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Chefify - Part one: How to write a job-winning chef CV

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Like any job application, a chef’s CV should be concise, well written, simply structured and free from any errors. However, that’s where the similarities end, as a chef’s CV requires a rather different focus.

A personal statement

Due to the difficulty of creating a chef’s CV it can be a positive step to include a personal statement at the start. This is a great place to condense what you can offer the employer into a few lines. If you’re applying as a result of a job ad then tailor the statement as a response to that so you’re immediately focusing the mind of the person reading your statement on why you’re a good fit.

Employment history - basics

While a traditional CV might start with a list of qualifications and academic achievements, that just doesn’t work for a chef’s CV. Open the discussion with a bold statement of what you’ve done, starting with the most recent roles. Essential information includes the name of the business, its location, how long you worked there and a brief description of the role that you had. You could also note a web address for the business, as well as any awards and memberships it has - to provide context.

Employment history – advanced

As well as communicating the basics about what you’ve done, the employment history section is a great place to illustrate what you can do with a bit more information about what a role entailed. Focus on what is likely to be required for the job you’re applying for and draw out the skills and experience that you already have that support that. For example, you might want to mention menu creation, budget control, managing stock, involvement in marketing, developing suppliers, managing staff or responsibility for health and safety practices. Use the list of former jobs to show off your suitability for this one.

Education and training

If you have qualifications – from first aid to culinary tech – this is the place to include them. A brief summary of the qualification is fine, as well as the date received and the institution received from.

And the rest

At this stage, your potential employer knows what you’ve done and has a fairly good idea of your career progression. So now is the time to use the CV to set yourself apart from the competition. You might want to consider including a skills overview that highlights specific skills and why you think they’re important to this role. Extra curricular activities, such as sports and voluntary work, can also be useful to add. And don’t forget to include your social media accounts – if you’re creating beautiful dishes then posts of them on Instagram or Twitter can be a powerful way to make you stand out as an applicant.