Resume Template: Chef

The life of a chef. While many people cook, being a chef takes food creation to a whole new level.
Becoming a chef for a restaurant requires business skills, staff management, creative technique, and an intelligent mind educated in the craft of culinary creation.

The dream of working your way up until you can one day craft your own menus and run your own kitchen fuels your intense drive to work long and odd hours and deal with all kinds of customers.

To some, cooking is a means to an end, but to you, cooking is an art and a method of universal expression.

If you are pursuing this field then you know that the competition is fierce. To get a job, you’ll need all of the passion, experience, and skills necessary to outmatch the rest.

All of that, along with one more small detail – a resume.

If you have spent your time studying French cuisine instead of becoming an expert resume writer, we understand.

So, if you need an extra edge in getting your point across on paper, instead of a plate, we’ve got you covered.

Summary

  1. Resume Template
  2. Formatting
  3. Writing Your Resume Summary
  4. Areas of Expertise
  5. Writing Your Work Experience
  6. Writing Your Education Section
  7. Additional Sections
  8. Resume Points to Remember
  9. Resume “Don’ts” to Remember
  10. Some Helpful Tools

Let’s begin with a sample chef resume to demonstrate how all the resume pieces fit together. Then we will break each section down to really drill into how to write the best chef resume you possibly can.

Find Resume Advice in Your Industry

Browse our categories of resume samples to get industry-specific advice on writing your next resume.

Administration Business Construction
Customer Service Education Creative
Emergency Services Engineering Finance
Food Service Healthcare Information Technology
Law Learning Maintenance
Marketing Management Retail

Chef Resume (Text Version)

Contact Info:

Erika Osborne
[email protected]
1 (503) 555-5500
Portland, OR 97203

Summary Statement:

Chef: Dependable, energetic, and seasoned chef with an unrelenting drive to provide exceptional guest service and hospitality. Excellent communicator and team motivator. Enthusiastically pursues new recipes and has a proven record of staying below budget with inventory management while maximizing labor.

Key Accomplishments/Areas of Expertise

  • HACCP
  • OSHA
  • Leadership
  • Training
  • Inventory Managment
  • Menu Creation
  • Food Safety And Sanitation
  • French Cuisine
  • Pastries And Baking
  • Budgeting
  • Time Managment
  •  

Professional Experience:

Morton’s Steakhouse | Kitchen Manager
Portland, OR | May 2016 – Present

  • Effectively manage back of house staff including training, development, and follow-up
  • Minimize budgeted labor through proper planning and execution leading to a 10% increase in profits
  • Oversee weekly and monthly inventories, leading to a 25% decrease in monthly food waste
  • Facilitate organization of kitchen and dining areas adhering to OSHA regulations

Bella Donna’s Bistro and Patisserie | Chef
Forest Grove, OR | July 2012 – Feb 2015

  • Handcrafted 5 distinctive dishes specific to the restaurant, 3 becoming top selections by guests
  • Created modified meals as necessary for special requests and food allergies
  • Worked directly with owner on crafting recipes, menu design and featured specials
  • Calmly and quickly lead kitchen team of 8 to complete work during peak traffic hours

Awesome Restaurant Group | Sous Chef
Portland, OR | June 2010 – June 2013

  • Created a safe and healthy work environment for employees and guests
  • Hired, mentored, and motivated a team of 10
  • Ordered food and supplies, consistently 8% below financial targets

Education

AOS DEGREE | CULINARY ARTS – HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT
Oregon Culinary Institute
Graduated 2010

Formatting

Think of the format of your resume like the plating of a dish.

No matter how tasty the food might be, if it doesn’t appear appetizing people may never want to take a single bite.

No matter how amazing your credentials or your accomplishments, if your chef resume isn’t formatted correctly a restaurant owner may never read a single sentence.

That isn’t an over-exaggeration either.

It is estimated that hiring managers only spend about 6 seconds reviewing each resume that comes across their desk.

What’s the first thing that they’re going to notice?

You guessed it – the format.

