Though we see hundreds of examples of resumes each day from all levels of Restaurant Managers, the one thing we've learned over the years is that there is no "right" or "perfect" resume format.
No matter what type of restaurant operations you've worked in - Full Service, Fast Food/Quick Service/Quick Casual, or ??? - what your level of management experience - General Manager, Assistant Manager, Kitchen Manager, Chef, etc... - your choice of resume style is really just a personal decision as to which format you think will best showcase your management skills and accomplishments.
We hope the following ideas will be of help in writing your resume!
Resume Tips, Advice & Suggestions
Your resume is your "30 second commercial" and should be more than just a generic restaurant manager job description -- but keep it short, sweet & to the point! The restaurant management recruiters we work with receive tons of resumes each day and this is just one of the many reasons they don't have the time to thoroughly read through each and every word on them.
Recruiters want to see a summary of where you've been, your level of experience, and what you've accomplished. If nothing catches their eye and makes them stop, then they'll just move on to the next person's resume.
Sell the Sizzle! -- You have about 30 seconds to capture the recruiter's attention as they scan your resume. Your goal is to motivate him or her to decide to pick up the phone and call you for an interview.
If you want to stand out in the crowd, save the "big story" for the interview and just provide the highlights of your restaurant management career.
Keep your resume to 1-2 pages and highlight those things and accomplishments that you are most proud of such as: managing a large number of people or a high volume of sales; increasing sales; decreasing food costs; improving labor; a solid history of increased responsibility & promotions; or anything else that demonstrates your talents as a Restaurant Manager.
ABC Restaurant - Gotham City, USA
Responsible for managing a high volume, 1.8 million dollar Quick Service restaurant with a staff of 38 hourly employees. Reduced labor cost by 2 points while reducing staff turnover by 50%. Promoted from 3rd Assistant Manger to Assistant Manager within 3 months of training.
ABC Restaurant - Gotham City, USA
· Responsible for managing a high volume, 1.8 million dollar Quick Service restaurant with a staff of 38 hourly employees.
· Reduced labor cost by 2 points while reducing staff turnover by 50%.
· Promoted from 3rd Assistant Manger to Assistant Manager within 3 months of training.
Important - In any interview, be prepared to explain and discuss anything & everything you put on your resume (ex.'s how did you go about accomplishing the things you've done, what was the reason you left each job, etc).
Unless specifically asked for, we recommend that you do not send anything other than just a cover letter and a resume when responding to a job ad. Serve Safe certificates, awards, menus, discharge papers, letters of recommendation, news articles, etc. are usually unnecessary and just get in the way of focusing on your resume. They also take up a lot of paper and toner on a fax machine. (We've had people send up to 19 pages of additional "information" along with their resume -- all of which went straight in to the recycle box!)
The only exception to this rule of thumb is if you are a chef responding to a job ad/posting specifically for a chef position. If you do decide to send some additional info to demonstrate your creative skills, we still recommend keeping the number of additional pages of information to a minimum. Just send a few additional pages that highlight a couple of your best and most current achievements and save the rest for your interview.
Make sure you include ALL your contact information -- AND then make sure it is correct! We receive resumes every day that are missing part of if not all of the jobseeker's address -- no street number, no city, no state, no zip code.
Even worse, probably 1 out of 15 resumes has an incorrect phone number -- or no phone number at all!! These last two are the most common problems we see with contact info.
Once you've double checked that all your contact information has been included, ask a friend/spouse/Significant Other/BFF/??? to dial the phone number exactly as it appears on your resume. Have him/her read it out loud one number at a time as they dial.
THINGS NOT TO INCLUDE ON/WITH YOUR RESUME are your: Social Security number, Driver's License number, Birth date, Military ID information, any Account Numbers, Religious Affiliation, etc. At best this information adds nothing to your resume and at worst it could result in Identity Theft if your resume is mis-handled.
Use "SPELL CHECK"! We easily see 20-30 resumes come through each day riddled with "typos" and misspellings. By the way, the most common misspelled word we see on a resume is "RESTAURANT". Go figure...
Other common misspellings/mistakes include: Restarant, Restuarant, Restarant, Restraunt, Restaraunt, Resturant, Manger, Manging, Costumer (for Customer), Resum, PNL (for P&L).
Every word processor has a Spell Check tool -- USE IT!!
