Resumes: What Employers Look For II


Facts and Figures:

(And Dates)

In addition to information about the places you worked and what you did, potential employers want to know a number of things numerical…
First, they want to know how long you worked there – the years and the months for recent jobs. Stability is writ large in the hiring field, and if you have it, it’s in your interest to flaunt it. If you don’t , it’s time you started building it. It conveys responsibility and commitment. Having been somewhere for three years also indicates that you aren’t so annoying or incompetent that you were kicked out after a few months.
You should show full dates, not just the years. Only very naive employers will not suspect that 2003-2004 is perhaps only a few months. Even if this is the case, it’s better to be forthright about it than try to cover it up. Most employers I deal with find that simply insulting. You have a better shot with serial short stays.
You can place your dates in a number of ways. We will get to format at some later point. They are easiest to read at a glance if you put them at the left of the job description or at the far right of the position heading. We’ll cover that in formatting. The easiest date format is 10/98 – 12/01 for the simple reason that it takes up little space, and you have a lot to say in a small area. If you have room, suit your taste.
Showing stability isn’t always simple. For one thing, you may have been at jobs for a short time, but with the company for quite a while, as you were move around or better, up, you want to show this. There are two ways to do it. First by naming the company in the header as in:
2/01 – 10/01 John’s Café. (John’s Restaurant Inc.) Los Angeles, California
Chef de Cuisine
4/99 – 2/01 The Boat Place (John’s Restaurants Inc.) San Diego, California
Sous Chef
This works well, too, if you worked at a number of restaurants but followed the same chef or GM. Just put (Chef John Jones) in the parenthesis. Continuity is one of your best allies. Most people hiring say that some sort of stability is the first thing they seek in a resume.
If you worked for the same company at different times, this is a way to show they took your back.
Or you can indent. Format it as you like.
3/97 – 10/01 Johns’ Restaurants Inc.
2/01 – 10/01 John’s Café. Los Angeles, California – Chef de Cuisine
4/99 – 2/01 The Boat Place. San Diego, California – Sous Chef
This is important  for hotel chefs who worked for several hotels under the same flag or for the same management group in hotels under different flags. You can’t assume, even if you worked in chain operations for groups like Brinkers that the reader knows that Macaroni Grill and Magiano’s are both Brinkers properties.
The rest of the data your potential future employer will appreciate is simple. Size and numbers. How many seats did your restaurant have, how many covers did you do. Was it small or was it volume. Did two of you run a line feeding twenty five guests?  How many covers did you do? How large were your banquest. Food cost may or may not be a question. Cover price. How many employees did you supervise.

How many units were under your management. What was your restaurant’s volume? How many members in your club, how many rooms in your hotel. How many units of product did your commissary or bakery produce daily?
This is extremely important information you cannot expect your employer to know. If I am looking for someone for a $13million volume property and I see a resume with a restaurant unknown to me but no data, I will probably not take the time to call and find out. On the other hand, if the chef writes:
The Boat Place       3/02 -5/04
Executive Chef

White table cloth facility with 200 seats inside plus 150 on deck, 35 bar. Annual volume $9 million, 25% from banquets..etc.

The chances are great that I will pick up the phone immediately and if I send the resume I will get a fast call back from my clients. It’s up to you to provide this information, not up to me or my clients or your future employer to figure it out.

Or, conversely, I have a lovely small restaurant with three hands in the kitchen, serving about 30 meals a night. If I see someone who served 25 dinners with two cooks and has some knowledge of that cuisine, I know he has the unique rhythm of a small restaurant, and I am interested in him.

Next: What Employers Don’t like in resumes.