What kind of cook are you? Are you looking to work your way up the ladder in a restaurant, starting as a line cook? Maybe your goal is to set up a gourmet catering company of your own. In any case, you need to get real-world experience in a working kitchen to attain your goals.
To get started on that career path, you need a compelling resume. We can help you with that! First, take a look at our resume writing tips. Next, review our working cook resume sample.
Focus on Achievements When Presenting Your Job History
Think about every other resume your potential boss is going to receive. Presumably, almost every other applicant is going to have a similar skill set. Most will know how to prepare delicious food. If you are applying for a position with some leadership, you can be certain that other applicants have trained as cooks and led kitchens as well.
Your goal is to show that you can do all of these things, but that you can do them better than the average chef. Rather than listing your duties, share all your accomplishments in the kitchen, and find ways to quantify your merits. Here’s a brief example:
2016 — Present
Responsible for leading back of house operations at a Michelin 2-star dining establishment. Achievements include:
- Creating and implementing a successful vegetarian and vegan menu.
- Establishing a successful cocktail and appetizer service on Friday and Saturday nights.
- Implemented kitchen changes to reduce food waste by more than 30%.
- Partnered with local food charities to ensure that unused food products are distributed to local food pantries and distribution centers.
- Featured in Stir magazine as an up-and-coming chef of the year 2018.
- Improved customer service scores by 20%.
- Increased dinner service reservations by 10%.
- Successfully trained multiple line cooks, prep cooks, and dishwashers with a 75% retention rate.
List Your Certifications and Expertise
In many places, kitchen staff must be certified. Some restaurants are willing to provide you with paid training so that you can obtain these certifications, but that can be expensive for them.
If you can walk through the door with your own credentials, that is even better. In many places, these certifications are offered through the local department of health, and can often be obtained by taking a course online along with a test. Add certifications like this to your list of skills and qualifications.
Spruce Up Your Education Section
Now it’s time to think about the education section of your resume. This is where you’ll put any degrees or certificates in culinary arts or related fields.
But, don’t stop there! Any education you’ve received that has improved your ability to work in a kitchen is relevant. Include any of the following:
- Culinary apprenticeships
- Summer learning programs
- Time spent staging in other restaurants
- Completion of specialized training programs (e.g.: barbecue or wine pairing)
Don’t Discount Experience Outside The Kitchen
Entry-level cooks have to start somewhere. The key to getting an interview is showing that you have the experience that will allow you to adapt to a kitchen more easily than other applicants.
For example, you’ll do well in a kitchen if you have experience working jobs that require you to be on your feet for long stretches. You’ll also impress hiring managers if you’ve done a lot of work that is fast-paced and detail-oriented.
Cook Resume Sample (Word version)
Cook Resume Example (text version)
Line Cook with four years of working experience in Italian, French, and Northern African restaurants, and five years of overall restaurant work history. Skills include grilling, sautéing, steaming, and frying all types of proteins and garnish. Capable of creating expertly presented plates under strenuous circumstances. Proven track record of reducing food waste, and improving back of house procedures. Capable of creating dishes on the fly to accommodate customer needs and preferences.
The French Express 2018 — Present
St. Louis, MO
- Work grill and garnish stations with nearly 100% accuracy.
- Assisted with menu creation.
- Monitored stock and walk-in inventory.
- Acted as a lead chef during Sunday brunch service.
- Suggested changes that led to a 15% reduction in food waste.
- Received a 90% customer satisfaction rating.
Alexandria’s Osteria 2017 – 2018
St. Louis, MO
Line Cook/Prep Cook
- Prepped and cooked pasta, salads, small plates, sandwiches, and appetizers.
- Assisted the head chef in the preparation of sauces and condiments.
- Participated in menu planning sessions.
- Provided front of house experience as needed.
The Tunisian Experience 2016 – 2017
- Operated grill.
- Prepared traditional North African Stews and Soups.
- Assisted in educating customers about Tunisian foods.
Johnson And Wales University
Associate’s Degree — Culinary Arts
Napa Valley Winery Guild
Wine Pairing Masters
Italian Cuisine — Apprenticeship
Missouri Department of Health Serv-Safe Certificate
Illinois Department of Health Serv-Safe Certificate
- Hot and cold food preparation
- Adherence to the department of health and OSHA safety standards
- Inventory management
- Quality control
- European, North African, and Italian cuisines
- Knife work
- Time management
Final Tip: Use Power Words
Incorporate relevant power words in your resume. By doing so, you’ll create a better picture of yourself in action in the kitchen. Add words such as grill, sauté, bake, chop, and steam. Then be sure to include words that also speak to your expertise. These include manage, train, create, improvise, organize, and deliver.
Lastly, mine the job description itself for any other relevant keywords that denote the employers’ requirements for the job candidates!