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Not only is the title of head chef an extremely rewarding position, but it can also prove to be a source of stable income for decades. As with many reputable positions, there are specific certifications which are normally required while hands-on experience is always a massive advantage over other competitors.
It is still just as important that a CV is constructed in the proper format and that it lists all talents in a professional manner. Anyone who may be unfamiliar with this requirement is likely to be slightly confused. The head chef CV sample found below is meant to serve as a suggestion and a rough template, along with professionally designed CV template to help you get presentation right. Read on for:
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Sample head chef CV
5 Browns Road, Liverpool L3 9RF
Resourceful Assistant Chef with superb knowledge of all culinary applications and techniques. Versatile and adaptable with ability to oversee timely prep of kitchen items and equipment. Skilled in monitoring for expired items and monitoring overproduction.
July 2016 – Current
Roger Roger – Liverpool
- Delivered food to the highest hygiene, quality and safety standards by strictly following regulations.
- Deputised as head chef, successfully managing all aspects of kitchen operations during times of absence.
- Prepared ingredients prior to service, rotating stock and storing in temperature-controlled environments to meet health requirements.
January 2011 – June 2016
Ma’s Bistro – Liverpool
- Prevented contamination by ensuring sanitation and cleanliness of surfaces and storage containers.
- Created a safe working environment, ensuring compliance with health and safety and COSHH regulations across all tasks.
- Achieved high levels of guest satisfaction, testing food before service to verify correct preparation and temperature.
- COSHH regulations knowledge
- Well-tuned palate
- Menu development
- Ingredient management
- Food storage procedures
- Food hygiene
- Food regulations
- Kitchen management
University of West London London – 2013
Bachelor of Arts Food and Professional Cookery
What is the best format for your head chef CV?
As someone whose passion lies in the kitchen, a batch of CVs might all look the same to you. However, it’s fair to say that recruiters have more of a discerning palette in this sense. So, what are they looking for?
A lot of it comes down to the CV format. This is the basic structure and order of your CV. While there are a few options available depending on experience, head chef is a senior role by definition. As such, recruiters will be expecting a reverse-chronological layout.
The name comes from the reverse-chronological order of your work history, which is the focal point of this format. Here’s what’s included:
- Contact details
- Personal statement
- Work history – most recent first
- Interests (optional)
That’s the structure sorted. But don’t forget the design. It’s fine to show a little creativity with some professional colours and design features like headers or margins. However, stick to one colour (along with black for the main text), keep fonts simple and clear, and use standard sizes like 10-12 for text and 14-16 for headings.
How to write a CV for a head chef
In terms of actually writing, the best advice is to keep your head chef CV clear and simple. Note down everything you can think of about your work history, competencies, and education as a starting point, then trim it down so it’s just the tasty bits left for recruiters to enjoy.
Still need a little more help? Here’s our step-by-step advice for how to write a CV:
- What contact details should I include in my head chef CV?
- Head chef CV personal statement
- Tackling work experience on a CV for a head chef
- Skills worth having on your head chef CV
- Head chef CV education
What contact details should I include in my head chef CV?
Your contact details should come right at the top of your CV, so recruiters don’t have to go searching if they want to get in touch. Even if you’ve contacted them by phone, email, or post in the past, make sure you include:
- Your full name – first name and surname
- Your current address – in case they want to send anything by post
- Your phone number – home, mobile, or both – whichever is best to reach you on
- Your email – create one that’s work appropriate if you don’t have one already
Example of contact section for a head chef CV
5 Example Lane
Manchester, M1 2BC
Head chef CV personal statement
The personal statement is the first thing after your name and contact details on your CV. But it’s also the one that many people struggle with the most. Why? It’s simply down to importance.
While job duties and abilities can cover all bases, your personal statement needs to home in on what makes you better than the rest. That alone can be enough to leave some people stumped.
Our first tip is to leave it till last. It’s often easier to write your personal statement once you have all your skills and experience to work with. Then, follow these simple steps:
- Tell them who you are – include your years of experience and environments you’ve worked in
- Explain what you have – talk about your qualifications and accreditations
- Outline what you can achieve – build on that with some strengths and specialisms
- Write in the third person – it’s more professional and shifts the focus from you to what you can offer
- Include plenty of relevant, positive adjectives like “experienced”, “calm”, and “friendly”
- Stick to 3-4 sentences to keep it concise and on-point.
Example of personal statement for a head chef CV
Head chef who has been involved in the cooking and food preparation industry for well over a decade. Possesses all of the most recognisable qualifications and accreditations with hands-on experience work within a decidedly busy atmosphere. Skilled with client engagement and other forms of communicating with patrons. Interested to become part of a fluid and friendly work environment, as these aspects are as equally important as static cooking skills.
Tackling work experience on a CV for a head chef
Now onto the main body of your CV – work history. You’ll likely have lots to talk about as a head chef, but we’d advise against including your entire work history if it includes a long list of roles. Where possible, stick to the last 3-4 jobs you’ve held. This should be enough to give a rounded view of your experience and capabilities.
For each job, recruiters will want to see:
- Job title
- Start and end dates (or “present” in place of the end date for your current job)
- Duties – add three to six of the core responsibilities from each job
While the first three points are simple, it’s the duties that will set your CV apart. Here’s what to do:
- Include different responsibilities for each job to demonstrate a wider range of capabilities
- Use action words like “prepared”, “cooked”, and “managed”
- Show your career progression, including senior duties in your most recent role.
