I have worked in restaurants every summer since I turned 14. When I needed a professional resume my freshman year of college, I didn’t realize how simple it was to relate the skills I developed as a waitress to skills that would benefit me in the workplace. Though it took a little bit of thought and creative wording, my work experience section was full in no time.
Many college students waitress in the summer or during the school year, but they don’t realize the valuable lessons they learn will benefit them in their search for employment and in their post-grad careers. It’s great to load up your resume with clubs and activities, but a part-time job like serving provides invaluable experience.
Coordinating with kitchen staff, bus people, and wait staff is essential in order to ensure that guests have a pleasant experience. You understand your limitations, and inform the wait staff that you simply can’t take another table. You recognize when you must seek the assistance of a food runner or bus person. As a restaurant employee, you’ve worked together with a diverse group of people to achieve objectives.
Employers search for applicants who will benefit their team and work well with others. Group projects will be a breeze for you since you are willing to share responsibilities. You know how to effectively communicate with your co-workers, and this will prove essential in your degree-related career.
Welcoming guests and making conversation with them as they order may not seem like a big deal, but developing strong communication skills is key to success in the workplace. This practice in communication will benefit your relations with your boss and with your co-workers. Serving has broken down your social anxiety, so that you can approach leadership confidentially to ask a question. Emphasize your ability to relate with others, because employers are looking for individuals who possess strong interpersonal skills.
3. Time Management
You currently have five tables, and one of them needs extra ketchup, the other is ready to order, another is waiting for their check, food is ready to be delivered to your fourth table, and your fifth table is unhappy with the preparation of their meal. Somehow you manage each of your tables concerns in a timely fashion. You prioritize the requests and try to maximize your time in an effective manner. You make use of your opportunity to use the computer and update each of your tables’ orders.
Working as a server pushes you to master the art of multitasking. There are consequences to under-performing (lowsy tip, unhappy boss, etc.), so you are conscious of your actions and aim to please each of your customers. Who wouldn’t want to hire an individual who can manage several tasks and projects with ease?
4. Crisis Management
As a waiter or waitress, crisis is inevitable. You’ve learned what to do when customers are unhappy with their food or with your service. You’ve learned how to handle uncomfortable situations and how to keep a cool head. Serving is oftentimes high-stress, and you’ve perfected the art of appearing cool and collected while worrying incessantly about whether your table’s food will be done in time. You’ve been forced to learn how to manage difficult situations.
Your ability to manage stress and crisis shows employers that you will be able to handle important projects with impending deadlines. Employers seek individuals who can keep calm when faced with obstacles, and server experience has contributed to your ability to do so.
A job is a job. Be it serving at a local restaurant or auditing for a large accounting firm, you must be punctual, responsible, and accountable. Having work experience and positive recommendations shows any employer that you are employable.
Serving in a restaurant develops these skills and many more. Having this valuable experience is sure to make you a standout applicant and prepare you for your next job. A part-time serving job is a top notch way to pad your resume. At some point, we have to move out of our dorms and start adulting. Part-time work experience is a step in the right direction and could help secure a job after graduation.