Head chef CV

Improve Your Head Chef CV

Editor’s note: Improve Your Head Chef CV was originally published in November 2020 and most recently updated in May 2022.

Free time is always an issue for a career-minded head chef. Career focused tasks – like making sure your CV is current – can slip down the To Do list in precious time spent away from the kitchen. We get it!

But it’s a worthwhile document to keep up-to-date. Even if you’re not presently looking for a new role. Here are ten simple ways to boost the quality of your head chef CV designed to give you the edge as and when you’re next looking.

1. Improve your Head Chef CV – place a headline statement at the top of your CV

These are a great feature to put at the top of a CV to entice hiring managers to read on. Your headline statement should be keyword-rich, value-driven and quickly sell your skills and expertise to a prospective employer.

Read: Get Yourself an Elevator Pitch Chef

2. Highlight core competencies

Beneath your headline statement, list 10 to 15 of your relevant, key capabilities in an easily digestible format. This provides a useful snapshot of your skills. It can also help your CV stand out from a keyword perspective when it’s being scanned by applicant tracking systems (ATS).

For example:
Food Preparation & Presentation – Inventory Control – Menu Development – Scheduling Kitchen Management – Safety & Sanitation – Food & Labour Cost Control – Customer Satisfaction Quality Control/Assurance (QC/QA) – Leadership & Team Building – Event Planning

Read: Chef: What you Need to Know About CV Keywords

3. Don’t forget the detail

One of your primary tasks as a head chef is to organise and oversee kitchen activities to ensure that food quality, presentation of dishes, and the timely serving of orders follow restaurant protocols.

But as a head chef, you’ll know only too well that your job also requires you to be skilled in culinary techniques, operational management, administration and leadership.

With regards to your current role, it is important to clearly and in detail explain the operational set-up you’re responsible for. A baseline standard would be to detail number of covers, type of food served, operating hours and your number of direct reports.

But don’t forget to also reference these things on your CV:

  • Give detail regarding your cuisine specialties.
  • Discuss your kitchen management experience.
  • Highlight your administrative skills.
  • Highlight your aptitude with food costing, menu design and financial management.
  • Highlight your knowledge of health regulations and safety standards, general knowledge of fire prevention and also first aid and CPR training.

4. Improve your Head Chef CV – highlight your accomplishments

In each role try to include an accomplishment statement proven by a clear example. Your statements should reflect what you’ve achieved in the past in terms of managing a team, operational capabilities and the standards of your cuisine. Quantify your head chef achievements with actual figures.

An example of this would be, ‘Saved 30% in food expenditure costs for the year by sourcing meat and fresh produce from local suppliers and farmers. This meant all food items could be delivered on a just in time basis reducing cold storage utility costs as well.’

Another could be, ’Trained servers and waiting staff on cross-selling and upselling skills which boosted sales by 24% per week.’

5. Highlight relevant chef career achievements

Try tailoring your CV to individual jobs by using three to five accomplishments that directly relate to the particular position you’re applying for. A hiring manager can then quickly recognise you as a good fit for their role.

6. The skills section

Adding lists and lists of skills in bullet point format is not only dull and dreary but will also make your CV length exceed the standard 1-2 pages. It might be an idea to add a chef skills matrix table that lists technical skills, interpersonal skills and equipment skills etc.

Compass Chef Recruitment

7. Zero in on your chef leadership qualities

There are a lot of ways to showcase your chef leadership qualities. One way is to eliminate passive phrases like “duties included” and instead start your sentences with action words like accelerated, optimised, pioneered, and initiated.

8. Improve your Head Chef CV – send a tailored copy of your CV

Any employer who reads your chef CV wants to know one thing– do you have what it takes to be their next head chef? By tailoring your CV to each job you apply for you can quickly give them the confidence that you meet their hiring needs.

9. Create more white space on your CV

You may be in the midst of an amazing chef career, but if you describe it using dense, heavily-worded paragraphs with little white space, no manager or recruiter will take the time to read about it.

Break up the copy, make sure your margins are appropriate and format with bold to make important copy stand out.

Less is more! You’re aiming for employers to contact you – once they’ve done that, you can go into a lot more detail about why you’re the right chef candidate for their job.

10. Check formatting and typos

Both can make a poor first impression on a potential employer as it shows a lack of attention to detail and can suggest carelessness.

Ask a family member or friend to read through your CV to check that you’ve not missed glaring errors before signing off the finished article. You don’t want careless mistakes to undermine all your hard work.

Read: Chef CV Writing Tips

Improve your Head Chef CV – feeling inspired?

Then take a look at yours to see if it needs a little TLC. Boosting the appeal of your head chef CV does take time and input. But polishing it up will pay off with hiring managers.

Likewise, don’t forget to update your Only Chefs profile with that latest copy of your CV. Recruiters visit the platform regularly. If you CV is up-to-date the next role could easily find you and you’ll be the spared the pain of applying for jobs!

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