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What to Include in a Chef Resume

Obviously, what youメre going to put in your resume depends upon your background. For instance, your education, previous work experience, skills, and career aspirations can all influence how you present your information. Although resumes can consist of numerous headings, the following four are examples of the types of headings youメll see in just about all chef resume samples:
  • Summary Statement
  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Skills

    After looking at some of the chef resume samples on this page, youメll probably notice two predominant formats: the chronological format and the functional one. Which format would serve you best depends upon your work history and educational training. If you attended a culinary institution with clear intentions of becoming a chef, then youメll probably do best by utilizing the chronological format. The chronological format dictates that all contents of the resume are listed in reverse chronological order from the latest experiences and achievements to the earliest ones.

    The functional format, on the other hand, allows for experiences and achievements to be listed by order of importance and applicableness to the position youメre applying for. Therefore, if you didnメt necessarily receive educational training with the intent of becoming a chef and are transitioning to the career from another career field, then the functional format would probably be best for you. The functional resume format allows you to tell employers how the skills youメve gained in other industries can be applied to the industry youメre seeking a career in.

How to Write the Chef Resume Summary Statement

The resume summary statement is your opportunity to truly grab the hiring managerメs attention and drive home the fact that youメre the best candidate for the job.

Connect with the employerメs need by beginning the summary statement with a clear statement of the position youメre applying for. Follow that with the most essential skills you want the employer to know you have as well as the most notable accomplishments youメve achieved throughout your career. If you donメt have any experience as a chef yet, highlight your willingness to learn, your dedication to work ethic, and any other facts that make you stand out. Here are examples of the types of summary statements found in good chef resume samples:

Experienced sushi chef trained in the most sanitary means of preparing food. Possesses excellent customer service skills, dedication to creating comfortable eating environment, and an understanding of how to adapt foods to tastes, diets, cultures, etc.

Grill chef familiar with creating savory hamburgers, steaks, vegetables, and pork chops to taste. Excited about contributing to the success of upcoming restaurants and dedicated to the art of food preparation. Versatile enough to prepare other non-grilled foods.

Personal chef knowledgeable and certified in the safe handling of food and keeping food areas sanitized. Excellent at assessing personal taste preferences and weight goals and crafting menus that allow individuals to meet their goals with pleasing, satisfying meals.

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How to Write the Chef Education Section

Place any education you have in this section, and start off by listing the highest level of education first. If youメve obtained a Masterメs or Bachelorメs degree from a college or university, then itメs not necessary to list a high school diploma. If you attended any notable culinary institution, be sure to list it here as well. Format degrees by the official title of the degree earned followed by the institution it was earned at as well as the year it was earned.

If youメve only attended some college and donメt have a degree yet, list the expected date of graduation. If you didnメt attend college at all, then list your high school. If you took specialized vocational classes in home economics or family and consumer sciences, you may list them here as well.

Finally, list any licenses or certifications in this section as well, such as a certification in sanitation methods and safety standards.

How to Write the Chef Work Experience Section

If youメre writing your resume using the chronological format, then list the work experience section in order of the latest positions held to the earliest ones held. Each job listing should include the name of the position you held, the dates you were employed, the name of your employer, and a description of your job duties in bulleted form.

As youメll see in good chef resume samples, when listing work experience, you should tell what you accomplished through your job duties and you should attach quantities to your achievements. In other words, let the employer know the value you added to the company. For instance, instead of simply saying that you worked for a soup kitchen, state the number of homeless people you served and how you made process more efficient.

If youメre writing a resumewith the functional format, though, youメll want to list your primary achievements in an ムAccomplishmentsメ section, which can precede the work experience section. That means that the actual work experience section can be a more straightforward list of the jobs you held (no need to list duties again). Put these jobs in order of importance from the experience you gained that had the most applicableness to a chef career down to the experience with the least applicableness.

