Resume

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by fairfieldchef, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. fairfieldchef

    fairfieldchef

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    Restaurant Manager
    I am updating my resume and was wondering if a particular type of resume is preferred or achieves better results. Also, what should I include - everything I do in the kitchen or just the basics? This will be the first time my resume reflects my cooking experiences of the past 5 years.

    I have several other career issue related questions that I would like to ask in separate post. Hope you can indulge in this ole' dog questions as I'm ready to make some changes.

    I've learned a ton in just the few weeks that I've been a member. I value the opinions of the members here and feel I can confide in others here at Cheftalk.


    Thanks!
     
  2. foodpump

    foodpump

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    For me, the ideal cook's resume would be this:

    Name, contact info and adress on the top. Adress is very important. If the applicant lives over 10 miles away and has to rely on public transport, I won't consider him/her. Sounds tough, but anyone who has to commute for over an hour and changes busses is going to have second thoughts about the job within a few days.

    Next, working experience, most current first, with dates. Brief description of duties, don't bother putting down why you left the job. This is the meat of the resume sandwich, most Chefs want to look at experience first and foremost.

    After that, schooling: highschool, cooking school, etc. After that, any awards you recieved in the industry, after that any other non-related courses like first aid, second languages, valid driver's license.

    Hobbies, hopes, dreams, aspirations last. If an applicant puts thier qualities and strengths fist, on the top of the page, I will read it negatively. That means "I work well in a team", I read s/he is a chatterbox, "I work well under pressure", I read I've got to give him/her holysh*** to get them working. So best leave that stuff alone.

    Most Chefs know that the resume and hiring interviews are only a screening process. The true nature of the applicant will only come out on the first day of work. I've failed people on interviews only to work with them in another kitchen and found them excellent, I've had excellent interviews and a really terrible week with applicants as well.
     
  3. laprise

    laprise

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    Great advice Foodpump!

    I wanted to add, if you are one of those chef that moved a lot before this search, don't put the too much IMPACT into the dates, as you may come out as you move too much... I you had a few long term position, then put a lot of IMPACT on it, as it show you are a bit more stable.

    SO , you need to create a happy balance between what you want them to see when they first read your resume.

    Many resumes, will have way too much stuff and no real substance...

    If you were in charge of staff in previous jobs, you have to put that in, as this is a very important factor for most employers. The potential that you may become a supervisor later on!! Write down exactly how many staff you oversaw...

    If you have experience in schedule, inventory, cost control, hiring, firing, pay roll and menu making, these are all very important for your next employer, regardless of the position your are trying to get.

    good luck:smokin
     
  4. anneke

    anneke

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    I second that. Vehemently.

    Here's the sad reality about the usefulness of resumes in a kitchen.

    Most chefs I've met expect you to lie, so they don't pay too much attention to the resume. (They lie in all industries; it just shows a lot faster in this industry when you do lie.) They will hire you and right away will put you in a sink or swim position. Unless your resume is really bad, and 99% are, in which case it goes into the G-file. It's not how I do it, and it's not how most chefs on ChefTalk do it (hey, they're here; it proves that they care!), but this has been my experience.

    I do a lot of hiring. But the final word goes to my executive chef. It's a real struggle because he goes on the basis that there's so much turnover, we need to hire and hire to replace those who leave/get fired. Myself, I prefer to pay attention a little and avoid having to retrain every time.

    So. Things I look for: SPELLING. If you can't put a sentence together, and can't be bothered to have someone review your resume or use a spellcheck, chances are you don't care if your hands are clean in the kitchen, you won't care about your performance, you won't be detail oriented etc.

    I do look for gaps and length of service. I already know what a 1st cook, 2nd cook, CDP, sous-chef does. WHat I want to know is how you were different. Did you have unusual responsibilities? Did you cover your exec chef? What leadership role have you taken?

    I don't really care about your interests and extracurriculars. This is something I'll talk to you about if I call you for an interview. I don't care if you're a born-leader and a team player. I know this is something they encourage you to do in a personal profile section at the top of your resume, but I don't really think it has its place for a cook/chef job. It's subjective and should therefore be left out.

    Getting called for an interview, if your skills match the employer's profile, if essentially yours to screw up. It should be a very simple one-pager. Keep in mind it takes about 3 seconds for an employer to accept or reject a resume, so use those 3 seconds well.
     
  5. suzanne

    suzanne

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    The resume gets you the interview; the interview gets you the trail; the trail gets you the job. Most people are eliminated by bad presentation on paper. I know that not everyone is a good speller, let alone a good writer; but if they don't take the time to make sure the information is correct, that lack of care (poor spelling, missing contact information) indicates lack of attention -- would you want to hire a cook who doesn't pay attention to details? I wouldn't.

    When I was in a position to hire cooks, this is what I wanted to see on a resume:
    • Name and every possible way to contact -- ALL SPELLED CORRECTLY. Address is helpful, but I would never eliminate anyone based on where s/he lived. (I think foodpump is on thin ice, because that action could be viewed as discriminatory, at least here in the US.)
    • Experience, in chronological order (regular or reverse, doesn't matter as long as it's consistent), with dates, position, and contact information for a reference -- ALL SPELLED CORRECTLY. I liked to see total experience, not just culinary, because I believe that most job skills are transferable. And I wanted THE TRUTH. If I found out later that you were lying, you were eliminated.
    • Education -- just basic information of school name, location, degree or certificate completed or courses taken if no degree was achieved -- ALL SPELLED CORRECTLY, and all the truth with no embroidery.
    • Special skills and abilities not otherwise listed, such as languages, computer experience, etc. Again, I didn't care if the skill was not specifically "culinary." ALL SPELLED CORRECTLY!
    The last thing I wanted to be bothered with was hopes, dreams, and "I want a job where I can work with people"-type nonsense. Wouldn't even read that stuff.

    I used resumes to see if someone had very basic job-seeking skills; the interview was to fill in the outline and check out the applicant's attitude and actual knowledge. The trail clinched it (or not). Most applicants never made it to the trail, of course.

    Of course, there are intangibles: the best cook I ever hired had gaps between jobs (he had been in prison), not much education, and his only culinary experience had been as a fry cook in a chicken joint. And he told me that he wanted to become a real cook after watching "Three's Company." :look: But he also came across as honest and really willing to learn -- and he was, and did. I wish I could have kept him on forever.
     
  6. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Good points.

    Would any of you hire me?:lol:

    Not that I'm looking
     
  7. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Well, I know you are very careful about preparation, and interested in the science behind cooking. Tell me a little more about how organized you are.

    But do you think you could you handle the daily commute from SLC to NYC? (See, I leave the decision to you. :lol: )
     
  8. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not driven to organize, but as a writer, I must organize to do my job.

    But my knife skills are probably too slow for a production kitchen.

    That commute's a killer though.

    Phil
     
  9. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Thanks for illustrating my point to foodpump, Phil: I can't tell you that I wouldn't hire you because you live too far away; you need to tell me that you realized the distance is too great, so you withdraw. :look:

    If not for that, though, I'd still at least look at your resume. ;)
     
  10. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Yeah, yeah, I know. But just the same would you choose X over Y even though X lives 1o miles and two bus changes away? You know the odds, within a few days you'll get a call on the answering machine at 1 am saying something to the effect "umm I've really thought about this, and this job just isn't for me..."