Head Chef Resumes & Writing Guide

Is a position as a Head Chef next on the career menu for you? Then be sure to review our Head Chef Resume Samples and guideline write-up below to help you whip up a resume worthy of a Michelin Star!

Head Chefs are highly skilled professional cooks that oversee restaurant or dining facility operations, taking accountability for all dishes coming out of the kitchen from conception to execution. Apart from that, a Head Chef is also responsible for administrative and managerial operations. Quite a tall order to showcase the many Head Chef hats in a 1-2 pager resume, right? Fortunately, our write-up below is packed with tricks, tips and advice to assist you in tossing just the right combination of experience, skills, and accomplishment to ensure that you make the interview cut.

Head Chef Resume Examples & Downloads

See also:

Head Chef Resume Writing Guide

Resume Sections

1. Contact Information: Keep it short and professional. Supply Name, Surname, Phone Numbers, Email Address, and your location if required. Leave nicknames or tacky email addresses for personal use. Social Media profiles should also be included, such as Instagram and Pinterest, to showcase your skills and experience.

2. Career Summary: Your career synopsis is the first opportunity you have to grab the hiring manager's attention and prompt him or her to review the rest of your resume. This summary should be appetizing with a balanced mix of background overview, years of experience, essential skills, and most prestigious qualifications to wet the reader’s palate. Stick to 4-6 lines at most.

3. Qualifications Summary: Sufficient post-school academic tenure is preferred when applying for a role as a Head Chef as the culinary field is hugely competitive. Formal training is offered via university degree programs, community colleges and vocational schools. Often these programs would include apprenticeships as well. Be sure to add them to your education section. List qualifications by the institution name, qualification title, and dates of enrolment and completion.

4. Relevant Chef’s Experience: You don’t just step into a dining establishment as a Head Chef. It usually takes a minimum of six years to attain such a title, which entails career progression from a kitchen hand up to a sous chef level. Make sure to provide detail information about your development up the culinary ladder if you are applying for your first Head Chef position. Not your first rodeo as a Head Chef, make sure to concentrate on the most important duties you were responsible for, including advanced cooking skills, managerial tenure, and familiarity with operational aspects. For your Head Chef resume format, it is advisable to stick to a reverse chronological order when mentioning work history and only focus on the last ten years of employment.

5. Other Employment Experience: It is common for Head Chefs to have gained experience outside of the culinary field, before embarking on a chef’s career path. If you have less than five years of culinary experience, you may add other employment roles that you have held to the experience section of your resume. This may include positions in administration, management, or client services for example, as the soft skills attained, there may be transferred and utilized in a head chef capacity as well.

6. Skills Summary/Key Skills: Instead of using bullets to display your core skills and competencies, opt for skills matrixes, to present them all at once in an easy to read table format. Before jotting down lists and lists of generic skills and personality traits, read through the job advertisement a few times and identify the most prominent skill sets mentioned. If these apply to you, use them in your skills matrix section to reinforce the message that you are a good fit for the role. This technique of Incorporating keywords from the job posting in your resume is called Resume SEO and will assist with getting past the applicant tracking systems and automated screening bots during your application process.

7. Licenses/Certifications/Relevant Coursework/Training: The American Culinary Federation (ACF) is the most noteworthy accreditation body for culinary training programes. But, any certified course, diploma, or learning program related to the culinary field will greatly increase your chances to land the role and also earn a higher salary. You may include formal training in management, restaurant operations, advanced culinary techniques, or business management in this section. This also shows employers that you are open to learning and developing your skills and abilities as a Head Chef.

What to Highlight in a Head Chef’s Resume

Master Chef at work on a grill

As a Head Chef, one of your primary tasks would be to organize and oversee kitchen activities to ensure food quality, presentation of dishes, and serving orders timeously are following restaurant protocols. However, Restaurant Owners and Hotel Managers would be looking for specific aptitudes relating to advanced cooking techniques you may bring to the table, managerial abilities, and also administrative experience in your head chef resume. In the paragraphs below, we have unpacked some of the main points to highlight in your experience section.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and as the first in command of the restaurant or dining establishment, it is advisable to give recruiters some context as to the type of establishment you are working in. Head Chefs are employed in restaurants, hotels, leisure resorts, cruise ships, and even the military, to name but a few. Explain the set-up of the operation you are responsible for in terms of patronage size, operating hours, type of food served, and also the number of employees that report to you directly.

Then it is onto the work setting. As a Head Chef, you would typically be working at ‘’the back of the house’’ away from customers and clients, creating recipes, designing menus, testing dishes, and other advanced tasks such as stock planning and zero-tolerance quality control. Some Head Chefs also run their own restaurants, which means financial management tenure such as cash flow planning, drafting income statements and balance sheets, and sales projections are part of their jobs as well. Your ability to manage all aspects of the restaurant business, ensuring that bills get paid on time and maintaining a healthy profit margin, would be some of the things that hiring managers would be looking for.

