Industry-Specific Resumes for Chefs
The fundamental purpose of any resume you right is to sell yourself to a potential employer. If the resume is crafted wisely, it will be apparent that you are the right fit to fill an employer’s need.
As you can clearly see, then, writing a resume can be a life-altering activity, so you should take the time to make sure you do it right. Doing so includes making the resume short and to the point, including position-specific jargon and terminology, and presenting your experience in an easy-to-read format.
One of the best ways to research for your potential position is to go online and look up news articles and technical journal entries on the culinary arts. These sources are a good way to learn how terminology is used in the industry, and they will also will give you an idea of what to expect in your chosen field as a chef.
When it comes to arranging your past experiences on your resume, it is best to list the establishments you worked for in subsections, with the most recent experience first. Separating subsections provides natural pauses for the reader and gives precedence to the most important work experience. Within each subsection a bullet format will clearly separate your responsibilities and accomplishments and help the reader see what’s most important. This list of job-related information should be short and to the point as too many details can give the impression that you are padding the resume.
The first step in actually writing a given resume is to identify your complete skill set and the experiences that qualify you to work as a chef. This comprehensive skill set is beneficial when crafting a master resume of your experience that you can draw from to create tailored industry-specific resumes and resumes targeting a specific specialty in the culinary field.
The length of your chef’s resume should be dependent upon your level of skill. If you are a recent graduate or if you are shifting careers, a single page is ideal. You should only go to two pages if you have been on the same career path for 10 or more years, in which case you will probably need the extra room for listing all of your qualifications. These guidelines for the resume’s length are also in place to ensure that you don’t waste the employer's time.
It’s especially important to identify the needs of the position to which you are applying. What kind of cuisine does the restaurant you are applying to serve? What are the most beneficial skills you can offer your employer? The goal of asking these and similar questions is to apply the answers to the master resume in order to tailor a job-specific resume that will represent you well to a given employer.
A one-page resume is also appropriate to use in the case of a career shift because you may be competing with entry-level applicants. The employer will need to read resumes quickly to make the decision to pursue any to the next step. This can be a critical aspect, then, in getting the job. Having a straight-to-the-point, streamlined resume is ideal. This is where the previous steps come together to help the employer make make-or-break decisions concerning your candidacy.
One key decision is to determine whether your resume should be chronologically or functionally organized. A chronological resume will list your experiences in chronological order and should ensure that there are no gaps in your employment history. A functional resume, meanwhile, will describe your experiences in a categorized and functional way, making it easier for companies to evaluate a specific skill set.
In the case of a career shift, you should emphasize your transferable job skills that could apply to the chef industry in general. These can be any sort of management skills, preparatory capabilities, independent thinking capabilities, and so on. This is a place where you can be a little creative. Whatever skills you may have, they can most likely be translated into something that is especially suited for the culinary arts.
Sometimes, you may not have the experiences all employers would like. If this is the case, then you should focus upon the education and certifications that you have (so long as they pertain in some way to the culinary arts). While nothing can replace having experience in the kitchen, schooling and certifications will show a dedication to the craft, and that you are at the very least book smart. The combination of those two can show an employer that you are capable of becoming exactly what they are looking for.
Finally, the resume should reflect your understanding and knowledge of being a chef. One of the best ways to do this is to pepper the resume with a natural use of professional jargon and terminology. This can, however, be a double-edged sword because using too much jargon can hurt your resume. In complicated and highly technical industries especially, too much jargon will make the resume seem flashy, and could create an impression that you are overstating your capabilities or fabricating parts of your resume.