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Cook Resume Examples and Tips

A cook is responsible for producing meals according to specified recipes and menus, but also must manage the kitchen environment, while following good hygiene norms and standards. Skills like multitasking, a strong work ethic, and the ability to work in a fast-paced environment are key for this position.

Use these resume tips and examples to cook up your own perfect resume for a cook job.

Top 4 Characteristics of a Best in Class Cook Resume

  1. Summary Provide a brief overview of your top skills, work experiences and accomplishments, focusing on what best addresses requirements in the job description. For example, if the job requires planning and coordinating all kitchen activities, emphasize this ability in your summary: “Hard-working cook experienced with managing kitchen teams of 20+ employees.”
  2. Skills Along with practical skills, emphasize intangible “soft” skills such as coordination and organization ability, flexibility and being able to function effectively in stressful situations. If you specialize in a certain cuisine or cooking style, add it to your resume (e.g., “specializes in French cuisine”).
  3. Work history Being a cook is more about practice than theory, so focus on providing a detailed account of your work experiences. Limit your work history to the last ten years, and feature your achievements rather than mundane daily duties. Any recognitions you’ve received as a cook (e.g., winning a contest, or earning mention in a local publication) should be highlighted.
  4. Education Include any degrees of certifications you have in culinary arts, as well as any coursework you’ve done in specific areas, such as being a master cheesemaker or butcher.

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Find the Right Template for Your Resume

Choose from these three optimal layouts to create your own resume, or pick from our complete list of templates.

Original

This simple layout is divided into colored sections, making it easy to find specific information.

Pacific

This template has a flowing structure, making judicious use of spacing and capitalized headers to set each section off.

Knowledgeable

This template organizes details using straightforward borders and color fonts, making it easy for recruiters to find specific information.

Do’s and Don’ts for Creating Your Resume

  • Do proof your resume before submitting it Being a cook requires attention to detail and reliability — and a resume filled with errors conveys the opposite impression. Proofread your work for grammatical, factual and punctuational errors, and double-check to make sure your listed skills and experiences address the requirements of the job posting.
  • Do make an impact with strong verbs It’s not just about what you do, but how you do it. Using strong action verbs to describe your accomplishments will reinforce your image as a proactive, take-charge employee. For example, writing “Managed kitchen services at 100-person restaurant” makes a better impact than “Tasked with organizing kitchen services team.” Use words like “oversaw,” “assigned” or “headed.”
  • Do create different resumes for different job profiles A cook position at a Japanese BBQ restaurant will have different duties than a cook at a Salvation Army kitchen. Always customize your resume to fit what the job requires. To do so, review the job description for keywords that describe the job’s major tasks, and be sure to feature skills and work experiences in your resume that show you’re capable of handling these tasks. For example, if the job posting calls for manning fry and broiler stations, present work details that show you have experience with this equipment.
  • Don’t make your resume too long Employers thumb through resumes in less than 10 seconds on average — this means you need to make a quick, strong impression. Keep a laser focus on work achievements and skills that directly address the cook position. Avoid mentioning anything else, like an administrative clerk internship. Keep your resume to one page in length.
  • Don’t forget to mention industry-relevant soft skills Soft skills such as customer issue resolution and collaboration with restaurant staff are just as important as how you grill vegetables. Consider creating separate “Cooking Skills” and “Soft Skills” subcategories to display these qualifications.
  • Don’t exaggerate or lie about your work history or skills Maybe you managed one person in the kitchen, but think it looks more impressive if you claim you managed ten. Well, it is impressive, unless your employer finds out you’re lying — which not only means you’ll probably be booted from the job, but you might find it harder to get similar jobs in the future, if word gets around. Stay honest in presenting your credentials, and if you feel like you come up short in some areas, emphasize abilities that can help you make up the difference, such as an exceptional work ethic or the willingness to pick up new skills quickly.

Cook resume FAQs

2. How should I format my resume?

If you have a long work history, with plenty of notable achievements, you can use the chronological format, which focuses on your work experience and career range. If you’re just starting out in the industry, use the functional format, which lets you elaborate on your practical cooking and interpersonal skills. Those with a few years of experience should consider the combination format, which features a blend of relevant skills and work history details.

3. How should I build my resume if I wish to take the next step forward in my career?

Usually, the next big step on the culinary ladder is becoming a chef. To reach this level, look to add the following skills and experiences to your resume:

  • Opportunities that show off your ability to plan and execute new dishes and food combinations
  • More collaborative efforts with chefs and restaurant managers in improving quality of food and service, and updating menus
  • Opportunities to help mentor and lead staff members, and assist in restaurant business operations

4. How can keywords be incorporated in my resume?

Review the job description and make notes of important phrases and keywords related to the job, such as “excellent pastry skills.” Match these keywords with your own abilities, and feature them in describing your past work, or in your skills list. For especially important job requirements, such as “Leading by example and uplifting staff during busy moments in a fast-paced environment,” state your proficiency up front in the summary statement (e.g., “Hard-working chef, with 3+ years experience managing and motivating kitchen staff in busy 50-table restaurant”).

5. Should I include references in my resume?

While good word of mouth is important in the restaurant business, it’s no longer customary to include references in your resume. Stick to your own qualifications, and if employers are interested, they’ll prompt you to submit your references separately.

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