Next up, delve into more detail regarding your cuisine specialties, for example, Ethnic, Mediterranean, Korean, or Italian. Here you may want to explain how you go about inspecting dishes before they get served, keeping an eye on the preparation of food or techniques used to polish the final dish products to ensure they reach the client’s palate in tip-top condition. You may also list the type of dishes that you can create, for example, being a specialist in seafood cooking or a pasta guru with a secret recipe of sorts.

Now it's time to discuss kitchen management experience, which relates to functions such as coordinating and supervising staff activities, preparing work rosters, dealing with staff conflict and conducting performance appraisals. Hiring managers would also be interested to know about your resourcing techniques when it comes to recruiting, interviewing, and hiring new staff, especially on lower job levels as employee turnover is known to be quite high in the restaurant environment. For instance, if you have a walkout and lose one or multiple staff members in a week, how quickly are you able to replace them.

The next aspect to highlight is administrative tenure, for instance, tracking financial statements and stock level rotation records, submitting costing reports, balancing the daily sales vs. expenditure account, pricing of menu items, and selecting suppliers.

Hygiene, health, and safety standards can make or break a restaurant and mandatory knowledge of health regulations and safety standards is paramount to hiring managers. Detail specific practices and procedures that you are following to ensure the safety of your customers and employees. Be sure to explain your familiarity with the inner workings of machinery and equipment that could pose a danger to users, facety and sanitation of the facility, and general knowledge of fire prevention and also first aid and CPR training.

We are in Industrial Revolution 4.0 after all, and this means Head Chefs need to have a certain level of computer literacy (recipes written down on serviettes or daily sales being recorded in a little black book do not cut it anymore). Give details regarding your aptitude with food costing, menu design, finance management and payroll applications. Restaurant management software that is highly acclaimed in the culinary industry include TouchBistro Avero, Promodo Synergysuite, and Marketman, so if you have experience in any of these, be sure to list them in your key skills section.

* Resume Hack:
Spice it up a little and showcase a hyperlink to your Instagram profile with different menus or food creations you have done in the past. Another idea is to use Youtube or Vimeo and upload short videos of the ‘’master chef’’ (aka you) performing technically challenging cooking techniques or gourmet plating of unique dishes. Test the hyperlinks to ensure that you provide the correct URLs to your personal pages and social media platforms.

Head Chef Career Summary Examples

A Head Chef career summary is like a taster that encourages the reader to consume the remaining resume content. Too dull and you have booked a spot in the rejection bin too overpowering, and you may prevent the reader from picking up on important information.

Create an eye-grabbing career synopsis by following a simple structure such as the one below:

  • Step 1: Mix a powerful adjective, current job title, years of working experience and industry environment together
  • Step 2: Sprinkle with dashes skills and technical competencies
  • Step 3: Garnish with the highest credentials pertaining to degrees, training, certifications, memberships, and accreditations

Example Summaries:

Career Summary 1
'Passionate Head Chef, ACF certified, with nine years of culinary working experience in five-star hotel establishments. Highly accomplished in creating innovative recipes and implementing cost efficiencies in kitchen management procedures. Business savvy with extensive experience in restaurant operations, including pricing, budgeting, marketing, and business management. Won Chef of the Year Award for innovated food design at the ACF annual gala of 2018.'
Career Summary 2
'Diligent and talented Head Chef with three years of Cordon Bleu training and seven years of working experience focusing on fusion cooking. A proven track record for ideating unique menus, complementing seasonal changes, and an avid blogger of latest trends in fusion cooking across the world. Excellent leadership skills and a proven track record of managing kitchens with 50 staff members and more. Currently completing a Masters Degree in Culinary Management.'
Career Summary 3
'Head Chef propelling culinary expertise within, Michelin star restaurants for the last decade. Graduated from the Bavin School of Culinary Design with a cum laude result. Proven track record of adjusting taste and ingredients to accommodate diverse client palates from various cultural groups. Currently mentoring four junior chefs in the art of organic cooking techniques and limited carbon footprint restaurant management.'

Head Chef Job Descriptions, Responsibilities and Duties Examples

To attain the title of Head Chef, you need a minimum of seven to nine years of experience, and even then, securing a Head Chef role is not guaranteed because the industry is so competitive. Give your application a boost by presenting a stellar recollection of your previous chef experience. The trick is to use the verbiage and phrasing contained in the job advertisement in the description of your duties to show prospective employers that you are a fit for the role.

Have a look at our job description below, which you may use as-is or customize for the roles you are applying to.

