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Cook Resume: Samples, Job Descriptions, Skills To Include

Cook Resume: Samples, Job Descriptions, Skills To Include

Discover the ultimate foolproof recipe for a cook resume that makes recruiters’ mouths water.

You’re pretty much an alchemist. But instead of transforming stones into gold, you use the power of fire, water, and metal to turn the blandest of ingredients into mouth-watering, Instagram-worthy dishes.

 

For your magic, you deserve top-notch working conditions and excellent pay.

 

But the restaurant or hotel where you work now probably doesn’t treat you like a master alchemist, and that’s why you’re looking for a new job.

 

And for that, you need a resume.

 

While you can probably cook a dish with an unpronounceable foreign name and 36 ingredients in half an hour, writing a cook resume might feel overwhelmingly complex. We feel you, so we broke the entire resume-writing process into a step-by-step recipe.

 

This guide will show you: 

 

  • A cook resume example better than 9 out of 10 other resumes.
  • How to write a cook resume that will land you more interviews.
  • Tips and examples of how to put skills and achievements on a cook resume.
  • How to describe your experience on a resume for a cook to get any job you want.

 

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.

 

Create your resume now

 

cook resume example
cook resume example

Sample resume made in our builder—See more resume templates here.

 

Cook Resume Sample

 

Orlando T. Jackson

Sous Chef

306-831-7475

OrlandoTJackson@email.com

linkedin.com/in/orlandojackson

 

Summary

 

Creative sous chef with 7 years of experience and proven management skills. At Huber&Francene, reduced food waste by 10% and improved TripAdvisor rating to 4.7. Eager to contribute to Feasteak’s excellent reputation by maintaining high standards of food safety and delighting patrons with fresh variations of their favourite dishes.

 

Experience

 

Sous-chef de cuisine

Huber&Francene, Calgary, AB

March 2020–Now

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Trained 2 new hires who were able to work independently within a week
  • Ensured full HACCP compliance by implementing a food safety monitoring system in close collaboration with the executive chef
  • Reduced food waste by 10% by optimizing food inventory management

Key Achievement: Introduced changes to the menu that improved the restaurant’s TripAdvisor rating from 4.2 to 4.7

 

Line cook

Steakroad, Calgary, AB

January 2017–January 2020

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Maintained high food safety standards (zero violations noted by public health inspectors)
  • Introduced three new styles of garnishing steaks to the menu
  • Collaborated with food photographers to create marketing materials for the restaurant, which led to a 5% increase in revenue

 

Fast food cook

Foodle, Mississauga, ON

May 2015–December 2016

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Managed a team of 3 prep cooks and improved their productivity by 10%
  • Helped maintain relationships with patrons and resolve customer complaints, leading to an improvement of Foodle’s Google reviews from 3.8 to 4.1

 

Education

 

Ontario College Diploma in Culinary Management

George Brown College, Toronto, ON

Graduated in 2016

  • Completed industry externship at La Milanesa, Toronto, ON

 

Skills

 

  • Food safety
  • Food inventory management
  • Team management
  • Food presentation
  • French cuisine
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Decision-making

 

Now, here’s the job-winning cook resume formula that will help you present your experience and skills in the best possible way.

 

1. Choose a Proven Recipe for Formatting Your Resume

 

Compare two dishes. One is a plate of badly mashed potatoes with a shapeless dollop of gravy. The other is a smooth, creamy puree, adorned with carefully plated sauce.

 

Both are essentially potatoes, fat, and flour.

 

But how they’re presented on the plate makes a world of difference.

 

Even the most gourmet ingredients won’t look appetizing when piled up randomly like last day’s leftovers.

 

It’s the same with resumes. Yes, resume layout matters.

 

But how do you make sure your resume looks appetizing?

 

First of all, opt for the reverse-chronological format. This means that you start with your most recent work experience and end with earlier jobs.

 

Second, you know that overfilled plates just don’t look good. So make sure your resume has nice, even margins on all sides. Choose fonts that are easy to read and set the line spacing to 1.15.

 

When formatting your resume, imagine you’re cooking for a toddler who doesn’t want his broccoli to touch his pasta, or he won’t eat any of them. Divide your resume into sections and leave a bit of space between them.

 

Here are your main ingredients:

 

  • Header with contact info
  • Summary Statement/Career Objective
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Additional Sections (Conferences, Extra Training, Volunteering, Certifications, Etc.)

