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Chef Resume: Sample & Complete Guide [20+ Examples]

Chef Resume: Sample & Complete Guide [20+ Examples]

You're ready to write a chef resume for top kitchen jobs.

 

Choosing the finest ingredients. Turning them into artfully-crafted dishes. The looks of orgasmic bliss on diners’ faces as they taste your preparations.

 

A chef job seems cooked up just for you! 

 

But hold your excitement at bay. Every chef position has many applicants applying for the job.

 

For the restaurant, it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet.

 

The competition will be fierce - like one of those shows with Gordon Ramsay (but with less screaming). 

 

But don’t worry. 

  

This modern chef resume guide will show you:

 

  • Chef resume examples better than 9 out of 10 other resumes.
  • How to make chef resumes that will land you more interviews.
  • Tips and examples of how to put skills and achievements on a chef’s resume.
  • How to describe your experience on a resume for chefs to get any job you want.

 

Here's a sample resume for a chef made using our resume builder.

 

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

 

chef resume templates

Sample Chef Resume—See more templates and create your resume here.

 

If you're considering other, similar jobs in the food industry, make sure to see a dedicated resume writing guide:

 

1

What’s the Best Format for a Chef Resume?

 

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 reverse-chronological format.

 

Why?

 

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.

 

But this 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).

 

Want to make sure your resume will hook every recruiter and get you that interview? Get our free checklist and learn what makes a job-winning resume: 46 Things You Need To Do Before You Send Your Resume

 

There are other formats you could consider for your chef resume. See our guide: 3 Resume Formats: How to Choose the Best One [Examples]

 

2

Chef Resume Objective or Resume Summary?

 

You know the way people love your culinary creations?

 

You want the restaurant owner to love your 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 resume summary

 

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:

 

Sample 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 summary, you tell them you have all kinds of cooking skills.

 

But in the right example, you prove it.

 

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you 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.

 

Use the 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:

 

Sample Chef Resume Objective Statement

 

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: How To Write A Resume Summary: 21 Best Examples You Will See and 20+ Resume Objective Examples - Use Them On Your Resume (Tips)

  

3

How to Describe Your Chef Experience

 

“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:

 

Job Description for Chef Resume Samples

 

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.

 

Experience: Entry-Level Resume Examples

 

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)

 

4

Is Your Education Section Undercooked? It Might Be.

 

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]

 

5

How to Put Skills on a Chef 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 restaurant 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 skills for chef resumes? 

 

Here are basic chef skills to put on a resume:

 

Chef Skills List
Chef Resume Hard SkillsChef Resume Soft Skills
Vulcan 70in. Gas RangePeople Skills
Infrared Salamander BroilerTime Management
Beef Grinder 5000 Maintenance & UseCommunication
Restaurant Intercom OperationFood Safety Consciousness

  

But wait.

 

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:

 

chef resume 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

 

right

Exceptional managerial leadership on BOH admin tasks [1]

Excellent attitude towards changing environment and adaptability [2]

Terrific record of teaching and mentoring kitchen staff [3]

wrong

Fryer

Coal Grill

Prep tasks

 

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 writing the perfect chef resume skills and a list of additional skills and qualifications? See our guide: 30+ Best Examples of What Skills to Put on a Resume (Proven Tips)

 

6

How to Add Other Sections for an Effective 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)

 

7

Here's the Most Common Myth About Cover Letters

 

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 cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

 

matching set of resume and cover letter

See more 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.

 

Let's recap.

 

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!

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Christian Eilers
Christian is a career expert who has been writing for Zety since 2017. From job hunting to acing interviews to settling in on the first days at a new career, his guides cover the entire career spectrum.
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