Head Chef Chef Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for training, developing and motivating culinary staff and kitchen supervisors to meet food preparation and serving standards
  • Teach junior chefs the ins and outs of following defined recipes and how to add their own twist to traditional dishes
  • Create a positive working environment and lead by example to motivate, counsel and inspire staff to strive toward professional excellence at all times
  • Direct day-to-day operations in the kitchen and also dining areas
  • Allocate tasks and duties to a team of 30 staff members with specific guidance regarding preparation time frames of food items as well as sanitation and restocking activities
  • Responsible for organizing replacement employees during staff absence and also peak times such as weekends and seasonal holiday periods
  • Provide guidance and direction to restaurant workers, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Accountable for developing and testing menu items as well as the pricing of all menu items
  • Actively involved in creating new dishes per industry trends and organizing tastings for select patrons to get their opinions and feedback
  • Responsible for process and procedures guidelines relating to the preparation and cooking techniques to be followed in the kitchen
  • Accountable for inspection of dishes before they get served testing them for visual aesthetics and flavor, texture and taste
  • Approve all food displays and promotional props placed in the restaurant
  • Ensure compliance of quality health and safety standards regarding food handling, sanitation and equipment upkeeping and facility maintenance following government and industry laws and regulations
  • Responsible for creating an equipment maintenance schedule to ensure that all tools and kitchen equipment is maintained correctly and in working order
  • Review comment cards and guest responses on social media and handle any negative feedback accordingly
  • Coordinate purchases from suppliers to ensure that products are delivered on time and invoices are paid per the supplier service-level agreements
  • Review stock level reports every week to determine food and beverage requirements for the upcoming week
  • Accountable for monitoring staff to ensure proper grooming and personal hygiene rules are followed
  • Inspect storage areas once a week and allocate tasks such as labeling, removing of old stock, and cleaning of fridges, cold rooms and other storage areas to the Kitchen Hand
  • Responsible for creating signature dishes that require technical flair and expertise
  • Create food preparation schedules a day in advance for the morning staff that need to cut dice and slice in bulk for instance carrots, potatoes, and onions
  • Analyze daily sales reports and discuss issues with the restaurant owners
  • Keep track of which items are most popular on the menu and which items are not being ordered that often and make changes accordingly
  • Responsible for budgeting, cash flow maintenance and maintaining sustainable profit levels
  • Conduct daily morning and end-of-shift meetings with staff members
  • Act as trainer and mentor to current staff in terms of upskilling and reskilling programs including fundamentals of cooking and plate presentation techniques
  • Manage all recruitment, hiring and onboarding practices of new staff members
  • Conduct performance appraisals every three months and instigate disciplinary procedures when required

Highlight Your Accomplishments

Whether you see yourself as the next Gordon Ramsey or Jamie Oliver, your culinary talents mean nothing if you don’t show and tell them to hiring managers. This is the purpose of an accomplishment section in your Head Chef resume.

By adding accomplishment statements, you are trying to prompt hiring managers to invite you for an interview because you have proved your competencies with concrete claims backed, of course, with data in the form of hardcore numbers. This is referred to as resume quantification.

How do you do this? Quantification entails adding actual figures and numerical values that would be important to restaurant owners of dining establishment managers, for example

Quantify your achievements and responsibilities with actual figures. Owners want to see numbers because they dictate strategy. Your statements should reflect accolades and noteworthy commendations of what you have achieved in the past concerning your cooking skills, operational capabilities, and managerial tenure.

Include values, numbers, reviews, ratings, reviews, volumes frequencies, and time frames as evidence to your claims.

Examples of Accomplishment Statements for a Head Chef resume:

  • Achieved $2 million in gross revenue within the first three months of employment due to the revamping of menu items and the inclusion of signature dishes for the establishment
  • Selected by World Cuisine Magazine as one of the upcoming chefs to watch for the 2018 year and then came second in the publication’s New Chef of the Year competition
  • Saved 30% in food expenditure costs for the year by sourcing meat and fresh produce from local suppliers and farmers cutting down transportation costs and improving delivery times which mean all food items could be delivered on a just-in-time basis reducing cold storage utility costs as well
  • Responsible for a kitchen set up that serves on average over 1000 meals per day
  • Trained servers and waiting for staff on cross-selling and upselling skills which boosted sales by 24% per week
  • Worked at three restaurants that received Michelin star ratings during the time of employment

Head Chef Education Section Example

The education section plays a crucial part in a Head Chef resume because proof of adequate academic training is needed to land that dream job at a prestigious restaurant or high profile dining establishment. The more qualified you are, the more your application will stand out from the competition.

What to include in the education section of a Head Chef resume? Start with formal degrees and diplomas, then provide details regarding certifications, training credentials, accreditations, and memberships. You may also want to include short courses, participation in workshops as well as attendance of conventions and conferences. All the above attributes to showcasing your intellectual curiosity, willingness to learn and improve your skills as a Head Chef.

