Chef Resume

Every hard-working candidate in culinary arts hopes to hear this at least once in their career span: “Give my compliments to the chef”. The eternal bliss of this moment takes time and persistence, and it all starts from making a Chef Resume.

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It takes much more than just mixing a bunch of ingredients on a low flame to become a well-renowned chef, you must stand out. It’s like carefully following a recipe for food preparation.

Similarly, writing a chef resume is not about throwing everything you’ve collected in the past years on a sheet of paper, but smartly allocating every ingredient you have and making the best out of it to land your dream job.

A dish can taste like heaven but if it doesn’t look good, it loses its essence.

Creating an executive chef resume is a marketing tool. It does not contain your menu items, rather it’s a recipe for your signature dish. Everything you write on your resume must prove your ability to work and perform.

Chef resume

Essential Sections for a Chef Resume

A chef resume might seem like any other resume to the normal eye but the employers in hotels and restaurants can easily filter out the standard, no-effort resumes which are just a simple copy-paste of chef resume examples from a plain resume template.

The sections in your executive chef resume recipe are the “spices” of your signature dish. They need to be prepared in a certain order and in the perfect placement to taste the way you want.

A chef resume must include the following sections to get better visibility: –

  • Summary
  • Experience
  • Education 
  • Skills (soft skills/technical skills)
  • Certifications
  • Projects (If any)
  • Interests/Hobbies
  • Reference

We arranged the order of the above sections in your resume for candidates with decent work experience. If you’re relatively new to the field and have only done odd jobs, replace the section “experience” with “education”. This way, you’ll emphasize your present qualifications and potential.

Choose Your Chef Resume Template Wisely

A resume template is like a recipe, and the end result is the dish (resume).  No matter how experienced you are, a bad template can be a major turnoff for employers and hiring managers, hence reducing your chances of getting hired.

Finding the right template is usually easier said than done. You can find 100s of average resumes online, but many don’t make the grade.

To save you from that hassle, the experts in our team have crafted some executive chef resume samples for the perfect head chef candidate out there, designed specifically to get you noticed. Looking at a sample resume can inspire you.  Find them here.

Chef Resume Format

Now that you have the template, you’ve put the vessel on the stove. But you always spread the food items evenly, don’t you?

Here comes the formatting! Good formatting is key to decluttering your resume and making a good impression.

Types of Chef Resume Formatting: –

Margins
By default, while editing resumes, the text editing software gives large empty spaces to the document.
Thus, to avoid making a 2-3 page resume, always reduce your template margins and fill the large, empty white spaces, leaving room for aesthetics.

Sections
The sections of your resume must follow the order mentioned above, moving harmoniously. Also, don’t forget to separate the headings from the general text, i.e. the sections must be of bigger font size and bold so that they’re easily recognizable.

Bullets
Never use big paragraphs in your chef resume. Considered a rookie mistake, writing large paragraphs can clutter your resume, making it harder to read and consume more time. If you plan on providing details, always use bullets to improve precision.

Division
The division is usually for resumes with over one page. Even though we highly recommend you to not exceed your resume by one page.  If you do, divide the text evenly i.e. while writing something, be vigilant before proceeding to the second page, you always finish the text on the first document.

Harmony
While writing your resume, always stay crystal clear about the font type and size and follow that exact pattern throughout the whole resume. Using multiple fonts of different sizes shows indecisiveness.

Chef resume

Professional Summary for a Chef Resume

Consider your professional summary in your executive chef resume as your sales pitch.

You can explain a little more in-depth in your cover letter.

The summary is like a small resume in itself. It’s a statement. It briefly covers almost all the important parts of your resume and captures your aim for the chef jobs you want to apply for.

Keep updating your executive chef resume and cover letters according to the job description.

A well-written professional summary never exceeds around 5 lines, as brevity plays a major role.

The pattern usually starts with how much experience you have (if any, as an executive chef, head chef, or sous chef), followed by writing about either the job you’re looking for, or further explaining your goals, and finishing it with your most important skills.

Executive Chef Resume Example (Summary)

No matter how experienced you are, if you ruin the base ingredient, things can go sideways.

The following are examples of an executive chef resume summary. Have a look at the following examples which will leave the recruiter delighted by their words.

CORRECT

Classically trained Chef and Culinary Professional with 7 years of dedicated service experience. Proven leader skilled in building high-performing teams. Committed to delivering exceptional customer service, supervising operations, and delivering culinary excellence. Dedicated to food safety and quality food service. Ability to drive sales, reduce costs, and increase profits.

INCORRECT

Experienced chef. Hard working, team player seeking new position. Self-starter, motivated and dedicated with a proven track record. Salary negotiable. 

CORRECT

Enthusiastic and dedicated Chef with expertise in delivering top-quality customer service. Detailed knowledge of international cuisines, and highly skilled at working in high-pressure, quick-changing restaurant environments for customers expecting the highest standards.  
Extensive knowledge of sourcing organic ingredients to provide high-quality produce.

Future head chefs and sous chef! We’ll never leave you stranded. Here’s a chef resume example for the people who have very little to no experience but are equally qualified and motivated.

CORRECT

Talented and creative Chef with exceptional skill in grilling, roasting, and broiling meat and vegetables. 
Ambitious with expertise in ethnic cuisine. Creative with impressive reputation specializing in international cuisine. Knowledgeable of current systems strategies and safe cooking regulations.
Seeking new position with company wishing to develop new brand recognition

For the fresh graduates out there with minimal work experience, try to emphasize your skills and your utmost willingness in your resume, to be loyal to the restaurant/hotel and grow with them.

