Sous Chef Resumes & Writing Guide

A Sous-Chef de Cuisine is second in command to the Head Chef or as the French would say the “under-chef of the kitchen.” Our Sous Chef resume sample will assist you in whipping up an application that will beat the heat and chase all the other prospective candidates out from the screening kitchen.

A Sous Chef has quite a complicated role, and your resume should address three key areas: cooking capabilities, managerial competence, and administrative tenure. Quite a task when you have only three pages to work with.

Fortunately, our Sous Chef Resume guideline below will assist you in making the shortlisting cut by clearly demonstrating how to toss just the right amount of experience, skills, and accomplishments into the mix, to serve up the perfect resume dish to recruiters and hiring managers.

Sous Chef Resume Examples

(Free sample downloads are at the bottom of this page)

Sous Chef Resume Writing Guide

Resume Sections

1. Contact Information:
Start with the obvious: Name, Surname, Location, Phone Numbers, and Email Address. Refrain from using nicknames or tacky email addresses. Social Media profiles should also be included (you will be stalked by recruiters anyway).

2. Career Summary:
This is the resume appetizer and provides a preview of the information contained in the rest of the resume document. Thinking about wetting the palate of the reader by giving just enough information to make them want to read through the rest of your resume. Include 1-3 sentences giving a broad overview of your background, years in the industry, and one or two particular skills as well as the highest qualification achieved.

3. Qualifications Summary:
Sufficient academic tenure will be to your advantage as the culinary arts field is highly competitive. Culinary talent is in abundance, which makes theoretical training almost compulsory to stay on par with your competitors. Bachelor and associate degrees covering the fundamentals of culinary arts and cooking principles are practically expected by prospective employers. List qualifications by the institution, qualification name, and dates. Remember to include qualifications you are currently completing too.

4. Relevant Chef’s Experience:
You don’t just step into the kitchen as a Sous Chef. It may take a minimum of 6 years to attain this title which means you probably worked your way through being a Crew Member, Kitchen Hand, Short-order Cook and Line cook during the course of your culinary career. Hiring managers will focus more on your actual cooking experience in your current and previous roles as a Sous Chef, so highlight these as the main content in your resume. For your Sous Chef resume format, stick with the reverse chronological approach by clearly stating your employment history from your current positions backward for the last ten years.

5. Other Employment Experience:
This would be relevant if you are currently a Line Cook, and this is your first job as a Sous Chef. In this section, you may provide an overview of all your previous culinary positions since the day you started formal employment, with descriptions for the last five years from internship duration (if applicable) up to your current job. Use brief sentences with bullet points to list your most important daily activities under each role you have had. If your resume is on the skinny side, you may also discuss your catering gigs gained unofficially, for instance, getting practical hours during at a Chef School or culinary training periods.

6. Skills Summary/Key Skills:
The Sous Chef’s skills section forms part of your resume’s main course and should contain substantial content about technical cooking skills, managerial/supervisory aptitudes, and interpersonal traits. Before jotting down a list of generic skills you think may be of relevance, have a look at the job advertisement first and mimic those specific required skills in your resume (if you have them of course!). Incorporating keywords from the job posting adds more credibility to your resume.

7. Education/Licenses/Certifications/Relevant Coursework/Training:
Although certifications and accreditations are not mandatory requirements for a Sous Chef role, if you have them, flaunt them, as they reflect your experience levels and commitment to continuously develop your cooking craft. A Certified Sous Chef title from the American Culinary Federation (ACF) can be attained if you completed five years of experience as a culinarian and achieved 50 hours of continuing education credits. Mention all formal catering certifications and post-school accreditations and list any professional development that better prepared you to work in a culinary setting.

What to Highlight in a Sous Chef’s Resume

Line Cook Chef Symbol

If you hold the title of a Sous Chef, Kitchen Managers, Executive Chefs, and Restaurant owners would expect substantial experience in managing kitchen operations apart from sound technical aptitude in a wide variety of culinary skills.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating and in this case, the content included in your resume. A well-crafted resume highlighting specific aspects of your cooking tenure and leadership experience will take you straight from the interview and into the kitchen of your dreams.

In the paragraphs below, we have unpacked the most essential ‘’experience ingredients’’ to cook up a perfect resume dish.

Firstly, provide details about your culinary repertoire such as your cooking skills and competencies with sophisticated techniques and specialty menu items, for instance, plating for fine dining, advanced cake decorating or preparing a bordelaise from scratch. A Sous Chef is supposed to have advanced knowledge of proper techniques when using kitchen utensils, tools, and equipment to create dishes the meet the strictest standards of quality. In this paragraph, you need to highlight your creativity and enhanced cooking techniques showcasing your ability to stay on point with the latest culinary trends and techniques. (Choose up to 5 complex techniques that you have mastered and list them accordingly in your resume).

