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What to Highlight in a Cook Resume

Landing your dream job as a cook means showing a hiring manager or recruiter that you can provide exemplary food quality, fine dining and the highest standard of customer satisfaction. To do this, you’ll need to create the perfect resume that highlights that you’re capable of hard work and embodying the very best of the culinary arts. Depending on the cook position you’re pursuing, such as a line cook, sous chef, working on the garnish station and other roles, the types of skills and work experience you choose to highlight will differ. However, the best professional resume for this field will show that you’ve got the right training and specific skills, as well as key soft skills such as being able to excel in a high-pressure environment.

Cook Resume Example

Structure of a Cook Resume

Depending on the type of resume you choose, the structure of your resume is likely to change. There are three kinds of resumes you can choose from: chronological, functional and combination. Chronological resumes focus on work history while functional resumes focus on skills. As you may expect, Combination resumes combine elements from both the chronological and functional formats.

Regardless of the type of resume format that you choose, your resume will contain similar sections. Here’s what you should include in your resume:

  • Header
  • Resume summary or objective
  • Skills
  • Work experience
  • Education


The resume header leads off your resume. In this section, you should include the following details:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Location (city and state)

If you have lots of experience as a cook, such as being a kitchen manager or in another senior role like head chef, then you can include links to your  professional networking sites like LinkedIn. This is a great way of providing the hiring manager with more information about your experience and skills without cluttering your resume.

Summary or objective

Your resume summary is the opportunity to hook the recruiter and encourage them to continue reading your resume. To do this, you should include information that you consider to be striking and demonstrate that you’re the ideal candidate for the role.

This can include summarizing experience you have working with food products, such as working in fast food. You can also mention additional skills and any certifications that you think the employer will benefit from.

This section is usually two to three sentences and can summarize the e contents of your resume.

If you don’t have lots of experience working in the food industry, then you can instead use a resume objective. A resume objective summarizes your overall intentions for the role and which soft skills you believe make you a good entry-level candidate. This direction compensates for your lack of experience.


If you’re a cook looking for entry-level employment because of a lack of experience, then your skills section might be the most important part of your resume. In the case of a functional resume, your skills will be presented first and foremost.

Regardless of the type of resume you use, you should still use a good combination of relevant hard and soft skills to enhance your resume. Hard skills are role-specific like cooking and food preparation. Soft skills are transferable across many different industries like patience and time management.

If you can’t think of the right cook skills to include in your resume, then consider including some of these skills in bullet points on your resume:

  • Hygienic food preparation
  • Food safety
  • Food handling
  • High-quality food presentation
  • High customer satisfaction rate
  • Collaborating with kitchen staff
  • Menu item planning
  • Maintaining clean workstations
  • Operating kitchen equipment such as fryers, ovens and mixers
  • Time management
  • Multitasking
  • Training team members
  • Knowledge of comprehensive safety standards
  • Team player

Work history

If you’re looking for a senior role such as a head chef, then you’re likely to need a significant amount of experience to qualify for the role. This means that employers will wish to see a chronological resume that showcases your experience with some of your primary responsibilities.

In this section, you should provide a reverse-chronological list of your experience, starting from the most recent experience. You should also provide your employer’s details like company name, job title and the date you started and finished.

You can provide brief bullet points that summarize your key responsibilities. Try to keep to the last decade of experience if you have many years of experience in the food industry. You should also only include relevant experience that you think the hiring manager or recruiter will be interested in.


Educational achievements are likely to vary depending on the job, job level and company. For example, an entry-level fast food role may not require a formal degree but may still require a high school diploma or equivalent.

If you choose to pursue higher education, then you can choose a degree in culinary arts to gain a comprehensive understanding of food preparation and fine dining. This might improve your chances of securing a senior-level cooking role.

Alternatively, cooks can take part in apprenticeship programs or voluntary certification to learn more about food safety and hygiene. This might impress a hiring manager and increase your chances of securing an interview.

Do's and Don'ts

  • Use a resume template or resume builder. This can help provide a good structure to your resume.
  • Take inspiration from resume samples to understand how to organize your resume sections and layout.
  • Read the job description. This will help you pinpoint the correct keywords and skills to include on your resume.
  • Use overly complex language. This may make your resume inaccessible.
  • Overexplain your experience or make your sentences too long. This might bore and turn off a  busy recruiter. Go with concise bullet points and phrases.
  • Forget to customize your resume for each application using keywords found in the job listing.

FAQ: Cook Resumes

Yes! A cover letter is a great way to provide the hiring manager with more information about your experience and skills. You can hook the hiring manager with an effective cover letter that explains why you’re the ideal candidate to work in a kitchen. You can also request a job interview.

Describing a physical activity can be hard, but there are some ways to clearly communicate your experience. Try to use as many action verbs as possible, but avoid over-explaining or using complex language to describe your cooking experience. Remain specific and remove any unnecessary filler language.

Customizing your resume for each application is critical for a successful job search. You can customize your skills section, resume objective and experience section to better cater to the individual job. Make sure to study the advertisement and job description to understand what to include in these sections. This will clearly show that you are highly qualified for the job.