Last Updated on January 12, 2023
When you are on the lookout for a foot in the door, or your next big break into the culinary world, a job as a Cook is a good place to start. However, with so much competition out there it is necessary to produce a killer resume to potential employers. Start by checking out our top-notch Cook resume sample. You want to make sure your resume stands out from the rest by being both informative and entertaining to read without overwhelming the recruiter or hiring manager with irrelevant information.
Cook Resume Samples
1. Contact Information: Name, Address, Phone, Email. Be sure to include alternative contact channels as well, such as your Linkedin profile or Facebook URL details
2. Profile Summary: View this as the introduction to your resume and include 1-3 sentences giving a broad overview of your background, years of industry experience and the industry sectors of interest. You should be specific and state which role you are applying to.
3. Qualifications Summary: Provide accurate details about the certifications and qualifications you have completed with the institution, qualification name, and dates. Don’t forget to include qualifications you are currently completing too.
4. Relevant Cooking Experience: Clearly state your employment history from your internship duration (if applicable) up to your current position. Use brief sentences with bullet points to list your most important daily activities under each role you have had.
5. Other Employment Experience: This will include events or work history outside of the formal culinary field, but which may be important for the employer to know about like part-time cooking gigs, working at the school kitchen or once off events where you prepared the food a family member’s birthday party. This section is especially important if you are looking for your first job in a culinary setting without formal experience as a Cook. It would help if you revealed your catering repertoire gained unofficially, for instance, getting practical hours during at Cooking School or practical culinary training periods.
6. Skills Summary/Key Skills: Incorporates keywords from the job posting and your specific skill set. This adds much-needed credibility to your resume.
7. Education/Licenses/Certifications/Relevant Coursework/Training: Start with your formal catering certifications and post-school diplomas or accreditations if you are a member of a Culinary Training Institute. List any professional development that better prepared you to work in the culinary field like food preparation courses, wine pairing or cake decoration.
What to Highlight in a Cook’s Resume
Regardless of your work experience in restaurants, hospitality settings or corporate events, there are a few essential details employers and recruiters need to know about you as to ensure that you are the right fit for their team.
The first aspect to highlight is the type of cooking experience you have under the belt (or knife in this case). The main categories that cooks generally fall into are:
Prep Cooks: A prep cook's main responsibility is to prepare the food ingredients for other cooks to use in the making of dishes. Examples of this include peeling sweet potatoes, slicing mushrooms, and washing greens. Prep cooks may also be responsible for salads, bread, salad dressings, and other simple preparations.
Line Cooks: Line cooks work under a Head Cook or Executive chef, who will assign them to a work station. In some cases, the station is related to the equipment or technique that is being used, such as grilling, sautéing, frying, and roasting.
Short Order Cooks: Short order cooks generally work in restaurants or coffee shops where food is made and served quickly. They would prepare quickly-made foods, such as sandwiches, eggs, and french fries
Private Cooks: Plan and prepare meals in private homes, according to the client’s tastes and dietary requirements. They order groceries and kitchen supplies, clean the kitchen, and wash dishes and cutlery. They may also cater for parties, holiday meals, luncheons, and other social events. Private household cooks typically have one permanent client that they work for, but may also be employed by a private chef company and be outsourced to a few clients at a time.
Fast Food Cooks: Prepare a limited selection of food items in diners or fast-food restaurants. They cook and package food, such as hamburgers and chili dogs or chicken wraps, to be kept warm until served.
Camp Cooks: A camp cook is responsible for creating recipes and preparing all meals served at an outdoor, tourism, child care, or recreational facility.
Restaurant Cooks: These cooks for at specialty restaurants (Steakhouse, Greek, Japanese) and prepare a wide selection of individual dishes. Some restaurant cooks may order supplies, set menu prices, and plan the daily menu.
Cafeteria or Institution Cooks: Work in the kitchens of schools, cafeterias, businesses, hospitals, military facilities, and other institutions. For each meal, they prepare a large quantity of a limited number of food courses like entrees, vegetables, main dishes and desserts, according to preset menus.
Next, you need to elaborate on the industry experience you have gained. Cooks exist in many different settings, including fast-food outlets, restaurants, cafeterias, businesses, hospitals, military services, and private households. The types of industry areas you have worked on needs to be included both in the summary at the top of your resume, as well as within each position description.
*Cool Tip for a stellar resume
You can create an excellent first impression by showing them what you can do by creating a portfolio of your work (the events, the food, table setting) on Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive or Dropbox. Place this link to your Cook experience in your resume under the Career Summary section.