Next, comes kitchen management expertise. A Sous Chef is the last man standing when things turn pear-shaped in the kitchen, which means problematic issues fall under your accountability. Showcase your proactive approach to kitchen operations by explaining how you would delegate tasks for cooks and kitchen workers, streamline the order process and keep tabs on presentation and plating before dishes leave the kitchen to be served. A Sous Chef is also responsible for creating work schedules and executing the cooking plans for the day which involves significant preparation ensuring adequate supplies, well-stocked stations, proper first in, first out rotation systems and also diligent vetting of expiry dates to maintain health and safety standards.

Management and leadership tenure would be of interest to those screening your application, as these are foundational to a Sous Chef’s purpose in the Kitchen. Sous Chefs are responsible for hiring, training, disciplining and motivating kitchen staff therefor you need to provide details about the size of your staff compliment, how often you have to hire new employees, what kind of training and development initiatives you have put in place and also how you would handle disciplinary and reprimanding activities. Recognition and incentive programs are typically used by Sous Chefs to encourage employees to adhere to rules and regulations and improve quality and efficiency. Provide examples of the encouragement and coaching strategies you have implemented and to what extent these affected the overall performance kitchen operations.

Safety, health, and hygiene levels are paramount to any kitchen setting. Your knowledge of regulations and standards would be mandatory and should be elaborated upon in this section of your resume, detailing specific practices taking place to guarantee the safety and health of your staff and restaurant patrons at all times. It would be advisable to provide information about your competencies with inner workings of kitchen equipment and cooking instruments to show that you can recognize malfunctions in advance, troubleshoot repairs and ensure proper maintenance and sanitation is carried out to ensure the longevity of equipment and tools.

Next on the resume menu would be your cuisine specialties. For instance, you may be a guru in creating Asian or Mediterranean masterpieces or an avid designer and decorator of Greek pastries or complex Italian deserts. Versatility is undoubtedly an asset in the culinary world, but having a few specialty dishes and techniques under the belt will certainly come as an advantage during the screening and shortlisting process.

Finally provide insights into your level of computer literacy with software applications about Food Costing, Menu Design. Staff Scheduling and Budget Preparations. Research is also a fundamental Sous Chef activity which assists in improving cooking techniques, creating new menus, and revamping workflow processes.

Resume Hack: You can create a favorable first impression by presenting your techniques and culinary skills with an online portfolio containing images of dishes you have made, self-designed recipes or even short video clips of you creating specific dishes or show off a particular cooking technique. Use platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, or Pinterest and provide the correct URLs to your personal pages with hyperlinks.

Sous Chef Career Summary & Examples

A Sous Chef career summary is like an appetizer or taster that entices the reader to consume the rest of the resume document. Too bland and your resume may very well land in the application garbage bin, to comprehensive or lengthy and the reader will be too overwhelmed to pick up on vital information contained elsewhere in your resume document. You can make an outstanding, eye-grabbing summary displaying outstanding qualities and career experience by following a simple three-step recipe:

  • Step 1: Toss a power adjective, current title, years of experience and industry setting together
  • Step 2: Mix with two or three special skills and technical competencies
  • Step 3: Season with highest academic or practical credentials such as degrees, memberships, and accreditations


Career Summary 1

Certified Sous Chef and food passionista with eight years of experience in creating innovative menu items with a focus on fusion and vegan cuisine. Comfortable in fast-paced kitchen environments, supervising up to fifteen Line Cooks at a time. Excellent grasp of visual aesthetics related to food garnishing and plating. Currently completing a Bachelors's Degree in Sustainable Food Production with a focus on urbanizes agriculture for fruits, vegetables, and herbs.'

Career Summary 2

Senior Sous Chef with over a decade’s experience in training and coaching Line Cooks in the fundamentals of Asian and Middle Eastern cooking techniques. An expert in Bamboo culinary methodologies as well as designing unique vegan dishes for children and young adolescents with gluten or lactose allergies. Holds an Advanced Diploma in Restaurant Management and completed a Sous Chef Certification and apprenticeship training at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Madrid.

Career Summary 3

A creative Sous Chef embracing the art of culinary automation and customized food design principles in international cruise liner settings for the past six years. Implemented efficiency automation strategies for seaboard kitchens across five continents and well versed in various cuisine styles such as Japanese, Korean, Asian, Mediterranean and African. Leads by example regarding safety, hygiene, and health practices with the ability to encourage, motivate, and inspire subordinates from all cultural backgrounds. Recently completed an Associates Degree in Culinary Sciences and attended the James Beard Chef’s Boot Camp at the beginning of the year.

