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Executive Chef Salary

How to Create a Executive Chef Resume (Skills, Examples)

Isabel ThottamAuthor

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How to Create a Executive Chef Resume (Skills, Examples)

The executive chef is an essential member of a restaurant team: creating, designing, and executing the menu while fully overseeing kitchen operations. 

For a new restaurant, hiring a chef is a huge priority, and often the first hire before a restaurant opens. The good news is data shows that the job outlook for chefs is projected to grow 15% over the next ten years. 

So, if you want to land the position of executive chef, now is a great time to spice up your resume and make a solid first impression. Learn how to write a resume that will improve your chances of being hired as an executive chef.

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Professional Experience

As an executive chef, your resume must serve as your introduction to a restaurant. Whether or not the restaurant owner knows you, the resume can serve as a selling point to help you land the job. Every restaurant has a different approach to hiring an executive chef, so do your best to create a resume that highlights what makes you the best choice for the job. 

To be hired as an executive chef, you need to have extensive experience in the restaurant industry. If you have attended culinary school or trained in a culinary program, make sure you mention any degree or certification you have. 

When you list out your professional experience, it’s a good rule of thumb to only list what is relevant from the last ten years. The best way to write your experience on a resume is to use bullet points. You first want to name the restaurant you worked in and list the title of your position, followed by the dates you were employed. 

Underneath this, use bullet points to list out your responsibilities and accomplishments, and mention any specific data points if possible. You do not have to go into too much detail, as you do not want the resume to look too clunky, rather, you can use keywords to write one to two sentences to describe the work you did. 

If you are unsure what keywords to use, read over the hiring notice from the restaurant you are applying to. A job description generally uses keywords to describe what they are looking for in a candidate, so writing those same words on your resume with help you stand out.

Personal Information

It can be competitive to land an executive chef job, especially if the restaurant you want to work at is popular or has a strong reputation. One way to make your resume stronger is to add some personal experience that might help you stick out. 

Some experiences to consider are any other jobs, volunteer gigs, or other situations you’ve had that are related to the skills you utilize as an executive chef. This could include catering events, volunteer food-related work, or assisting family or friends with large meals.

Skills

An executive chef usually needs certain skills to land a job at a restaurant, including: 

  • Leadership 
  • Strong verbal communication 
  • Training development 
  • Team building 
  • Ability to flourish in high-volume, fast-paced work environments 
  • Ability to stay calm in high-stress situations 
  • Knowledgeable about health and food safety regulations 
  • Accounting, budget tracking, and inventory management 
  • Excellence in menu design
  • Quality and detail-oriented

As an executive chef, you need to be able to manage people and should possess strong communication skills. If you speak multiple languages note those that you speak on your list of skills because it’s often useful to be able to communicate in different languages in a kitchen. 

Here's an example of an executive chef resume to help you get started:

EXECUTIVE CHEF RESUME SAMPLE:

NORA MARDIGAN

615-431-2657 | noram@gmail.com 

1614 Eastside Ave Nashville, TN 37209

SUMMARY:

Executive chef with 8+ years of experience creating menus for five-star restaurants. 

EDUCATION:  

Nossi School of Art, 2014-2016

Associate of Occupational Studies, Culinary Arts

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Executive Chef

Wilma’s

January 2020  – Present

  • Trained and coached employees on COVID-19 protocols and all food safety procedures.

  • Led, managed and trained a team of 10 professionals.

  • Re-designed menu offerings to adapt to increase of online ordering sales during the pandemic.

  • Increased local produce purchasing by 20% to serve more farm-to-table dishes.

Chef

The Five Point 

June 2017 – December 2020

  • Created 6 new menu items leading to an increase in monthly sales by 26%.

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

  • Implemented a quality check procedure to stop orders bring being sent back, and to ensure guests have a positive dining experience.

  • Created new menu options for clients with allergies or diet restrictions including vegan, gluten-free and keto-friendly dishes.

  • Awarded Regional Chef of The Year in 2018 by Nashville Eater.

Sous Chef

Turnip Truck

May 2014 – June 2017

  • Created a cross-training program to help all kitchen staff learn more efficiently.
  • Improved ingredient and food labeling system to reduce waste and maintain food safety, resulting in a 24% decrease is inventory loss.
  • Assisted head chef with daily assignments and by supervising line cooks.
  • Assisted kitchen manager with budget and inventory ordering.
  • Collaborated with chef on new menu ideas that contributed to a 15% increase in monthly sales.
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Where to go from here

The executive hire is a big decision for a restaurant, and it often is the first hire a restaurant will make because it sets the tone of the restaurant. 

If you have a strong resume that communicates your qualifications, interest, and knowledge your resume will stand out. But if you feel the need to go one step further, there are a few other ways you can stand out. 

Apply in Person 

Hand in your resume in person at the restaurant because showing up in person sets the tone that you’re hard-working, motivated, and ready to start. 

You can ask to hand in your resume to the current executive chef, the owner, or the restaurant or kitchen manager. Doing so can help to put a more personal touch on your application and someone will likely remember you when they review your resume later. 

Network 

One of the best ways to get a job in the restaurant industry is to 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 help landing an executive chef position. 

If you went to culinary school, you could reach out to your classmates too. Chances are someone will know someone who can help you get your foot in the door at the restaurant you want to work at. 

Dine at the Restaurant 

Eat at the restaurant and then write a review in the form of a cover letter. This would be a creative approach to making you stand out during the hiring process. Simply go to the restaurant and order a few items off the menu. 

Then, write about what food you like and mention that you know how the food items are prepared. Try to avoid any negative commentary and instead focus on writing a positive letter that expresses your interest in working at the restaurant because you like the food and atmosphere. 

If possible, you should address your cover letter to the chef, restaurant manager, or owner which will make your letter more personalized and show that you put a lot of time into writing the letter.

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