Example of work experience for a head chef CV
2012-Present: Assistant Chef, The Rose Inn.
Primary duties currently include:
- Responsibility for a team of 12 employees during my shift.
- Most aspects of food preparation and cooking.
- Cleaning and sanitation.
2010-2012: Food Preparation Supervisor, Fresh to Go
This role entailed:
- Monitoring the temperature and condition of all perishables.
- Rotating stock when necessary.
- Employee training and certification.
2006-2010: Chef Trainee, White’s Bistro
Main responsibilities were:
- An understanding of basic food handling and preparation.
- Client engagement and customer service.
- Opening and closing the establishment.
Skills worth having on your head chef CV
While the scope of head roles can vary, there are some universal CV skills that recruiters will want to see. Needless to say, your cooking abilities will be up there – but try to break them down into more specific specialisms and competencies. Don’t forget soft skills too. These are transferable qualities like leadership and communication that are equally important to how well you can do your job.
Check the job advertisement to see if there are any skills they mention, which you possess. Then mix in some of our examples as the icing on the cake:
Essential skills for a head chef
- Able to prepare, cook, and serve food to high standards
- A working knowledge of all required kitchen machinery
- An ability to supervise large food preparation teams
- Capable of delegating to junior staff members
- Flawless health and hygiene knowledge
Desirable aptitudes to set you apart
- Menu planning
- Staff training
- Clear communication
- Calm under pressure
Head chef CV education
Education is a bit like your store cupboard essentials as a head chef. Sure, it matters what you do with them throughout your career. But even the best chef can’t make bread without flour!
In short, recruiters will want to see what training you have as a chef to reinforce all the capabilities you’ve mentioned in the rest of your CV. College and university courses are the shining star in this section, but you might also want to include high school qualifications like GCSEs to back up basics like Maths and English.
Here’s what to include about each of your educational achievements:
- Years of study (or year of qualification)
- Subject or course title
- Qualification level
Example education section for a head chef
Brentwood College 2004-2007
City & Guilds Sustainability in Professional Kitchens Level 3 (7019).
City & Guilds Nutrition Level 2 (7165).
City and Guilds Professional Cookery Level 3 (7100).
University of West London 2000-2004
Food and Professional Cookery BA (Hons.)
Do head chefs need a cover letter?
As a head chef, your passion for food and hospitality is arguably just as important as your skills and experience. But the typical head chef CV doesn’t provide much room to highlight that – especially if you’re trying to keep it within 1-2 pages.
That’s where a cover letter comes into play. It gives you an extra page to expand on what you offer with specific reference to the job at hand. Written in continuous prose rather than bullet points, you’ll have a lot more opportunities to show your enthusiasm and drive for catering:
- Use the first section to address the recruiter, introduce yourself, and explain how you came across the vacancy.
- Next, go through the main job requirements and how you fit the bill in 2-3 paragraphs.
- Finish by explaining why exactly a recruiter should choose you, reiterating your interest in the job.
Get your head chef CV right with our proven tips
Make it customer-focussed
They say the customer is always right. Recruiters will want to know how you keep customers happy in a catering environment. Be sure to mention how you maintained high standards, resolved customer issues, or even improved customer satisfaction in previous roles.
Don’t forget the specifics
You can quantify your abilities or achievements by adding specific numbers, including:
Use the information provided
Job descriptions and person specifications can be like a recipe for your head chef CV. They list what recruiters are looking for and, by extension, what you need to include. It’s a good idea to go through and note down all the ways in which you match their criteria, then make sure they’re added to your CV.
It takes more than a great cook to be a head chef. In fact, it’s as much about management and leadership as it is about culinary capability. Ensure that your CV has a good balance of duties and aptitudes on show. One way of doing this is by focusing on technical skills in earlier roles and management duties in more recent jobs, to show your career progression and strike the right balance.
Your head chef CV questions answered
What should a chef CV include?
The obvious answer is cooking competencies. But remember that your qualifications will already show this – and other applicants will include the same. Here are some other vital things to include in your head chef CV:
- Management, teamworking, and leadership
- Specific examples of success
- Staff recruitment and training
- Menu planning, budgeting, and inventory management
What are the duties and responsibilities of a head chef?
The main responsibilities of a head chef are as follows:
- Overseeing food preparation in a busy kitchen
- Maintaining high standard of food going to customers
- Working with other chefs to prepare and cook dishes
- Developing menus with new recipes and dishes
- Managing staff within the kitchen
- Resolving any issues with food raised by customers
What qualifications does a head chef need?
- Formal cooking training is essential, such as City & Guilds Professional Cookery (7100)
- Food hygiene certificate (CIEH) is also a must
- A degree or diploma in a relevant subject like catering or hospitality can be beneficial
- Basic Maths and English at GCSE are also good to include
What are some important qualities to have as a chef?
Alongside your technical ability, there are a few personal qualities to emphasise on your head chef CV:
- Leadership and management
- Organisation and time management
- Communication and teamwork
- Calmness under pressure
- Problem solving nature
Serve up your own outstanding head chef CV
This head chef CV sample is an excellent guide for job seekers who are not entirely familiar with the way such a document should be constructed. At myPerfectCV, we also have a range of other CV examples to get you better acquainted with the way they should look and sound.
Once you’re ready to get cooking, our CV templates can give you a head start – along with professional content based on head chef roles and responsibilities. Simply cherry pick the right options from our online builder then download your polished CV.