Sous Chef Job Descriptions, Responsibilities and Duties Examples

To attain the title of Sous-Chef, candidates are required to have a minimum of six years of cooking experience in a kitchen coupled with extensive knowledge of back-of-house operations and also sound managerial skills. Therefore, prospective employers would expect to see certain foundational duties and skillsets within Sous Chef's resume application depending on experience levels.

A Junior Sous Chef (5-6) may:

  • Prepare, season, and cook a wide variety of dishes such as meats, fish, poultry, vegetables, salads, and desserts according to recipe specifications
  • Assist with pricing and planning of menu items aligned with market prices, portion sizes and seasonal availability
  • Responsible for detailed record-keeping regarding food costing, food usage, and food wastage levels
  • Assist the Chef de Cuisine with stock and supply orders and development of seasonal menus
  • Assist the Senior Sous Chef in creating innovative dishes and unique plating styles
  • Train kitchen staff such as Line Cooks and Crew Members regarding the fundamentals of hygiene and safety practices in the kitchen environment as per accepted culinary standards

A Sous Chef at the mid-career stage (7-9 years’ experience) may:

  • Coach and mentor Kitchen Staff on standard workflow procedures and safety regulations
  • Teach new hires the basics around most used culinary techniques in terms of prepping cold line and hotline food items
  • Oversee Line Cooks’ activities in the preparation of large quantities of dishes including a la carte and buffet menu items
  • Train all Station Cooks on multiple culinary techniques as per their assigned station and conduct tastings to review the quality, flavor, texture, and taste of these items
  • Prepare and create complicated dishes such as soufflés and gourmet soups
  • Conduct extensive research to create innovative dishes as per the restaurant theme as well as trending ways to garnish and decorate them
  • Responsible for creating and implementing daily operational plans concerning kitchen procedures
  • Accountable for staff rosters and work schedules
  • Advertise, recruit and train new employees
  • Responsible for all aspects of staff management, training, and disciplinary activities
  • Oversee inventory control, quality standards, and budgets

A Head Sous Chef at an experienced stage (9 years’ plus experience) may:

  • Responsible for weekly product and inventory audits
  • Create weekly and monthly budgets for purchasing of supplies
  • Oversee the maintenance schedules of equipment, machinery, and tools and troubleshoot any issues with the maintenance technician
  • Assist with training and development of Sous Chefs and Senior Line Cooks
  • Responsible for performance reviews of all Kitchen Staff
  • Approve new hires and ensure that training and induction of employees are conducted according to the restaurant’s policy manual
  • Responsible for menu design, pricing and portioning of dishes
  • Test and tweak new menu items before they are included in the national menu
  • Assist with preparing and cooking meals when required
  • Sample all dishes during the cooking process and inspect all items for visual aesthetics before they are served
  • Stand in as commanding chef when the Executive Chef is on leave
  • Implement new systems and processes to increase the operational efficiency of kitchen workers and reduce food wastage levels
  • Responsible for ad hoc financial management and budgetary controls

Highlight Your Accomplishments

In this section of your resume, feel free to brag and boast a bit. You want prospective employers to be aware of what you have achieved in the past in relation to your cooking techniques, operational tenure, and managerial capabilities. To stand out from the crowd, jot down a list of statements elaborating on activities or achievements that set you apart in some way, because you mastered a particularly tricky cooking technique, achieved a high score from your superiors or had a dish commended by patrons.

Important to note is the type of wording and phrases used to build an accomplishment statement. Descriptive is good, but quantification is great. What do we mean by quantifying your Sous Chef resume? Think numbers, values, ratings, reviews, frequencies, time frames, and volumes, for example. Quantification provides proof of work and evidence of techniques, which are precisely what hiring managers would be looking for.

Let us look at a few ‘’not’’ examples and then turn them into ‘’hot’’ accomplishment statements

NOT an accomplishment:

  • Designed new entrée options which increased restaurant sales
  • Control wastage levels by implementing a unique inventory control and storage system
  • Reduce food base costs by purchasing from local suppliers
  • Reduced labor costs by moving from direct employment policy to a per-hour policy
  • Spearheaded the creation of a shortened meals and snacks menu for hotel guests which increased sales

HOT Accomplishment:

  • Created innovative entrée dishes for the lunch and dinner menus which increased restaurant sales by 55% in the last three months due to recurring patron visits and new customer referrals
  • Automated the inventory and storage processes with an online app, which reduced food wastage due to the expiration of stock by 30%
  • Decreased food costs by 35% after implementing a local first policy regarding sourcing and purchasing of supplies and fresh produce
  • Applied a paid by the hour remuneration policy which reduced labor costs from 44% to 30% of the total operations budget
  • Implemented a room service program in all five sections of the resort with a diverse meal and snack menu, available 24 hours which increased food sales by 40%

Sous Chef Education Section Example

The education section is a vital part of any Sous Chef resume, regardless of whether you have a degree or not. In this area, certifications, training credentials, short courses or memberships at high profile culinary institutions carry equal weighting in comparison to Associates or Bachelor Degrees.

