One of my students in the Bartending Class that I teach who works as an investment advisor , happens also to be opening up a restaurant here in town at the recreation centre on December 1st. He is taking the course to learn something about how a bar operates. Good thing too as he is going to be owning one shortly.
What he told me last night was the ad he put in the paper for bartenders and wait staff last week fetched 118 emails over the weekend from interested candidates. A fairly big number considering there are a bunch of restaurants here locally already and the population is only 32,000 people. In fact there is probably too many restaurants to choose from as it is right now. There is always one opening up every couple of weeks it seems.
So my question is how do you separate yourself from the pack if you are one of the 118 people?
What I would do in this case is first of all I never like to email my resume to anyone especially if I know there are going to be a lot of other people doing the same thing. It is different if you are one of a few who are qualified to send your resume through e-mail for a manager position , but if it is for a bartender or waiter position , forget about it , as you will just get lost amongst all the others.
If email is your only option , which unfortunately nowadays seems to be the case a lot of the time , what the main objective for the applicant has to be is get an interview as quick as possible. So in your resume you give the employer a run-down on what your last couple of years of experience is and your education as well.
Then on your cover letter or at the end of the resume you tell the person that you have a couple of other job interviews next week and that you would much appreciate it if they can get a hold of you quickly to set something up because you really are keen on working at their place. Give them a couple of choices like Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning for example.
It is all fair because for people who are waiting for a call from an e-mail application the wait can seem endless unless you put the onus on the employer to give you a call. You may not have anything going on interview wise but you have to make the other person feel like wow I better get a hold of this person if I want them.
Now the good news is if they want you they will call and the bad news is if they do not want you the deadline you gave them will pass and then you just keep going on with the job hunt. They may still call but you are not waiting around anymore sitting on pins and needles drinking strong coffee hoping that they will one day get a hold of you.
It serves as a good way to see whether a future “could be” employer is really interested in you or not. A lot of people will wait and hope to get a call from someone who has already deleted their resume so you have to create a deadline and a sense of urgency.
Do not forget to mention that you would really like to work at their establishment and think of a reason why. Owners really think that their place is the best place anyone can work so if you stroke their ego a bit you will likely get a call and separate yourself from the pack.
On a final note if you are just getting started and have no practical experience as a waiter or bartender don’t bother emailing your resume. You have to go in the door and talk to the operator about an opportunity to work there. Your personality , appearance , enthusiasm , and a willingness to do whatever it takes from bussing tables to filling the beer fridge will get you an opportunity. Not only will he give you a chance but sooner rather than later you will be one of the best employees that restaurant owner ever hired.
If that fails just offer to work a shift for free so they can see what you are made of and what you bring to the table. You can add if they do not think you fit the bill then you will leave promptly without pay. Don’t worry they will pay you. Nearly every employer would and afterwards give you some shifts as well.
Most times a restaurant owner would rather work with someone starting out than someone who has been in the business a few years and has loads of baggage to go along with it.
Any other ideas how to get a job in these competitive times???