The restaurant industry went through a rough patch due to the pandemic. Many staff members were furloughed or fired. Others chose to quit on their own accord due to poor pay and working conditions, effectively propelling “The Great Resignation”.
Soundly, in 2022 the recovery is in full swing. Per The National Restaurant Association, the foodservice industry is projected to make $898 billion in sales in 2022r, up from $799 billion last year, and ahead of pre-pandemic sales levels.
Also, food service employers are finally addressing the staff’s well-being better. From attractive sign-up bonuses to higher hourly pay and a safer working environment, the restaurants are competing to attract new staff.
So it’s time to dust off your prep cook resume and get ready for job search! To help you get started, we prepared a compelling prep cook resume example, followed by several expert resume writing tips.
Prep Cook Resume Example (Word version)
Prep Cook Resume Sample (text version)
Sheryl Noles, Chicago-based
Seafood prep chef, experienced in working for high-volume restaurants, catering companies, and contemporary casual restaurants. OSHA-Safety and ServSafe certified.
- Mediterranean and Italian cuisine
- Excellent knife handling skills
- Sause preparation
- Creative dish presentation
- Kitchen staff supervision and training
- Manual dexterity and efficiency
- Sanitation and food safety knowledge
- Menu composition
- Strong interpersonal communication skills
- Personal perseverance
- Ability to work under pressure
Pacific Princess, Chicago, IL
Worked as a prep chef along with three counterparts in a high-volume, fine dining Mediterranean restaurant, specializing in seafood. Was laid off due to restaurant closure.
- Prepared fish dishes with high precision in a time-sensitive environment
- Contributed to menu development and authored one of the signature dishes
- Organized timely seafood supplies from fishmongers and artisanal providers
- Managed ingredient stock levels and ensured timely rotation
- Maintained high team morale and ensured effective communication between kitchen staff
Self-Employed, Greater Chicago, IL
Operate a small catering business of suppling dishes for small-scale local events, offer private home chef services to a small cohort of clients.
- Cooked weekly lunch boxes for a team of 20 for Acme Corps
- Hosted 15+ private fine dining, socially distanced events
- Developed 10+ new high-nutrition healthy eating recipes
- Showcased excellent hosting and customer service skills
Catering Corps, Chicago, IL
Worked as a prep cook at a local catering company, specializing in large-scale (200+ people) catering events. Prepared appetizers, main course, and desserts both off-site and in the rented kitchens.
- High degree of familiarity with various kitchen equipment
- Produced over 250 dishes per night with the team
- Portioned, plated, and decorated appetizer plates for serving to customers
- Maintained cleanness of the cooking stations and 100% scoring on safety checks
Line Cook Trainee
Chicago University Canteen
June 2017-October 2017
Worked as a cook trainee at Chicago University Canteen and provided occasional catering services for university faculty events.
- Washed, peeled, and sliced fish, poultry, and vegetables for cooks
- Prepared all vegetarian dishes for the student population
- Handled food distribution at the canteen
- Consulted students on the nutritional value of each dish
Chicago Cooking School
September 2016-March 2018
Completed a trade training program with honors.
- OSHA Safety Certificate, issued March 2018
- ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification, issued June 2020
How to Write a Prep Cook Resume
As a cook, you know that to taste best, some dishes need extra time to sizzle. The same goes for your resume — don’t try to write it in one go. Instead, start with a rough resume outline that chronologically presents your work experiences together with some core skills. Then step away and do some extra research.
Check what skills employers look for the most in your area. Analyze how this compares to your current skillset. Note the overlaps and get back to writing once again. Make sure to organically incorporate the keywords employers use into your resume.
Once you are done with that, work a bit further on the presentation of your dish (aka yourself). These tips will help you add some polishing touches.
Mention Your Specialties
Be sure to mention your experience with different types of cuisines and the type of establishments you’ve worked in atop your resume. Doing so helps the hiring manager immediately understand your background and determine whether you’d be well-suited for their venue.
If you are changing niches e.g. switching from a fast-casual restaurant to a fine-dining one, highlight your transferable skills. For example, you can emphasize your solid teamwork skills, ability to work under pressure with great attention to detail, and experience with different types of food preparation.
Address the Gaps in Your Resume
A lot of workers in the foodservice industry have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. In many cases, it wasn’t their direct fault — but the unfortunate circumstances. Therefore, don’t get too worried about potential employment gaps in your resume.
You can conceal the short-term ones by listing employment years over months. Or proactively address them in your resume and accompanying cover letter. State why you were out of work for several months and explain what you did instead.
If you weren’t working, you can always say that you took this time to improve your tradecraft and completed extra certifications, listened to online courses, or developed new recipes at your home kitchen.
Final Tip: Spotlight Your Soft Skills
As a prep cook, you’ll be interacting with a lot of kitchen staff, suppliers, management, and sometimes even guests. Show that you are not only capable of working in a high pace environment, but also deliver spectacular service levels. Your prep cook resume will look more powerful if you bring up some of your organizational and interpersonal skills!