Stop me if you have read this before: The first thing employers and recruiters look for in an applicant is quality. The second is stability. This is done with a quick scan of dates and locations. If the ratio of years to jobs is less than about 1.5 (That is, a new job every year or less) most of us will pass and go onto the next, even though that chef’s background is not nearly as exciting.
I just took a second look at a resume I passed over two months ago, knowing that I could not present his background of short stints in great locations to any of my clients. Being a bit disappointed about it, I read further into the resume hoping for something that would make him a viable candidate. This is what I read.
3/2010-3/2011 Sous Chef The Priory:
Award winning restaurant at the Winnepeg Resort and Spa. (and so on)
4/2011 – 3/2012 Chef de Cuisine The Rectory:
Three meal restaurant at the Winnepeg Resort and Spa. (duties,etc)
4-/2012 – present Chef de Cuisine Jacob’s Ladder
Michelin star dining room at the Winnepeg Resort and Spa. (and so on)
He has been in the same location for 3 ½ years – which I missed, as all I saw were about 11 jobs in the past decade.
I feel less bad about missing the details knowing that my clients would have missed it, too. I have had to explain similar resumes to my clients too many times to believe they will be faster than I am on the pickup. In fact, I frequently make notes in their emails that kitchen a, b and c were either all on the coat tails of a mentor or all belonged to the same company, and I still have to explain it. That’ s my job, but my candidates would do themselves a great favor it they would stop expecting everyone to connect their resume dots;
The Point: If your background includes multiple properties under the same company, chef or group or within the same hotel or resort, make it very clear on your paper.
3/2010 – Present Winnepeg Resort and Spa (Five Diamond Property)
Sous Chef : The Priory – Award winning restaurant.
Chef de Cuisine: The Rectory – Three Meal Restaurant
Chef de Cuisine: Jacob’s Ladder – Michelin star dining room
See? Same information, but presented so that the reader cannot possibly miss your remarkable tenure. With this three year stint, by the way, and your collection of ten top restaurants you become immediately irresistible to the job of your dreams. Really. You move from potentially explosive material (“gee..what’s wrong with this guy..he can’t stay anywhere more than a year”) to absolute catnip. Trust me. I know this stuff.
How easy was that? This holds true whether you worked for five hotels in a management group, half a dozen restaurants in a corporation or have moved around from unit to unit in a resort. A slight variation shows that you followed your mentor for five years. (2009 – 2012 Worked under Chef Adam Fritzenphal at the following properties). Add whatever details the next employer will want to know – who you worked under, the nature of the product you served, your duties.
I have said before that it is in your best interest to consider everyone receiving your resume either tired, stressed or even stupid and to kindly make your positive points crystal clear to them/us. Putting things clearly is your job. We don’t miss every beat, but you don’t want the beat we miss to be you.