality and catering professional do?
Hospitality and catering professionals tend to the food, drink and tourism needs of travelers and locals alike. Caterers focus on providing food and drink and the serving items and staff that go with them. They may cater for events such as weddings or other celebrations, corporate events or at institutions including universities and hospitals. Some caterers act as personal chefs or work in smaller settings preparing meals for families.
Hospitality workers are employed by lodgings, restaurants, theme parks, resorts and cruise ships -- anywhere people go to relax and enjoy or are away from home for business or leisure. The biggest component of their jobs is customer service.
How to write a hospitality and catering CV
The very first step in your recipe for an impressive hospitality and catering CV is knowing the right components to include.
Your CV must contain:
- The CV header
- The CV summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The CV skills section
- The education section
Before we get started, it’s important to research the company you’re applying to. Personalised CVs always do better than generic CVs, so try to tailor your CV to the exact requirements listed in the job description. Use language that matches the culture of organisation. You’ll need to learn more about the company, staff, their values and even their history. The more research, the better!
Once you have a good understanding of the company, look for the names and work histories of recruiters and your potential employer. If you can make a personal connection such as a common interest or place of employment, do so. It may make all the difference.
Follow these guidelines to make the most of your hospitality and catering CV:
- Create a message directly for each specific job and company.
- Make a polished visual first impression with a CV template that has a creative edge without distracting from your message.
- Avoid getting rejected by the ATS. Check out our expert tip below!
Optimise for the ATS
When you apply for a job online, you are most likely inputting your CV into an Applicant Tracking System. This software scans and sorts CVs and then ranks them according to an algorithm based on the requirements of the job.
To help you rank high enough to be seen by a person, incorporate keywords and phrases from the job listing into your CV.
Choosing the best CV format for hospitality and catering
Sometimes, you stick with the basics. This is one of those times. We recommend a reverse chronological order CV format unless you have a compelling reason to choose a different organisation. This is partly because it is favoured by recruiters and ATS software.
Although other formats exist, you should use them only in special circumstances. If you are a new entrant to the job market or are thinking of changing careers, check out the CV formats we suggest as chronological alternatives or hybrids.
The functional CV format is mostly used by technical professions and specialists (as well as for some scientific roles) because it focuses on important niche or complex skills and competencies rather than your work history.
CV summary example: how may I help you?
The summary of your hospitality and catering CV, otherwise known as a personal statement, gives you a chance to show off your professional skills and strengths.
Personality plays a large role in your career, so show it off here. Introduce yourself with a positive adjective or two and then answer the question that you ask all the time: How may I help you? That is the whole purpose of your CV: to explain to employers how you will help them. Use an example or an anecdote from your work history to show them what you bring to the job.
You can find a CV example for your summary section below.
Experienced and passionate caterer with over five years of experience in the catering industry, serving clients throughout New Zealand and Australia. Striving to provide every client with innovation, quality, and commitment to excellent service. Bringing forth an in depth knowledge of flavors and food relationships, resulting in mouth watering dishes and attractive menus. Adept in working with other culinary professionals to achieve goals and ensure customer satisfaction.
Employment history sample: career upgrade
The best employment history sections show your prospective employer that you have what it takes to fulfil the job, and that in fact, you are already doing it (or most of it if you’re really looking to upgrade).
You do that by thinking in terms of accomplishments, not duties. Employers want workers who can solve problems, not just follow set protocol. Especially if you are customer-facing, you have to be able to handle sticking points and leave your customer happy. Beginning with your most recent position, develop 3-4 bullet points that start with a strong action word and follow with a phrase or two that details your success.
Below you will find an adaptable employment history CV example.
Catering Director at NOSH Catering, Whangarei
December 2019 — Present
- Assisted in the preparation of food items and ensured that all food was served at the proper temperature
- Followed proper food safety protocols to ensure quality and safety of food served
- Properly stored food items and ingredients in accordance with food safety regulations
- Developed and maintained detailed records of food inventories and orders, resulting in a 10% reduction in food waste
Catering Manager at Marsh & Mallow Grazing, Aucland
December 2017 — July 2019
- Managed catering inventory, ensuring that all necessary ingredients and supplies were available for each event
- Worked with the executive team to develop a catering budget and manage it to ensure that the catering program was financially viable
- Managed a team of 25 staff to ensure efficient and timely delivery of catering services
Catering Attendant at Emily Craig Caterers, Sydney
August 2016 — August 2017
- Ensured compliance with food safety regulations, resulting in no health code violations
- Prepared and served food to customers, ensuring high standards of presentation
- Coordinated food preparation and delivery to ensure timely service, resulting in a high level of customer satisfaction
- Developed and maintained relationships with customers, resulting in a high rate of repeat business
Hospitality and catering CV skills example: worker amenities
Your hospitality and catering CV needs a strong skills section. That means going beyond saying that you are customer-service oriented (although that is a very important skill). Reread the job listing and choose all the attributes you have that the employer has mentioned. Choose the ones you haven’t been able to address in your employment history section or skills that are rarer or higher level.
Below you will find a skills section CV example.
- Interpersonal Communication Skills
- Honesty and Integrity
- Prioritizing Tasks
- Excellent Organizational Skills
- Superior Multitasking Skills
Hospitality and catering education CV example
Some hospitality and catering professionals learn on the job. Others have tertiary degrees or training certification. No matter how you learned the skills for your trade, this is the section in which to list them.
If you have taken hospitality or cooking classes in high school, especially if you are looking for your first job, list those here. If you are a manager with an MBA, or have any other degree higher than a Bachelor’s, there’s no need to list your high school experience.
Below you will find an education section CV example as a formatting guide.
Bachelor of Commerce, University of Auckland, Auckland
February 2012 — July 2016
CV layout and design: five-star look
Presentation matters! Especially if you are in reception, a concierge or any other forward-facing professional, you know that first impressions are lasting. That’s why the layout and design of your hospitality and catering CV is so important.
It’s tempting to add a lot of flourish to your document. Of course you want to stand out, but remember that your goal here is to create a readable, professional-looking CV. To that end, keep the colour to a minimum, leave plenty of white space and use bold headings with a font that opposes your text.
To get your job search started faster, consider using one of our CV templates to guide you and to take care of the mundane formatting details.
Key takeaways for a hospitality and catering CV
- Zoom in on your professional talents and skills in the CV summary section
- Make sure you take the ATS into account and personalise your CV for each job.
- Take advantage of our online CV builder to transform your text and get your job hunt moving!