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5 Prep Cook Resume Examples & Guide...

5 Prep Cook Resume Examples & Guide for 2024

In your prep cook resume, clearly highlight your experience with food preparation. Detail your knowledge of chopping techniques, measuring ingredients, and following recipes accurately. Demonstrate your ability to work efficiently under pressure. Your resume should reflect excellent time management skills and adaptability in a fast-paced kitchen environment.

All resume examples in this guide

As a prep cook, tailoring your resume to show your kitchen efficiency and ability to support a fast-paced culinary team without any formal education can be a daunting challenge. Our guide provides step-by-step advice on how to highlight your hands-on experience and essential skills to enhance your resume, giving you a competitive edge.

Ever curious about how to tailor your prep 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 prep cook resume;
  • Effectively write the experience section of your prep 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 prep cook resume, don't worry. We've included links below with some of the industry's leading examples for your inspiration.

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

Don't stress out over your prep cook resume format

Remember, the elaborate design of your prep cook resume isn't what impresses recruiters most. They are primarily searching for candidates who meet the job requirements. The main aim of your resume should be to clearly and concisely explain why employers should hire you.

Here are four straightforward steps to consider in your prep cook resume design:

  • Organize your resume based on experience: Start with your most recent roles. Besides using reverse chronological order, choose jobs relevant to the position you're applying for.
  • Include your contact details (and portfolio or LinkedIn link) in your resume's header to ensure recruiters can easily reach you. If considering adding a professional photo, check acceptable practices in different countries first.
  • Don't omit essential prep cook resume sections such as the summary or objective, experience, and education. These sections should reflect your career progression and align with job requirements.
  • Maintain conciseness in your resume. For those with less than ten years of experience, a one-page format is advisable.

Regarding the format to submit your prep cook resume, PDF is preferable. PDFs are more likely to maintain their formatting when processed through recruitment software or ATS, saving you time in the application process.

When selecting a font for your prep cook resume, consider the following:

  • Choose ATS-friendly fonts such as Exo 2, Volkhov, Lato, etc., to keep your resume's content legible;
  • All serif and sans-serif fonts are easily readable by ATS;
  • While Arial and Times New Roman are common choices, opting for unique typography can help your resume stand out.

Concerned about ATS compatibility with charts and infographics? Our recent study has debunked this and other myths.

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The six in-demand sections for your prep cook resume:

  • Top one-third should be filled with a header, listing your contact details, and with a summary or objective, briefly highlighting your professional accolades
  • Experience section, detailing how particular jobs have helped your professional growth
  • Notable achievements that tie in your hard or soft skills with tangible outcomes
  • Popular industry certificates to further highlight your technical knowledge or people capabilities
  • Education to showcase your academic background in the field
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What recruiters want to see on your resume:

  • Proficiency in basic cooking techniques and knife skills
  • Understanding of health and safety regulations in a kitchen environment
  • Experience with kitchen equipment and prep work for various cuisines
  • Ability to follow recipes and chef instructions with precision
  • Efficient time-management skills and ability to handle multiple tasks in a fast-paced setting

Advice for your prep cook resume experience section - setting your application apart from other candidates

Your resume experience section needs to balance your tangible workplace achievements with job requirements.

The easiest way to sustain this balance between meeting candidate expectations, while standing out, is to:

  • Select really impressive career highlights to detail under each experience and support those with your skills;
  • Assess the job advert to define both the basic requirements (which you could answer with more junior roles) and the more advanced requirements - which could play a more prominent role through your experience section;
  • Create a separate experience section, if you decide on listing irrelevant experience items. Always curate those via the people or technical skills you've attained that match the current job you're applying for;
  • Don't list experience items from a decade ago - as they may no longer be relevant to the industry. That is, unless you're applying for a more senior role: where experience would go to demonstrate your character and ambitions;
  • Define how your role has helped make the team, department, or company better. Support this with your skill set and the initial challenge you were able to solve.

Take a look at how real-life prep cook professionals have presented their resume experience section - always aiming to demonstrate their success.