 

The header is pretty straightforward. It should contain your name, your contact info, and the fact that you’re applying for a job as a cook. Omit any personal details like marital status or nationality.

 

Now we’ll take a closer look at each of the resume sections, starting with your work experience (don’t worry, we’ll get back to summary statements later on).

 

But before we dive in, one more tip: remember to save your resume as a PDF file.

 

If you save it as a Word document, it might look just fine on your computer, that’s true. But when someone opens your Word doc on another computer, it might look like an amateur’s attempt at recreating a cake they saw on Pinterest.

 

However, some job ads say that you must submit your resume as a Word file. If that’s the case, do so.

 

2. Serve Your Work Experience First with a Great Cook Job Description

 

The work experience section is the meat and potatoes of your resume.

 

And just like meat and potatoes, it’s not as straightforward to make as many people think. Just remember how you ruined that expensive cut of steak when you were just starting out!

 

So your safest bet is to stick to a good recipe. Here it is:

 

  • Start with your employer’s name, their location, and your job title
  • Add dates (when you started the job and when you left it)
  • Grab the job ad and pick some specific keywords that describe job requirements
  • Whip up several bullet points (up to 6) that describe your achievements using those exact keywords
  • Start each bullet point with a strong action verb
  • Sprinkle with numbers that clearly measure the quality of your work

 

Did you come up with any bullets that say things like “responsible for preparing dishes”? Toss them straight into the garbage bin. You could be responsible for something, but still do it badly.

 

If you’re still wondering how to structure your bullet points, take a look at the P-A-R formula. P-A-R stands for Problem (Project), Action, and Result.

 

Each bullet point should contain an Action (what you did), a Project (what you were working on), and the Result of your action. For example:

 

Ensured full HACCP compliance (Result) by implementing (Action) a food safety monitoring system (Project).

 

OK, now let’s see what the finished recipe looks like.

 

Cook Resume Sample: Work Experience

RIGHT

Sous-chef de cuisine

Huber&Francene, Calgary, AB

March 2020–Now

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Trained 2 new hires who were able to work independently within a week
  • Ensured full HACCP compliance by implementing a food safety monitoring system in close collaboration with the executive chef
  • Reduced food waste by 10% by optimizing food inventory management

Key Achievement: Introduced changes to the menu that improved the restaurant’s TripAdvisor rating from 4.2 to 4.7

This candidate makes it clear that they didn’t just show up and chop veggies when told to. They helped increase revenue, improve ratings, and make sure patrons were only served safe food.

 

But what about this work experience section?

WRONG

Sous-chef de cuisine

Huber&Francene

March 2020–Now

  • Responsible for food safety
  • Prepared dishes listed in the menu, mostly French cuisine
  • Made sure that food wouldn’t spoil in the refrigerators

If you look closely, you can see both examples belong to the same candidate. However, the second one says absolutely nothing about the candidate’s achievements. OK, they made food and did other duties that are expected of a cook. But were they even good at it? You can’t tell.

 

We’ve already talked about the word “responsible”. Avoid it like you’d avoid mouldy bread.

 

But the other bullet points aren’t particularly impressive, either.

 

The cook resume example you’ve just seen belongs to an experienced candidate. But what if you’re just starting out and can’t put any fancy restaurants on your resume?

 

Cook Job Description Resume Example: Beginner

RIGHT

Fast food cook

Upfood, Ottawa, ON

October 2021–now

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Made sandwiches and other menu items 10% faster than average
  • Served orders to customers; the restaurant received ten 5-star reviews on Google that specifically praised the service

 

Barista

Latte Bageliato, Ottawa, ON

January 2018–May 2021

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Prepared coffee-based drinks according to customer wishes
  • Taught two new hires how to make latte art in less than a day

If you don’t have a lot of experience as a cook, you can include other jobs that require similar skills. For example, this candidate used to be a barista. This means they already have some experience with food safety regulations, serving drinks and snacks, and responding to customers’ wishes. And look, they’re also good at training new team members!

WRONG

Fast food cook

Upfood

Since Oct 2021

  • Made sandwiches really fast
  • Was nice to customers 

 

Janitor

Accelfitness

May 2021–October 2021

  • Kept the fitness studio clean

You may be tempted to list your entire employment history, but it’s best to omit random jobs that have nothing to do with cooking or customer service. The candidate used to work as a janitor for a few months, but this doesn’t make them any better at cooking.

