Culinary Resumes: The Philosophy


Since you are approaching someone you have probably never met before with a proposition that he give you money for your time, energy and ability, not to mention a place full of expensive equipment to play with, you might want to think what he wants.

What we are going to explain here is what your potential employer wants to see as the first step in deciding to interview and possibly hire you or not. That would be your resume, your best foot forward.

Stop for a moment to think what he is about when he gets your resume. The probability is that he is short handed, that there’s a problem with the HVAC or the dishwasher has just slit open his thumb, and that the taxes are backed up. So put yourself in his place.

He will most likely be lacking a slew of things at the moment when he picks up your resume:

  • The person who does your job·
  • Focus·
  • Peace and quiet in which to read it.
  • By the time he’s waded through five dozen resumes to get to yours, patience.

What would you want in that situation. Let’s list the points:

  • Clarity: Something you can read quickly, at a glance
  • Straight forward presentation.
  • Complete, accurate information.
  • Ease of reading. Good fonts.
  • Honesty

What would you not want?

  • Wordiness. Unnecessary prose
  • BS
  • Stuff that doesn’t matter to you
  • Anything cute
  • Confusion
  • Games of any kind including guessing
  • Grandstanding
  • Information gaps and voids

The employer knows what he wants when he places his ad or his order, and nothing that you write, nothing creative is going to convince him to consider you, if you don’t fit his profile. Adding a little flash to your resume will, on the contrary, very likely have the effect of putting him off. We’ll talk about this later. For now think that your main challenge in writing your resume is to present clearly visible information that can be seen in less than a minute.
These are the things you will need to consider before you write your resume, while you are writing and after you have written it.

Food and Beverage hiring is different than the same process in many fields. After all the noise, this is still a hard reality business with little tolerance for nonsense, at least where you want to work. People who hire are looking for facts rather than fluff and wildly off the wall advertising. What works wonderfully for a director of Advertising – daringly forward pieces of self promotion – are not generally extremely effective in restaurant search. This, by the way, is one reason that professional resume writers tend to do an abysmal job of preparing resumes for chefs and sommeliers – their sense of the environment comes from television. As for the too frequent stories of the chef who daringly sent a video of himself dressed up as a lobster cooking his bisque, be slow to believe them. It’s media ink for the benefit of the writer, not what actually happens.

So this would mean that a good food and beverage resume clearly documents your experience, your knowledge and skills to allow someone with little time and patience to decide quickly whether you are worth talking to about his and your needs (you come second). It is the professional Cliff Notes of you.

Next: What goes into a resume – Content.- What Employers Look for 1