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Prep Cook Resume
A prep cook is a key kitchen employee. They are in charge of preparing produce, meat, and other ingredients so that they are readily available for the chef and other cooks. The prep cook is a vital part of the kitchen staff operations team.
Therefore, hiring an efficient and skilled prep cook will be a huge priority when a restaurant is staffing. Unfortunately, statistics show a slow projected job growth for prep cooks over the next ten years, meaning there will be a lot of competition to land a prep cook position right now.
Though roughly 817,400 prep cook jobs are currently listed, you will still need to create a competitive resume if you want to be hired.
Whether you are changing jobs or looking to break into the restaurant industry as a prep cook, landing this role could be a starting position for building your career.
Keep in mind that the restaurant industry is competitive - kitchen managers want to hire a strong prep cook. This means your resume must set a good first impression. Learn how to make a prep cook resume that will stand out and other tips for improving your chances of being hired.
Here are some sections to include on your prep cook resume.
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A prep cook resume serves as your introduction to the restaurant. You want to make a good impression with a professional, easy-to-read resume outlining your experience, skill sets, education, and other relevant training, certifications, or experience. Doing so will help you create a well-rounded prep cook resume that can stand out against others.
If you attended culinary school or a training program to become a prep cook, list that information at the top of your resume to showcase your specialized training and knowledge. A prep cook resume with a culinary education can make your resume stand out.
If you do not have a culinary education or training but have a lot of experience working in restaurants, your professional experience can still catch a hiring manager’s eye. Be sure to include your most recent and relevant prep cook experience, which means including experiences within the last ten years.
When you write a resume, use bullet points to explain your responsibilities and major milestones or accomplishments achieved during a specific position. You can also mention any specific data points when possible, such as how your skills increased productivity or decreased inventory loss.
To make your prep cook resume stand out, include keywords and skills that match what is used in the restaurant’s job description to describe the position’s duties and responsibilities.
Another way to make your resume stand out is to showcase your skills and experience gained through personal work that may or may not be related to being a prep cook.
One way to incorporate the personal experience into a prep cook resume is to consider any other side gigs or volunteer work related to the position. This could include: packing or fulfilling orders, preparing meals for a church or shelter, or even organizing or preparing large meals for friends and family.
Take a moment to consider if you have any personal experience that exercised your cooking or prep skills in any way. It might add more flair to your resume!
Prep Cook Skills
A prep cook usually needs to possess specific skills to work at a restaurant. Here are a few of the main ones:
- Food preparation Washing, chopping, and cleaning produce
- Safe food and knife handling
- High attention to detail
- Expertise in seasoning, garnishing, and re-stocking ingredients
- High-volume, fast-paced worker
- Ability to stay calm in high-stress situations
- Team player
The job of a prep cook usually requires working on a team and having good verbal communication skills. If you have solid public speaking and team communication skills, or any leadership skills, be sure to indicate these on your resume as they can help increase your chances of being hired.
Additionally, if you speak multiple languages, note this on your list of skills because it’s desirable to have a prep cook who can communicate in various languages in a kitchen.
Here’s a sample prep cook resume to get you started.
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Prep Cook Sample Resume
330-416-5770 [email protected]
75-681 Nani Kailua Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Certificate of Achievement, Culinary Arts
Hawai’i Community College
2018-2019 | Kailua-Kona, HI
Detailed-oriented prep cook with 3+ years of experience working in fast-paced kitchens preparing, chopping, and washing ingredients in an efficient manner. Reliable and focused in the kitchen, with excellent communication skills, knowledge of safe food handling, and a team player.
March 2021 – Present
- Stored food items with proper labels and safe handling procedures
- Replenished raw food items, garnishes, sauces, and other ingredients
- Helped increase workflow by changing workstation setup
- Sharpened knives to maintain quality and chopping efficiency
- Trained new employees on kitchen standards and proper ingredient preparation
January 2019 – March 2021
- Properly washed and cleaned produce while maintaining a clean workstation
- Prepared ingredients in a prompt manner with high attention to detail
- Prepared salads, sandwiches, and side dishes
- Chopped produce and restocked ingredients as needed promptly
- Assisted line cooks with additional side work, quality checks, and plate garnishing
A prep cook is an essential restaurant kitchen employee. To be hired as one, you need to present a strong resume. It’s a competitive market, so your resume should communicate your qualifications, skills, and knowledge about being a prep cook and working in a kitchen. Since it is a competitive job market for prep cooks, consider doing the following to increase your chances of being hired.
Apply in person
Go to the restaurant and apply in person. This gives you the chance to meet the hiring manager and pitch yourself to them briefly. You can mention your experience or interest in working there–anything that will help keep you front of mind when they review resumes later.
Network, network, network
A great way to increase your hiring chances is to network. 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 kitchen manager. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends or previous co-workers and ask if they know someone who can help you get hired as a prep cook.
Provide a recommendation
Ask your current boss, a co-worker, or your culinary school teacher to write you a letter of recommendation. A prep cook with a recommendation letter from a previous chef or kitchen manager may stand out among the rest of the candidates.
One creative approach to getting hired as a prep cook is to write a cover letter that includes your review about a meal you ate at the restaurant. Include specific details about what you love about the restaurant and how you can be an asset to the team due to your experience preparing similar dishes or food items you have expertise in making.
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