 

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, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

3. Show Where You Learned To Cook

 

Now’s the time to cook up the education section of your resume.

 

How much should you write? It depends on your work experience.

 

If you already have a track record of fine restaurants and measurable achievements, you can be brief about your education. Just mention your highest degree and add a couple bullet points. Going too deep into your educational background would be like putting extra spices on a chilli pepper.

 

But if you don’t have much experience to show, then by all means let your education speak for you. Were you taught by a famous chef? Did you enjoy an apprenticeship at a gourmet restaurant? That makes you a worthy candidate even if you’re just starting out. So feel free to describe your training in more detail.

 

Experienced Cook Resume Sample: Education & Training

RIGHT

Ontario College Diploma in Culinary Management

George Brown College, Toronto, ON

Graduated in 2016

  • Completed industry externship at La Milanesa, Toronto, ON

This cook revealed just the right information about his education. Since they’ve already got considerable experience, they don’t need to mention other credentials or go into detail.

WRONG

Ontario College Diploma in Culinary Management

George Brown College, Toronto, ON

Graduated in 2016

  • Completed industry externship at La Milanesa, Toronto, ON
  • Took additional language courses 
  • Took a course about conspiracy theories

 

Ontario College Certificate in Culinary Skills

George Brown College, Toronto, ON

Graduated in 2015

  • Learned how to cook like a pro
  • Excelled in the Nutrition Fundamentals course

This education section includes way too much irrelevant information. No one cares about their course about conspiracy theories. Also, mentioning the earlier college certificate isn’t necessary because the candidate already has a lot of work experience to prove their worth.

 

But what about newbies?

 

Cook Resume Examples: Education

RIGHT

Professional Chef Diploma

Culinary Arts School of Ontario, Mississauga, ON

Graduated in 2021

  • Excelled in courses on hors d’oeuvres and seafood preparation
  • Attended classes led by Vernon M. Simmons and Clarence J. Earhart

 

Culinary Arts Diploma

Culinary Arts School of Ontario, Mississauga, ON

Graduated in 2020

  • Excelled in knife skills course
  • Gained practical experience at Les Vagabonds

4. List Your Skills

 

Your resume won’t be complete without a skills section. But don’t just make a giant list of everything but the kitchen sink!

 

Instead, read the job advert carefully and point out the specific skills that your potential employer wants to see.

 

Do you have any of those specific skills? If yes, put them on the resume. You don’t need to spam your resume with skills your employer doesn’t care about.

 

You’re probably going to end up with a list of 5–10 skills. Good.

 

Now go back to the bullet points that describe your work experience. Do they illustrate or prove the skills on your list? If they don’t, edit them a little so that your bullet points actually highlight the skills that your new employer wants to see.

 

Just in case you’re completely lost for words, here’s a handy bucket list of skills for a cook resume.

 

Cook Skills for Resume

 

  • In-depth knowledge of food processing, sanitation, and safety
  • Operating kitchen equipment
  • Food presentation skills
  • Strong knife skills
  • Food inventory management
  • Pastry and baking
  • Italian cuisine
  • Time management
  • Organization
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Attention to detail
  • Management skills
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability
  • Accepting feedback
  • Problem-solving skills

 

For your resume, pick the exact skills that your potential employer is looking for. Your list might look like this:

 

Sample List of Cook Resume Skills

RIGHT
  • Food safety
  • Food inventory management
  • Team management
  • Food presentation
  • Preparing steaks
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Decision-making

5. Garnish Your Cook Resume With Extras

 

You know how a pizza instantly looks more delicious when you put a tomato rose or at least some fresh basil leaves on top.

 

This is just what extra sections do to your resume.

 

Got important certifications? Won any awards? Or do you have an interesting hobby that draws on the same skills that you’ll need for the job? Go ahead and include them!

If you’re a beginner, you can add academic awards or volunteering activities, too.

 

Let’s look at an example from an experienced cook:

 

Extra Sections for a Cook Resume

RIGHT

Certifications

  • Food Safety Training
  • WHIMIS
  • Smart Serve 

 

Interests

  • Painting
  • Wood carving

This candidate has all the necessary certifications for their job, and they also chose to mention hobbies that potentially make them a better cook. How?

 

Well, someone who’s into painting knows a lot about arranging colours and shapes, which is also a key aspect of food presentation skills. And wood carving requires impressive knife skills, so the candidate can probably carve Instagram-worthy patterns into veggies and fruit.