How do you construct a format that will really grab their attention?

It might actually be the opposite of what you think – instead of selecting a format that seems to really “stand out,” make sure that you are choosing one that appears neat and professional.

Start with a legible font and use a format that lays things out in a way that is easy to follow and understand.

Pay attention to spacing and how it guides the eye and separates sections and bullet points to allow for more significant details to stand out.

List your accomplishments and job history in reverse chronological order so that your most recent work comes first (it is likely also your most impressive).

Follow these basics, and you should be off to a great start.

Start With Your Resume Summary

The summary of your chef resume is the first section that will appear at the top of the page.

You should be able to complete this section in about three sentences or less by including only the most important and impressive details about yourself as a chef.

While this section sounds relatively straightforward and simplistic, it can be a bit tough to narrow things down for yourself.

Make sure that you are referencing the job posting or researching the restaurant you are applying to in order to include details that will be most impactful for the job you are after.

Yes!

Dependable, energetic, and seasoned chef with an unrelenting drive to provide exceptional guest service and hospitality. Excellent communicator and team motivator – enthusiastically pursues new recipes and has a proven record of staying below budget with inventory management while maximizing labor.

No!

Qualified chef with a drive to give great guest service and make great food. Good communicator and team member – I pursue new recipes and have a record of sticking with a budget.

The first example utilizes effective keywords and power words to describe what the chef values in their position and what areas they excel in.

The second example uses weak language and attempts to describe the candidate in an amount of information that is too minimal to get their point across.

As well, the second example suddenly includes the word “I” in the middle of their sentence – the words “I” and “me” should always be avoided in resume writing.

PRO TIP: Try writing your summary last if you are having trouble deciding what to say. Sometimes taking the time to finish other sections first allows you to think through your skills more before you have to sum them up.

Key Accomplishments/ Skills & Qualifications

The introduction of your chef resume wouldn’t be complete without a section that lays out your most profound skills and qualifications.

This section of your chef resume should remain minimalistic and eye-catching.

List each skill as its own bullet point and avoid adding in extra information – this section should grab attention due to its precision.

Key Accomplishments/Areas of Expertise

  • HACCP
  • OSHA
  • Leadership
  • Training
  • Inventory Management
  • Menu Creation
  • Food Safety and Sanitation
  • French Cuisine
  • Pastries and Baking
  • Budgeting
  • Time Management

As you think through your skills and decide what to include, make sure that you consider the two main kinds of skills:

Hard Skills:

  • Teachable
  • Practicable
  • Easy to Quantify
  • Technical

These skills can range from food safety and budgeting all the way down to what areas of cuisine you specialize in.

Soft skills:

  • Personality Traits
  • Subjective
  • Harder to Quantify
  • Innate
  • Not necessarily teachable

Soft skills can range from being a great leader in the kitchen to having a naturally “well-tuned” pallet.

Make sure that you include both kinds of skills on this list so that the person reading your chef resume can tell that you are a well-rounded candidate.

PRO TIP: Always reference the job posting or research the restaurant before you write this list so that you can include the most relevant skills possible to impress the owner. If there are skills listed in a job posting, make sure you include those skills directly in this list whenever they apply to you.

(See below for a helpful table of some suggested hard and soft skills to include in your resume.)

Writing Your Work Experience

This section of your chef resume will typically take up the most space and for a good reason.

While your previous sections laid out what skills and qualities you have as a chef, this section of your resume should allow you to “prove” those skills.

Depending on where you are in your career, you might have more or less experience, but whatever the case, make sure you only include relevant jobs in this section.

If you are choosing between including your first job as a dishwasher or your first job as a line cook, the choice should be a no brainer.

In most cases, you should list your jobs in reverse chronological order so that your most recent and relevant jobs come first.

Once you have decided on what jobs to include, describe each position in about three to five bullet points.

Try to include tasks and accomplishments that you feel will be most relevant and impressive for the job you are trying to get.

Yes!