Make sure to include the following details
- The locations you are available to work in and whether you are willing to travel to events
- The ratings and marks you have attained during your culinary schooling if applicable
- Special skills like wine pairing, specialty cocktails, sushi preparation, confectionary baking or even project management software and booking systems
- A list of all the industries you have worked in for example hotels, wedding venues, fast food establishments, fine dining restaurants, pubs, events companies, catering coordinators and so forth
- Also include your cooking experience regarding the type of food you can prepare such as rustic, outdoors, fine dining, cocktail, buffet, cheese and wine, steakhouse, Italian, or gourmet meal courses.
- As a last point list examples of the equipment or catering tools, you can use such as automatic mixers, chipping machines, specialty knives, and cutting and slicing equipment.
Cook Career Summary Examples
Restaurant, Hospitality, and F&B (Food and Beverage) Managers usually receive many candidate requests for permanent as well as part-time roles. Your resume needs to stand out amongst the applications. Keep your career summary concise and to the point. Add the most important information first to capture their attention while they’re quickly skimming your resume.
Start your career summary with your years of experience in the industry and the main duties you performed. When deciding what duties to add, use the job description as your guide. For instance, if the job you are applying emphasizes expertise in decorative cake design or being familiar with fine dining cooking techniques, use those phrases in your resume if you have that type of skill. The more your resume resonates with the job description of keywords, the better fit you will seem.
Next, add a line that showcases any outstanding qualities that will add value to the company. A hiring manager would be interested to know if you have “strong time management skills, creative problem-solving abilities and if you can ‘’think on your feet in times of crises. It’s important to note that these qualities should be proven in the professional experience section to re-enforce your message.
Lastly, close with your educational degrees/diplomas and any certifications/licenses you may have that are pertinent to the job like your Bachelor of Hotel and Hospitality Management Degree or a Certificate in Culinary Arts.
Two Examples of different career summaries:
Career Summary Example 1
‘Recent culinary graduate with three years of part-time restaurant experience as a Prep Cook in a variety of restaurant settings including French, Italian, and Greek. Theoretical knowledge and practical experience gained Chef School Training into practice.'
Career Summary Example 2
‘Passionate Cook with more than six years of experience in the upscale restaurant market. Primarily focused on increasing brand recognition and loyalty by providing superior dining experiences for guests. Extensive culinary and knife skills, and kitchen management experience'
Career Summary Example 3
‘Line Cook with seven years of experience in Asian, Creole, and Middle Eastern Cuisines. Proven expertise in creating unique sauces, cooking seafood and poultry dishes, as well as following complicated recipes Demonstrated skills in improving cooking processes and reducing food waste and costs.'
Cook Job Descriptions, Responsibilities and Duties
An employer would expect to see the following proven foundational duties and skill sets within an applicant’s resume, depending on educational level and career stage.
An entry level stage Cook (Line Cook) (less than two years’ experience) may:
- Works in salad and grill stations within 50-seater fine dining Greek Restaurant
- Develop processes to accurately monitor food costs and reducing wastage
- Do prep work for soups, salads, sauces, and entrees
- Supply kitchen work areas with all required products and utensils used for prepping
- Store food items in the appropriate storage area
- Clean work station after the shift is complete
A Prep Cook at mid-career stage (3-6 years’ experience) may
- Preparing, seasoning, cooking and plating a wide variety of foods, including soups, salads, entrees, and desserts
- Experience in baking, roasting, grilling, boiling, and frying meats, fish, vegetables, and other foods
- Familiar with garnishing, arranging and serving food to patrons
- Check the raw food and ingredients for freshness before cooking
- Excellent command of classic and contemporary culinary methodologies.
- Weigh, measure, and mix ingredients according to recipe instructions
- Clean work areas, floors, fridges, equipment, utensils, dishes and silverware, after each shift is completed
A Head Cook at experienced stage (7-9 years’ experience) may:
- Supervise daily food preparation at the restaurants
- Direct and allocate tasks to kitchen staff
- Handle any food-related issues
- Check the freshness of food and ingredients
- Develop recipes and determine how to plate them
- Plan menus and ensure the quality control of all dishes
- Inspect supplies, equipment, and work areas for cleanliness and functionality
- Hire, train, and supervise junior cooks and other kitchen staff
- Order and maintain an inventory of food items and kitchen supplies
- Ensure that kitchen safety standards are adhered to
- Competence with a variety of kitchen and cooking equipment, including step-in coolers, high-quality knives, meat slicers, and grinders
- Use scheduling and purchasing software to conduct administrative tasks
- Inspect and approve dishes before they get served
- Handle finishing touches and elaborate plating of food items
Highlight Your Accomplishments
Under your experience section, you may be tempted to copy and paste the list of duties you performed as detailed in your job description. The drawback to doing this, though, is that you won’t stand out from the other applicants with similar experience.