By the way, if you don't have Microsoft Office or Word (THE word processor used by ALL the recruiters we know), an excellent FREE option for creating your resume is the OpenOffice Suite. Not only is OpenOffice's word processor HIGHLY compatible with Word, but it also contains a spread sheet program similar to Excel and a "presentation program" similar to PowerPoint. (And did we mention that it's FREE???) Just be sure to select the appropriate format when you save your newly created resume (or other documents) -- ".doc" for a resume, ".xls" for a spread sheet, or ".ppt" for a PowerPoint compatible presentation.
Use only "common" fonts in the 10-12 point range when creating your resume. Common fonts available on most computers include - Verdana, New Time Roman, Arial and a few others. Don't use "ornate" fonts because the restaurant recruiter receiving your resume may not have the same fonts on their computer. When a specified font is not available, computers select the next "closest" font which will likely alter/"break" the look and layout (formatting) of you carefully prepared resume. This can result in a resume that looks sloppy/disorganized to the recruiter and may be difficult for them to read/comprehend.
Use a politically correct email address! If your email address includes any of the words listed below, think VERY carefully about including it on your resume or sending your resume from such an address.
The use of these or similar words suggest a SERIOUS lack of professionalism.
ANY 4 letter curse word: b*tch (or any variation of it), p*mp, s*x~the term "white trash", hottie, slave, st*d, 69, etc~thug, gansta/er, MC/DJ (unless these are your initials), etc~drugs (420, X, crack, etc)beer, booze, or other reference to your favorite alcoholic beverage (unless you are a sommelier)
And YES, we've really seen ALL these words (and worse) used in jobseekers' email addresses. For some reason this is not the no-brainer you would think it would be.
Oh, and while you're at it, if your voice mail message/caller tunes/ring back tone/etc contains any topic similar to the above list, get rid of it until you've successfully found and started your new job!
Click below for Page 2 of our Resume Tips & Advice and to find a downloadable Sample/Example Resume.
Are you looking for seeking a career with the company you are interviewing with or just an education? Believe it or not, one of the many things recruiters DON'T want to see on a restaurant manager or chef's resume or cover letter (or hear in an interview) is a phrase similar to, "I want to open up my own restaurant some day."
This is generally interpreted as, "I plan to leave your restaurant company as soon as I feel I have learned enough." Not a very good selling point for getting a job interview!
As a ball park figure, it costs a national full service restaurant chain $20,000 to $35,000 in recruiting, training and development costs per manager hired to get them to the point where they are considered fully productive. This is not money a restaurant company wants to waste on someone just looking to learn and move on.
When posting your resume online, use your resume title as a "Promotional Headline" to help market yourself. The title should catch the recruiter's eye and move them to action -- i.e. click on and read your resume.
Instead of something (boring) like "Bob's Resume", be creative and use something like, "GREAT Restaurant Manager w/ Xlnt People Skills" or "Experienced, Hands On Leader". (Update: Please don't use these exact examples as we have already seen 2 resumes that are using them.)
Sample/Example Restaurant Management Resume. Below is a link to a BASIC example resume using a Chronological format (work experience is shown by date, most recent to oldest). There are MANY other resume formats and variations that can be used, but the Chronological format tends to be the one most commonly used by Managers in the Hospitality & Restaurant Industries.
Example/Sample Restaurant Manager Resume (To download, right click & choose, "Save Target As".)
Keep in mind this is just one example of a management resume and there is NO perfect/correct format that every manager should use. Resumes are a personal choice, use the format YOU think best showcases you management skills, accomplishments and experience. Feel free to use whichever format/style you like!
Need advice on what to expect at your interviews? Now that you are on your way to writing a great resume that will highlight your accomplishments and job skill-set, check out our Restaurant Management Interview Tips & Advice page for suggestions and ideas on acing your job interview.
VERY IMPORTANT RESUME TIP --->>> Once you have found a new job, please REMOVE your resume from the job board(s) where it is posted!
We -- and hundreds of restaurant companies & recruiters across the country -- search the resume databases of Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, HospitalityHRJobs.com and many other job boards everyday looking for qualified candidates.
At least 15-25 times a day we end up calling candidates that have already found new employment but still have their resume listed as "active". (Many of these same people will then seem to be annoyed by our call.)
Along with the above, if you're resume is still posted, your new employer may come across it at a later date and think you are once again looking for a new position. This could result in the loss of your job because they believe you are once again looking for a new position and no longer have a commitment to the company.
And we saved our best resume tip for last - SEND US YOUR RESUME TODAY! ...so we can keep you updated on job opportunities for Restaurant Managers in your area!
More Restaurant Management Resume Tips, Advice & Suggestions to come...