Crafting a chef resume can feel like attempting a soufflé – one wrong move, and it all falls flat. We'll help you whip up a chef resume that rises to the occasion and doesn’t summon Gordon Ramsay just to scream at you.
Let’s make sure hiring managers are hungry to have you in their kitchen. Time to serve up a delectable career dish they can't resist!
One of our users, Nikos, had this to say:
[I used] a nice template I found on Zety. My resume is now
one page long, not three. With the same stuff.
If you're considering other, similar jobs in the food industry, make sure to see a dedicated resume writing guide:
Looking for more examples? Check:
Chef Resume Example Maria Labonte Chef
Talented Chef with 4+ years of experience in a variety of restaurants. Eager to join Flavor Fusion Catering as Head Chef and use my expertise in menu creation, food presentation, fine dining standards, and staff management for the benefit of the catering business. Successfully managed a team of 15 chefs at Flavor Fusion Catering, reducing food wastage by 20%.
Experience Executive Chef Flavor Fusion Catering, Bowling Green, KY
Key Qualifications & Responsibilities Directed a team of 15 cooks. Developed a variety of unique recipes that met varied client needs. Ensured maintenance of food safety standards. Created a unique development plan for each cook. Key Achievement: Reduced food waste by 20% through strategic menu planning and effective resource utilization. Chef Gourmet Grove Bistro, Bowling Green, KY
May 2008–December 2013
Key Qualifications & Responsibilities Prepared a diverse array of American and French dishes. Coordinated with management for menu planning. Helped develop new dishes for the menu. Key Achievement: Received the “Chef of the Year” award in 2012. Education Bachelor of Culinary Arts
Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, KY
August 2004–May 2008
Relevant extracurricular activities Member of the Culinary Arts Club, 2006–2008. Participated in the National Cooking Competition, 2008. Academic achievements: Awarded “Best Culinary Student” in 2007 and 2008 . Skills Menu Development Team Management Food Presentation Kitchen Equipment Usage Multitasking Excellent Communication Adaptability Certifications Certified Executive Chef, American Culinary Federation, 2014 Awards 2012, Chef of the Year Award, American Culinary Federation Memberships
Member of the American Culinary Federation since 2014
Delivered a lecture on Menu Design Principles during the 2020 National Convention in San Diego. Served as a judge for the 2019 Young Chefs Competition in New York City. Languages English—Native Italian—Intermediate Interests Experimenting with fusion cuisine Gardening organic vegetables and herbs for fresh ingredients
Use the Best Chef Resume Format
You would't throw food on the cooking surface before it's heated up, would you. Same here. On a resume for chef jobs, you can't just skip right to the writing. Show them what’s cooking with the proper
chef resume format. How to Format a Chef Resume with Experience
If you were a sushi chef, pastry chef, or simply have some other cheffing experience, go with the
The reverse-chronological format is the most common, so restaurant managers and head chefs will instantly recognize it. With this chef resume layout, you'll list the most recent items first (in experience and education), followed by the one before that, and so on.
How to Format a Chef Resume with No Experience
Are you writing a
resume with no experience in commercial kitchens?
Even if it's a first-time chef resume, you still have relevant knowledge and know-how. That means you should still document your past employment history in reverse-chronological order.
thyme you’ll use bullet points, aligned neatly like the buttons on your chef’s coat, to talk up transferable skills from other jobs you've held. Pro Tip: Save the chef resume as a PDF, because the PDF format keeps the layout in shape (unlike the way your lobster bisque keeps no one in shape).
There are other formats you could consider for your chef resume. See our guide:
3 Resume Formats: How to Choose the Best One [Examples]
Start with a Chef Resume Objective or Summary
You know the way people love your culinary creations? You want the restaurant owner to love your chef resume like that.
That means you need a personal chef
resume objective or chef resume summary to use as a heading statement.
Here's how to decide which heading statement is right for chef resumes:
Example Chef Resume Summary
Do you have plenty of experience working amongst professional chefs?
Then go with the
A summary statement humblebrags about your cheffing experience to make their mouths water. As the cherry on top, it offers them an achievement using numbers for proof.
Here’s an experienced chef resume summary example:
Resume Example for a Chef: Resume Summary
right Personable line cook with 4+ years expertise in a fast-paced kitchen environment. Achieved region-best culinary satisfaction rating according to national food critic (5-Star Rating). Seeking to advance my culinary career by joining the Bahari Restaurant team as the new chef.
wrong I have been a line cook for the last 4 years. In addition to my knowledge of kitchen appliances, cooking methods, international cuisines, and gourmet food recipes, I also carried out various front-of-house duties (e.g., taking orders, dispatching food) during slower hours.
