You may hang out in restaurants with your friends and family regularly. But seeing the restaurant from the customer’s POV and from the staff’s are two different perspectives.

Whether you’re considering a taking a job in the service industry to make a few extra bucks, or if you’re thinking of turning it into a lifelong career, here are five things to keep in mind when applying for your first position.

You’ll need to do some research first.

This is good practice for any job. For the restaurant industry, you’ll want to know what the different restaurant types are and what kind of work you can expect at each.

You’ll also want to know a bit about the restaurant itself, what their hours are, what their busy times of the day and the week are, and what kind of food they serve. Believe it or not, all of these will factor into when the restaurant manager schedules you.

You need to have a flexible schedule.

Speaking of schedules. Keep this in mind: the service industry is busy when all other industries are not working. So you may be working nights, holidays, and weekends regularly.

Be willing to work your way up.

Whether you’re applying for a position in the kitchen or for a position in the dining area, you’ll need to understand how each position of the restaurant functions. The best way to do this is to learn things from the ground up, so don’t take it personally if the hiring manager offers you a less prestigious position than you had in mind.

If you can show you’re willing to accept the challenge and work your way up, chances are you won’t be in that position for long.

Be ready to get your hands dirty.

We mean this in the literal and figurative sense of the phrase. As we said above, showing your positive attitude will earn you accolades quickly. But along with that, you may actually be getting your hands dirty.

What we mean is you’ll be cleaning all the time.

Whether you’re cleaning up in the kitchen after the rush, or cleaning up after a patron is done with their meal you can expect to be washing your hands a lot.

You’ll be on your feet for long periods.

This is fast paced, physical industry. Patrons don’t like to wait for their food. People want their food and drinks and they want it now!

This leaves no time to rest or sit down. And as we touched on earlier, every position of the restaurant is important and can’t function without the other. Expect to push yourself a bit to ensure great service.

A few other quick tips to make sure you get that job:

  • You don’t have to wear a suit and tie, but you still need to show up looking serious about getting the position. Leave the shorts, flip flops, dirty, and torn clothes at home.
  • Show your personality. Whether you’re in the front of the house of the back, managers want to see that you’re going to get along well with others and that you’ll be able to provide great customer service.
  • Having a pen and a resume with you when applying is always a good idea.

With these tips in mind, you shouldn’t have a tough time finding the right fit at all. When you’re ready to get that first industry job, feel free to visit our job search page and kick your new career off.

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