9 Beneficial Chef Skills for a Resume (And How to Include Them)

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.

Chefs are professional cooks who typically work for food-serving establishments, such as restaurants and hotels. Regardless of your experience in this role, being able to showcase your chef skills on a resume can improve your chances of the hiring manager inviting you for a job interview. Learning how to display your chef skills on your resume can be important for your career path and you can do this by researching the subject. In this article, we discuss what chef skills you can add to your resume and provide a step-by-step guide to show you how to do it.

9 chef skills for a resume

It's usually important to include a mix of hard and soft chef skills on your resume to show your culinary capabilities and universal professional qualities. Some of the main differences between the two are:

  • Hard skills: These skills are specific to the role of a chef and directly relate to your ability to cook food.

  • Soft skills: These skills can improve your professional output but don't specifically relate to your cooking abilities.

Some important chef skills you can add to your resume are:

1. Culinary expertise

The main prerequisite for a chef is their ability to cook and to use all kitchen utensils and devices. While the exact nature of their expertise usually depends on the kind of restaurant they work for, some culinary skills are useful for most chef roles. Some of these skills include:

  • general food preparation expertise

  • knife-handling abilities

  • baking techniques and expertise

  • the ability to choose appropriate ingredients

  • pastry skills

  • food presentation abilities

Related: What Does a Head Chef Do? (Duties, Skills and Education)

2. Decision-making

Most restaurant and hotel kitchens are fast-paced environments where chefs constantly make quick and efficient decisions. Because kitchen employees often work on multiple dishes simultaneously, being able to make multiple decisions in a short time is an important quality. Being able to process information quickly and use it to make appropriate decisions can have a significant effect on food and service quality.

3. Attention to detail

Because most restaurant customers have relatively high standards and expectations from professionally cooked food, it's preferable if chefs consider every detail. When preparing the food, they assess ingredient quality precisely and measure the exact amount of each ingredient carefully. During the cooking process, chefs use their attention to detail skills to determine how long to cook each type of food and the optimal temperature required.

4. Communication

Chefs constantly communicate with their kitchen staff and delegate tasks. Being able to communicate their ideas effectively to those responsible for putting them into practice is usually essential for food quality and customer satisfaction. This requires strong verbal communication skills and the ability to motivate and convince kitchen employees to perform their roles based on the chef's instructions.

Related: What Are Chef Levels? (With Major Duties and Salaries)

5. Cleanliness

Having a natural preference for cleanliness as a chef can help keep your kitchen at optimal sanitary standards. As the person in charge of overseeing a restaurant or hotel kitchen, the chef is also responsible for following the local health code and ensuring the health and safety of the respective establishment's guests. Staying within the sanitary standards also ensures food quality and can enhance customer satisfaction.

6. Creativity

Gaining popularity as a chef typically requires the creativity to use existing ingredients to create new dishes or find ways of improving classic recipes. You can also use your imagination to find new ways of presenting the food to guests and design the menu in an attractive way. Being creative with your dishes and the way you present them to customers generally makes it more likely that they could return in the future.

7. Teamwork

A chef is a team leader, so your ability to lead the team effectively usually enhances everyone's output. This typically means empathising and showing compassion when presented with team members' issues and being open to feedback from your team. Besides working well with your kitchen staff, you may also work with the restaurant or hotel management team.

8. Time management

Cooking and delivering customers' orders as quickly as possible can have a positive effect on customer satisfaction. This typically requires the ability to manage your time in a way that helps you complete your tasks quickly without compromising on quality. Other useful chef skills, like communication, teamwork and decision-making, can have a significant influence on a chef's time management. This is because the effectiveness of their work typically depends on their ability to make good decisions and communicate them to their team.

9. Budget management

Besides coordinating all kitchen activities and cooking tasty and healthy food for guests, chefs also consider the cost of operations. Being able to administer their allocated budget accurately and create quality meals with as little expenditure as possible is a valuable skill for a chef. This typically means hiring the appropriate number of people to cover all kitchen activities while staying within the wage budget. It can also include building a food pricing system that balances what customers are willing to pay with covering the overall costs.