The recruiter must feel the sincerity in your words that you’re willing to give your 100% to the job and not only act as an asset but rather an appreciating one.

Chef resume

Describe Your Work Experience As A Chef 

Be it for an executive chef position or junior chef, having more experience in the kitchen always pushes your resume up to the top of the resume pile, increasing your chances of getting recognized.

Let’s rewind a little to the spices analogy.  If experience is the ‘spices’ of your resume, then including too many can spoil the dish.

Having a lot of experience is great, but adding everything to your resume means the important ingredients are lost.  Instead, try being an amazing chef and use the perfect amount of spices to cook the dish just right.

Now the question arises, what kind of experience shall you put on your resume to increase your chances of success? Whether it’s a restaurant job, hotel job or internship.

No matter how big or small, from food preparation to guest relations, always put your latest experience first, whether it’s an internship or a chef job. Don’t forget to follow a timeline.

Always follow a “one-liner” approach while describing your job activities, i.e. the information you want to project should always be written in one line.

Duties and Responsibilities

Explaining your work ex can be a tricky part as you undertake so many activities during your tenure, from kitchen operations to dining services, that it becomes a dilemma which information should you give more importance to. Let us quickly show you the pattern in which you as a candidate should explain your roles and responsibilities, based on our resume examples: –

  • Always use bullet points to explain your activities
  • Your explanation should usually be less than 2 lines
  • Keep it precise like your recipe’s ingredients.
  • Try to always add a numerical value in the first line to emphasize your talent
  • Follow it up by mentioning an activity where you showed leadership at your job, like mentoring a member of your team, or a tactic you used to handle the kitchen staff or being responsible for the department of health.
  • If you had any major achievements, like creating menus, etc write that in the third sentence.
  • Usually, the 4th line should be the end where you mention your innovative ideas that were a big hit, as it shows initiation and leadership.

Education Section

The route to becoming a chef is more about practical experience than education, you realize that there’s a reason people call it “culinary arts”. That’s why you can find hundreds of certifications these days, offered by reputed professional bodies such as The World Association of Chef Societies , American Culinary Federation or The Culinary Institute of America 

Education is one of the most important sections of a head chef resume, but a candidate must never add all the years of their cooking classes just to show how educated or theoretically qualified you are, as that part can be explained a little more in your cover letter

Just like how having a job experience is your chief ingredient, education is the culmination of all the spices. It’s the sauce of your meal, mixed with that key ingredient, giving you the perfect dish.

It takes skills to present well.

Have a look at these minimalist resume examples to learn from: –

Education

Kendall College 
Associate Degree in Culinary Arts
Chicago, 2018

Or

Education

Associate of Arts: Culinary Arts  2000-2003
City, State Culinary Academy 

Your education section is generally explained during your interview, thus, the recruiter prima facie cares only from where you earned your degree and analyzes during the interview how you justify it, as education plays a big role in employee retention during critical times.

How to Include Skills for a Chef’s Resume

Being a chef is an art in itself and no amount of theory can perfect art but practice.

Always remember, the first 4-5 points you mention in your skills section must be reflected in your job experience above. This shows that the candidate is not just writing big worded skills but has also proven it time and time again.

Sometimes basic facets like developing menus, food safety, food storage, communication skills, helping team members, etc, go a long way.

Always mention the skills you feel define you the best, and add skills that are asked in the job description.

Chef resume

Additional Tips to Elevate your Chefs Resume

(Food for Thought) – Resume tips

  • If you are specialized in a specific style of cooking, don’t forget to mention it.
  • Mention any additional skills you have learned, like being a pastry chef, etc.
  • Professionally brag about any new cooking techniques you have invented.
  • Boast a little about an innovation of yours at your job that stood you out from your competition.
  • If you have developed food menus, that’s a plus.
  • Link a website or an online portfolio (if you have one) displaying your talents in culinary arts.
  • If you think you undertook so many tasks that segregating them will only make your resume longer, you can always put it under an umbrella. For example – restaurant management.
  • Always mention the skills asked in the job description.
  • Use terms like food safety procedures, food costs, labor costs, etc.
  • Update your resumes and cover letter as per the job description.
  • A guy on the internet once nailed his job interview by bringing cookies to his interview. Lesson? Never hesitate to stand out.
  • Customer satisfaction must always be your first priority.
  • Include links to your social media profiles

We don’t just help you get started, we help you finish it! –  Have a look at our chef resume examples right here.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right template is very important
  • The summary should be precise and informative
  • Make sure to format your resume correctly
  • Education and job experience are the two major ingredients of a chef resume
  • Never shy away from boasting about your achievements and certifications.
  • Soft skills and technical skills are highly noticeable.
  • Never underestimate the power of a good cover letter.
  • Follow the resume format step by step.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What are the duties of a chef?

A1. Duties of a chef include but are not limited to: –

  • Planning menus
  • Managing the kitchen staff
  • Supervising the staff members
  • Time Management
  • Ensuring food quality and taste is of the highest standard
  • Managing inventory of stock and ordering raw materials
  • Controlling budgets and minimizing wastage
  • Maintaining health and hygiene in the kitchen
  • Organizing duty roster of the staff
  • Recruiting, training, and developing staff

Q2. How long should a chef resume be?

A2. Until and unless you have a lot of work ex in the field, try to follow a one-page resume format.

Q3. Do I need certificates to become a chef?

A3. To be a chef, technically you do not need a certification but there are hundreds of courses in culinary arts, offered by reputed universities that will shape you better for the position, by at least starting as a sous chef.