If you’re looking for a job as a waiter, chances are you won’t have difficulty finding an open position. Hospitality workers are in high demand at the moment, meaning you’ll have a choice when it comes to finding a higher-paying waiter job with hours that suit you. To get that great gig, however, you’ll need a well-crafted CV that puts your service skills on display.
here to simplify your job-hunt and arm you with the best career resources to help you land your next job. This CV guide, along with the corresponding CV example will cover the following topics:
- What does a waiter do?
- How to write a waiter CV (tips and tricks)
- The best format for a waiter CV
- Our top advice for each section of your CV (summary, work history, education, skills)
- The best CV layouts for a professional CV
What does a waiter do?
A waiter is a restaurant or dining establishment staff member who is primarily responsible for taking customer orders, bringing food to tables, and checking on the needs of the diners throughout their meal. Waiters, often called servers, are key members of front-of-house staff where they work alongside hosts and restaurant managers. They also interact with the kitchen staff and may even be responsible for light kitchen tasks like preparing drinks or adding garnishes to dishes.
A waiter’s role can take on many different facets, but here are some of the most common responsibilities:
- Memorising menu items, allergens, ingredient lists, and wine pairings
- Greeting customers and taking their orders while answering any menu questions
- Offering recommendations and upselling desserts and drinks
- Preparing drink orders and bringing them quickly to the table
- Serving food and bringing additional items to the table as needed
- Clearing plates away and taking payment from customers
- Helping with light decorating tasks, table setting, or inventory work
How to craft a successful waiter CV
The very first step in writing your waiter CV is understanding what sections to include. Your CV should contain the following elements:
- The CV header
- The CV summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The CV skills section
- The education section
The first step to writing a great waiter CV is to do your research. Even if you’ve been in the hospitality industry for a long time, each business or restaurant is a bit different and it’s important to know the type of work environment you are applying to. Make sure to research the restaurant online and visit it in person if possible. Take note of the menu offerings, the location, and the type of clients the restaurant receives. What is the atmosphere in the restaurant like? Are staff uniforms casual or formal? How big is the menu and what are the average prices? These may seem like basic questions, but they can help you tailor your CV to the exact needs of the employer, increasing your chances of landing the job.
For a waiter position, you may or may not have a job description. If you do, make sure to read it closely to better understand the types of skills the employer is looking for. Make sure to place any specific, technical skills on your CV using the employer’s exact language to increase your chances of standing out.
Choosing the best CV format for a waiter
Waiters have a few options when it comes to choosing the best CV format. If you have a few restaurant or industry-related experiences under your belt, you will likely want to opt for the reverse chronological CV format. This format gets its name from its focus on the employment history section where previous positions are listed starting with the most recent and working backward through the past ten years of experience. This is the format you will see in our waiter CV sample because it is the one most hiring managers expect to receive.
However, waiter positions can make for great first jobs. If you’re looking to get your professional start, you may choose a functional or hybrid CV. A functional CV focuses on skills and may also include an “Experience” section where you can list any unrelated jobs, volunteer work, or school activities. The hybrid format is a combination of both types and often starts with the skills section before including a shorter work history section. These alternative CV types are best suited for students and those applying for their first job. If you have some experience in the field, the reverse chronological format is the way to go.
Found at the top or at the side of your CV, the header is the section that captures your name and contact details so that the employer can identify your application and contact you easily to set up an interview. For a waiter, your name and phone number are generally the only contact details you will need to include, although you may also choose to add a location. The CV header also helps to add a touch of attractive formatting which should be appropriate for the restaurant you are applying to. We’ll explore further in the guide!
CV summary example
The CV summary, otherwise known as the personal statement, is the first section following the header. These 3 to 5 sentences serve as the introduction to your CV and are meant to highlight your top skills and experiences. As a waiter, your personality and ability to make a great first impression are essential to your work, so the CV summary is the best place to prove that you have the right personality for the job.
Make sure to use descriptive language and action verbs to show that you’re a charming and effective waiter. Mention your top attributes in the summary and leave the details for the rest of the CV. If you’ve done a good job with this section, the employer should be excited to read on. See our adaptable CV example below.
Professional and enthusiastic waiter with several years of experience serving food in busy dining establishments. Committed to adhering to health and safety standards, while serving as a helpful and positive team member. Bringing forth a motivated attitude and the ability to multitask and work well under pressure. Fluent in English, Te Reo Māori and Spanish.
