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Cook Resume Examples & Writing Tips

Cooks need to serve up appealing resumes to get hired. Follow these cook resume examples and tips to make the perfect resume.

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By Ho Lin 5 minute read

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Whether you’re applying for a first-time cook position or are looking to advance your culinary career, you need a job-winning cook resume. Regardless of their level of experience or culinary skills, a professional cook’s most powerful tools in their job search are their resumes and cover letters. The ideal cook resume catches the attention of hiring managers while also impressing restaurant owners with relevant culinary skills and qualifications.

Recruiters and hiring managers at top restaurants often use ATS, or applicant tracking system software, to aid their hiring needs. Applicant tracking system software works by collecting, organizing and tracking job applications and resumes. For example, recruiters use ATS software to filter out all the irrelevant or unqualified job applications that don’t fit the job description the best.

So if you’re advancing your career in the culinary industry, you need to create a standout cook resume that doesn’t get filtered out by ATS software and actually reaches the desks of hiring managers. Your cook resume should convincingly showcase your culinary skills as well as the interpersonal and management skills required to run a successful restaurant.

This article will walk you through what professional cooks should highlight on their cook resumes to land more job interviews. We’ll then go over the structure of a professional cook’s resume and dish out some valuable writing tips and dos and don’ts to follow so you can land the cooking job at your dream restaurant.

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What should I highlight on a cook resume?

Your resume’s objective should be to highlight your relevant culinary experience, skills and years of experience as they apply specifically to the job description. Take advantage of valuable resume examples and resume builders to increase your chances of getting hired.

There are a variety of kitchen staff jobs in the culinary and restaurant industry, such as a line cook, sous chef, kitchen manager and head chef. Though even though their job descriptions may vary greatly, they share common elements to be included on a cook resume such as:

  • Resume summary showcases your culinary skills and expertise.
  • Culinary experience, achievements and technical or hard skills.
  • Culinary-related keywords and action verbs.
  • Soft skills that contribute to a productive and positive working kitchen environment, such as communication skills and being a team player.

The structure of a cook resume

Your cook resume can vary depending on your level of experience and the type of culinary job position you’re applying for. However, the best format for most professional cooks is the reverse-chronological format. By using this format, professional cooks can easily showcase how they’ve refined their culinary and soft skills through n their culinary career path.

The three most commonly used resume formats are:

  • Reverse-chronological. This format lists your skills and work experience with your most recent job at the top. This is the most commonly used resume format and most preferred by hiring managers.
  • Functional. This resume emphasizes relevant skills as opposed to work experience. This format is excellent for entry level candidates or those changing industries with limited culinary experience.
  • Combination/Hybrid. This format combines aspects of the reverse-chronological and functional resume formats. It focuses on work experience and skills and is well-suited for seasoned career professionals.

Regardless of your resume format, follow this resume structure to best showcase your cooking skills and competencies:

Contact Information

Your cook resume header section should feature the following information about yourself:

Your name

Contact information such as phone, email and social media profile links such as LinkedIn

Resume summary

The resume summary section is the first section hiring managers see. It’s a professional cook’s first significant opportunity to leave a memorable first impression using a few short sentences that showcase their relevant culinary skills, achievements and competencies.


Your cook’s resume’s skills section may vary slightly depending on the line of culinary work you’re applying to. Most members of the kitchen staff have some level of experience and technical skills in the following:

  • Food handling
  • Food preparation
  • Food presentation
  • Food safety standards in the kitchen
  • Use of standard restaurant kitchen equipment such as knives, ovens, and so on
  • General culinary knowledge of most food products
  • Servsafe experience
  • Experience in food service by taking food orders
  • Maintaining cleanliness of kitchen work areas and discarding of food waste

Regardless of their position in a kitchen, a cook’s resume should also showcase relevant soft skills as they relate to the culinary industry and cooking position they’re applying for, such as:

Attention to detail

Being detail-oriented is a must when it comes to working in the kitchen. From following recipes to following sanitary procedures and precautions, professionals in the kitchen need to pay attention to detail.

Culinary expertise

This is a varied skill set that can be broken down into a variety of skills. This would include a professional’s expertise in cooking and kitchen protocols in addition to the ability to work productively and positively in a professional kitchen setting.

Organizational skills

Organization is a highly regarded skill in the food industry. Members of kitchen staff work simultaneously on several tasks and dishes, which can cause confusion and stress without organization skills.

Effective collaboration and communication

Communicating clearly and collaborating effectively in a team is absolutely crucial in the culinary profession. Kitchen staff members rely on one another to effectively carry out their tasks and dishes.

Problem-solving skills

Cooks and other kitchen staff members often work in a fast-paced and stressful environment, especially during peak hours such as lunch or dinner. These working environments are prone to problems. Therefore, practical problem-solving skills are needed to keep operations running smoothly.

Work Experience

Your cook resume’s work history should expand on the qualifications you stated in your resume summary section. Each job description should showcase your career progression as a professional cook and highlight your most significant achievements with specific examples and their outcomes.


Your cook resume’s education section should include any relevant culinary education, certifications or professional training you’ve received.

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Dos and don'ts for a cook resume

Below is a list of some valuable dos and don’ts when it comes to crafting the perfect cook resume:


  • Use an ATS-friendly resume template for your cook resume. Hiring managers use ATS software to filter out irrelevant applications and show only the applications and resumes that best fit the job description and the company’s needs. All the resume templates on our site are built for easy scanning by ATS.
  • Proofread your cook resume for any typos, misspellings or factual inaccuracies you may have made. Additionally, your cook resume should be compatible on all viewing devices such as desktop, mobile and tablet.
  • Consider extra sections that list any relevant memberships you have that are related to the culinary industry, such as cooking workshops or culinary clubs. You may also have a section featuring links to reviews of your food or restaurants, or even video links of your cooking if you have them.


  • Don’t include vague statements such as “great under pressure” or “great problem solver.” It’s always better to come up with concrete examples of how you’ve used your skills.
  • Don’t use culinary terminology that is not relevant to your cooking experience in an attempt to wow hiring managers.
  • Don’t use any flashy or overly customized resume design layouts and formats. Make sure your resume looks professional and is easy to follow.

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FAQ: Cook resume examples

Have questions? We’re here to help.

Yes. Your cook cover letter gives more context to your cook resume. It lets you make a memorable first impression and showcase your relevant culinary skills and expertise to convince hiring managers you’re the ideal candidate. Here are some great examples of cover letters you can use for reference when writing your cook cover letter.

If you’re just starting out on your professional culinary journey and have limited professional cooking experience, dig into your job and education history to find relevant examples when you utilized your culinary expertise in non-restaurant settings.

You should review the job description for each opening and pick out relevant skills and other culinary-related keywords to tailor your cook resume’s skills, achievements and other culinary accomplishments. Resume keywords are unique for every job listing, and hiring managers often use them to set up applicant tracking systems (ATS), which scan every resume and cover letter to ensure a candidate is qualified before passing the resume to the hiring manager.

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Ho Lin Profile

Ho Lin is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and editor with two decades of experience in content strategy, creation, and development. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and his background includes experience aiding military veterans as they transition to civilian careers.

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