You may think that having a fast food resume isn’t a very important part of the job.

Being a fast food worker has such a strong stigma that goes along with it.

While negative stereotypes do exist, most people who work in fast food are capable and intelligent individuals who simply get a bad wrap.

People want their food order, they want it right, and they want it right now.

Only people who have worked in the field can truly understand just how demanding this job can be.

It takes a strong-minded person to please so many people in one shift while keeping a smile on their face.

You need to be fast, friendly, and did we say fast?

If that’s not enough, you are competing against a large number of people to land a job in this field, so you’ve got to stand out against the crowd.

The first step in standing out?

Drafting a stellar resume. That’s where we come in.

Summary

  1. Resume Template
  2. Formatting
  3. Writing Your Resume Summary
  4. Areas of Expertise
  5. Writing Your Work Experience
  6. Writing Your Education Section
  7. Additional Sections
  8. Resume Points to Remember
  9. Resume “Don’ts” to Remember
  10. Some Helpful Tools

Let’s begin with a sample fast food resume to demonstrate how all the resume pieces fit together. Then we will break each section down to really drill into how to write the best fast food resume you possibly can.

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Fast Food Resume (Text Version)

Contact Info:

Sylvia Whittaker
SWittaker@email.com
1 (510) 555-5500
Oakland, CA 94501

Summary Statement:

Fast Food: Dedicated team member with a great attitude, motivated, respectful, high energy, and hospitable with infectious enthusiasm. Passion for helping all customers experience a memorable meal and creating a welcoming environment.

Key Accomplishments/Areas of Expertise

  • Register
  • POS System
  • Professional
  • Multifaced
  • Friendly
  • Hard worker
  • Team player

Professional Experience:

Healthy Food Cafe, Mill Valley, CA
TEAM MEMBER | Mar 2016 – Present

  • Assist and ring up guests, answer phone calls, accurately take orders over the phone
  • Explain the health benefits of ingredients in an upbeat and informative manner
  • Communicate with other staff to ensure orders are made correctly and timely
  • Prep food according to proper procedures

Marugame Udon, Berkeley, CA
CREW MEMBER | Oct 2014 – Feb 2016

  • Followed recipes accurately and maintained proper food preparation processes
  • Spoke clearly and listened attentively to guests and other employees
  • Maintained a professional appearance, displayed a positive and enthusiastic approach
  • Developed positive working relationships and thrived as part of a cohesive team

Subway, Emeryville, CA
FOOD SERVICE/SANDWICH ARTIST | June 2011 – Sept 2014

  • Strict adherence to instructions for recipes and sanitation guidelines
  • Exhibited a cheerful and helpful manner while greeting guests and preparing orders
  • Accurately explained menu items to customers and answered concerns regarding allergens
  • Collected payments and used register to record the order and compute the amount of the bill

Education/Certifications

FOOD HANDLERS CARD
HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA

Oakland High School | Oakland, CA
Class of 2011

Formatting

Think of formatting as the packaging for your fast food resume.

You wouldn’t give someone their food in a trash bag.

No, you would separate their items into neat, individually wrapped papers that often have clear labels.

Your resume formatting is the first thing the hiring manager will notice, and therefore the first thing they will judge you on.

Needless to say, it’s essential.

In general, you have about 6 seconds to grab their attention and make your mark.

No, this doesn’t mean you should try to use a silly font or some crazy formatting style.

This just means that you should be thoughtful about which of your best qualities suit the job and lay them out in a way that is easy to read.

You want a clear font that is well separated with proper spacing so that you can guide the hiring manager’s eyes to look at what is most important.

Making sure to list the most current and appropriate jobs you have had or the education you have acquired is an excellent way to start things off.

While content is obviously important, all it takes is some bad or offbeat formatting to get your resume thrown out faster than you can flip a burger.

Beginning Your Fast Food Resume

The first thing you’re going to write when you start your fast food resume is your summary.

A summary is a brief statement about you, and more specifically, your best skills that relate to the position for which you are applying.

If there was ever a time to be picky, it’s now.

You don’t want to over-saturate your summary with irrelevant or generic information.

While you want your summary to be well rounded, you also want it to be kept short to just a few well thought out sentences.