Here are some examples of a Head Chef’s Education Section

2019 – Current Master of Science in Culinary Arts, The Culinary Institute of New York, Rochelle, NY

2018 – Certified Head Chef, American Culinary Federation, Springfield, LA

  • 2000 hours of practical training completed
  • 180 culinary credits obtained

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

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

2016 – 2017 Traineeship in Professional Cookery, Failte Institute, Dublin, Ireland

2013-2014 Associate's Degree in Restaurant Management, California Culinary Academy, San Francisco, CA
Course Curriculum: Nutrition, Baking Techniques, Pastry Making, Meat, Fish & Poultry Science, Food Safety Management, Hospitality Management

2012 – Certified Member, American Culinary Foundation (ACF), 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

What to Write in a Head Chef Resume Skills Section

The best tactic to make your resume visible to recruiters is to match the content of your skills section as closely as possible with the required and preferred competencies mentioned in the job advertisement. A Head Chef a complex role because you need to be skilled in culinary techniques, operational management as well as administration, and leadership activities. Adding lists and lists of skills in bullet point format is not only dull and dreary but will also make your resume length exceed the standard 1-2 pages. Therefore opt for skills matrix tables categorize by Technical Skills, Interpersonal Skills, and Equipment Skills such as the templates we have given below.

Technical culinary and kitchen operations skills

Food Safety & SanitationFood Service ManagementSanitation StrategiesInventory Rotation
Food SciencesInventory ControlBatch CookingPastry & Baking
Dish AssemblyCordon BleuDecoration Template DesignSampling & Tasting
Kitchen Process FlowRegulatory Compliance & DocumentationFood Cost ControlRecipe Compilation
Butchery SkillsLocal Food CultureMenu DesignSeasoning & Spicing
Food QualityKnife TechniquesWell-tuned PaletteGreen Cooking Styles
SchedulingPlating TechniquesInternational Cooking TrendsKitchen Planning
Heat ControlPortion Sizing, Precision, PresentationIngredient SelectionEquipment Maintenance

 Interpersonal, managerial, and leadership skills

Staff Development & TrainingPerformance EvaluationsDisciplinary ProceduresWork Schedules
EloquentFirst AidCollaborationDriven & Goal Orientated
Incentive & Recognition ProgramesProductivity MetricsBudgets & Financial ManagementHiring & Recruitment
Station ControlCalm & PatientCreativityEnthusiastic
Detail OrientatedStress ToleranceAccountabilityPrioritization
DiplomaticVerbal Communication SkillsDisciplinedDecisive
ResourcefulMultitaskingTactful & DiscreetJudgement Skills
AnalyticalProblem SolvingOrganizedTask & Process Orientated

Instruments, tools, and equipment skills

Gesshin Sharpening StonesCake TesterBaby/Mini/Small Offset SpatulaDisher
Plastic Bowl ScraperShort Serrated KnifeDurand CorkscrewRiedel Decanter
Zalto Bordeaux GlasswareInduction BurnerSearzallLodge Cast Iron Pans
Microplane Cheese GraterSerrated 10 Inch KnifeAluminum Cream GunIndustrial Hand Blender
Pastry TamperRavioli MakerMandolineDispenser Funnel
Lemon ReamerPotato ChipperPotato RicerMeat Thermometer
Rolling PinSous VidePudding SteamerMortar & Pestle
Gravy SeparatorSpatulaTweezerSushi Roller

Qualifications/Certifications associated with Head Chefs

Certified Head Chef (CSC)Certificate in Food HygieneCertified Culinarian (CC)
WorldChefs Global Certification for the Hospitality IndustryMember Craft Guild of ChefsMember Culinary Corps
The Research Chefs Association CertificationCertified Master ChefCertified Secondary Culinary Educator
Bachelor in Culinary ArtsCertified Executive Chef (CEC)Certified Chef De Cuisine (CCC)
Advanced Food Hygiene: Level 4Diploma in Professional CookeryServSafe
Certified Master Chef (CMC)Baking and Pastry Specialist CertificateFood Handler’s Permit

Professional information on Head Chefs

Sectors: Food & Beverage, Culinary, Hospitality, Events, Tourism, Government, Education
Career TypeOperational, Technical, Functional, Professional, Strategic
Person type:  Manager, Supervisor, Facilitator, Overseer, Implementer, Designer, Creator
Education levelsFrom Bachelor Degree and upwards
Salary indication$ 31 000 (Low), $ 46 000 (Median), $ 67 000 (Top)
 Labor market: Subject to 11% increase from 2018 – 2028 (Collegegrad.com)
Organizations: Restaurants, Hotels, Cruise Ships, Bars, Nightclubs, Private Companies, Film Sets, Television Studios, Hospitals, Schools, Resorts, Convention Centers, Spas, Private Homes, Catering Companies, Royal Kitchens, Fast Food Establishments, Military Facilities

Download Head Chef Resume Templates in PDF

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