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5 Cook Resume Examples & Guide...

5 Cook Resume Examples & Guide for 2024

As a cook, your resume must showcase your culinary skills. Highlight your proficiency with various cooking techniques. Emphasize your experience with menu planning and ingredient sourcing. Demonstrate your ability to work efficiently in a high-pressure kitchen environment.

All resume examples in this guide

As a cook, you might struggle with articulating the diverse range of culinary skills and kitchen management abilities you've gained in a structured and compelling way on your resume. Our guide is tailored to help you effectively highlight your culinary expertise and professional experience, ensuring your resume stands out to potential employers.

Ever curious about how to tailor your cook resume for your ideal job? Our detailed guide is here to assist you. It will show you how to:
  • Utilize real-life examples to refine your cook resume;
  • Effectively write the experience section of your cook resume, even if you have minimal or no professional experience;
  • Incorporate the industry's top 10 essential skills throughout your resume;
  • Include your education and certifications to highlight your specific expertise.
If you're still uncertain about how to compose your cook resume, don't worry. We've included links below with some of the industry's leading examples for your inspiration.

If the cook resume isn't the right one for you, take a look at other related guides we have:

Optimize your cook resume format to pass the recruiters' assessment

You may be wondering just how much time you need to spend on designing your cook resume.

What recruiters are looking for is systematised content that is clear and coherent. Thus, your cook resume needs to answer requirements and why you're the best candidate for the role from the get-go.

      Often, a clear layout consists of:
  • Sorting your experience in the reverse chronological order - starting with your most recent and relevant roles. This is an excellent choice for more experienced professionals;
  • Writing your contact information (e.g. personal phone number and email address) and your portfolio or LinkedIn link in your cook resume header. If you're wondering to include a photo or not, always make sure that it's appropriate for the country you're applying in;
  • Use the basic, most important cook resume sections - your experience, education, summary, etc. Use your resume's real estate wisely to tell a compelling, professional story and match job description's keywords;
  • Don't go overboard with the length of your resume. One page is absolutely fine if you happen to have under a decade of relevant experience.

Are you still wondering if you should submit your cook resume in PDF or Word format ? The PDF has a few more advantages, as it doesn't change the format and the text can't be altered upon application.

Format matters most when your cook resume is assessed by the Applicant Tracker System (or the ATS).

The ATS parses resumes, looking for specific keywords, skills or experience that match the job description.

P.S. We recently did a study on how the ATS works and were able to demystify three of the biggest misconceptions about how it assesses candidate resumes.

To pass the ATS evaluation, select any of the serif or sans-serif fonts. Popular choices that would help your cook resume stand out include Raleway, Exo 2, Montserrat, etc.

Most traditionalists go for Arial or Times New Roman, but it's often the case that many candidates choose these fonts, and you'd thus lose points on the uniqueness front.

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Highlight any significant extracurricular activities that demonstrate valuable skills or leadership.

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Don't forget to include these six sections on your cook resume:

  • Header and summary for your contact details and to highlight your alignment with the cook job you're applying for
  • Experience section to get into specific technologies you're apt at using and personal skills to deliver successful results
  • Skills section to further highlight how your profile matches the job requirements
  • Education section to provide your academic background
  • Achievements to mention any career highlights that may be impressive, or that you might have missed so far in other resume sections
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What recruiters want to see on your resume:

  • Proficiency in various cooking techniques and cuisines
  • Food safety and sanitation certifications (e.g., ServSafe)
  • Experience with menu planning and inventory management
  • Ability to work efficiently under pressure in a fast-paced kitchen environment
  • Experience with specialized kitchen equipment and tools

Guide to your most impressive cook resume experience section

When it comes to your resume experience , stick to these simple, yet effective five steps:

  • Show how your experience is relevant by including your responsibility, skill used, and outcome/-s;
  • Use individual bullets to answer how your experience aligns with the job requirements;
  • Think of a way to demonstrate the tangible results of your success with stats, numbers, and/or percentages ;
  • Always tailor the experience section to the cook role you're applying for - this may sometimes include taking out irrelevant experience items;
  • Highlight your best (and most relevant) achievements towards the top of each experience bullet.

You're not alone if you're struggling with curating your experience section. That's why we've prepared some professional, real-life cook resume samples to show how to best write your experience section (and more).