Notice the differences here?
In the wrong example of a chef resume summary, you
tell them you have all kinds of cooking skills.
But in the right example, you
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check?
Check. Start building a . professional resume template here for free
When you’re done,
will score your resume and our Zety’s resume builder will tell you resume checker exactly how to make it better. Example Chef Resume Objective
No chef experience to talk about in your resume? No problem. Many cook resumes and commis chef resumes are in the same gravy boat.
resume objective, in your case.
Rather than documenting your illustrious chef career, the objective statement gives the restaurant your culinary career goals. But the objective still includes a numbered achievement to verify you're as talented as you claim.
Here’s an example objective on a head chef resume without experience:
Example of a Chef Resume Objective
right Diligent sous chef with 5+ years experience in small Greek restaurant and Balkan cuisine. Obtained highest grades in food safety (100%) and blind taste tests (97.3%). Seeking to further career by growing with the Eataly team as the new executive chef.
wrong I am a sous chef eager to become a head chef. I don’t have experience in Italian cuisine, but I learn quickly, am highly motivated, and I enjoy Italian food.
The second one doesn’t show enough to hold the head chef’s appetite.
However, in the first example, you successfully win them over with your numbered accomplishments.
Hungry for more examples of a resume summary or resume objective for chef jobs? Check out our guides:
and How To Write A Resume Summary: 21 Best Examples You Will See 20+ Resume Objective Examples - Use Them On Your Resume (Tips)
Describe Your Chef Experience on a Resume “Wow. This chef! I’m so glad I chose this!”
That’s what diners say upon tasting your food. But, it’s also the reaction you hope to elicit from the restaurant manager as they read your chef
resume job description.
Here's how to rave about your work experience in a way which tingles their tastebuds like a tart ceviche:
Chef Resume with Experience:
Are chef jobs in your employment past? Then it's as easy as a TV dinner. Simply choose the most relevant chef duties which match the interests of this particular eatery.
Here are two chef resume job description examples:
Example of a Chef Resume: Work Experience
right Chef April 2014 - September 2016 South Street Lobster House, Charleston, SC Key Chef Responsibilities Cooked seafood menu items in a timely and efficient manner. Liaised with waitstaff and front-of-house employees to inform about menu changes and specials. Prepared all foods to customer satisfaction, including accounting for special dietary concerns. Key Chef Achievements Reduced order-to-table time by 17% with the implementation of new lobster tank solution.
wrong Chef May 2013 - August 2016 The Lobster Location, Flint, MI Made menu items and other foods. Kept workplace roach- and rat-free. Responsible for preparing customers’ orders.
That wrong example is unfortunately the way many prospective chefs list their past experience. As you can see, it clearly falls short.
In the correct example, you list you past cooking responsibilities in much greater detail. On top of that, you give a numbered accomplishment for the win.
Trade Trifles & Trivia: What does a sous chef do? Sous chef responsibilities include filling in for the head chef at times, scheduling duties, delegation, and other important tasks. Junior sous chef resumes are usually synonymous with assistant chef resumes. Chef Resume Without Experience:
If you've never been a chef before, you'll have to work just a bit harder to show the head chef or bar and grill owner that you’re worth your salt.
Entry-Level Resume Example for a Chef: Work Experience
right Barista March 2013 - December 2015 Crazy Cat Cafe, La Jolla, CA Key Responsibilities Created and delivered coffees and food items according to company recipe guidelines and customer specifications. Upsold clients by suggesting desserts and sandwiches to pair with their coffees. Maintained watch over freshness of food and beverage items, discarding items which expired. Key Achievements Increased sales by 10% due to strategic cross-marketing of lunch items and drinks.
See what we did here?
Though you were a barista before, in this example, you listed relevant restaurant duties and kitchen achievements which translate perfectly, whether for Michelin 3-star restaurant job applications or for your local happy place.
Looking for the right achievements to add to a resume for chef jobs? Check out this guide:
How to Put Achievements on a Resume - Complete Guide (30+ Examples)
Add Education to Your Chef Resume
You may not need a fancy university education on a chef resume. Still, it doesn't mean you can skip talking about your academic past.
So, here's how to add education onto chef resumes:
Chef Resume Education Example
For a chef resume with a completed college degree:
Diploma in Restaurant and Culinary Management Institute of Culinary Education, Los Angeles, CA Completion: 2016
Still working on your culinary school degree?
Diploma in Restaurant and Culinary Management Institute of Culinary Education, Houston, TX Expected Graduation: 2021
And what if all you have is your high school diploma?
