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How to Create a Chef Resume (Skills, Examples)

Isabel ThottamAuthor

How to Create a Chef Resume (Skills, Examples)

Restaurant jobs are always in demand. Chef positions are a crucial part of restaurant service as the chef oversees the daily food operations and preparations for a restaurant. This role makes hiring a chef a huge priority when a restaurant is staffing. Data shows that the job outlook for chefs is projected to grow 15% over the next ten years, which is much faster than the average job outlook. There are currently about 24,300 job openings for chefs each year. So if you want to land a job as a chef, now is a great time to apply and get your resume in the kitchen. 

If you want to land your dream chef job, it’s important to set a good first impression with a strong resume. Learn how to make a chef resume that will grab a hiring manager’s attention and other tips for improving your chances of being hired as a chef at your dream restaurant.

Professional Experience

For a chef, your resume is your introduction to a restaurant that does not know your experience. While every restaurant is different, you can stand out as the best, most well-rounded chef candidate by carefully listing your professional experience.

Depending on your chef experience, you may have attended culinary school or trained in a culinary program. Or, you may have learned how to cook at home or in a previous kitchen job. Whatever your path to becoming a chef looks like, you should include your most recent relevant experience in the restaurant world. A common rule of thumb is to only add experiences from the last ten years of your career on your resume.                      

When writing about your professional experience as a chef, use bullet points to explain your responsibilities, any major milestones or accomplishments, and mention any specific data points, such as how your menu or recipes impacted the restaurant’s sales. 

To help beef up your chef resume, include keywords and skills that a hiring manager wants to see. Not sure which keywords to include? Take a moment to read over the job description or the restaurant you are applying to. Use the same words commonly used to describe their menu and the candidate they are seeking in the bullet points on your resume. Doing so will make your resume stand out as a restaurant wants to hire a chef who matches its vision.

Personal Information

It can be competitive to land a chef job, especially when the food industry continues to grow and see more demand. If the restaurant you are interested in working at is a popular spot, landing a chef job there will be even harder. This means you might need to add more information to your resume or include personal experiences that will further showcase your qualifications.

One way to add personal experience to a resume is to consider any other jobs, volunteer gigs, or other experiences you’ve had that are related to the skills you utilize as a chef. This could include cooking meals for friends or family events, volunteer work as a chef in a food kitchen or shelter, and personal catering experience. 

These are just a few ideas. The main goal is to consider if you have any personal experiences that might not be professional work experience, but still exercise your chef and cooking skills.

Skills

Beyond cooking and culinary skills, a chef usually needs to possess other skills to land a job at a restaurant. Some skills a chef should include on their resume are:

  • Training development and team-building

  • Accounting, budget tracking, and inventory management

  • Verbal communication and public speaking

  • Habituated to high-volume, fast-paced work environments

  • Ability to stay calm in high-stress situations

  • Knowledgeable about health and food safety regulations

  • Strong leader with the ability to coach, mentor, and inspire

Working as a chef usually requires you to manage people and have strong communication skills, especially when working under pressure or in a fast-paced environment. This means having good communication, public speaking, and leadership skills will help increase your chances of landing a chef position. If you speak multiple languages, be sure to note those on your list of skills as well - it’s often valuable to be able to communicate in multiple languages in a restaurant kitchen.

RESUME SAMPLE:

NEIL ROBERTS

917-861-2245 | [email protected] 

621 W 171st St  #2, New York, NY 10032

SUMMARY: 

Detailed-oriented chef with 5+ years of experience managing fast-paced kitchens for five-star restaurants. Reliable and quality-oriented, with strong leadership skills, experience planning and preparing gourmet menus, sourcing farm-to-table ingredients, preparing recipes, and training staff on food safety to offer guests a fine dining experience.

EDUCATION

Associate of Science, Culinary Arts

Stark County Community College

2012-2016 | Kent, OH

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Chef

Donelli’s

January 2020  – Present

  • Trained and coached employees on COVID-19 protocols and all food safety procedures
  • Implemented and designed a farm-to-table menu that increased sales by 30% 
  • Led, managed, and trained a team of 10 professionals
  • Prepared a set of daily food prep and recipe assignments to increase productivity
  • Developed a quality check procedure to stop orders being sent back, and to ensure a positive dining experience for guests
  • Improved ingredient and food labeling system to reduce waste and maintain food safety, resulting in a 24% decrease in inventory loss.

Sous Chef

Midtown Tavern

May 2016 – December 2019

  • Created a cross-training program to help all kitchen staff learn more efficiently
  • Collaborated with the head chef to increase local food purchasing, reducing inventory costs by 8%
  • Created 9 new menu items leading to an increase in monthly sales by 16%
  • Awarded Employee of The Year in 2018
  • Won a company recipe competition for an original dessert that was added to the menu

Final Steps


Hiring a chef is a big decision for a restaurant, so having a strong resume that communicates your qualifications, interest, and knowledge about the restaurant’s menu and customer base will make your resume shine. If you want to go one step further to increase your chance of becoming a chef at your dream restaurant, there are a few other ways to stand out.


Apply in person.

Showing up in person ready to apply or with an application and resume to hand over sets the tone that you’re hard-working, motivated, and ready to start. You can ask to hand in your resume to the chef or restaurant manager to put a more personal touch on your application. You’ll receive bonus points if you know the appropriate time to show up, aka not during operational or busy hours.

Widen your network.

If you have been working in the restaurant industry for many years or are just breaking in, don’t be afraid to ask your colleagues or a previous employer for support in landing a new chef position. If you went to culinary school, you can also reach out to your classmate to see where they are working or if anyone can help you land your dream job. 

Write a creative cover letter.

It’s not often a chef will write a cover letter for a restaurant they apply to. A creative approach to doing this as a chef is to eat at the restaurant, order a few items off the menu, and then write about what food items you like, how you would improve the menu, or mention that you know how the food items are prepared. Try to avoid any negative comments. Instead, focus on writing a positive letter expressing your interest in working at the restaurant where you will employ and strengthen your skillset. You should address your cover letter to the chef, restaurant manager, or owner to make your letter more personalized.

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