Food & Beverage

Get the best out of your chef CV

Monday, February 26, 2018

CVs are often underestimated. Yes, everyone has one, and yes, it may not seem like a particularly exciting document. However, the reality is that if you know how to get the most out of your CV it can open a lot of doors.

Give the CV some great context

Most CVs don’t travel alone. When you’re preparing documents remember that you also need to have a cover letter and a portfolio. The cover letter is effectively to introduce your CV and to get the person reading the letter to take the next step and read your CV too. The purpose of the portfolio is to show off your skills, preferably with visuals. How do they relate to each other?

Cover letter – straightforward, concise, tailored to the job and the reader - a lead in to the CV.

CV – an explanation of the skills and experiences that make you ideal for the role including training, dates and referees.

Portfolio – the icing on the cake. High quality images of dishes created, certificates, diplomas, press and a professional shot of you. A library of images that bring the detail of the CV to life.

Integrate the CV with your interview

The mistake a lot of people make is to treat the CV and the interview as two separate parts of the process. In fact, they should support and optimise each other, one smoothly following on from the next. When you’re preparing for your interview make sure you know your CV inside out and that you’re happy to back up in person every claim made on the CV. Think about the parts of the CV that you’ll most want to highlight and talk about at interview and use these in your interview prep.

Optimise the space that you have

The most effective CVs are just 1-2 pages in length – anything above that and you’re highly likely to lose the attention of the reader. Start with your most recent experience and give each role a headline that makes it stand out. Describe roles in terms of what you did on a day-to-day basis, what you achieved overall and what you brought to the job that no one else could. Don’t forget to account for any ‘down time’ as CV gaps make employers nervous.

Apply for jobs that suit your CV

If your CV is up to date and the best representation of your current skills then the roles that fit it should be perfect for you. Apply for the jobs that work with your CV so that you have the best chance of getting them. Don’t be afraid to tweak the CV for each application and to arrange your skills and experience in a way that is tailored to the job. If your CV is going online then make sure you’re including keywords as that way jobs available may come direct to you.

Present your CV properly

If you’re delivering a hard copy then present it in a clear folder so that the name is easy to see. Avoid gimmicks such as neon paper or unusual fonts and just let the quality of your work speak for itself. Make sure the folder your CV is in is clearly marked with the name of the person you want to see it. If you’re delivering the CV in person then go looking the part – just in case you get drawn into an impromptu interview.