resumes...your take on them?

Joined Aug 21, 2009
How much faith do you all put in the resumes of applicants?  I've never had to consider resumes until I became AKM so for me this is new.  It's very easy for people to tailor their resume towards the job they're applying for and I think I have an interview on Friday with someone who did just that.  

The resume presents well but what bothers me is this... they they say they went to xyz school and studied under chef abc, then they go on to their experience and every job they have including their current one they are KM or some sort of managerial position at.  To me the resume looks coached... I know the school that the dude went to and I know they offer resume support but I need to see some substance to their "run the kitchen to perfection" claims besides the write up.

I spoke to him on the phone when I set up his interview and to risk being judgemental.. he did not sound all that bright I must say.  I had to tell him three times that no Sunday is not a good day to interview so can he please come in Friday instead?  Already I am not feeling so good about this guy but that could have just been a miscommunication so  I'm going to put on my big girl bloomers and deal with it as it comes.  

How would you all have handled him?
Joined Sep 18, 2008
So, you're looking for a "line cook" that might be able to take on additional responsibilities, such as opening or closing?

For me, ANYONE that lists "management experience" with less than, oh, 5-10 years of experience with increasing responsibilities is SUSPECT!

And anyone with "management experience" in ANY fast food or chain establishment is definitely questionable, not only on management skills but on cooking as well.

And a "culinary school graduate" had better list at least three chef instructors as references with telephone numbers, email addresses, or another way to contact them in addition to any previous job experience.

But that's me, an old [email protected] that is suspicious of ANY culinary school graduate, especially when their resume appears to be a template.
Joined Aug 3, 2010
I always call past employers. Most of the time I get, "He worked here from april 10- may10". But some times I get some worth while responsences.

Then the interview. The first thing I always look for is clean fingernails. The I just ask the usual questions. Then I ask them to cook a dish. The first test in passing is making sure they wash before starting. I just want to watch them for 5 mins. Do they flip away, Do they take the fryer basket to the food?

I hope I helped a little
Joined May 5, 2010
Resumes make me crazy.

When I receive one with many typos and mis-spellings, I place it in a separate file and usually forget about them.

But wait!

All of the resumes that come in are the same.

What is it with people these days?

What ever happened to spell check or for that matter, the frickin' dictionary?

If you can not communicate the written word, how am I supposed to deal with that?

For me, resumes will get you an interview, at best.

"Blah, Blah, Blah, I worked here....I worked there....I worked under this Chef, I worked alongside that Chef."

So what.

What did you learn?

Like any seasoned Chef I can tell within 5 minutes the work ethic of an applicant.

I am usually not impressed.

If they came from a culinary school, I am more suspect and usually more hard on them because I want to see what they know and how I can use them in my place. More often then not I find most cooks, can't.

But....( and this is a big, but) if they show some sincerity, and are organized, clean, self confident, clean, fast, detailed, did I say clean?                                                                                                                                                                     
Joined Feb 1, 2007
As somebody who used to consult on resume writing, I'm a little confused. It seems to me you guys are putting more into them than there is.

A resume serves one function, and one function only: It's a sales presentation that opens the door to an interview. Period! Nobody, in any industry, ever got a job on the strength of his or her resume. But what a resume should do is get you, as a potential employer, to say, "wow. Let's get this person in for a chat."

A resume should be written so as to put your best foot forward, with no embellishment of facts.  If written correctly, it should highlight accomplishments, and downplay or ignore negatives. But it's all in how you phrase things. Compare two superficially similar applicants. On his resume one of them says, "Worked with Chef John Smith for three months at X restaurant." The other one says, "Trained under Chef John Smith at X restaurant where I was responsible for........" Both have honestly stated what happened. But which are you more likely to call in for an interview?

A couple of comments about references. First of all, I don't understand why anyone would check references from a resume. That's a waste of time and resources. The time to check references is just before you hire somebody, or during their probationary period. What they say on the resume is all but irrelevent (reference checking will be done from the formal job application in any case).

