No matter what type of career you're pursuing, a well-crafted resume will help you get your foot in the door. If your goal is to work as a dietary aide in a health care setting or other institution, you need to spend time highlighting that you have the skills necessary to do the job well. Among the things an employer will look for is a person who works well with others, keeps good standards of cleanliness and hygiene, is physically able to lift boxes and carry dishes, and can bring on the hustle when dinner needs to get on the table.
Look over the job description for the job you want, to get an idea of what types of skills this particular employer is looking for. Dietary aide positions in nursing homes and hospitals often require you to cook and serve meals, as well as providing a level of social interaction with the residents. As you look over the job description, underline any matching skills or qualifications you possess -- you'll need to refer to them later on.
Decide between a skills-based resume or a resume that focuses on work experience. If you've never worked as a dietary aide before, it doesn't necessarily mean you can't get hired -- you'll just need to show the employer that you have some transferable skills that will make you a great candidate. That's where the skills-based resume comes into play. If you've worked in restaurants, hotels, bars or other service-related jobs, you're sure to have lots of transferable skills that you can highlight in a "Skills" section of the resume. If you've worked as a dietary aide or nutritional aide in the past, a work experience resume is probably more appropriate, since it will highlight your past work experience front-and-center.
Type your name across the top of the resume and put it in large, bold lettering. Under that, include your address and contact information and justify it to the left side of the page. Under that, create a long line across the page to separate that section from the rest of the resume.
Type the word "Objective" and put it in bold lettering. Then, write one or two sentences that name the job you want and why you want it. If you have skills or training as a dietary aide, this is going to be easy -- you can simply say "To use my skills and training in the position of Dietary Aide at X Company." If you've never done the job before, try to think of a personal reason why this job is the one you want. If you have a grandmother who taught you how to cook and you want to use those skills, mention it. If you love working with the elderly, say that. Since the position requires lots of social skills and interacting with residents, showing a personal connection to the job may give you an edge.
Create a new section titled either "Skills" or "Work Experience," based on your decision to either create a skills-based or work experience-focused resume. Whichever one you use, put the title in bold lettering.
Create a set of bullet points under the "Skills" or "Work Experience" heading. For a skills-based resume, list the skills you have that match skills required for the job. It's perfectly fine to mention a detail or two about how you obtained that skill too; for example, if you learned how to wash dishes and set tables in your high school cafeteria internship, say so. Dietary aide jobs are typically entry-level, so it should be perfectly acceptable to cite volunteer gigs, church or community center involvement or other "non-job" experiences that gave you the skills the employer is looking for. If you've chosen to do a work-based resume, list your jobs in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent. Name the job, the employer and the dates you worked there. Then state the duties you performed in a sentence or two -- making sure to mention any skills you did in the old job that are needed in the new job.
Create an "Education" heading, and then list the schools you've attended in list format, in reverse chronological order. Dietary aides typically need to have a high school education or GED, so be sure to mention at least your high school education. If you have any medical or food service training, be sure to list it in this section. Likewise, some states require you to have a food handler's card or license in order to serve food in a commercial setting. If you have one, mention it here, as it could help get you the job.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.