Work Experience
Line Cook
The Cheesecake Factory
  • Expertly managed the preparation of over 30 unique dishes per day in a fast-paced environment, while ensuring consistent quality and taste standards were met.
  • Reduced food waste by 25% by implementing an efficient inventory tracking system and revising the food preparation process.
  • Trained and supervised a team of 5 junior cooks, enhancing team productivity and improving dish presentation skills.
Work Experience
Senior Cook
Whole Foods Market
  • Oversaw the launch of a new vegan menu, which increased monthly sales by 15% due to high customer demand for plant-based options.
  • Maintained exceptional health and safety standards, evidenced by four consecutive 100% scores on health inspections.
  • Collaborated with suppliers to source high-quality ingredients, resulting in enhanced flavors and customer satisfaction.
Work Experience
Cook II
Olive Garden
  • Pioneered a kitchen waste reduction program that saved the restaurant approximately $8,000 per annum in operating costs.
  • Consistently received compliments for dish creativity and taste, significantly contributing to a 10% increase in repeat customer visits.
  • Mastered the use of a variety of kitchen equipment and technology, improving kitchen efficiency and reducing average meal preparation time.
Work Experience
Breakfast Cook
  • Single-handedly administered the breakfast and brunch section, serving up to 200 customers daily with a diverse menu selection.
  • Demonstrated adaptability by rotating through multiple stations, gaining proficiency in sauté, grill, and pastry.
  • Played a key role in revamping the menu, which attracted media attention and increased weekend patronage by 20%.
Work Experience
Grill Cook
LongHorn Steakhouse
  • Led a culinary team in a high-volume steakhouse, delivering over 250 meals nightly, with a focus on quality steak preparation and unique side dishes.
  • Orchestrated a successful wine-pairing dinner series that boosted wine sales by 18% and generated significant local buzz.
  • Cultivated a strong relationship with local farmers, incorporating farm-to-table specials that enhanced menu appeal and reduced carbon footprint.
Work Experience
Sous Chef
Seasons 52
  • Conceptualized and executed a seasonal menu that led to a 12% increase in diner satisfaction during peak summer months.
  • Achieved a notable reduction in ticket times by 15% through the strategic reorganization of kitchen workflow and processes.
  • Championed a cross-training program for cooking staff, enabling team flexibility and improved coverage during peak dining hours.
Work Experience
Cook Supervisor
  • Facilitated a kitchen equipment upgrade that increased cooking efficiency and contributed to a smoother service operation.
  • Headed a project to introduce organic ingredients into dishes, which strengthened customer trust and increased organic sales by 22%.
  • Mediated between front-of-house and back-of-house teams, ensuring effective communication and a harmonious workplace environment.
Work Experience
Lead Line Cook
California Pizza Kitchen
  • Reformulated the menu to focus on gluten-free options, addressing customer health trends and leading to a 30% rise in customer satisfaction scores.
  • Implemented a staff incentive program that reduced turnover by 35% and fostered a culture of teamwork and excellence in the kitchen.
  • Established a monthly culinary workshop for staff, improving their culinary skills and enabling them to contribute new dish ideas.

Quantifying impact on your resume

  • Specify the number of menu items you have developed or contributed to, illustrating your creativity and menu planning skills.
  • Include the percentage by which you helped to reduce food costs, demonstrating your fiscal responsibility and cost-saving abilities.
  • Mention the exact number of staff members you've managed or trained, highlighting your leadership and teaching skills.
  • Quantify the volume of customers or meals you handle on average, showcasing your ability to work efficiently under pressure.
  • State any improvement in food safety scores or health inspection results under your supervision, showing your commitment to hygiene and safety standards.
  • List any awards or recognitions you have received, with the number of competitors if applicable, to underscore your excellence in the field.
  • Cite any increases in customer satisfaction rates or positive review percentages that you have influenced, evidencing your focus on customer service.
  • Report the number of new cooking techniques or cuisines you have mastered, reflecting your commitment to continuous learning and versatility in your cooking style.

Action verbs for your cook resume

Instead of simply mentioning your tasks, share what you have done in your previous positions by using action verbs. For example, instead of saying “Client communication”, go for “Communicated with X number of clients weekly”. Use these power words and make your application shine!
Read The Guide

No experience, no problem: writing your cook resume

You're quite set on the cook role of your dreams and think your application may add further value to your potential employers. Yet, you have no work experience . Here's how you can curate your resume to substitute your lack of experience:

  • Don't list every single role you've had so far, but focus on ones that would align with the job you're applying for
  • Include any valid experience in the field - whether it's at research or intern level
  • Highlight the soft skills you'd bring about - those personality traits that have an added value to your application
  • Focus on your education and certifications, if they make sense for the role.
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If you failed to obtain one of the certificates, as listed in the requirements, but decide to include it on your resume, make sure to include a note somewhere that you have the "relevant training, but are planning to re-take the exams". Support this statement with the actual date you're planning to be re-examined. Always be honest on your resume.

Apart from assessing your professional expertise, recruiters are on the lookout for whether your skills align with the job.

Your profile would thus be assessed in regard to your:

  • Hard or technical skills - your ability to perform on the job using particular technologies or software
  • Soft skills - how you adapt, communicate, and thrive in different environments.

Both types of skills - hard and soft skills - are important for your resume, so make sure to create a dedicated skills section that:

  • Lists up to five or six skills that align with the job advert.
  • Integrates vital keywords for the industry, but also reflects on your personal strengths.
  • Builds up further your skills with an achievements section within which you explain what you've achieved thanks to using the particular skill.
  • Aims to always quantify in some way how you've used the skill, as it's not enough to just list it.

What are the most sought out hard and soft skills for cook roles?

Check out the industry's top choices with our two dedicated lists below:

Top skills for your cook resume:

Food preparation

Knife skills




Pantry management

Food safety

Recipe creation

Plating techniques

Kitchen equipment operation


Time management




Attention to detail


Stress management




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List your educational qualifications and certifications in reverse chronological order.

