Tips for Chef CV (Curriculum Vitae) Resume Creation
In Chef CV-Resume Templates – Anatomy and Resume design we stress that your mantra, as a chef serious about getting a new job, should always be “less is more.” While some of the reasons for this may not be immediately apparent when you sit down to design your Chef CV they still matter. Before we tell you what to leave out from your CV / Resume we’ll focus first on what should be in it. But first a quick word about formatting your CV / Resume and again the advice is to keep it simple, no fancy layouts with text boxes, colour objects, frames or tables. Justify your text left, use business fonts (or typefaces if you prefer) at sensible point sizes. More on this later, let’s focus first on CV content and we’ll take each section in the order it should appear on your CV which you should do everything possible to restrict to no more than two pages in length.
In terms of Chefs CVs and Résumés there’s one case scenario where we don’t want you to take us too literally on our “less is more” mantra and that’s when you need to optimise your Chefs CV (or Resume) for Jobs which are far distant from where you’re currently working, and where you’ve spent most of your career as a chef. That’s because you can’t rely on employers from far afield being able to assess the quality of your work experience on name recognition alone. On a local level it’s often enough to mention the name of your employers and they’ll be recognised. That’s not necessarily the case when you’re applying abroad. So do read on and do check out the other Chef CV resources we’ve mentioned and linked to, however in addition to those we suggest you open this page in another browser tab and learn the trick to optimising your Chef CV for employers who won’t know anything about where you’ve worked. While we originally put together that resource for Chefs intending to take up a career in Australia it’s equally applicable to many other assignments where your new potential employer is located at a greater distance.
Chef’s CV / Resume Content
CV Contact Essentials
- Full name
- Home address
- Contact number(s) (if more than one remember to specify)
- Your email address
These might seem obvious but in our experience one out of every fourteen chef’s CVs contains no home address and for email addresses the ratio is even worse. Name and phone number do though make it on to virtually every CV, thankfully.
CV Contact Optional Items
- Date of birth
- Marital status
No Chef is obliged to include this information on their CV / Resume but if an employer is curious they’ll make it their business to find out before they hire you. This then is a judgement call every chef will have to make about their own CV. My own instinct would be to include it but that might not be the line everyone takes.
CV Employment History
This is the pivot point of every Chef CV / Resume and so deserves a considerable amount of care and attention. So, what matters most here? Answer: career chronology! Your employment history should read from your most recent job down the page to your first job. If you have any significant gaps include a brief explanation (you don’t want to make this take up any more space than the job details which should bookend it) as to cause and length. Then return to listing your jobs again.
Essential Items to include in your Catering Employment History
- Business Name
- Business Location (CIty is usually adequate)
- Period employed: e.g. Jan 2002 – March 2004 (month – year to month – year is precise enough and easy to read)
- Job Position / Rank: e.g. Sous Chef, Chef De Partie, Pastry Chef
Optional Items to include in each Employment History entry
- Duties: What role you fulfilled within the Brigade de Cuisine e.g. Sauce, Entremetier (vegetables & starches), Pastry
- Web URL of the Business
(this is helpful if you believe the business to be high quality but perhaps unknown to those likely to be reading your CV / Resume)
- Business Awards & Memberships e.g. Hotel Star Rating 1 – 5, Michelin Stars, AA Rosettes, Gault Millau Points, Relais Chateau, Leading Hotels of the World etc.
Catering Education and Academic Achievements
Our default recommendation is that these go below your employment history. This is especially true as your catering employment record grows lengthier over the years. If your career record stretches back to the 80’s, or earlier, then foregrounding your secondary school exam results by placing them at the top of your CV isn’t going to do anything to help you get that job. Worse by placing them at the top you’re taking away from your career record. If you left school in the 70’s or 80’s then it’s unlikely these results will have any bearing on your employability whatsoever, you’re going to get employed on your career record now and not on your Home Economics results from years ago.
- Your career record is relatively short, you’re still very young and your exam results are excellent.
- You have some recent third level catering related qualifications
In the event that either of these exceptions apply to you then it might be helpful to foreground your academic record by giving it top billing.
If you’re going to list references then there’s a few things to take into consideration. Relevancy! Very few employers are interested in whether your Parish Priest, Rabbi or Imam think you’re an upstanding person so don’t bother with these. References should be from former employers or supervisors or instructors from catering college. If you’re a Head Chef then these references should come from a member of senior management or a company director. If you’re a Commis Chef, Chef De Partie, Sous Chef etc then, ideally your references will be from a Head Chef. Be sure to list only referees whose permission you’ve got and whom can be relied upon to speak well of you as a Chef.
Referee information to include
- Referee’s Name
- Referee’s job title
- Referee’s place of work
- Referee’s contact details (usually phone number)
Career achievements and culinary guild or craft memberships
A lot of Chefs overlook this part and they do so to their detriment. Hiring managers and Human Resource managers in the hospitality sector often have to make choices about which Chef they’re going to hire from among a field of applicants who are very closely matched in terms of work experience. So if you’re involved in any craft guilds or professional chef or culinary associations be sure to mention them. Some typical examples would be WACS (World Association of Chefs), Panel of Chefs and Euro-Toques (ETI).
Coming under this heading also would be competition achievements whether local, international, individual or as part of a team. We’ve discovered that quite a few Chefs are reluctant to include such information because they think it’s arrogant or that it amounts to “blowing their own trumpet.” It’s certainly not arrogant and as to whether it’s blowing their own trumpet, or not, is a matter of opinion. What’s not a matter of opinion is that such information is beneficial to include on your CV, so include it.
Interests and Hobbies
Interests and hobbies are traditionally included on CVs / Resumes. In practical terms they’re a relatively worthless item to include. If you can’t be persuaded to omit them from your CV then restrict the items you include to activities which are relatively wholesome and innocuous. Don’t list too many.
What to leave out or avoid using in your Chef CV
Long winded paragraphs attached to each job. These tend to become very repetitious and are thus often ignored completely.
Novelty typefaces and fonts.
Do not use Comic Sans or any handwriting/novelty typefaces. Your CV, and hence you, will lose credibility. Restrict yourself to serious, sober and elegant typefaces such as Times New Roman, Helvetica or Frutiger. Set the type size to between 10 to 12 points. Anything bigger looks like you’re trying to fill the page and anything smaller will be difficult to read. Headings may be set at two points bigger and bolding may be employed.
Avoid these at all costs especially if you ever plan on sending your CV to a recruitment agency. Recruitment agencies typically use “parsing software” to get CVs / Resumes into their applicant database quickly. The use of text boxes usually trips up such software which means your CV / Resume will probably end up going into the system after those CVs which have parsed with little or not trouble. This is not a good thing for you!
Please don’t use tables for page layout for the same reasons that test boxes are to be avoided.
To learn more about TOPCHEFS and to obtain full and up-todate information on the wide choice of jobs we have on offer call us on (01) 633 4053. In the business of managing your career, it’s the only number you’ll ever need.