Related: How to Become a Chef (With Common Duties, Skills and FAQs)

How to add your chef skills to your resume

You can add relevant skills to your resume in various ways and sections. The exact way you choose to showcase them usually depends on your work experience and the kind of job you're applying for. Here are some steps you can take to highlight your skills in a resume for a chef position:

1. Include relevant skills in your resume summary or objective

If you have relevant chef experience, you can include a resume summary below your contact information that briefly describes your past accomplishments and the skills that qualify you for the position. If you feel you might lack the experience for a strong resume summary section, you can replace it with a resume objective. A professional objective outlines your goals as a chef and how the job you're applying for can help you achieve them.

Resume summary example: A professional chef with over eight years of experience in managing large restaurant kitchens. Highly capable of developing menu items and making sure the kitchen meets all active health standards and regulations. Strong decision-making and organisational skills, as demonstrated in a wide variety of environments. Specialist in French and Spanish cuisine.

Resume objective example: A passionate and detail-oriented chef, looking for a role that allows me to display my culinary knowledge and enhance my kitchen management experience.

2. Use action words when describing your work experience

You can highlight the skills you've acquired throughout your experiences as a chef and use action words to describe them. Using action words can help the hiring manager understand your previous duties and responsibilities and how you've enhanced your relevant skills by performing them. When creating your experience section, you can list all relevant job experiences in reverse chronological order and mention some key responsibilities for each role. Ensure you include the positive outcome of your actions after the action verb when adding previous job responsibilities.

Here are some action words you can use in your chef resume:

  • created

  • innovated

  • visualised

  • conceptualised

  • established

  • led

  • performed

  • prepared

  • implemented

3. Include a list of all relevant skills

Besides mentioning some of your skills in your resume objective, summary or experience sections, you can include all your chef skills in a dedicated section. You can place it either above or below the experience section, depending on which section you think would have the biggest impact on your chances of convincing the recruiter.

You can describe your skills in short sentences and use a bullet list when listing them. If you're unsure which skills would improve your chances of getting the role, you can study the job ad regarding what the employer requires from a new chef. Here's an example of a skills section:

Skills

  • extensive baking and meat cooking experience

  • ability to create new recipes from popular ingredients

  • good knowledge of modern cooking devices

  • expert in multiple cuisine styles

  • excellent attention to detail

  • effective communication and motivational skills

  • ability to anticipate client tastes and preferences

  • willingness to learn and improve continuously

Skills-based resume for a chef

Consider this example of a skill-based resume:

John Minkowski

555-2345
jminkowski@email.com
Victoria, 3166

Seeking a chef position that would allow me to showcase my cooking skills and give me the opportunity to improve as a professional.

Skills

  • Extensive cooking experience: prepared ingredients and meals for both lunch and dinner menus to cover over 70 tables per day

  • Versatility: trained to cook in multiple international cuisine styles

  • Teamwork: collaborated well with all restaurant staff and my chef colleagues

  • Negotiation: supervised all ingredient purchases and saved up to 10% in negotiated prices

  • Teaching: helped new staff learn their tasks and taught food and safety regulation classes

Experience

Restaurant by the Lake, Chef, 2020-Present

  • oversee food preparation and production

  • trained new staff members and supervise their activity

  • reduced overall ingredient prices by 10% in two years

  • improved kitchen procedures to achieve a 50% productivity growth

The Steak Room, Sous Chef, 2017-2020

  • supervised all kitchen cleaning procedures

  • worked alongside the Head Chef to create new recipes and improve existing ones

  • prepared basic meals for lunch and dinner

  • maintained communication with ingredient vendors on behalf of the restaurant

Education

  • Associate degree in culinary arts, Olsen Culinary Academy, 2018


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