Morton’s Steakhouse | Portland, OR | Kitchen Manager | May 2016 – Present

  • Effectively manage back of house staff including training, development, and follow-up
  • Minimize budgeted labor through proper planning that led to a 10% increase in profits
  • Oversee weekly and monthly inventories, leading to a 25% decrease in monthly food waste
  • Facilitate organization of kitchen and dining areas adhering to OSHA regulations

No!

Morton’s Steakhouse | Portland, OR | Kitchen Manager | May 2016 – Present

  • Manage back of house staff
  • Minimize budgeted labor
  • Oversee weekly and monthly inventories
  • Oversee the organization of kitchen and dining areas

The first example lists the responsibilities the candidate handled using strong and varied speech, and lent impressive results due to their abilities.

The second example lists the same job responsibilities with little to no detail and reuses the same keyword twice.

PRO TIP: Always try to quantify or qualify your job tasks whenever possible. Explain in detail how many staff members you managed or what percentage increase in profit your management led to. The goal is to be as detailed as possible in a concise fashion.

(If you lack work experience, see below for a helpful section.)

More About Bots

In some situations, companies or restaurants see a high volume of applications when they have an opening.

Due to the vast amount of applicants and not enough time to review every resume, the use of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), otherwise known as bots, is on the rise.

When a bot reviews your chef resume, it searches for specific keywords that it associates with “good-candidate potential.”

If the bot flags your resume, then it will get reviewed by an owner or manager, but if it doesn’t, your resume will likely end up in the trash.

Some resume experts believe that writing your job descriptions in paragraphs rather than with bullet points can allow you to include more keywords.

Standard bullet point format:

Bella Donna’s Bistro and Patisserie | Forest Grove, OR | Chef | Aug 2013 – Apr 2016

  • Handcrafted 5 distinctive dishes specific to the restaurant, 3 becoming top selections by guests
  • Created modified meals as necessary for special requests and food allergies
  • Worked directly with owner on crafting recipes, menu design and featured specials
  • Calmly and quickly led kitchen team of 8 to complete work during peak traffic hours

Paragraph format:

Bella Donna’s Bistro and Patisserie | Forest Grove, OR | Chef | Aug 2013 – Apr 2016

Handcrafted 5 distinctive dishes specific to the restaurant, of which 3 became consistent top selections by guests. Created modified meals as necessary for special requests and food allergies and personally oversaw followthrough of each dish. Worked directly with the owner on crafting recipes, menu design and featured specials. Calmly and quickly led a kitchen team of 8 to complete work during peak traffic hours and reduce wait time to increase tables served by 20 a day.

Some people opt to write their descriptions as a paragraph and then add a few bullet points below.

Bella Donna’s Bistro and Patisserie | Forest Grove, OR | Chef | Aug 2013 – Apr 2016

Handcrafted 5 distinctive dishes specific to the restaurant, of which 3 became consistent top selections by guests. Created modified meals as necessary for special requests and food allergies and personally oversaw follow-through of each dish. Worked directly with the owner on crafting recipes, menu design and featured specials. Calmly and quickly led a kitchen team of 8 to complete work during peak traffic hours and reduce wait time to increase tables served by 20 a day.

  • French Cuisine
  • Pastry Training

At Big Interview, we recommend that you stick with bullet points to allow for easier reading on human eyes.

Just make sure that you are intentional about including strong keywords in your descriptions.

Writing Your Education Section

The education section of your chef resume typically requires far less detail than your work history.

If you have received multiple levels of formal education or you have attended numerous culinary schools, make sure that you list your most impressive degrees and certifications first.

For each inclusion list the school you attended, the title you received, and the year you completed your schooling.

Example:

AOS Degree | Culinary Arts – Hospitality Management
Oregon Culinary Institute
Graduated 2010

If you have additional training or affiliations outside of your degree, list them below in this section as well.

Example:

Baking and Pastry Diploma

  • Oregon Culinary Institute, 2013

Possible Sections to Include

If you have received honors, awards, impressive reviews, or if you have something else going for you that this article hasn’t covered, don’t be afraid to include it in your resume if you feel that it will genuinely help your chances.