Listing your education and certifications on your cook resume

Don't underestimate the importance of your resume education section . As it may hint at various skills (and experience) that are relevant to the job. When writing your education section:

  • Include only higher education degrees with information about the institution and start/end dates
  • If you're in the process of obtaining your degree, include your expected graduation date
  • Consider leaving off degrees that aren't relevant to the job or industry
  • Write a description of your education if it presents you with an opportunity to further showcase your achievements in a more research-focused environment

When describing your certifications on your resume, always consider their relevancy to the role. Use the same format to describe them as you would for your education. If you're wondering what the best certificates out there are for cook roles, check out the list below.

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The top 5 certifications for your cook resume:

  1. Certified Culinarian (CC) - American Culinary Federation (ACF)
  2. ServSafe Food Handler Certificate (ServSafe) - National Restaurant Association
  3. ProChef Certification (PC I, PC II, PC III) - The Culinary Institute of America (CIA)
  4. Certified Executive Chef (CEC) - American Culinary Federation (ACF)
  5. Certified Sous Chef (CSC) - American Culinary Federation (ACF)
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Mention specific courses or projects that are pertinent to the job you're applying for.

Cook resume summary or objective? The best choice is based on your experience

If you're wondering about the relevancy of the resume summary or the resume objective to your Cook application - here's the truth.

The summary and objective provide recruiters with your expertise and accomplishments at a glance, within an up-to-five-sentence structure.

The difference is that the:

  • Resume objective is also more focused on emphasizing your career goals. The objective is the perfect fit for (potentially more junior) candidates who'd like to balance their relevant experience with their career goals.
  • Resume summary can provide you with space to also detail the unique value of what it's like to work with you. Cook candidates who have many noteworthy accomplishments start from the get-go with their summary.

Ensure that either type of resume introduction presents your Cook expertise in the best light and aligns it with the job advert.

The more details you can provide with numbers, the more compelling your resume summary or objective will be.

Real-world Cook candidates follow these frameworks in writing their resume summaries and objectives.

The end results are usually as such:

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Resume summaries for a cook job

  • With over seven years of dynamic experience at a Michelin-starred establishment, the applicant brings a refined palette and a comprehensive understanding of diverse culinary techniques, including expertise in French and Mediterranean cuisines. Notably led a team to win the prestigious "Best Service" award for two consecutive years.
  • Dedicated culinarian with fifteen years of experience advancing from line cook to head chef within bustling New York City steakhouses, specializing in butchery and flame-grilling techniques. Instrumental in increasing customer satisfaction by 25% after overhauling the menu and cooking processes.
  • Former IT specialist transitioning to the culinary arts with a progressive two-year training period under accomplished chefs in the Italian and fusion food scenes. Recognized for innovative dish creation that resulted in a cover feature in a local lifestyle magazine. Eager to infuse technological precision with culinary creativity.
  • Experienced HR manager making the leap into gastronomy following a life-long passion for baking and pastry arts, fortified by an intensive six-month patisserie course in Paris. Achieved a personal milestone by successfully catering desserts for a charity event of 500 guests.
  • As an entry-level cook with a recent culinary arts degree and a fervent dedication to farm-to-table principles, eager to bring unmatched zeal for organic ingredients and sustainable practices to a kitchen team committed to culinary excellence and innovation.
  • Passionate about the culinary world with no professional kitchen experience, yet armed with an extensive knowledge of regional spices and home-cooked techniques, seeking to contribute an enthusiastic work ethic and a fresh perspective to a forward-thinking culinary brigade.

Additional valuable cook resume sections to stand out

When assessing candidate applications, recruiters are often on the lookout for elements that go beyond meeting standard requirements and technical expertise.

This is where extra sections could play a key role in showcasing your unique skill set and personality.

Make sure to include sections dedicated to:

  • How you spend your free time, outside of work. The interests resume section also goes to show your personality and transferrable skills; and may also serve to fill in gaps in your experience;
  • Most innovative work. The projects resume section brings focus to what you're most proud of within the field;
  • How you're able to overcome language barriers. The language resume section is always nice to have, especially if communication would be a big part of your future role;
  • Industry-wide recognitions. Remember that the awards resume section should highlight your most noteworthy accolades and prizes.

Key takeaways

  • Pay special attention to the tiny details that make up your cook resume formatting: the more tailored your application to the role is, the better your chances at success would be;
  • Select the sections you include (summary or objective, etc.) and formatting (reverse-chronological, hybrid, etc.) based on your experience level;
  • Select experience items and, consequently, achievements that showcase you in the best light and are relevant to the job;
  • Your profile will be assessed both based on your technical capabilities and personality skills - curate those through your resume;
  • Certifications and education showcase your dedication to the particular industry.
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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He has written more than 500 resume guides and deep-dive articles on how to create your resume and cover letter, that inspire job applicants to make a resume to be proud of. His work has been featured in Forbes, Zendesk, HubSpot, and Business Insider, and cited by top universities and educational institutions, like Thunderbird School of Management, Rochester University, University of Miami, and Udemy. Volen applies his deep knowledge and practical experience to write about career changes, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.
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