And, in light of that, I always call past employers. Most of the time I get, "He worked here from april 10- may10". But some times I get some worth while responsences.

Realistically it's true. On an off-the-record, chef-to-chef basis you sometimes do gain insights. But don't count on it. In the U.S., at least, what a former employer can say is strictly controlled by law, and, unfortunately, amounts only to confirming that "(s)he was employed here during those dates."

So, what it boils down to, is that a resume should gain an applicant an interview. After that it comes down to your best judgement of the person's ability to do the job and fit in with the rest of the crew.
Joined Oct 13, 2001
I put more faith in my gut than anything I see written on a piece of paper. Even then we do not get a real shot at viewing the applicant until they are in action. I used to think I was pretty good at weeding out the lemons but it takes time to see what a persons character and work ethic is like and I still have my bad hires slip through the cracks and then have to go through the process of doing it all over again.

leeniek I would go with your gut cause if this person doesn't even pay attention enough to understand the setting up of an interview then your probably better off without them. Oh, also its OK to be judgmental cause its your job to make these decisions. Yep its what we get paid to do. Good luck, Doug.................
Joined Oct 10, 2005
You make some very good points, KY, and I agree on a resume being a sales tool, but it also is (or is supposed to be) accurate information.

For instance a few years back I recieved a resume via e-mail from someone who I knew, the dates he listed that he worked at a Hotel where I also worked at were false--I know for a fact,because he dissapeared before the first week of December, yet his resume states he worked untill March.  O.k. so maybe "fluffing up" but more importantly, where was he and what was he doing during this time?  "Discovering" small facts like this saves me a few hours in personal interviews and decision making in the future.

I also look closely at where the applicant lives.  This may sound racist, even though I actually don't care where he lives, but I do care on the length of travel time it takes him/her to get to my business.  If it takes 3 busses and two transfers and over two hours of traveling time, I forget it, or if the applicant has a reliable car but it is two bridges and an hour travel time for a lower end position, I also forget it.  It sounds cruel on my part, but I've recieved more than my share of answering machine messages like: " Ummm.. I've really thought about it and this new job isn't working out"....

For me, a resume is all about facts and finding them, a good one gets your foot in the door, but I never decide on who's a "keeper" until I 've watched them in my kitchen for a few hours doing regular, daily tasks.
Joined Feb 8, 2009
A Resume, is a spell check version of a persons career. To bad their isn't a spell check, or help button, during the interview. The proof is in the pudding.........................ChefBillyB
Joined Feb 1, 2007
but it also is (or is supposed to be) accurate information.

That goes without saying, Foodpump. Although I did say it (".....with no embellishment of facts").

Providing information than is factually incorrect is counterproductive. You will get caught in any lies, and if an employer finds you lying on your resume there better be a compelling reason he or she will call you in for an interview. Personally, I don't know what such a compelling reason could be. How can somebody who lies be reliable?

The whole idea is to make yourself appealing so that you get called in for an interview. Face to face you can explain any lapses or negatives in a way that the employer can overlook.

Take your example above. Let's say it was a stranger who was honest. You would notice an employment gap from December to March. Chances are that gap, alone, would not stop you from calling the person in. During the interview you'd want to know what he was doing during those three months. Maybe he was just looking for work? Or was undergoing surgery? Or was taking care of his sick mama? Or was in rehab? Your acceptance of the explanation, and the weight you give it, will then determine further action.

That said, I can understand why that person did what he did, and it might not have actually been a lie. The people who teach resume writing at schools, and some consultants (who should know better), make a point of there being no break in employment history.

I guess in their world nobody ever gets fired, or laid off, or quits and needs time to find a new job. Nobody, in their perfect existance, is ever out of work for any reason. But because of the stress they put on "uninterrupted employment," many people stretch dates to fit minor lapses.

I'm not saying it's right. Just that I understand why it happens.
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