On the Line / Hiring / How to Create a Line Cook Resume (Skills, Examples)

How to Create a Line Cook Resume (Skills, Examples)

Here's how to make a line cook resume to help you land your next restaurant gig.

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How to Create a Line Cook Resume (Skills, Examples)

A line cook is a crucial part of restaurant service as they assist the chef with daily food operations and preparations. This makes hiring a line cook a huge priority when a restaurant is building its staff, and there are many opportunities available for line cooks. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that there are over 2.6 million jobs for line cooks with an average number of 480,600 job openings each year. It’s a good time to break into the restaurant industry as a line cook, which could be a starting position for building your career.

The restaurant industry is competitive, and kitchen managers want to hire a line cook with good skills and experience. To make your resume stand out, it’s important to set a good first impression. Learn how to make a line cook resume that will grab a manager’s attention and other tips for improving your chances of being hired as a line cook at your dream restaurant.

Professional experience

A line cook resume should serve as your introduction to the restaurant. You want to set a good impression with a professional-looking, easy-to-ready resume that outlines your experience, skill sets, education, and any other relevant training, certifications, or experience. Doing so will help you create a well-rounded line cook resume that will stand out amongst the competition.

It may depend on your experience and background, but if you have attended culinary school or a training program to become a line cook, you should list that information at the top of your resume as it stands out to hiring managers who are looking for specific skills and knowledge. A line cook resume with a strong background in culinary education can make your resume stand out, so be sure you include any awards or certificates you may have received.

If you do not have a culinary education or training but you have a lot of experience working in restaurants, don’t fret – your professional experience will also catch a hiring manager’s eye.  

Whatever your journey to becoming a line cook looks like, you should include your most recent and relevant line cook experience. It is typically recommended that you only include experience from the last ten years.

When writing a resume with professional experience as a line cook, use bullet points to explain your responsibilities, any major milestones or accomplishments, and mention any specific data points if possible, such as how your skills increased productivity or decreased order completion time. To help beef up your line cook resume, include keywords and key skills that a hiring manager wants to see.

Not sure what keywords to include for a line cook resume? Read over the job description posted by the restaurant. Use the words they use to describe the position’s duties and responsibilities.

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Personal information

Depending on the amount of experience you have as a line cook, you might want to add more information or better showcase your skills and experience through personal, relevant work.

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

These are just a few ideas, but consider if you have any personal experiences that might not be professional work experience, but still exercises your cooking skills.

Skills

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

  • Food preparation
  • Safe food and knife handling
  • High attention to detail
  • Expertise in seasoning, garnishing, and creative displays
  • High-volume, fast-paced work ethic
  • Ability to stay calm in high-stress situations
  • Team player with excellent communication

Working as a line cook usually requires you to work on a team and have strong communication skills, especially when working in a fast-paced environment. A line cook with good communication, public speaking, and leadership skills will have a higher chance of being hired, so be sure to indicate these skills on your resume if you possess them. Additionally, if you speak multiple languages, this should be noted on your list of skills because it’s often useful to be able to communicate in multiple languages in a restaurant.

Here's an example of a line cook resume to help you get started:

RESUME SAMPLE

Jamie Brass

612-861-2245 | [email protected] 

117 W 34th St Apt 2 Minneapolis, MN 55408

EDUCATION

Associate Degree, Culinary Arts

Minneapolis College

2016-2020 | Minneapolis, MN

SUMMARY: Detailed-oriented line cook with 5+ years of experience working in fast-paced kitchens for five-star and fast-casual restaurants. Reliable, quality-focused line cook with leadership and communication skills and extensive knowledge of safe food handling.

PROFESSIONAL WORK EXPERIENCE

Lead Line Cook

CoCo’s

January 2020  – Present

  • Created a cross-training program to help all kitchen staff learn more efficiently.

  • Led, managed and trained a team of 6 professional line cooks.

  • Prepared a set of daily food prep and recipe assignments to increase productivity

  • Implemented a quality check procedure to reduce number or orders being sent back.

  • Improved ingredient and food labeling system.

Line Cook

Monte Ristorante

May 2016 – December 2019

  • Stored food items with proper labels and safe handling procedures. 

  • Replenished raw food items, garnishes, sauces and other ingredients to serving lines.

  • Prepared salads, soups, entrees and desserts.

  • Assisted lead line cook with side work, quality checks and finishing plate garnish.

  • Maintained a clean and sanitary workstation.

  • Prepared food in a prompt manner with high attention to detail.

Where to go from here

A line cook is an essential employee in a restaurant and to be hired as one, you want to present a strong resume that clearly communicates your qualifications, interest and knowledge about the restaurant. If you want to go one step further to increase your chance of being hired as a line cook, consider the following:

Apply in person. If you show up to the restaurant and apply in person or turn in a resume, it’s likely someone in a management position will be there. This gives you an opportunity to be more personable and will help the hiring manager remember your name when they review resumes. Since restaurants tend to be busy workspaces, if you plan to apply in person, go during low-traffic hours or before the restaurant opens. 

Network. Whether you are a seasoned line cook or just starting out, one easy way to break into the restaurant industry is to network among people who currently work within it. Even if you don’t personally know someone who works in a restaurant, chances are, you know someone who knows someone. Once you find a connection, they can connect you with more people or put you in contact with a chef or hiring manager. All you have to do is ask, so do not be afraid to reach out among your friends, family, previous co-workers or any other colleagues and ask if they know someone who can help you get a job as a line cook.

Write a creative cover letter or provide a letter of recommendation. One creative approach to getting hired as a line cook is to write a cover letter. Before you write the letter, read the restaurant’s menu or eat there beforehand. That way you can include more specific details about what you love about the restaurant and how you can be an asset to the team. You can write about your experience preparing similar dishes or point out any specific recipes or food items you have expertise in making. Another idea is to ask your current boss or a co-worker to write you a letter of recommendation. As a line cook, having a recommendation from a previous chef or kitchen manager is a good reference that can help make your application stand out.

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