Not to worry! List your high school, styling it like this:
Palos Verdes Peninsula High School Rolling Hills Estates, CA Graduated: 2014 Pro Tip: Have you earned your culinary school certificate or a degree from college? In that case, leave your high school history off your resume.
Want to make the best use of education on a chef resume? Then check out:
] How to Put Your Education on a Resume [Tips & Examples
Highlight Chef Skills on a Resume
Two events force a restaurant manager to jolt right up in excitement—
A perfectly prepared dish, and . . .
An amazing chef resume.
It's time to list your chef skills and cooking abilities.
The skills section is similar to the spices you add while cooking—essential, but the wrong ones can destroy it. Don't give them ginger when the recipe calls for garlic.
What are some popular chef skills for resumes?
Here are basic chef skills to put on a resume:
These are generic chef skills, and you shouldn't just add these into your resume.
Replace this weak Tabasco with a stronger
sambal ulek to make it unique and flavorful.
Browse the chef job description like a menu, and take note of
resume keywords from the responsibilities section matching the appetite of the head cook and bottle washer. Pro Tip: Don't forget to list cuisines. To have the trifecta on your chef resume, listing the regional or international cuisines you're familiar with is just as crucial as hard skills and soft skills.
Chef job description skills and requirements:
See this job description for chef jobs?
If you have it in front of you, you'll be able to build a perfect, personalized work history section:
Skills for Chef Resume: Examples
Exceptional managerial leadership on BOH admin tasks
Excellent attitude towards changing environment and adaptability
Terrific record of teaching and mentoring kitchen staff
The second one is as bland as an uncooked potato, and those skills, while handy, aren't what this restaurant are looking for.
Want more tips for listing the perfect chef skills for a resume, and a list of additional skills and qualifications? See our guide:
30+ Best Examples of What Skills to Put on a Resume (Proven Tips)
List Other Sections on a Chef Resume
Your resume now has all the main ingredients. But, to really spice it up, add some extra components.
Here are the most popular additional sections for chef resumes:
Volunteer Experience Volunteer work on a resume looks awesome, whether for head chef resumes or junior chef resumes. However, stick to adding only the most relevant instances.
Here's an example:
right Volunteered as a cook in a fast-paced kitchen at the local homeless shelter. Hobbies & Interests
Like the right wine, there are
interests and hobbies which pair well with a chef resume. Here are a few examples:
right Volleyball - captain of local league for over four years. Avid gardener and botanist.
Sports such as volleyball shows you work well in a team, and a commercial kitchen should be a tight-knit team. Gardening shows you are knowledgeable about different fruits and veggies.
Certifications & Awards
Have any cooking certifications or chef awards?
Here's how to add them to a resume for chef jobs:
right Passed five-year food safety certification. Placed first in last year’s Craft Calamari Cook Off. Languages
Like understanding French cooking methods as well as Indian cuisine, a second language opens up many opportunities.
Need more examples of hobbies and interests which work well on chef resumes? Still not sure if you even want to add extra sections? Read our guide:
20+ Best Examples of Hobbies & Interests To Put on a Resume (5 Tips)
Write a Cover Letter to Match Your Chef Resume
Would you serve a lobster without a plastic bib and a little two-pronged fork?
Similarly not ready to serve is a resume without a chef cover letter.
Here are few flavorful tips for delivering a junior or executive chef cover letter they’ll eat up:
Format the cover letter before you begin to write. Use a compelling introduction to start your chef cover letter. Talk up your skills and experience in the body paragraphs. Show them why you're the perfect chef for this restaurant. Explain why this restaurant is the best place for you to work. Use numbered achievements to verify you're as skilled as you say. End the chef cover letter with a strong closing statement.
Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our
Here's what it may look like: cover letter builder here.
cover letter templates and start writing.
Did you know that our resume builder will also help you write a professional cover letter for a chef job? For more, read our
cover letter tips or find out exactly what to include on a cover letter. Key Takeaway
By now, you should have a chef resume that is the
crème de la crème.
Here's how to write a chef resume: Prior to writing, ensure you have formatted the chef resume template properly. Open the resume with a compelling resume summary or objective. Talk up your prior work experience, whether you had a chef job or this'll be a first-time chef resume. Don't skip the education section, even if you don't need a diploma. List choice chef skills by using the job ad's requirements to tailor it. Add relevant extra sections, such as chef licenses or second languages. Always include a chef cover letter attached to your resume!
I hope I get the pleasure of trying your recipes the next time I’m out for dinner!
Do you have any questions on how to write a chef resume? Not sure how to describe your skills or achievements? Give us a shout in the comments below and we will answer your question. Thanks for reading!