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Job Outlook for the Culinary Industry
Employment growth in the food preparation industry is expected to grow 11% by 2028 according to the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics.
While that’s encouraging news for people in the culinary field, to land one of these abundant roles it will still require a resume that sets you above the competition.
Check out some of our professional writing tips below to make sure that your resume, like cream, rises to the top of the resume pile and gets you an interview.
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3 Tips for Writing Culinary Resumes
1. Choose the right format for your culinary resume
Presentation matters. As you should know from working in a kitchen, you don’t plate an appetizer on a giant platter, — it’s just not the right fit.
Choosing a resume format works in the same way. You want to use the right format to best present your information based on how much work experience you have.
The term resume format just refers to the way that your information is organized on the page. It’s important that you present your resume in a way that’s fitting to your level of experience.
The three main types of resume formats are chronological, functional and hybrid.
A chronological format works best if you have more than five years’ experience, while a functional format works best if you are entry-level or have less than two years’ experience. Hybrid formats are fitting for people who have between two and five years’ experience.
The main difference between all of these formats is just how much emphasis the resume puts on your work experience. Chronological resumes focus on work experience while functional resumes focus on your skills and education. A hybrid resume is somewhere in between.
Select a format before you start writing as it will help you present yourself in the strongest way possible.
2. Promote your culinary skills
Every role in a restaurant might be a little different, but there are certain skills that are in demand across the culinary field.
Feature some of these skills in your resume as they apply to you and what you’re like as a candidate.
Universally sought-after skills for the culinary industry include:
Pepper some of these skills into your resume where they’re applicable to your culinary experience and specialty.
Also, it’s a great practice to review the exact language used in the job posting or ad, and try to echo back some of the key phrases used — the keywords and language in the job posting are your best indicators of what an employer wants.
3. Use a template to make sure your resume impresses
There’s an old saying in the world of food that when we see a dish presented, we eat with our eyes first.
It’s similar when a hiring manager looks at a resume. Before they begin to register the words on the resume, they’re judging your candidacy based on how your resume looks.
If your resume looks cluttered, confusing or hard-to-read, it probably doesn’t make hiring managers excited to read it.
The attention to detail that you show by presenting yourself in a well-designed resume that is easy-to-read is the first impression you can make on a hiring manager.
That’s why you should consider using a resume template.
A template is a preformatted document created by professional designers so you don’t have to fuss with margins, fonts, tables or borders. You don’t have to make the design look good, all you have to do is select a template you like and fill in your own personal information.
JobHero has loads of great professional resume templates that you can use to create your resume in just a few minutes.
Even better than that, JobHero features a customized resume builder that allows you to choose from a selection of templates and gives you specific recommendations for helpful phrases to write on your resume that are tailored to the job title you’re applying for.
The combination of design and useful suggestions makes using a resume builder the easiest and fastest way to create a resume. It’s like having an expert look over your shoulder to guide you step-by-step as you write your resume.
Culinary Resume FAQ
What should I put on my culinary resume?
For most jobs in the culinary realm, what’s going to matter the most is your work experience and skills.
If you have experience working in the kitchen of an establishment that is high profile or at least well-known, it will look good on your resume. Similarly, if you have worked at places that have high quality standards or serve at high volumes, it will speak volumes about your abilities.
If you’re a little lacking on work experience in the culinary field, it will help to focus more on your enthusiasm and commitment to outstanding food. Also, be sure to emphasize the skills you’ll bring to the team.
If you have a culinary education it’s something you should mention in your resume. While an education is not necessary for most culinary roles, it will help, especially if you’re applying for management roles. Oftentimes, a culinary education will make advancement a quicker process, so it’s good to point out to employers.
How do I list education on a culinary resume?
Even if you went to culinary school, your education shouldn’t be the most prominent thing on your resume. It should be included toward the bottom half of your resume underneath your skills section.
For your education section the following is essential to include: The name of the school that you attended, its city and state, the years you attended, and, if applicable, the degree(s) you obtained. Typically, if you’ve graduated from higher education, you don’t need to list your high school education.
In the case of recent college graduates who studied discipline under the culinary umbrella, but don’t have actual work experience yet, it’s acceptable to include a high GPA, mention any notable instructors you worked with or list any specific coursework that you took that may be related to your culinary speciality.
What kind of work experience should I put on a culinary resume?
If you can, you should try to keep all the work experience you include in a resume focused on culinary jobs you’ve held. Give the most space to your most recent experience or any famous or notable kitchens you’ve worked with.
Even if you didn’t get paid for culinary work, whether it was a stage or an internship, it’s still better to list it than fill up your resume with non-culinary-related jobs.
However, if you lack culinary experience, including work in other industries on your resumes will be beneficial because it still shows you’re capable of holding down a job and fulfilling your responsibilities.
The only experience that you should choose to omit from your resume is any job where you worked less than a few months as it may imply you’re not committed to seeing a role through.
How do I write a professional summary for a culinary resume?
A professional summary serves as a brief sales pitch that lives at the top of your resume underneath your contact information.
It should be short, just two to three sentences that succinctly makes a case for you being a great culinary employee.
Include the aspects of your culinary experience and skills that you believe would appeal most to the hiring employer reading your resume.
It’s really important that you try to keep your professional summary zippy and engaging by using active language and including statistics wherever possible. Here’s an example of a strong professional summary for a sous chef:
“Dedicated sous chef with 7+ years experience combines a passion for sourcing local sustainable ingredients with high-end modern cooking techniques. I’ve been able to achieve a 22% COG in my latest role on top of reducing staffing overhead by 9%.”
If you want more specifics, JobHero has an in-depth guide on professional summaries and objective statements that will give you all the tools and information you need to make sure your resume starts off strong.
Should I include a cover letter with my culinary resume?
The short answer: yes. Including a cover letter with your resume will show your attention to detail and professionalism.
That’s not to mention, a cover letter offers you more space to make the case for why you’re a good fit for the role.
Furthermore, unlike your resume, in a cover letter you get a better chance to really tell a story about your experience and career progression.
If you’d like to check out some wonderful culinary resume examples, JobHero has a wide collection that you can use as the inspiration point for starting your own.
We also have a step-by-step guide on how to write a cover letter that will give you the nitty gritty about how to create a cover letter that impacts potential employers.