The way of the world has changed, and expectations for entry-level roles in the restaurant industry are higher than ever before. 

Employers want to see that you are committed and serious about the role that you are applying for. Even if you don’t have the 4 years of experience they wrote about in their job post, there are likely other ways that you can prove that you are a team player who is interested in advancing your career in the restaurant industry.

A few ways to do that are by making sure you are prepared for the interview. Arrive with an updated resume ready to answer your interview questions with gumption and authority. Remember, if there are other candidates in the running as well, you need to make sure you stand out above the rest. We have heard from many of our clients that candidates who have valid certificates prior to applying for a job are more likely to get the job than those without. Why is that? Here are 4 reasons why having a valid certificate makes you look more appealing to your future employer in the restaurant industry.

1 – Indicates a commitment to knowledge and skills

It takes time and effort to go through Food Handler, Food Manager, or Alcohol Server training, and having a certificate of completion shows that you are committed to working hard. Just like taking any test shows a demonstration of knowledge, your certificate shows that you are informed and up-to-date on all of the rules, regulations, and knowledge for the role at hand, meaning less training time and a more efficient onboarding process.

2 – Promotes professional credibility

Not only have you demonstrated your industry knowledge when you pass and complete the food handler, food manager or alcohol server training, but you now have an ANSI-Accredited certificate. This gives you credibility in the food & beverage space that hiring managers are looking for. They want to know that they can trust the people that they are investing in, and having some professional credibility will help set that precedence.

3 – Offers a competitive advantage

As mentioned briefly before, having valid industry certificates gives you a strong competitive advantage over other applicants. If it came down to a similar education, experience, and character type, the person with a valid certificate would get the role because that means they can start work right away without the need for as much training. To be sure that you are prepared for this side by side comparison, make sure you have a valid certificate for the position you are applying for and bring it to your interview.

4 – May qualify you for a better position

Although this might not happen right away, if you are prepared for the role that you are applying for and there were two possible openings, one as a busboy, and one as a sous chef, having a certificate that shows that you know all of the proper ways to handle food might give you a leg up. For someone without any experience or demonstration of knowledge, they would likely get the role that required little training and little contact with food due to their lack of experience.

Another example would be if you are applying for a role that had managerial duties. Even if you didn’t have direct experience as a manager in a restaurant, if you had previous food handler experience and a valid food manager certificate, your employer will likely recognize your potential.

Finding a new job can be tough on its own, but the interview process can take time and come down to small details between candidates.

Make sure you are a step ahead of your teammates and be prepared with your restaurant industry credentials prior to your first interview to ensure you make the best impression!

Need some more help preparing for your interview? Download and print our interview prep worksheet. If you can fill that out and be prepared to speak to those questions prior to your interview, you are on the right path to landing that job!

Need resources to find a job near you? Head to eFoodJobs to see and search for the food & beverage jobs near you.