You might be the most talented chef in your city. That doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to present yourself via your resume. This is the document that outlines the trajectory of your career and highlights your talents. It’s also the key to landing the job interview at the restaurant of your dreams.
So, how do you write the kind of resume that is sure to grab attention? Below, there are several staunch resume tips. These are followed by an excellent chef’s resume example.
Open With a Professional Profile
Your professional summary or profile is a brief paragraph that describes your experience, culinary point of view, and core competencies. This summary should be customized according to the requirements of each job. Since it’s the first thing a decision-maker sees on your resume, you should make this paragraph speak directly to their needs. Here’s an example:
“Professional chef specializing in new American cuisine with 5 years of experience as a sous chef. Has spent time in fine dining and high-end casual restaurants. Proven success in menu design. Capable of hiring and training staff. Committed to maintaining a track record of developing strong relationships with vendors. Experienced in all areas of the back of house management. A creative chef who has earned a reputation for innovation and excellence.”
Organize Your Skill Set
Rather than creating a haphazard list of your skills, consider categorizing them according to specific areas of expertise. For example, you could list your kitchen-related skills such as knife skills, making sauces, designing menus, and running the various stations in the kitchen. Next, you might focus on administrative and managerial skills including, inventory management, scheduling, and quality control. Finally, list soft skills like time management, teamwork, and customer service.
Don’t forget the rule of primacy. This states that the first thing someone reads is the most memorable. However, you categorize your skillset, make sure you include the most relevant grouping at the top.
Show Proof of Your Accomplishments
Chefs frequently make the mistake of writing about their accomplishments in terms that are too vague. For example, writing that you reduced food waste is pretty meaningless. What if you only reduced it by 1%, or just a few dollars a month. Now, if you implemented a stock rotation system that reduced waste by 25%, that would sound pretty impressive. Here are a few other examples:
- Increased sales during lunch service by 23% after expanding menu selections.
- Introduced low-carb menu options, and increased reservations by 10%.
- Created a back of house training program that increased 3-month retention rates by 75%.
Chef Resume Sample (Word version)
Chefs Resume Example (text version)
Avant Guard pastry chef with 15 years of experience leading desert service at high-end restaurants in Southern California. Frequently contracted for celebrity and VIP catering events, and pastry menu consulting. Specializes in creating memorable dishes, created from exceptional ingredients, plated exquisitely.
The French Connection
Aug. 2015 — Present
Dessert and pastry menu design. Training and overseeing pastry line chefs. Executing quality control. Artistic plating and presentation. Coordinating efforts with head and sous chef to ensure that dessert items are cohesive with main course menus. Sourcing ingredients. Double-checking incoming products for quality and adherence to order sheets. Creating production and work schedules. Inspecting pastry walk-in and other kitchen areas for inventory and cleanliness.
- Moved all baking and pastry house resulting in a 45% increase in customer satisfaction with dessert services.
- Recruited, hired, and trained a 5-person pastry crew.
- Managed vendor relationships and improved quality control leading to a 15% reduction in food waste.
- Earned a 5-star review in the Post And Review.
The Sweet Spot
July 2012 — Present
Owner of a catering and culinary consultation business. Services include:
- Menu design and consultation.
- Back of house staff auditing and training.
- Events catering (in partnership with The Savoury Spot).
- Provided menu consultation services to the only Michelin star restaurant in the state.
- Aided more than a dozen restaurants in creating or revamping their dessert menus.
- Catered multiple VIP events including the West Coast Electronics Expo, and the Alderman’s Ball.
Pastry Cook/Assistant Pastry Chef
Dec. 2006 – July 2012
Worked as a line pastry cook, then assistant pastry chef. Prepared various cakes, pastries, and confections according to the vision and instructions provided by the pastry chef. Assisted pastry chef with ingredient selection, plating design, and menu planning.
- Dessert and Pastry Line Chef Leader.
- Ensured that services were scored at 90% or higher.
- Maintained a quality control average of 98%.
General Restaurant Skills
- Food Safety Certification
- Knife Skills
- Ingredient Sourcing And Preparation.
- Menu Design
- Quality Control
- Ice cream and frozen desserts
- Candies and confections
- Yeast bread and rolls
- Quick bread and muffins
- Sugar sculptures
- Cakes and pies
- Point of Sales systems
- Customer service
- Interviewing, hiring, and training
- Time management
- Team building
- Process and procedure development
Valley Community College
AA Hospitality And Restaurant Management
Emphasis: Baking And Pastry Arts
Final Thoughts: Adjust According to The Needs of The Restaurant
It may seem tedious at first, but every application you submit should be accompanied by a custom resume. This document should be tweaked in response to each job listing so that you are sure your resume is as relevant to the hiring manager as possible!