Chef CV example
If you’re looking to land a top chef job, a strong CV is the key to standing out from the competition and securing interviews.
A well structured CV which highlights your in-demand culinary skills and knowledge, will get you noticed by employers and ensure you land interviews with the best restaurants.
This guide has been created to walk you through the process of creating a CV that will get you noticed by recruiters and help you land your dream chef job.
- Chef CV example
- Structuring and formatting your CV
- Writing your CV profile
- Detailing work experience
- Your education
- Vital skills for a chef CV
Chef CV example
As this guide continues, I’ll take you through how to produce each section, allowing you to build your own stand out chef CV.
Chef CV structure & format
The structure and format of your CV is an area you need to pay close attention to.
Ensure easy navigation, enabling the reader to naturally work through your experience, displaying your suitability for the role with minimum friction.
The infographic below documents exactly how you should format your CV and what sections to include to engage recruiters and prove your suitability quickly.
- Use bold headers to accentuate sections and bullet points to highlight key information. Avoid large blocks of text that can become tedious to read
- Keep your CV clear and concise, images can distract attention away from critical information, so leave them out
- Pick a clear font that is easy to read and stick to a muted colour pallet, engaging recruiters without overwhelming them
- An ideal CV length is 2 sides of A4, enough to document your pertinent experience without boring the reader
Structuring your CV
Breaking your CV into clearly defined sections will facilitate ease of reading and make it easy for employers to find information they are looking for.
- Contact details – Keep your contact details to the top of the page
- Profile – Summarise your relevant skills, experience and qualifications in an introductory paragraph, highlighting exactly why you’re the perfect candidate at the beginning of your CV
- Work experience / Career history – Working in chronological order listing your previous employments
- Education – Document any qualifications completed, emphasising applicable chef courses
- Interest and hobbies – Unlike other sections this is optional and should only be used if your hobbies/interests add value to your CV
This guide will explain each section in more depth and what you need to include to impress.
CV Contact Details
The top of your CV should be reserved for the most important information which includes your contact details.
When producing your contact details section stick to what is significant:
- Telephone number (ideally a mobile number)
- Email address (keep this professional)
- Location (a full address isn’t required, the city you reside is sufficient)
Be concise, avoid adding unnecessary information such as a profile pictures, marital status or your date of birth - these details aren't needed at this stage of an application.
Chef CV Profile
Your CV profile (or personal statement for students) is a short paragraph that summarises your skills, experience and qualifications - which at first glance, engages recruiters and entice them to delve deeper into the CV.
Sell yourself in the first 5-10 lines of your CV, detailing exactly what makes you the right candidate for the position.
These tips will aid you in producing a CV profile that stands out from the crowd:
- Prior to putting together your CV profile; research job adverts in the sector, pinpointing key requirements and adding these requirements to your profile.
- Your profile is a quick snapshot of your experience so keep it concise, the work experience of your CV is where you can elaborate.
What to include in your CV profile?
- Companies or sectors you’ve worked within – Whether you have worked in commercial kitchens for large chain restaurants, independent eateries or catering organisations.
- Level of your experience – Are you a sous chef, head chef or are you looking to enter the industry? Consider adding details about mentors you have worked under whilst gaining experience.
- Chef Qualifications - NVQ’s in Food Preparation, Advanced pastry courses or any Diplomas in the culinary arts.
- Cuisines – Are you an expert in Italian or Indian cuisine? Or have your worked predominantly in gastro-pubs?
Core skills section
Directly underneath your CV profile, add a section for your core skills to provide a snapshot of your in-demand attributes that jump off the page.
This section should be made up of two to three columns of bullet points where you display your most noteworthy skills and strengths.
This is where your prior research of the industry will come in useful, but if you’re struggling with skills to add we have put together a list of essential chef skills later in this guide.
Quick tip: Don't forget to introduce yourself with a tailored cover letter on every application you make, to ensure your CV gets opened.
Work experience/Career history
Begin with your most recent or current position, then work backwards through your experience.
Consider adding any voluntary experience if your work experience is limited.
Add more depth to your most recent roles, shorten the role descriptions as you work backwards, because most employers will be interested in your recent work.
Structuring your roles
Role descriptions need to be broken down into clear sections ensuring key information isn’t lost, featuring crucial aspects applicable to the sector.
Use this structure for your recent roles:
Make your previous jobs easy to understand, by using the below three sections when completing your role descriptions.
A brief summary of the role, company or department you previously worked within giving context to recruiters.
As Sous Chef, I was responsible for the overall kitchen operation for a 250 seater restaurant, as well as managing the companies catering facilitates.
A bullet pointed section that shows the key responsibilities you had within each of your roles.
- Planned and designed menus for the restaurant, keeping the menu in line with market trends
- Conducted daily food ordering, maintaining stock whilst looking to minimising waste
Display the impact and value you added to previous employers by adding any accomplishments. Consider adding facts and figures to validate your achievements.
- Improved the restaurants food hygiene rating from 4 to 5 stars in 2018
In your education section make any chef qualifications a focal point.
Adding qualifications such as degrees in the culinary arts, professional chef diploma courses or NVQ’s in Food Preparation or Food Services.
Add a short description of any additional qualifications you’ve obtained whether GCSE’s, A Levels or vocational courses.
Interests and Hobbies
This is an optional section of your CV and should only be added if your hobbies or interests will add value, supporting in the decision making process.
Consider hobbies that exhibit skills that are required for roles as a Chef.
For example, include interests that validate your ability to organise, lead or remain calm under pressure.
Essential skills for your Chef CV
All Chef positions will require a slightly different skill set but all roles in this sector will require the fundamentals:
- Culinary Expertise – having the skill to recognise flavours and the ability to judge the balance of seasonings and creating menus
- Budgeting - being able to manage the cost of resources and products whilst maintaining quality
- Health and Safety – being aware of all food and hygiene regulations
- Kitchen Management – demonstrating your ability to lead and run the kitchen ensuring all orders go out on time, coordinating with waiters.
- Knife Control – recognising the art of knife skills and which techniques work best
- Nutrition – with such an emphasis currently on health, an understanding of nutritional value is essential for any chef role
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Writing your Chef CV
When putting together your chef CV, remember that the structure and format of your CV is as vital as the content within it.
Create a CV that is not only visually pleasing but highlights your marketable skills, enticing recruiters to find out more about your experience.
Your CV acts as a first impression and if you follow the above guide and sample CV you’ll be able to produce a CV that will land you an interview, getting you one step closer to landing your next chef role.