Your goal is to think about what sets you apart, what you are most proud of, or what you accomplished in your previous roles, and communicate these through action-packed statements that are compelling.
Flat, Simple Duty:
- Order and receive food supplies
- Sourced vendors and negotiating agreements that cut supply costs by 18% without affecting the quality
Quantifying Your Cook Resume
When writing your resume, if you can answer the questions, “How much?” or “How many?” You should include those numbers. For instance:
- Did you contribute to any significant cost or time savings?
- What is the average guest count at the events you have been involved in?
- How long does it take you to plate up a main course?
Streamlined cooking procedures, shortening the food processing time by 30%, which resulted in the plating of most courses done in under 60 seconds
Participated in monthly catering events with an average of 400 guests per sitting
Cook Education Section & Example
The education section forms an integral part of your resume even if you do not have a degree. Office Assistants these days also have access to career development training. In short, indicate What, Where and When regarding your qualifications, certifications or courses or workshops completed. The name of your qualification, institution, and date of completion is more than sufficient. Unless you are a graduate with limited working experience, there is no need to include major subjects or course curriculum topics.
Completed Secondary and Tertiary Education must be listed as follows:
Start with the commencement date and completion date for diplomas, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees. For courses, you can just list the date of completion. Next comes the full name of the qualification, then the full name of the institution and then the City or abbreviated State name. List your high school diploma details similarly, but only include this when you have less than five years of working experience.
Here are some examples of a Cook’s Resume in terms of education:
2018 – Certified Culinarian (CC), American Culinary Federation, LA
2018 – ServSafe Certified, Udemy, Online
2014-2017 Bachelor of Hotel Management & Administration, Texas State University, TX
2012-2013 – Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts, Swan Community and Technical College, WA
2010 – Certificate in Advanced Culinary Techniques, Tampa Chefs Academy, FL
Cook Resume Skills Section
Although the catering field requires specific technical skills, employers look for other skills, called soft skills. These are the main types of skills that indicate your fit as a potential employee who will add value, has adequate knowledge, and sufficient experience and will be easy to manage. Incorporate these into your summary, or profile, and your accomplishment statements.
Technical Skills Examples
- Educational Attainment: A university degree is not required to become a Cook, but if you want to have a better chance of moving up into a Chef or Food and Beverage Attendant or Manager role later, it will be an advantage to have some form of tertiary education. This is especially true if it is a degree in a related field to the industry you are pursuing, for example, a Bachelors in Hotel Management or Culinary Arts.
- Technical Aptitude: Cooks at any career stage need to be task orientated and meticulous to do cutting and slicing of foodstuffs uniformly and in bulk volumes. The need to be quick and nimble to ensure prepping is done at fast speeds. They have to understand the ingredients and the characteristics of these ingredients and the combination of food components.
- Other Technical Skills: Inventory management, Booking systems, Physically fit, Budgets, Project Management, Spreadsheets, Presentation, Quality Control, Kitchen Safety Requirements, Dexterity, Sense of Taste, Sense of Smell, Kitchen Management, Prioritizing Order, Task Allocation, Culinary Equipment, Recipes, and Menus.
Soft Skill Examples
- Social Orientation
- Team Player
- Stress Tolerance
- Personal Hygiene
- Deadline Driven
- Customer Service
- Detail Orientated
- Process Driven
Qualifications/Certifications associated with Cooks
|Young Apprenticeship in Hospitality||Certificate in Food Hygiene||Certified Culinarian (CC)|
|Bachelor in Culinary Arts||Professional Cook Certificate||Business Management, Hospitality & Tourism Certificate|
|Project Management Diploma||Baking and Pastry Specialist Certificate||High School Diploma|
Action Verbs for your Cook Resume
Industries using Cooks:
- Holiday Resorts and Wedding Venues
- Event Companies
- Catering Consultants
- Corporate Facilities
- Trade Shows
- Office Canteens
- School Cafeterias
Professional information about Cooks
Sectors: Food & Beverage, Hospitality, Events, Tourism, Government, Education
Career Type: Functional, Professional
Person type: Worker, Assistant, Helper, Creator, Designer
Education levels: From High School Diploma to Bachelor’s Degree
Salary indication: Head Cooks $43k, Midlevel Prep & Line Cooks $31k, Entry Level Cooks $24k
Labor market: 6% growth from 2016 – 2026
Organizations: Hospitals, Restaurants, Pubs, Hotels, Catering Venues, Holiday Resorts, Fast Food Establishments, Schools, Military Establishments
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