Here are two examples of what to do and what not to do when writing your resume summary:

Yes!

Dedicated team member with a great attitude, motivated, respectful, high energy, and hospitable with infectious enthusiasm. Passion for helping all customers experience a memorable meal and creating a welcoming environment.

No!

Awesome team member. Friendly with great passion. Wants to help all customers have an awesome meal.

The “Yes!” example uses specific and powerful words to convey the level of enthusiasm they will bring to the job.

The “No!” example is too short, generic, and reuses words that are not strong or unique, making the candidate seem like they are just throwing out words like “awesome” with nothing to actually back up the claim

Areas of Expertise/Key Accomplishments

Now that you have written a brief introduction, it’s time to lay out some more specific skills in a way that is easier to read at a glance.

As we’ve mentioned, most hiring managers are only going to give your resume a quick 6-second glance before deciding to move on.

Because of this, it is essential to write down some keywords that will jump off the page for them.

In order to make that happen, bullet points are your friend.

This section of your resume is going to list out your Key Accomplishments, or Areas of Expertise.

This list is going to show them that you are the best person for the job by laying out all of your individual and unmatched skills.

While lists are useful for catching the eyes of the hiring manager, it is crucial that you are concise in deciding what to include.

Example:

  • Register
  • POS System
  • Professional
  • Multifaceted
  • Friendly
  • Hard worker
  • Team Player
  • Punctual

When you start thinking through what skills to list, it is helpful to know that there are two types of skills, hard and soft.

Hard skills, or technical skills, are the kind of skills that you would have learned through previous experience – they are something that can be taught and evaluated.

If you have experience working a register or counting out drawers, now is the time to say so.

Soft skills, or people skills, are the kinds of skills that come more naturally and tend to relate more to your personality.

If you work well with teammates or are an exceptionally hard worker, don’t be afraid to brag and make it known.

When you are trying to think of the best skills to put down, always reference the job posting and pull ideas from what they have included.

They want a candidate that lines up with what they directly say they are looking for.

PRO TIP: Try talking to yourself out loud and list the things that come to mind. “I am good at…” and then fill in what applies to you. Then you can narrow the list down to what will apply to the job best.

(See below for a helpful table of some suggested hard and soft skill ideas to include in your skills section.)

Work Experience

With the introduction out of the way, it is time to address the central part of your fast food resume.

Structure wise you will want to lay your work history out in reverse chronological order.

This is important because most hiring managers will want to know what you have been up to most recently.

In many cases, what you have done most recently is likely your most impressive job.

When laying out your work history, it is important to pick the jobs that utilized relevant skills to the position in which you are applying.

For instance, don’t list a job you’ve had as a babysitter over a previous fast food position.

If you have enough relevant experience, try not to list jobs outside your field at all.

To better demonstrate what we are saying, we have provided examples:

Yes!

Healthy Food Cafe | Mill Valley, CA | Team Member | Mar 2016 – Present

  • Assist and ring up guests, answer phone calls, accurately take orders over the phone
  • Explain the health benefits of ingredients in an upbeat and informative manner
  • Communicate with other staff to ensure orders are made correctly and timely
  • Prep food according to proper procedures

No!

Healthy Food Cafe | Mill Valley, CA | Team Member | Mar 2016 – Present

  • Ring up orders
  • Assist customers
  • Work with team members
  • Prep food

The “Yes!” example uses descriptive details that show off just how much customer service and teamwork was a part of every daily task.

The “No!” example lists the daily tasks in a way that is completely non-specific and therefore unhelpful. It fails to paint a picture of a talented and dedicated employee who wants to create an enjoyable experience for guests.

More About Bots

Due to the increase in people looking to acquire jobs, hiring managers do not always have the amount of time required to look at every resume.

This has led to the increased use of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), otherwise referred to as bots.

These systems are designed to flag resumes that are best suited for the job at hand.

When you are writing out your daily tasks and skills, it is vital to use the exact wording that the job post you are responding to provides.

Some people now recommend writing out your work history in paragraph form instead of with bullet points as to include more words the bots will flag.

