How To Create a Chef Experience Resume: With Steps

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 6 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Using previous experience in the food and hospitality industry can help you transition into different industries if you wish for a career change. Many candidates possess transferable skills gained in previous employment that are valuable across many sectors, such as previous chef experience being useful in the events or design industry, for example. Understanding how to use chef experience on your resume can help you find work in different industries and encourage you to take the relevant steps to achieve your career goals.

In this article, we discuss how to use previous experience to work within different industries, explain why resumes are useful, discuss how to write a resume to showcase experience, offer tips for a strong resume and provide an example and template.

What is a chef experience resume?

A chef experience resume is a resume used to showcase experience to gain a role outside the food and hospitality industry. The core goal of this resume is to explain how the skills gained through experience enable candidates to make career changes and transition into different roles. Extensive experience helps reassure hiring managers that a candidate can take on additional responsibilities and adapt to a change in career. A resume typically outlines the type of experience a candidate has, including their key accomplishments whilst in employment, skills gained, and length of time they worked.

Resumes typically act as a precursor to an interview and help a hiring manager select candidates to short-list for interviews or trial periods. Depending on the type of experience and the length of their employment history, the types of resumes used in an application process can vary. For chefs, resumes may outline the type of cuisine they specialise in and any examples of business improvement for their employer.

Related: What Skills Do Cooks Need? (And How to Improve Them)

Different types of resumes

Here is an explanation of the different types of resumes:

  • Chronological: This type of resume focuses on the candidate's experience by gathering their previous employment history and arranging it in chronological or reverse chronological order. Reverse chronological refers to employment history, starting from the most recent example and working backward to provide up-to-date information.

  • Functional: This type of resume is designed to draw more attention to skills rather than experience. This is a good option for candidates who don't have extensive experience and wish to secure roles with their hard and soft skills.

  • Combination: Combination resumes refer to a combination of functional and chronological styles. This may be useful for candidates who possess extensive experience and have gained a considerable number of skills as a result, such as a candidate with ten years of experience or more.

How to write a chef experience resume

Here is a step-by-step guide to creating a chef experience resume for a change of career:

1. Select relevant transferable skills

Transferable skills are examples of skills that candidates can use in multiple industries. This is important to include when applying for roles outside of the food and hospitality industry, as a hiring manager is likely to want to understand how your skills relate to the role in question. When doing this, consider reflecting on how the hard skills used as a chef support the soft general employability skills. Hard skills refer to industry-specific skills that are the minimum expectation of a hiring manager. For example, you may explain how leading kitchen staff helped develop your communication and project management skills.

2. Write a personal statement

A personal statement is a collection of brief sentences that outline your primary career goals and how you think your professional skills can impact a business. This section is the first example of your written capabilities, so it is important to demonstrate comprehensive writing skills, as this may be important to the hiring manager. This section may also help the hiring manager decide whether your ambitions align with the job description and company culture.

3. Gather your employment history

Your employment history is the primary focus of this type of resume, so it's important to list all relevant examples. The employment history section dictates the primary responsibilities, major accomplishments and potential skills you've gained during your experience. When constructing this section, ensure that all examples given contain relevance to the role you are applying for, as this may substantially increase your chances of success. If you have multiple examples of experience spanning over several decades, consider staying within the last decade to ensure your resume is not too long.

4. Explain relevant hard and soft skills gained during experience

After gathering your employment history, ensure you briefly explain any hard or soft skills gained through specific accomplishments in your employment. You can customise these based on the types of skills mentioned in the job advertisement and description. This helps the hiring manager understand how you have used your skills and to what effect on the business.

5. Organise your educational attainments

Employers may list certain educational attainments as a minimum expectation for prospective candidates, especially those looking to change careers. This is because employers wish to see that the candidate possesses at least a basic understanding of the industry or relevant sector. Your educational attainments indicate your dedication and work ethic, so it's important to include this in your resume. This also includes any professional certification gained after or during high school or university.

Related: How to Write a Summary of Qualifications (With Examples)

6. Provide contact information

Providing contact information is an important element, as it enables the hiring manager to contact you and gain a more comprehensive understanding of your skills and experience. This may be useful for chefs looking to change careers, as hiring managers may wish to understand why you are changing before inviting you to an interview. Resumes are professional documents, and providing contact details is important to present yourself as a serious candidate.

Related: 16 of the Highest-Paying Hospitality Jobs

Experience resume template

Below is a template of a chef experience resume. This resume places importance on employment history instead of skills. You can adjust this template to fit the number of employment examples you have:

[Name]
[Location]
[Contact number]
[Email]

Thank you for taking the time to read my resume and consider my application. My [insert number] years as a professional chef have provided a number of useful skills that I believe are critical to several industries, including [type of industry you apply for]. To achieve my career goals of becoming a [goal or aspirational role], I am looking for a career in [insert specific industry].

My skills in [type of skill] make me a valuable asset to any business and enable me to strive for continual business development and overall customer satisfaction. My experience demonstrates that I am a hard-working, driven individual, capable of adapting to changing circumstances in my career.

Work experience

[Role title]
[Company name], [Location], [State or region], [Date starting and finishing]

  • [Principal responsibilities]

  • [Key accomplishments, projects or additional responsibilities]

  • [Differences made to the business based on your contributions and skills to showcase transferability across new industries]

Education
[Title of qualification or certification]
[Institute name], [Start and finish date]

Skills

  • [List skills transferable across alternative career choices]

Resume example

Here is an example of an experience-based resume. This resume comprises specific detail of how experience and resulting skills gained in employment translates across multiple industries:

Sarah Owen
Earlwood, Sydney
555-555-5555
sowen@gmail.com

Thank you for taking the time to read my resume and consider my application. My 11 years as a professional head chef have provided a number of useful skills that I believe are critical to several industries, including the events and entertainment sector. To achieve my career goal of becoming a professional events designer, I am looking for a career as a chief events coordinator.

My skills in presentation, time-sensitive tasks and staff coordination make me a valuable asset to any business and enable me to strive for continual business development and overall customer satisfaction. My experience demonstrates that I am a hard-working, driven individual, capable of adapting to changing circumstances in my career and leading a team of professionals.

Work experience

Head Chef
Hungree, Haymarket, Sydney NSW, June 2011-present

  • Leading a team of chefs to deliver high-quality dinner services to an average of 150 customers a night

  • Ensuring prompt deliveries and orders of fresh ingredients to deliver optimum quality meals to patrons

  • Designing new menus each year, including delivering unique set menus for a select number of events based on customer requests

  • Coordinating the arrangement of the dining area for wedding receptions, birthday parties and other events to ensure optimum service

  • Since my employment, Hungree has seen an 80% increase in footfall since 2011, with a 98% customer satisfaction rate. We have successfully hosted over 1000 events, with a clean record throughout

Sous chef
Hungree, Haymarket, Sydney NSW, March 2008-2011

  • Assisted the head chef in the coordination of kitchen staff

  • Preparing and designing meals to ensure optimum quality and good visual presentation

  • Making orders and liaising with third-party suppliers

  • Assisted the head chef on a number of events to ensure customers have unique menus

  • Second in command to the head chef and delegate specific tasks to kitchen staff and front of house staff

Education
Bachelor of Events Management
Sydney University, 2003-2006
Certificate III in Commercial Cookery 2006-2007
Chef's Apprentice 2006-2007

Skills

  • excellent written and verbal communication skills

  • food and venue design

  • attention to detail

  • food safety and hygiene

  • events planning, coordination and execution

  • project management

  • team leadership

  • customer service

  • visual design


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