Work Experience
Senior Prep Cook
Chez Panisse
  • Efficiently prepped over 150 pounds of fresh vegetables daily, maintaining high-quality standards and adhering to health codes.
  • Collaborated with the culinary team to create a new vegan option that increased menu selections by 10%.
  • Streamlined the ingredient inventory process, reducing food waste by 15% through meticulous tracking and optimization.
Work Experience
Lead Line Prep Cook
Whole Foods Market
  • Pioneered a kitchen equipment maintenance routine that decreased equipment downtime by 30%.
  • Coordinated with local food suppliers to source organic ingredients, boosting the kitchen's sustainability practices.
  • Mentored 4 new hires in prep work efficiency and kitchen safety, ensuring uniformity in skills advancement.
Work Experience
Kitchen Prep Supervisor
Blue Hill at Stone Barns
  • Implemented a pre-service checklist that improved kitchen readiness for peak hours, enhancing customer satisfaction.
  • Assisted in reducing average meal preparation time by 20% by reorganizing the kitchen layout for better workflow.
  • Acted as the interim kitchen manager for 3 months, successfully overseeing the entire food prep operation without decline in service quality.
Work Experience
Prep Cook Manager
The French Laundry
  • Introduced a system of smart storage for ingredients which extended their shelf life by 25% and reduced cost.
  • Spearheaded a weekly themed culinary project, attracting diverse clientele and increasing dinner sales by 18%.
  • Developed a waste-compost partnership with local farms, contributing to eco-friendly waste disposal and community relations.
Work Experience
Advanced Prep Cook
Chili's Grill & Bar
  • Cultivated a relationship with regional produce vendors, enhancing the freshness of ingredients by sourcing locally.
  • Optimized food prep times through collaborative time-motion studies, increasing kitchen capacity by 20% during high-demand periods.
  • Generated a monthly ingredient usage report, directly influencing budget reductions and menu pricing strategies.
Work Experience
Experienced Prep Cook
Olive Garden
  • Improved inter-departmental communication leading to a 5% reduction in order errors between waiting and kitchen staff.
  • Trained in advanced knife skills, yielding improved cutting techniques and a safer work environment.
  • Cooperated with the head chef on integrating seasonal ingredients into the menu, which spiked customer interest and repeat visitation.
Work Experience
Culinary Prep Team Leader
Red Lobster
  • Initiated a prep cook cross-training program, leading to a more versatile kitchen team capable of handling additional roles.
  • Managed the stock during a major kitchen renovation, ensuring seamless supply chain and operations with zero downtime.
  • Drove a 12% increase in lunch service efficiency by innovating a new method of ingredient batching.
Work Experience
Prep Cook Specialist
Texas Roadhouse
  • Optimized the marination process for meats, allowing for deeper flavors and customer acclaim for best-tasting dishes.
  • Designed an interactive cooking preparation demo that became a weekly event, boosting restaurant patronage by 11% on demo days.
  • Created a multilingual labeling system for all storage areas, streamlining the workflow for a diverse kitchen team.

Quantifying impact on your resume

  • Detail the number of menu items you prepped daily to demonstrate your capacity for handling volume.
  • Include the size of the kitchen team you collaborated with to show your ability to work in a team environment.
  • Mention the percentage of waste reduction you contributed to by implementing efficient prep techniques.
  • List the average number of covers served per service to highlight your experience with high-traffic operations.
  • Specify the number of new recipes or menu items you helped to develop or improve, showing innovation and contribution to the business.
  • Quantify the amount of inventory managed to illustrate your organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • State the frequency of kitchen inspections passed with your contribution to emphasize your commitment to standards and consistency.
  • Record any time you beat the average preparation time without compromising quality to demonstrate your efficiency and time-management.

Action verbs for your prep cook resume

Action verbs (also known as power verbs) are great for describing your achievements and responsibilities. They highlight your skills and show you’re able to take responsibility. Use these gems to make your experience section shine!
Read The Guide

Four quick steps for candidates with no resume experience

Those with less or no relevant experience could also make a good impression on recruiters by:

  • Taking the time to actually understand what matters most to the role and featuring this within key sections of their resume
  • Investing resume space into defining what makes them a valuable candidate with transferrable skills and personality
  • Using the resume objective to showcase their personal vision for growth within the company
  • Heavily featuring their technical alignment with relevant certifications, education, and skills.

Remember that your resume is about aligning your profile to that of the ideal candidate.

The more prominently you can demonstrate how you answer job requirements, the more likely you'd be called in for an interview.

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The more time and effort you've put into obtaining the relevant certificate, the closer to the top it should be listed. This is especially important for more senior roles and if the company you're applying for is more forward-facing.

Prep Cook skills and achievements section: must-have hard and soft skills

A key principle for your Prep Cook resume is to prominently feature your hard skills, or the technologies you excel in, within the skills section. Aim to list several hard skills that are in line with the job's requirements.

When it comes to soft skills, like interpersonal communication abilities and talents, they're trickier to quantify.

Claiming to be a good communicator is one thing, but how can you substantiate this claim?

Consider creating a dedicated "Strengths" or "Achievements" section. Here, you can describe how specific soft skills (such as leadership, negotiation, problem-solving) have led to concrete achievements.