Bullet list example:

Marugame Udon | Berkeley, CA | Crew Member | Oct 2014 – Feb 2016

  • Followed recipes accurately and maintained proper food preparation processes
  • Spoke clearly and listened attentively to guests and other employees
  • Maintained a professional appearance, displayed a positive and enthusiastic approach
  • Developed positive working relationships and thrived as part of a cohesive team

Paragraph format example:

Followed recipes accurately to sustain proper food preparation processes. Spoke clearly and listened attentively to guests and other employees while maintaining a professional appearance. Displayed a positive and enthusiastic approach and developed positive working relationships, to thrive as part of a cohesive team

Or if you would like to do something that will utilize both styles to catch the attention of bots and managers, something like this works as well:

Followed recipes accurately to sustain proper food preparation processes. Spoke clearly and listened attentively to guests and other employees while maintaining a professional appearance. Displayed a positive and enthusiastic approach and developed positive working relationships, to thrive as part of a cohesive team

  • Effectively utilized POS system
  • Worked register properly to ensure accuracy of orders

While paragraphs are a great way to put down more keywords on the page, they aren’t always great at catching attention when it comes to formatting.

Here at Big Interview, we suggest that a well-formulated bullet point system works best for both managers and bots.

PRO TIP: Reference the job description you are applying for to pull out the keywords bots and hiring managers are looking for. Don’t use synonyms for these words – you will want them to be a perfect match.

Your Education

This section of your resume should include a list of your education with your most impressive degree or accomplishment listed first.

Example:

High School Diploma
Oakland High School | Oakland, CA
Class of 2011

Your education section is also where you will list any certifications or workshops that are related to the position.

Example

  • Food Handlers Card

Possible Sections to Include

To beef up your fast food resume, feel free to include any sections that you believe could help you attain the position.

Some of the sections you could include are:

  • Awards and honors
  • Hobbies/Interests
  • Volunteer Work

What if You Have No Experience?

In some cases, you may not have a lot of work experience, or possibly even none at all.

If this is the situation you are stuck in, don’t be afraid to get creative.

Your education section will now be the main component of your fast food resume.

You will want to list your education section directly below the summary and add more substance to it by including more details.

If you had a high GPA in school, took honors courses, or participated in any clubs or societies, these things can go a long way.

Volunteer work is also a great way to get noticed despite a lack of work experience.

Once you have acquired more job experience, you can reel these details as your work history section becomes more impressive.

Resume Points to Remember

Double-check your work

It can be easy to let a small mistake slip by. Make sure you are always reading back through your resume, or better yet, have someone else take a look at it and tell you what they think.

Use the job description

When trying to decide how best to describe yourself or your previous work history, make sure you are pulling power words from the job description. Power words should match what the employer is looking for, and you will want to use as many as possible without reuse to keep your resume looking fresh.

Include your contact details

It might sound silly to mention, but it is easy to get wrapped up in all of the details and forget the most simple ones of all. Always include a way to be contacted through phone number and email.

Don’t forget the power of space

Just as important as the words on the page, the spaces between the words will help hiring managers read through your resume with ease. The spacing is also essential in making sure the best details stand out.

Resume “Don’ts” to Remember

Don’t use “I” and “Me”

The use of personal pronouns is a faux pas in resume writing. Make sure that when you are describing yourself, especially when using bullet points, you aren’t falling into this trap.

Don’t stand out for the wrong reason

Remember to let a legible font and excellent formatting speak for itself. Don’t try to impress with flashy fonts or funky formats; it will likely have the opposite effect.

Don’t hand in a two-page resume

Hiring managers barely have time to read a one-page resume, so they don’t want to look at something that wastes their time. This is true for all kinds of jobs and especially true for entry-level positions.

(See below for a helpful table of some suggested power words.)

Helpful Tools

Fast Food Resume Power Words

  • Administered
  • Founded
  • Adept
  • Formulated
  • Built
  • Implemented
  • Created
  • Improved
  • Consolidated
  • Initiated
  • Coordinated
  • Launched
  • Developed
  • Pioneered
  • Designed
  • Organized

Fast Food Resume Skills List

Hard SkillsSoft Skills
POS SystemProfessional
RegisterCommunication Skills
Drawer CountingCollaborative
Line PrepFriendly
Customer ServicePunctual