September 6, 2019

How Chefs Can Build Standout Resumes

Word of mouth is a powerful tool in the culinary world. An exceptional chef may be offered a job in a new kitchen if they're sufficiently impressive in their current one and can prove their abilities. For many chefs, trialing and staging remain key elements of learning new skills and securing a new role at a restaurant or other culinary space.

With that said, the value of a resume in the world of kitchens and culinary professionals should not be overlooked. A resume allows you to put your best foot forward and make your skills, knowledge and desired path for career growth clear. Crafting an effective resume is a crucial skill that can help Boulder culinary school graduates seize opportunities that present themselves and stand out from a potentially wide range of other candidates.

A chef filming himself as he prepares a dish.A unique component, like a video recording, can help your resume stand out in certain situations.

How can you make sure your resume stands out

A chef resume is, in many ways, similar to the resume used across the modern economy:

  • It's critical to list your most valuable accomplishments in a limited amount of space, and convey this information in a way that offers as much relevant detail as possible.
  • You should strongly consider tailoring your resume for each position you apply to, highlighting key facts that align with the job description and anything else you know about the job setting.
  • Details and accuracy are both important. While you won't spend your time in a new position typing, a misspelled word – or, even worse, a mistyped number or name for a reference – won't reflect positively on you as a candidate.

However, there are unique considerations that come with the specialized roles chefs take on within kitchens. Hospitality industry job website Hcareers highlighted that, in terms of details, numbers are especially important. Making your abilities clear in terms of the number of customers you serve during each shift or event helps the person in charge of hiring quantify your abilities in a way that more general terms simply don't allow.

We Are Chefs suggested building the professional experience section of your resume in a way that allows for both a focused narrative description of your previous roles, followed by bullet points that highlight specific achievements and numerical details. A description of your daily duties can incorporate facts like the number of chefs you oversee and other responsibilities in the kitchen, while the bullet points can mention specific contributions, positive work with high-profile clients, and many other successes.

You shouldn't only focus on achievements and responsibilities that are directly tied to preparing food on the line. While consistent performance during the depths of a dinner rush is a valuable skill, many restaurants will also want to know how you can potentially contribute in terms of lowering ingredient costs, building new recipes, solving problems and interacting with or managing fellow staff. Resume Genius noted that pointing out a mix of skills including organizational abilities, expertise, and attention to industry trends can pay off. By explaining how you're a well-rounded chef and not just experienced in a single aspect of the industry, you can offer more value to a potential employer.

There's one foundational element of a strong chef resume that's especially important to consider: A diploma or certificate from an accredited and well-respected culinary arts program. With a proven educational background, it's that much easier to find new positions. For those only in the beginning stages of their career, an education from a proven culinary school can give you an especially vital edge. To learn more, get in touch with us today!