Action Verbs to Include in Your Chef Work Experience Section

Utilize the following action verbs throughout your chef resume, especially in your work experience section, to strengthen your resume, as good chef resume samples do:
  • Cook
  • Create
  • Prepare
  • Simmer
  • Bake
  • Braise
  • Roast
  • Strain
  • Steam
  • Heat
  • Boil
  • Fry
  • Grill
  • Arrange
  • Plan
  • Order

How to Write the Chef Skills Section

The skills section should inform employers of the skills you possess that are most applicable to the position youメre applying for. This should include a mixture of hard and soft skills. Examples of the types of hard skills chefs might possess include operation of specific types of equipment like a Teppanyaki grill or a dehydrator. Examples of soft skills chefs need include customer service skills and meal planning and preparation skills.

Refer to the job description to see any specific skills the employerメs looking for, and then mention them in your skills section if you possess any of them. For instance, if the employer is looking for a chef experienced with seafood preparation, list that skill if you possess it.
TIP: Need a cover letter? Click here to view our Chef cover letters.

Should I Include References in my Chef Resume

Although it used to be customary to always include references in resume, now the general consensus seems to be to only include them if employers ask for them. If the job description states for you to fill out an application and provide references, then, by all means, do so. Otherwise, refrain from listing references unless they are industry experts or extremely notable. For instance, if you served as a sous chef to Bobby Flay or someone else of significance, then list the person as a reference. Make sure you obtain his or her permission to do so beforehand, though.

Chef Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid

While there arenメt any guaranteed measures to take to craft the perfect resume, there are certain mistakes you should never make. Some of the types of mistakes to avoid and that you wonメt find in good chef resume samples include the following:
  • Formatting mistakes. There is no one right way to format a resume, but your format should be clean and draw the eye naturally down the page. Your resume shouldnメt utilize different font colors, various types of fonts, glaring graphics, messy spacing, and other such unkempt elements. Safe fonts for resumes are usually common ones like Arial and Times New Roman in 10-point and 12-point font sizes, which is why youメll see them in good chef resume samples.
  • Length mistakes. While you want your resume to convey the necessary information to employers, make sure you donメt make your resume too long. Resumes should generally be between one and two pages in length. The employer doesnメt need to know your entire lifeメs history, and if you have enough work experience, skills, and education to fill many pages, condense it down until youメve only listed the most applicable information to the job youメre applying for.
  • Contact information mistakes. Making mistakes in your contact information is one of the most damaging types of errors you can make on your resume. The mistake might not even be noticeable to employers, but if you transpose the numbers on a phone number, employers wonメt be able to get in contact with you.
  • Spelling and grammar mistakes. Any spelling or grammar mistakes on your resume make you appear unprofessional. They give the impression that you didnメt take the time to proofread your resume, so you should always make sure your resume doesnメt contain them. While you can use spelling and grammar checker programs, you should also proofread the document yourself since spelling and grammar checkers donメt always pick up on all mistakes, such as usage of passive voice rather than active voice.
  • Unoriginality mistakes. Donメt find a resume template and then utilize it over and over again for every job position that you apply for. While itメs okay to have a general resume template that you follow, make sure you customize each resume to each employer. Employers will notice when you took the extra time to connect with their individual need, and this in itself serves as a testament to your work ethic and dedication.
  • Inaccuracy mistakes. Ensure all information included in your resume is accurate. While itメs best to be as accurate as possible, donメt write down something if youメre unsure of it. For instance, donメt write down dates of employment that youメre unsure of. If youメre unsure of the exact date you were hired, list the month and year you were hired instead.

Job Prospects in the Chef Industry

    Itメs projected that the jobs for chefs will grow by approximately 5% from 2012 to 2022. While this is slower than the average for all occupations, itメs important to remember that current economic factors as well as population and income growth can cause job outlooks in this industry to fluctuate. Job opportunities should be best for those who have more experience and education in the field than their competitors.
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