Many people find the job application process and all its related steps to be more confusing than calculus. One of the most difficult aspects is figuring out where to apply. For those who want the flexibility and experience offered by the restaurant business, Olive Garden is always looking to onboard fresh faces.
Founded on December 13, 1982, Olive Garden is a restaurant chain specializing in Italian-American cuisine. There are so many job opportunities at Olive Garden that the application process can take anywhere from one week to 3 months to complete. Because Olive Garden is a nationally recognized and reputable brand, job hopefuls send several resumes daily to hiring managers. To increase your odds, making your resume stand out is the first step.
How to Make Your Resume Stand Out
For many people, a root canal is more appealing than sitting down and writing a resume. Normally, a resume is a hiring manager's first interaction with a job applicant, so it is a major step you must take in your employment journey. Managers rely on this document to create a picture of you, your background and your work experiences — not to mention your skill set.
To make that picture you produce match up with the requirements of the job you're applying for, here are a few tips:
Tailor Your Resume to the Specific Job
When going through the application process, and in the hopes of covering more potential hiring landscape quickly, it is more than tempting to send out the exact same resume, line for line, to all hiring sites. Yes, you'll have sent a lot of resumes out, but the chance an employer will look through a generic resume is slim. It can be time-consuming, but it is definitely worthwhile for candidates to make certain tweaks to their resumes before sending them out.
Use Industry- and Job-Specific Keywords
Many large corporations use automatic filtering systems that quickly scan each submitted resume for certain keywords. Want to know a trick for advancing past that process? Look closely at the job description itself. Recruiters and hiring managers will often place specific keywords or experiences they're looking for in their perfect candidate in the actual job vacancy posting. If you key in on those keywords and then include them in your resume and/or cover letter, then you'll stand a much better chance of making it to the next round.
For example, if you are applying for the role of a cashier, adding words like “customer service” or “math” would be helpful to your cause.
Use a Header
Including a clear, poignant statement at the top of your resume is a perfect way to define who you are — effectively and succinctly. A header is typically written in all caps across the top of a page and sits directly under your name and contact information.
A header at the top of your resume is the perfect opportunity to brand yourself as an ideal candidate. Based upon research, an objective statement is not nearly as effective as using a header. If you need examples to follow, then we suggest you do a quick search on the internet.
Add a Cover Letter to Your Application/Resume
If you send in a cover letter, then that shows a job recruiter you went the extra mile to build on the experiences shown on your resume. It also presents the candidate with the ability to explain directly why you would be a great fit for the position. Cover letters are the perfect way of making your experiences into an actual story where you can highlight growth.
Show Your Professional Growth by Telling a Story
While many people view the cover letter as their chance to tell a story, a resume can also be used as a vehicle to show growth. As a candidate, you can use your resume to showcase accomplishments, certificates earned and overall experiences. For those who have skills using computer programs, adding those skills into a separate section of the resume can bring light to and impress a hiring manager.
Proofread before Sending Out
While this tip may seem like a no-brainer, several people make the mistake of not properly proofreading their resumes before sending them. When creating a resume, take your time and recall your experiences and what you did in your past jobs.
Have a close friend, family member or colleague read it over to check for mistakes. When proofreading, they should check for spelling errors, typos or any grammatical issues. Though not always a deal breaker, hiring managers look down on resumes with errors because it reflects a lack of care by the applicant.
Tips for Acing Your Interview
An interview poses your next opportunity to impress the hiring manager. Below are tips to help calm your interview nerves:
Spend Time Researching the Company
When applying to any company, especially one as well-known as Olive Garden, research the company's website to learn some of its history. Knowing the history of the company you're applying to and its most recent activities is a great way to show a hiring manager you're interested enough in the position that you invested your time in it to become an informed applicant.
Use Your Connections to Get Inside Information
It’s never a bad idea to check websites like LinkedIn to see if you have contacts who may work at the company you’ve applied to. If you went to college, then check out the alumni network and ask around. You’ll be surprised by how many connections you have or even people who do not know you who are willing to speak about their experiences working at the company.
If you have a personal connection at the company, set up a phone call or lunch so you can ask for tips and any advice that could impress the hiring manager.
Read Books and Articles by Successful People
Recent psychological studies have shown that consumers of literature often act and behave like the characters or authors of the book they read. If you're someone who wants to be successful in an interview, then surround yourself with books and articles that talk about success and how to achieve it.
Make Sure to Bring Your Own Questions
Something every candidate should do is bring a list of their own concerns and questions with them to the interview. Hiring managers end the interview process by asking their candidate if they have questions of their own. Take this time to ask informed questions about the company's culture, the day-to-day activities and expectations for the position you're curious about.
Follow Up with a Thank You Note
Although it may seem like a small gesture, sending a follow-up thank you note (even if by email) is a great way to reiterate your interest in the position. It should express your gratitude to the hiring manager for taking the time to meet with you, as well as reference once again your continued interest in the position.
If you do not hear back from the hiring manager in a week or two, then it is appropriate to send another follow-up email. Keep it brief, but state that you're still very excited about the job and hope that there has been some development.
Olive Garden Interview Questions
Although it is impossible to know what's going to be asked during any one specific interview, below are some common questions that former employees encountered in their process of interviewing for an Olive Garden position.
'Why Should We Hire You to Work for Olive Garden?'
To answer this question, it is imperative that a candidate perform research on Olive Garden. Make sure to write down a couple of values that impressed you about the company. If you're someone who is looking to become a manager of a restaurant, then mention those ambitions during the interview.
If you are a college student who is looking to gain experience in the workforce while also completing your education, then talk about your goals after college and how employment with this company can help guide you in your desired career direction.
'What Is Your Weakest Skill?'
Hiring managers are aware, very much, that there is no such thing as a perfect employee. When answering this question, be sure to state a skill set that is not in direct contrast with something incredibly important in the job description. If you're applying to be a server, revealing that you have trouble connecting with people would not be the way to answer this question.
Answer honestly, but also follow your answer with an active solution you've been working on in your personal growth. For example, if you're someone who struggles with multitasking, use specific examples (preferably job-related) that have helped alleviate the stresses of this weakness.
Customer Service-Related Questions
'How Would You Handle the Situation If You Messed Up an Order?'
While Olive Garden tries its hardest to eliminate errors, the occasional mishap does occur. When you answer this question, be sure to approach it as a customer and a server. If you've ever been on the receiving end of a wrong order, ask yourself, what your expectations of the restaurant would be.
A great way to solve the situation would be to confirm the order and state it will be relayed to a chef as soon as possible. Also, providing the customer or party with free appetizers could help de-escalate a situation.
'How Would You Describe Good Customer Service?'
To answer this question, look back at your own experiences as a customer or if you've worked in retail. Use your experience as a guide in how to approach this answer. For those with experience in retail, use a specific example of how you’ve approached customers in the past, what you've learned from those interactions and how you would plan to improve on your personal performance at Olive Garden.
For those new to the workforce, talk about your experiences as a customer and use an example of good customer service that you experienced and appreciated in the past. Stating that you would do similar things (like being attentive) shows that you paid attention and can translate those skills if hired.
As you can see, the application process is more complex than you might first appreciate. Above all, remember to approach your resume, interview and after-interview process with a clear vision on the best way to succeed at each step.
Olive Garden is a restaurant that continues to grow and is always looking to add fresh faces to its roster. By following the steps above, a job candidate can make himself or herself be a standout from a sea of applicants.
Featured photo via Flickr