How to List Cook Skills on a Resume: Best Skills

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In order to be an effective member of a kitchen’s staff, it requires a culmination of training, experience and soft skills. You can bolster your chances of being noticed by employers by clearly outlining your abilities on your resume. In this article, you can learn why it’s important to list culinary skills on your resume, how to effectively list the best kitchen skills on your resume and review a few ways that you can improve your skills as a cook.

Why employers want to see cook skills on your resume

Skilled chefs are always in demand, regardless of geographical location. These culinary professionals are responsible for overseeing the safe, efficient and creative handling of food throughout the production process. Additionally, they are responsible for various other administrative duties, such as inventory, ordering and staff management.

Because of the various aspects of this position, those looking to enter the world of culinary arts should clearly indicate their abilities in the kitchen as well as the other various soft skills that are beneficial in this position. By detailing your skills on your resume, you will give employers a clear idea of why and how you will be an asset to their kitchen staff.

How to list cook skills on a resume

Here are some tips for effectively adding your cooking skills to a resume:

1. First, create a skills section

When creating your resume, make sure to incorporate a skills section. This will provide the employer with a place to see your capabilities in a way that is both easily visible and organized. You can also make note of your proficiency with each skill. For example, you could list ‘Knife handling: expert.’

2. Second, separate into categories

There are times when organizing your skills into categories could provide clarity. To accomplish this, divide your skills into classifications, such as culinary skills, administrative skills, soft skills and so on. This will make it easier for the employer to read and understand your abilities.

3. Third, tailor your skills to the job description

It’s always a good idea to revisit your resume when applying for a new position. Study the job description for specific attributes that the employer is looking for in a candidate, and then, while still remaining honest, tailor your resume to exemplify your expertise in those areas. Additionally, it can be beneficial to repeat relevant skills several times throughout your resume by incorporating them into your work history and background.

Best cook skills to add to a resume 

Here are some of the basic skills you can include on your culinary professional resume:

  • Attention to detail. When working in a kitchen, being detail-oriented is a must. Aside from the ability to follow recipes, appropriately measure ingredients and cook the correct portions, chefs need to be able to prepare and present food in a way that is uniform and appealing. Attentive cooks are aware of the task at hand and take pride in every detail of their work.
  • Administrative skills. Though culinary abilities are key in this profession, those who hope to progress in this field must also possess a strong business sense. The ability to make food that is cost-effective while still delicious is a skill that employers look for in their kitchen staff. Additionally, cooks who have experience taking inventory or pricing menu items will have an advantage over other candidates.
  • Cleanliness. A well-run kitchen should uphold strict sanitation protocols. Cleanliness is one of the most basic aspects of food preparation and your skills in this area should be detailed on your resume. You can emphasize your abilities by listing any relevant safety or health certifications that you possess.
  • Creativity. Successful chefs are always looking to experiment with new processes and food items. It’s what keeps menus interesting and customers returning. Therefore, an imaginative personality goes hand-in-hand with culinary expertise.
  • Organizational skills. Cooks are often required to work on several projects simultaneously, which can easily cause things to become disorganized. An effective chef will maintain a clean and organized environment that ensures safety and structure for both themselves and their team members.
  • Collaboration and communication. The ability to work cohesively within a team is imperative in this profession. This requires exemplary communication skills, both when speaking and listening. 
  • Problem-solving skills. Kitchens can be fast-paced, stressful environments during peak hours of operation. An effective cook will be able to remain calm under pressure as well as make decisions efficiently and quickly.
  • Culinary expertise. This skill can be broken up into much smaller skills, such as knife handling or baking. In short, it refers to one’s familiarity with cooking protocols and the ability to work efficiently and precisely within a kitchen environment. When creating your resume, it can be beneficial to note your areas of experience and expertise within the culinary arts.

How to improve your cook skills

Here are just a few ways that you can enhance your culinary skills:

1. First, attend a culinary school

By attending a culinary school you can gain important knowledge and skills that will be invaluable in this profession. Additionally, making note of your technical training on your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates when looking for employment. 

2. Second, seek relevant experience in the restaurant industry 

Though schooling can provide technical training, relevant experience is often just as valuable in this industry. Many culinary experts and chefs learned their basic skills and knowledge as line cooks at the beginning of their careers. Exposure and experience will teach you the basics you need to start your culinary career.

3. Third, find a mentor in the restaurant industry

You can find a chef, whether at culinary school or work, and actively seek out their guidance. In most cases, chefs are eager to pass on their knowledge to others and would gladly provide guidance to those who show initiative and promise.

4. Lastly, always practice and refine your culinary skills

As with most professions, practice is the best way to improve your cooking skills. Practice cutting, cooking and baking on your own, for friends and family and in more professional environments. Your commitment to the craft will make you more passionate and help you grow as a cook.