Professional organizations like the American Culinary Federation sponsor high-end apprenticeship programs for Sous Chef’s which offers a combination of instructor lead and practical training. If you have completed one of these, be sure to add the details such as credits obtained, and practical hours completed. Education tenure and professional development shows prospective employers that you are committed to your craft and also have the intellectual curiosity to broaden your culinary scope.

Completed Secondary and Tertiary Education may be listed as follows:

First, the commencement and completion dates, followed by the full name of the qualification. After that indicate the full name of the institution and also the location (city and state). Credits and practical hours are valuable too and should be listed as well. To give the education section an extra edge, you may mention major subjects and course curriculum topics.

Here are some examples of a Sous Chef’s Resume in terms of education:

2018 – Certified Sous Chef, American Culinary Federation, Springfield, LA
– 5000 hours of practical training completed
– 150 culinary credits obtained

2018 – Italian Cooking Fundamentals Course, Skirball Cultural Center, Brentwood, CA

2017 – Sous Chef Boot Camp for Policy and Change, James Beard Foundation, Manhattan, NY

2013-2014 Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts, California Culinary Academy, San Francisco, CA
Course Curriculum: Nutrition, Baking, Pastry, Meat Science, Food Safety, Hospitality management

2012 – Certified Member, American Culinary Foundation, Online

2011 – Accredited Platinum Member, American Personal & Private Chef Institute & Association, Online

2010 – Advanced Certificate in Baking and Pastry Arts, Institute of Culinary Education, Brooklyn, NY

2008-2010 Diploma in Culinary Arts, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, Boulder, CO

The Sous Chef Resume Skills List

A Sous Chef has quite an intricate function in the kitchen because of the complexity of the role requiring superb technical cooking skills, progressive management, and leadership abilities, as well as operational tenure in Kitchen processes and activities. To ensure your skills section does the resume recipe adequate justice, it would be advisable to use a skills matrix as a technique to present you to hiring managers in the best way possible.

Technical culinary and kitchen operations skills list

Food Safety & SanitationFood Service ManagementInventory ControlInventory Rotation
Batch CookingFood SciencesSanitation StrategiesPastry & Baking
Regulatory Compliance & DocumentationKitchen Process FlowDecoration Template DesignRecipe Compilation
Food Cost ControlCordon BleuSampling & TastingSeasoning & Spicing
Butchery SkillsMenu DesignLocal Food CultureDish Assembly
SchedulingPlating TechniquesInternational Cooking TrendsKitchen Planning
Well-tuned PaletteFood QualityGreen Cooking StylesKnife Techniques
Heat ControlPortion Sizing, Precision, PresentationIngredient SelectionEquipment Maintenance

Interpersonal and leadership skills list

Staff Development & TrainingPerformance EvaluationsDisciplinary ProceduresWork Schedules
Incentive & Recognition ProgrammesProductivity MetricsBudgets & Financial ManagementHiring & Recruitment
Station ControlFirst AidCreativityCollaboration
Detail OrientatedStress ToleranceAccountabilityPrioritization
DiplomaticVerbal Communication SkillsEloquentDriven & Goal Orientated
DisciplinedDecisiveTactful & DiscreetJudgement Skills
MultitaskingEnthusiasticCalm & PatientResourceful
AnalyticalProblem SolvingOrganizedTask & Process Orientated

Qualifications/Certifications associated with Sous Chefs

Certified Sous Chef (CSC)Certificate in Food Hygiene
Certified Culinarian (CC)
Bachelor in Culinary ArtsCertified Executive Chef (CEC)Certified Chef De Cuisine (CCC)
Certified Master Chef (CMC)Baking and Pastry Specialist CertificateFood Handler’s Permit

Professional information on Sous Chefs

Sectors: Food & Beverage, Hospitality, Events, Tourism, Government, Education
Career TypeFunctional, Professional, Strategic
Person type:  Manager, Supervisor, Facilitator, Overseer, Implementer, Designer, Creator
Education levelsFrom a High School Diploma and upwards
Salary indicationAverage annual remuneration is $46 078 (Lower end: $37,437, Higher end: $57,536
Labor market: Subject to 10% increase from 2016 – 2026 (BLS)
Organizations: Hospitals, Restaurants, Pubs, Hotels, Catering Venues, Holiday Resorts, Fast Food Establishments, Schools, Military Establishments

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