It is a reality that many UCF students serve while in College. Being that we are located in a hotspot for the hospitality industry, I don’t blame you. I served tables while attending UCF and know the benefits of why students choose to do so:
- Instant gratification – you take that cash home at the end of your shift; it smells nice and feels great in your pocket
- Convenience – thousands of restaurants are located near campus
- Exercise – (maybe this one’s just for me) what other job would require you to walk a minimum amount of 3 miles per shift?
- Flexibility – it is easy to make restaurant shifts work between your school and play hours
The amount of benefits to serving throughout college are endless.. but then you find yourself in an awkward spot right around graduation… What do I do next, serving doesn’t relate to my degree?
Yes, my friend, it does.
As a server you are coordinating, you are managing, you are executing, and you are delivering, implementing, ensuring, delegating, maintaining, leading and possibly even training. You are managing your time efficiently. You are selling! Here are some questions to ask yourself. After you answer, see how you can include these facts in your resume.
- How much are you selling in food/beverage on a weekly basis (approximate numbers are okay)? What’s your average check amount? Can you compare this number to the average of the other servers (only include if your average is higher)?
- If you aren’t sure, ask you manager for your sales print outs. You may get this information in your W2’s as well.
- Have you won any sales contests? Out of how many servers?
- Were you ever the shift lead? Did you set the floor plan? For how many servers?
- Did you train new hires? How many? Were they successful after your training?
- Were you promoted from host to server to bartender?
- What type of attitude did you have with your guests? Did you create regulars to the business?
- How many tables did you have in your section? How many customers did you see on a daily, weekly or monthly basis?
- Were you the server chosen for large parties or corporate parties?
- Did you promote or sell daily or seasonal specials?
- Did you promote the email marketing club for your restaurant?
Did that help you relate your experience to an internship, part time job or entry-level job?
Now here is the most important piece of advice I can give you if you are the student serving tables. Take advantage of your environment! Meet your guests, impress them, talk to them about what they do… it is very possible that someone in your section is a hiring manager or knows a hiring manager of a position you want or are qualified for. Start your networking while at work. I was offered an interview for my first entry-level technical recruiting position from a manager sitting at my bar. I can’t say this enough, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT! Network, NETWORK, NETWORK!!!
Career Coach – Marketing