Employment history sample
The employment history section is the main course of your CV. This is where you’ll get into the details of your previous waiter positions or other hospitality jobs. For each entry, create a subheading with the job title, employer (restaurant) name, dates worked, and location. Then, add 4 to 5 bullet points with your duties, skills, and any noteworthy accomplishments like being chosen as employee of the month or a record sales number.
Instead of just listing your responsibilities, make sure to craft each bullet point in a way that shows your value to the business and convinces the prospective employer that you could do the same for their restaurant. Numbers, statistics, and concrete information can all help to convey your impact. Check out our employment history CV sample below for more insight.
Waiter at The Manaia Café, Rotorua
March 2021 — Present
- Developed a deep understanding of menu items and specials, allowing for detailed and accurate descriptions to customers
- Developed lasting relationships with customers through attentive service and engaging conversation, resulting in repeat business
- Collaborated with kitchen staff to efficiently manage orders and ensure timely delivery of meals to customers
- Created an efficient system for tracking customer orders, resulting in a 20% reduction in errors
Waiter at The Jandle & The Jerry, Rotorua
January 2019 — November 2020
- Greeted customers and offered recommendations
- Restocked supplies, including napkins, utensils, and condiments, throughout shifts to ensure customers had what they needed
- Communicated with kitchen staff to deliver excellent food to hungry customers
Kitchen Hand at Glasshouse Brewery, Rotorua
January 2018 — December 2018
- Worked closely with chefs and kitchen staff to ensure all orders were completed on time and to the highest standards
- Assisted in food preparation and served meals in a timely and efficient manner
- Ensured all kitchen areas were cleaned and sanitised, following all food safety guidelines
CV skills example
Skills are at the forefront of your work as a waiter, so make sure to complete this CV section with care. First, reread the job description, if you have one, and pick out any duties or knowledge emphasized by the employer. The skills section usually takes the form of a bullet-point list, so you’ll want to choose the top 4 to 5 skills that are most relevant to the job you’re applying to.
As a waiter, it’s very important to include a mix of hard and soft skills. Hard skills are technical knowledge like bartending, POS systems, and inventory management. Soft skills are the personality traits like friendliness, attentiveness, and efficiency that allow you to give customers a great dining experience. See our CV example below.
- Ability to Work in a Team
- Ability to Work Under Pressure
- Knowledge of Food Safety
- Teamwork Skills
- Communication Skills
- Customer Service
Waiter CV education example
One of the great things about working as a waiter is that you won’t need an advanced degree in order to earn a consistent income. However, as the education section is part of any complete CV, you’ll still need to include one no matter the level of education completed.
As you did with the employment history section, make sure to list your previous educational experiences from most recent to oldest. Include the degree name, school, dates attended, and location. Under each entry, you can also add a bullet point or two to mention anything relevant to a waiter role. Leadership positions, hospitality classes, or honors can all make for worthwhile additions. See our CV example below.
NCEA Level 3, Rotorua Boys High School, Rotorua
February 2013 — December 2017
Waiters often complete continuing education courses or certificates relevant to their role. If you’ve done any food safety, management, CPR, or bartending courses, make sure to add them to the education section of your CV.
CV layout and design
Just as the look of a restaurant tells the client something about the dining experience they’ll have, the layout and design of your CV tell the employer about your skills and enthusiasm for the position.
Make sure to tailor the layout and design to the prospective employer. A pop of color in the header can help you fit into a family-oriented establishment while an upscale, fine-dining restaurant may prefer a neutral color scheme. Professionally-designed CV templates can help you quickly try out different styles and even create different versions of your CV when applying to multiple jobs.
Here are a few more formatting tips to follow:
- Keep a balance of white space to text to make your CV easy to read.
- Add a touch of color to make your CV stand out.
- Use bolded section titles and bullet points to keep your CV organized.
- Adjust your margins to cram in more information or to make your experience fill the page.
- Use more than one or two font styles.
- Be sure to proofread before you submit!
Key takeaways for a waiter CV
- Waiters and other hospitality workers are in high demand so now is a great time to write that CV and land a new opportunity!
- The summary serves as an introduction to your CV and should help present you as a friendly and effective waiter.
- Don’t forget to use numbers and statistics to show the impact you had in previous waiter roles.
- Our adaptable CV sample can help you get started creating the layout for your own waiter CV.