Successful CV Writing for Chefs
At cvapp.nz, we’re focused on helping Kiwi professionals skyrocket their career potential. We understand that crafting the ideal CV can be challenging, which is why we've developed the cvapp.nz guide on writing a successful CV to help you out. After helping countless professionals achieve their dream job roles, we know the importance of a well-written CV. We’re here to help you create a powerful CV tailored specifically for your career path.
Every great CV generally includes the following sections:
- The personal statement
- The employment or work history section
- The education section
- The CV skills section
Crafting the perfect CV means tailoring it to your chosen career industry: in this instance, we’ll be focused on creating the ideal CV for chefs. Let’s get started.
The Personal Statement: The recipe for success
A personal statement is a brief introduction into your professional identity, providing employers with key insights into your background, personality and any stand-out career highlights that make you a perfect fit for the role you’re applying for. In the culinary industry, employers are typically seeking candidates with the right combination of skills, motivations and experiences. If you’ve been working in the culinary industry for a significant period of time, it’s worth mentioning the number of years you have spent dedicated to developing your craft. You should also highlight any essential or important career skills and achievements. Remember: your personal statement serves as an overview of your professional profile, so you can elaborate in other sections of your CV. The personal statement is a bit like a preview of your career potential, so try to keep your tone creative, fresh and professional. If you need a little inspiration, here’s a great example of a chef’s personal statement:
Highly motivated and experienced chef with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry. Focused on providing nourishing, inventive and innovative cuisine for all. Skilled at preparing and presenting dishes with flair and utilising various food preparation techniques. Passionate about culinary craftsmanship and creating compelling culinary experiences for all customers.
Employment History: A well-seasoned career profile
Your employment history section is the central part of a successful CV. In the hospitality industry, showcasing your previous professional experiences allows potential employers to assess your suitability for a job role and determine if you’re the right fit. This is especially important in the hospitality industry, where skills are necessary and highly valued. When describing each of your previous positions, be sure to include the company name, your role, duration of employment, and emphasise any achievements or responsibilities you had during that time.
Try to only include previous positions that are directly related to the hospitality industry, omitting those from the distant past that may not be relevant anymore. It’s also always a great idea to include language from the job description—-so you’ll want to read the job description over a few times. It’s also a great idea to provide numbers, data, facts, and figures that demonstrate your previous professional accomplishments. For example, you can mention how you increased sales by a certain percentage, improved customer satisfaction ratings, or implemented cost-saving measures in the kitchen.
To stand out, highlight how you can bring fresh ideas to the kitchen, enhance operations, and consistently deliver exceptional results: employers are looking for innovative employees in the hospitality industry with a proven track record of excellence. By showcasing your ability to drive innovation and implement your skills effectively, you increase your chances of securing your next job role in the industry.
Sous Chef at Supreme Bar & Eatery, Wellington
November 2016 — Present
- Managed over 25+ kitchen staff and assisted the head chef with general restaurant operations
- Developed and prepared seasonal menus and degustation menus for a diverse range of customers
- Ensured kitchen safety and sanitation rules were met at all times
- Adapted recipes to cater to the needs of allergy-sensitive customers and provided allergen-friendly alternatives
Chef at Kai & Co, Wellington
January 2012 — March 2016
- Created customised tasting and degustation menus
- Assisted kitchen staff in preparing, presenting, and delivering menu items
- Managed kitchen operations including inventory budgets, leading to annual savings of over 25% between 2013 to 2016
- Composed weekly meal plans and created detailed shopping lists
Catering Chef at Kingi's Kaimoana, Hamilton
February 2009 — October 2015
- Developed and modified menus for events, including weddings, graduation parties, baby showers and birthday parties
- Assisted with event coordination, tailoring menus to the dietary requests and preferences of customers
- Prepared and presented a variety of savoury and sweet food items to customers
- Developed meals, recipes, and signature cocktails for restaurant menus
Education Section: The icing on the cake
To become a chef in New Zealand, you need the right training, qualifications, skills and knowledge. When constructing the education section of your CV, it’s important to highlight any details about your formal educational qualifications or experiences. For example, if you hold a Diploma in Professional Cookery or a Diploma in Culinary Arts, be sure to include these achievements in your education section. Even if you have formal education accomplishments unrelated to the hospitality industry, such as a Bachelor of Arts in Communications or a Masters in Geography, it is still valuable to include them in this section. Ensure that you provide essential details such as the name of the institution where you studied, the specific qualification you obtained, the duration of your attendance, and any key accomplishments you achieved during your educational journey. These details add depth and relevance to your education section, allowing potential employers to gain a comprehensive understanding of your academic background and achievements. Remember, formal education is not necessarily a hard requirement, but it does demonstrate that you possess advanced knowledge and it may help you land more advanced job roles.
Diploma in Culinary Arts, Auckland Culinary School, Auckland
February 2009 — February 2011
Certificate in Culinary Arts, Auckland Culinary School, Auckland
January 2008 — December 2008
Skills Section: Show employers you’re the cream of the crop!
The skills section of your CV serves as a platform for you to showcase your abilities and expertise. It’s important to provide comprehensive details about any skills that are relevant to the position you’re applying for – this section helps employers understand the potential value you can add to the role. Food safety and hygiene, menu creation, culinary creativity, leadership and organisation are all great examples of skills you can choose to include in this section. To make this section even more impactful, prioritise the skills that align closely with the job you're applying for. Paying attention to the specific skills mentioned in the job description can dramatically improve the likelihood that you'll be noticed by employers. By incorporating skills that employers are looking for, you increase your chances of standing out among other applicants.
- Knowledge of Food Chemistry
- Inventory Management
- Food Safety and Sanitation Practices
- Excellent Customer Service Skills
- Culinary Techniques
- Knife Skills
At cvapp.nz, we’re here to help Kiwi professionals succeed and support their career journeys. With our range of customisable CV templates and tips, we’ll help you secure the perfect role for you. Check out www.cvapp.nz for more!