The hospitality and catering business has taken a big hit during a tough time, but with an excellent resume your job search will be aboil in no time. You need to serve up the best of your work experience in the hospitality and catering industry and impress hiring managers eager to get back on track.
How? Take some advice from us. Resume.io is a powerful tool for job seekers, with resume guides and resume examples for 300+ professions plus an easy-to-use resume builder. With our tools, you will be on your way to a resume that has hiring managers eating out of your hand.
This resume guide, along with the corresponding resume example will cover the following topics:
- What does a hospitality and catering professional do?
- How to write a hospitality and catering resume (tips and tricks)
- The best format for a hospitality and catering resume
- Advice on each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
- Professional resume 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 colleges 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.
WIthin the hospitality industry, your career path may be in:
- Food and beverage service
- Food and beverage production or kitchen staff
- Front office and reservations
- Human resources and training
- Sales and marketing
- Cruise lines
- Event management
Source: SOEG, a hospitality staffing agency
Hospitality and catering job market and outlook
This is a great time to be a hospitality or catering worker. Employers are experiencing shortages, which is prompting them to increase pay and add perks to what can be difficult and low-paying work. About one-third of workers who got laid off during the peak of the pandemic have chosen not to return to their jobs, and job openings in the U.S. were at 10 million in mid-2021, according to CNBC.
If you’re eying a restaurant job, you’re in luck. Full-service restaurants have 20% fewer employees than a year ago and are looking to get back to that level, according to Deputy.com, which recommends offering higher salaries and better benefits to attract workers. More than 1.9 million hospitality jobs are going unfilled, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which also expects the job market for food service managers to grow by 15% through 2030. The market is growing even faster, 25%, for chefs and head cooks.
Here are the top hotel employers in the hospitality industry*:
*Source: Hotel Tech Report
How to write a hospitality and catering resume
The very first step in your recipe for an impressive hospitality and catering resume is knowing the ingredients. Your CV must contain:
- The resume header
- The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The resume skills section
- The education section
The next step is understanding your audience or the company to which you are applying. The best resumes tailor their message to the requirements and culture of their targeted employer. That means doing some research into the company, its employees and its hospitality philosophy and style.
Once you have a firm idea of what the company stands for, look for the names and work histories of the hiring manager and your prospective boss. 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 resume:
- Create a message directly for each specific job and company.
- Make a polished visual first impression with a resume template that has a creative edge without distracting from your message.
- Target the ATS by using the expert tip below.
Optimize for the ATS
When you apply for a job online, you are most likely inputting your resume into an Applicant Tracking System. This software scans and sorts resumes 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 resume.
Choosing the best resume format for hospitality and catering
Sometimes, you stick with the basics. This is one of those times. We recommend a reverse chronological order resume format unless you have a compelling reason to choose a different organization. This is partly because it is favored 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 a career-charger, check out the resume formats we suggest as chronological alternatives or hybrids.
The functional resume 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.
For 99% of hospitality and catering professionals, reverse chronological order is the way to go.
Resume summary example: how may I help you?
The summary of your hospitality and catering resume gives you a chance to show off your most hospitable self. It is here that you can add charm to what is otherwise a formatted document.
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 resume: to explain to employers how you will help them. Use an example or anecdote from your work history to show them what you bring to the job.
If you want further illumination on this important section, here are some related resume samples you can check out. If you have niche skills, try our sommelier resume example or our pastry resume example . We also offer a caterer resume example . Entry-level workers should click on the food service resume example , or if coffee is your drink, try our barista resume example .
You can find a resume example for your summary section below.
Experienced and passionate Catering Director adept in planning and managing overall catering functions for both small and large-scale events. 10 years of operational experience in a variety of both non-commercial and commercial catering/banquet settings.
Employment history sample: career upgrade
The best employment history sections show your prospective employer that you have all the skills it takes to do the job and, 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.
Here are some strong action words and phrases to inspire your bullet list:
Below you will find an adaptable employment history resume example.
- Developed and executed catering strategies to meet customer needs.
- Facilitated the delivery and set-up of prepared food in a timely and food-safe manner.
- Effectively managed the catering team to ensure optimal quality in final presentation of food.
- Trained and managed employees to ensure extensive knowledge of food menus and offerings.
- Monitored team performance and provided regular feedback.
- Developed and maintained effective client and customer rapport.
- Managed marketing, business, and strategic short and long term plans.
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.
Here are some skills that EHL Insights, a hospitality and education firm, says are in demand (yes, customer service is No. 1).:
- Customer service
- Operational skills (knowing the regulations of your sector, for example)
- Creative problem-solving
- Autonomy and accountability
- Oral and written language
- Critical thinking
- Self-awareness and lifelong learning
Below you will find a skills section resume example.
- Fundamentals of Classical and Contemporary Cuisine
- Catering and Event Planning
- Agile Project Management
- Effective Communication
- Food Safety
- Ability to Multitask
Hospitality and catering education resume example
Some hospitality and catering professionals learn on the job. Others have college 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 resume example as a formatting guide.
Resume 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 resume 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 resume. To that end, keep the color to a minimum, leave plenty of white space and use bold headings with a font that opposes your text. For instance, use a serif type for the text and a sans serif for the titles.
To get your job search started faster, consider using one of our resume templates to guide you and to take care of the mundane formatting details.
Key takeaways for a hospitality and catering resume
- Use the same charm you apply to customers when you create your summary section.
- The hospitality business is suffering a shortage of workers that has led to higher wages and benefits. Good for you!
- Make sure you take the ATS into account and personalize your resume for each job.
- Take advantage of our online resume builder to transform your text and get your job hunt moving!