Including additional sections on your chef resume is not uncommon and could give you an edge over other candidates.

Some additional sections to consider including are:

  • Awards and honors
  • Publications
  • Noteworthy Projects
  • Social Media Influence
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Hobbies/Interests
  • Volunteer Work

What if You Have no Experience?

You may be reading this article wondering where to start with your work history section if you just graduated or you are switching careers and don’t have relevant work experience.

While becoming a chef is not something to be done overnight, and you will need tested skills by working your way up as some form of a cook or sous chef, you might still be wondering how to get started.

If you did receive training as a chef in school, alter your resume by listing your education just below your summary.

Once your education has a new positioning on the page, see if you can give it some flair by adding extra details.

If you received any honors or awards in school or maintained an impressive GPA, include those details.

Make sure that you don’t shy away from showing off that you were an impressive student.

You can also look to your additional sections and include any internships or volunteer work that might give you an edge as well.

Stay confident and remember that everyone does, in fact, have to start somewhere and if you are out there applying to jobs, you are just that much closer to achieving your goals.

Resume Points to Remember

Minimalism is more

Make sure that you are keeping your chef resume to just one page. If you feel that your accomplishments and experience are just too amazing to contain on one page, they aren’t. Keep it to the point, a busy restaurant owner will not be impressed with a two-page resume.

Everything customized

Make sure that you are tailoring your chef resumes for each restaurant you apply to. Each section should take into account where you are trying to work and not just list your basic skills.

Practice makes perfect

Always look over what you have written, because you likely will have mistakes or points with awkward wording. If you can have someone else review your resume take them up on the opportunity. If it’s all on you, read it aloud to yourself so you can hear how it is going to sound when someone else reads it.

Try to Avoid

Rules for a reason

While great chefs know when and where to push the limits, there is generally still a foundation that they work from. Make sure that you aren’t throwing caution to the wind when it comes to format and font selection. Things should be straight forward and legible.

Don’t serve the same thing twice

Make sure that you are starting each bullet point with a new and effective keyword. Using the same word twice will make you come off as one-dimensional and underdeveloped.

Don’t ignore the basics

There’s a reason many cooking classes start with fundamental skills like making the “perfect scrambled eggs.” You work from the ground up, and the basics are always going to be necessary. No matter how amazing your resume is, don’t forget the most basic information of all – your name and contact information. It sounds silly, but people do forget.

(See below for a helpful table of some suggested power words.)

Helpful Tools:

Power Words

  • Administered
  • Founded
  • Adept
  • Formulated
  • Built
  • Implemented
  • Created
  • Improved
  • Consolidated
  • Initiated
  • Coordinated
  • Launched
  • Developed
  • Pioneered
  • Designed
  • Organized

Skills List

Hard Skills Soft Skills
Food Safety and Sanitation Leadership
Inventory Management Calm Under Pressure
Budgeting Time Management
French Cuisine Refined Pallet
Menu Creation Adaptability
Tags:

Pick a Category to Explore Next

Job Search

Is it time to search for a new job? Don't worry we can teach you to search like a PRO!

Start exploring

Interview Q&A

A well prepared answer to potential interview question can help you ace your job interview.

Start exploring

Resume 101

Every successful job search starts with a well prepared resume. Is your ready to be seen?

Start exploring

Behavioral Interviews

Behavioral interview questions are the trickiest questions you can expect. Are you ready for them?

Start exploring

Interview Tips

Got an interview appointment? Well done! Now, let's get you ready to ace it and get hired.

Start exploring

Industry Specific Q&A

Each interview is adjusted to your industry, so we adjusted our Q&A library to help you out.

Start exploring

Negotiation

When the offer is put infront of you it is perfect time to show off your negotation skills.

Start exploring

Work Life

Learn how to get the most of your current job, your teammates and your boss with our proven tips.

Start exploring

Ready to Land a New Job? Let’s Do It!

Big Interview will guide you through the process of becoming really good, really fast. Guaranteed.