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STEP 4: Look for Chef Jobs and Apply

STEP 4: Look for Chef Jobs and Apply

Chef's Blade


If you want your resume to stand a chance of being read by prospective employers, you must invest time and energy not only in its content, but also in its look. First, it needs to be aesthetically pleasing and well organized, with no more than two fonts and at least two-inch margins. Read “Your Resume’s Look Is as Important as Its Content” for more details on making it look perfect.

When writing your resume, avoid these five key mistakes:

1) Typos and Grammatical Errors: No one will hire you if you have typos on your application. Read it out loud to catch these errors, perform a spelling and grammar check in Word and have someone else competent read it over. It never hurts to check it twice (or three or four or five times!)

2) One-Size-Does-Not-Fit-All: Whenever you try to develop a one-size-fits-all resume to send to all employers, you almost always end up with something employers will toss in the recycle bin. Employers want you to write a resume specifically for them. They expect you to clearly show how and why you fit the position in a specific organization.

3) Going on Too Long or Cutting Things Too Short: Despite what you may read or hear, there are no real rules governing the length of your resume. Why? Because human beings, who have different preferences and expectations where resumes are concerned, will be reading it. That doesn’t mean you should start sending out five-page resumes, of course. Generally speaking, you usually need to limit yourself to a maximum of two pages. But don’t feel you have to use two pages if one will do. Conversely, don’t cut the meat out of your resume simply to make it conform to an arbitrary one-page standard. One page, however, is highly recommended.

4) Visually Too Busy: If your resume is wall-to-wall text featuring five different fonts, it will most likely give the employer a headache. So show your resume to several other people before sending it out. Do they find it visually attractive? If what you have is hard on the eyes, revise.

5) Incorrect Contact Information: Another downer to both you and an employer. The phone number and address on your resume should be correct for two reasons. One, you must prove you are conscious of even the most minute details; and two, once the employer contacts you to offer you a job, they’ll have the wrong number!

So much for the “Don’ts.” For the “Do’s,” be sure you follow these five guidelines in your resume:

1) Be Specific: Employers need to understand what you’ve done and accomplished. For example, have you

“Worked with employees in a restaurant setting.” or “Recruited, hired, trained and supervised more than 20 employees in a restaurant with $2 million in annual sales.”

Both of these phrases could describe the same person, but details and specifics in the second example will more likely grab an employer’s attention.

2) Write a Strong Objective Statement: Employers do read your resume’s objective statement, but too often they plow through vague phrases like, “Seeking a challenging position that offers professional growth.” Give employers something specific and, more importantly, something that focuses on their needs as well as your own.

Example: “A challenging chef position that allows me to contribute my culinary skills and experience in organizing and operating a hotel restaurant.”

3) Use Action Verbs: Avoid using phrases like “responsible for.” Instead, use action verbs.

4) Highlight Accomplishments, Not Duties: It’s easy to slip into a mode where you simply start listing job duties on your resume. For example:

• Attended weekly food supply meetings and took notes.
• Volunteered at soup kitchen.

Employers, however, don’t care so much about what you’ve done as what you’ve accomplished in your various activities. They’re looking for statements more like these:

• Used laptop computer to record weekly food ordering needs and costs; recorded them in a Microsoft Word-based file for future organizational reference.
• Developed the menu and managed the team that prepared three daily meals for a Meals on Wheels chapter; fed 500 people a nutritionally balanced meal every day.