Resumes

Best Line Cook Skills to List on Your Resume

Quick Navigation:


As a line cook, you likely have great time-management, quality assurance and teamwork skills. Learning how to list these skills and more on your resume can help you impress hiring managers and increase your chances of getting an interview. Follow the tips and guidance below to craft a resume that shows how well-prepared you are for the job.

What are the skills of a line cook?

When hiring a line cook, hiring managers seek candidates who possess a wide range of knowledge and skills related to foodservice and preparation including the various techniques, tools, tasks and protocols that are common in a restaurant. A line cook should know how to prepare, season and plate a variety of dishes, as well as how to properly use and clean equipment. Ideally, a line cook should also show the soft skills that keep a kitchen running smoothly, such as attention to detail, teamwork and punctuality.

Why employers want to see line cook skills on your resume

A busy restaurant may not be able to devote a lot of time to training a new line cook, so employers look for specific skills and experience when reviewing resumes for a position. Employers want to know that you have a working knowledge of food preparation, safety standards and the hospitality industry. You need to show that you are motivated, attentive, flexible and a fast learner if you don’t have prior experience as a cook. An employer may also want to see strong line cooks skills on your resume if you are applying for a job as a sous chef, executive chef or line supervisor. 

Popular skills for a line cook

Here are some of the most common skills to include on  your resume when you are applying for a position as a line cook:

Knowledge of kitchen equipment

You should be comfortable with a wide range of kitchen equipment, such as deep fryers, grills, industrial mixers and large gas ranges. Knowing how to perform basic maintenance, troubleshooting and repairs can be helpful, too. 

Food preparation

This covers many kitchen tasks and skills, including knife skills, seasoning food and plating. Be specific in what you know how to do and any specialties you have learned, such as specific cuisines or techniques. 

Teamwork

When you work in a kitchen, you interact with many colleagues including other cooks, managers and front of house staff. Being able to work closely with others in a tight space is a valuable skill to list on your line cook resume. 

Quality assurance

Every step of the cooking process should meet high-quality standards. Mentioning quality control or assurance shows your attention to detail as well.

Food safety

Line cooks should be familiar with food handing protocol and safety standards. This includes issues like cross-contamination, food freshness and cooking temperatures.

Cleaning

Keeping kitchen stations and equipment clean is vital. A good line cook should know how to keep their station organized and clean the equipment they use.

Customer service

Line cooks don’t usually interact with customers directly. However, you should still demonstrate a focus on customer satisfaction and an understanding of customer service basics.

Time management

Time management and the ability to multitask are important for anyone who works in a kitchen. Typically, a kitchen fills multiple orders simultaneously, and each dish must be prepared in a timely fashion.

Menu development

A line cook might have experience with menu development if they helped select daily specials or suggested new menu items. This skill is especially helpful if you want to advance to a higher position.

How to list line cook skills on your resume

Follow these steps to incorporate your line cook skills into your resume:

1. First, include any relevant jobs in your work experience section

Toward the top of your resume should be a section that details your work experience. When you write about the job details, describe the skills you used to succeed in the role. For example, a detail including teamwork could be, ‘Worked closely with eight kitchen staff members to produce over 70 meals per shift.’

2. Second, be as descriptive and specific as possible

Under each job, include bullet points that explain your responsibilities and accomplishments. Use strong, descriptive verbs and include numbers and statistics whenever possible. Concrete details can give employers an idea of how well you performed and whether you are used to a fast-paced, high-pressure environment. For instance, you might mention how many guests were served each day or the percentage of positive customer feedback.

3. Third, add soft skills into your descriptions

For soft skills, it’s best to show rather than tell. For instance, instead of listing ‘teamwork’ and ‘attention to detail’ under your skills section, use the bullet points in your work experience section to say things like, ‘Worked with a team of five cooks to prepare four-course meals’ or ‘Inspected each dish to ensure that it met restaurant standards.’

4. Last, use a professional summary show your best skills

Adding a well-written professional summary at the top of your resume will help draw employers’ attention to the detail you want to highlight. This section also allows you to summarize your skills and experience in a way that clearly shows you are a good fit for the position. Using the job description and requirements to guide you, customize this section for each position you apply for.

Ways to improve your skills as a line cook

Here are a few steps you can take to hone your skills as a line cook:

Attend classes to learn new skills

You could attend culinary school, if you haven’t already, or look for other opportunities to learn new skills in a classroom setting.

Choose jobs that challenge you

Learn on the job by finding a position that will challenge you.

Listen to your head chef

Whenever your head chef offers feedback, listen. You can actively ask for advice and feedback, too.

Find a mentor within your field

Find a chef you admire and ask them to teach you. A good mentor can offer tips and advice to help you in your career.

Take the time to teach others

If you want to advance to a higher position, you need to be able and willing to teach others. Step up as a leader in your kitchen.

Expand your knowledge of the industry

Look for opportunities to learn about other aspects of running a kitchen or managing a restaurant. These skills will serve you well if you seek a promotion.

Finding ways to improve your skills as a line cook will accomplish two purposes. First, the new skills and experience that you acquire will make for a more impressive resume. Second, you will be demonstrating your commitment to your craft. Employers will see you as highly motivated, hard-working and adaptable.