 

6. Prepare an Irresistible Appetizer

 

By now, you’re almost done with your resume, except for that one section at the beginning. That’s your resume summary (or resume objective). What’s the difference between the two, and what do you actually write there?

 

If you’re an experienced candidate, write a resume summary that shows your key skills and achievements and makes the recruiter’s mouth water.

 

But if you’re a newbie, opt for a resume objective. This is where you show how your training and skills can benefit your employer if they hire you. 

 

Both summaries and objectives are short (fewer than 5 sentences), catchy, and memorable. They act as appetizers as they impress the reader and make them want more.

 

Here’s how to craft a resume summary or objective that really whets the reader’s appetite.

 

First of all, read the job advert once again and look for the most important requirements.

Then, get back to your resume and pick 2–3 top accomplishments and skills that are bound to impress the recruiter.

 

Now, just follow this recipe to whip up your resume summary:

 

Adjective + Job Title + Years of Experience + Achievements + Skills + What You Want to Do for the Employer

 

Here’s what it looks like in practice.

 

Sample Resume Summary for a Cook Resume

RIGHT

Creative sous chef with 7 years of experience and proven management skills. At Huber&Francene, reduced food waste by 10% and improved TripAdvisor rating to 4.7. Eager to contribute to Feasteak’s excellent reputation by maintaining high standards of food safety and delighting patrons with fresh variations of their favourite dishes.

This summary shows exactly how hiring this candidate will benefit the business. Feasteak is getting an experienced sous chef who’ll make sure their steaks are safe and always look gorgeous, and who’ll also help the business run more smoothly.

WRONG

Experienced cook who’s good at making steaks and plating all kinds of dishes. Looking for a job at your steakhouse.

This is about as bland as raw tofu. There’s nothing specific or memorable about this summary, and there’s no reason why hiring this person would help the restaurant in any way.

 

What about summary objectives for newbie cooks?

 

Let’s take a look at two more examples.

 

Cook Resume Objective: Samples

RIGHT

Curious A-grade (97%) chef school graduate with proven seafood preparation skills and high attention to detail. At Les Vagabonds, introduced 2 new garnishes and assisted in menu creation. Seeking to support the team at Oysteric in serving gourmet seafood dishes by assisting in seasonal menu planning and consistently following recipe specifications while still catering to customer wishes.

This objective shows that the candidate is eager to apply their freshly acquired skills and work in accordance with the restaurant’s business values (serving high-quality seafood). It also suggests that they’re eager to learn and improve their skills.

WRONG

Eager to join because I’d like to learn more seafood recipes. I’m good at cooking, just need to practice a bit.

If you want to practice preparing seafood, just get a cookbook and practice at home, right? Your resume objective should be about benefitting your future employer, not about your self-development.

 

7. Put that Cherry on the Cake and Write a Cover Letter

 

You’re almost done!

 

All you need now is a cover letter. Yes, you do need one, even if the prospective employer doesn’t specifically ask for it.

 

Some employers will actually dismiss a resume that doesn’t have a cover letter attached. You don’t want your perfect resume to be rejected, right?

 

And even if your potential employer didn’t ask for a cover letter, they’ll still be pleased that you wrote one. A cover letter is like a cherry that makes a cake look complete.

 

And the best thing is… it’s just four paragraphs long!

 

Writing a cover letter is as simple as following these steps:

  • Craft a header with your name and contact information
  • Start with an appropriate greeting
  • Write a catchy intro paragraph that shows off one of your accomplishments and makes the reader want to read on
  • Explain how your skills will help your new employer achieve their business goals.
  • Make it clear why you want to work at this specific place and not elsewhere
  • End with a call to action

 

Done! Your cover letter is short, to the point, and well-structured.

 

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:

 

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaways

 

So, here’s how to write a cook resume step by step:

 

  • Choose a proven resume layout
  • Describe your work experience, focusing on measurable accomplishments
  • Provide some info on your education and training
  • Add a few extra sections to showcase your certifications, awards, and interests
  • Craft an appetizing resume summary or resume objective

 

Thanks for reading my guide! Now I’d love to hear from you: 

 

  • What are the biggest challenges of writing a sales associate resume? 
  • What part do you struggle with the most? 
  • Let me know. Let’s get the discussion started!
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Jamie S. Marshall
Jamie is a career expert who has worked with job-seekers from all walks of life. At Zety, he helps readers write successful job applications and land their dream jobs.

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