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Writing Your Resume: Showing Off Your Culinary Skills

by Olivia Tacelli
CulinaryEd Columnist
May 19, 2011

Being a talented chef doesn't mean you know how to write a great resume. Years of experience or a degree from culinary school is a fantastic start, but how do you write a resume that can help you make that experience and/or degree sound appealing to a prospective employer?

What's the Purpose of a Culinary Arts Resume?

Resumes are used to quickly screen chef applicants. Employers usually scan them for relevant information in under 30 seconds. Your goal is to create a concise (under two pages) account of the education, qualifications, and experience you have that are relevant to the culinary arts job you're applying for.

Getting Started on Your Resume

Before writing, think about your objectives.

  • The kind of work do you want
  • The kind of kitchen setting you'd like to work in
  • The skills you need

Next, read job descriptions carefully, with an eye for the training, skills, and experience the employer wants. Credentials such as the completion of a culinary degree program may or may not be required. Make sure you're a good match for the job.

When describing your strengths, use action verbs and specific numbers. Including that you reduced food waste by 25 percent or prepared 100 meals in a one-hour dinner rush make more of statement than writing that you managed inventory or cooked at a restaurant. If it's a managerial position, include any supervisory experience you've had. Accentuate what makes you the right person for the job at hand.

A Few Things to Remember

  • Use bullet points so your accomplishments are easy to read
  • Have someone you trust read the resume before sending it off--they can find errors and notice if you've left out some important credentials or skills
  • Don't worry about filling up the page--some "white space" makes what is on the page stand out

A well-written resume won't get you the job, but it can help you get noticed and get your foot in the door of the chef career you want.

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