Your Prep Cook resume should reflect a balanced combination of both hard and soft skills, just as job requirements often do.

Top skills for your prep cook resume:

Knife skills

Food preparation

Knowledge of cooking methods

Kitchen equipment operation

Ingredient measurement

Food safety

Time management

Recipe following

Cleanliness and sanitation

Inventory management


Attention to detail



Stress management





Willingness to learn


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Listing your relevant degrees or certificates on your prep cook resume is a win-win situation. Not only does it hint at your technical capabilities in the industry, but an array of soft skills, like perseverance, adaptability, and motivation.

What are the best certificates to add to your prep cook resume + how to curate your education section

The education and certification resume sections are the underdogs of your prep cook resume.

They showcase to recruiters that you've invested plenty of time to gain valuable and specific know-how, vital for growth.

As far as the resume education section is concerned:

  • Detail only advanced education, specifying the institution and timeframe.
  • Indicate your forthcoming graduation date if you're in the midst of your studies.
  • Consider omitting degrees that don't align with the job's requirements.
  • Offer a description of your academic journey if it underscores your notable achievements.

When curating your degrees and certificates on your prep cook resume:

  • Select only accreditation that matters to the role
  • Niche knowledge that could help you stand out as a candidate (as is within the past few years), should be listed towards the top of your resume
  • Include any pertinent data for credibility (e.g. institute name, graduation dates, etc.)
  • Irrelevant degrees and certifications shouldn't make it on your resume. Those include your high school diploma and any specializations that have nothing to do with the technical or soft skills that are required for the job

As a final note, if you feel tempted to exclude your education or certification from your resume, don't.

These two sections could help you have a better competitive edge over other candidates - hinting that your professional journey in the industry may be for a longer period of time.

Recruiters find all of these prep cook credentials impressive:

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The top 5 certifications for your prep cook resume:

  1. ServSafe Food Handler (SFH) - National Restaurant Association
  2. Food Safety Manager Certification (FSMC) - American Food Safety Institute
  3. Certified Culinarian (CC) - American Culinary Federation
  4. Professional Food Manager Certification (PFMC) - Prometric
  5. Certified Professional Food Manager (CPFM) - National Registry of Food Safety Professionals
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List your educational qualifications and certifications in reverse chronological order.

Prep Cook resume summaries or objectives: real-world samples for best industry practices

Grasp recruiters' attention from the get-go of your application with a professional Prep Cook resume summary or objective.

It's wise to select the:

  • Resume objective , if you don't happen to have much experience alignment and would like to more prominently feature your dreams and personality.
  • Resume summary , if you'd like to have a more standard approach to your application and feature up to five career highlights to help you stand out.

Writing your resume summary or objective should be tailored to each role you apply for.

Think about what would impress the recruiters and go from there.

But, if you need further help with this introductory section, check out some real-world samples in the next part of this guide:

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Resume summaries for a prep cook job

  • With over 3 years of dedicated experience in high-volume kitchens at renowned New York bistros, a proven leader in menu execution, skilled in advanced knife techniques, and renowned for delivering under pressure, I aspire to further culinary artistry and efficiency at an esteemed San Francisco eatery.
  • Bringing 5 years of culinary expertise from the bustling seafood markets of Maine, lauded for impeccable standards in food safety and ingredient preparation, and recipient of the 'Best Seafood Dish' award in 2021, ready to infuse creativity and robust flavors into a prestigious Chicago establishment's innovative kitchen team.
  • Highly motivated career-changer with a decade in retail management, eager to apply robust organizational and rapid learning skills to excel in culinary preparation. Possessing a deep-seated passion for Italian cuisine, I am committed to mastering authentic preparation techniques and employing them in a dynamic Los Angeles trattoria.
  • Former armed forces logistical coordinator transitioning into the culinary world, equipped with unmatched discipline, efficiency, and a strong work ethic. Admirer of Asian gastronomy and determined to bring precision and zeal to a prominent Seattle sushi restaurant and learn from industry-leading chefs.
  • Seeking to embark on a culinary journey as a prep cook, with no prior professional kitchen experience but with a voracious appetite for learning and a dedication to mastering essential cooking techniques. Enthusiastic to contribute boundless energy and an earnest commitment to quality at a bustling downtown café.
  • Avid home cook and quick learner, aiming to transform a lifelong passion for the culinary arts into a professional career. Ready to transfer exceptional time-management and personal discipline skills into the fast-paced environment of a celebrated New Orleans Creole kitchen, with an objective to grow and refine my gastronomic abilities.

Other relevant sections for your prep cook resume

Apart from the standard prep cook resume sections listed in this guide, you have the opportunity to get creative with building your profile. Select additional resume sections that you deem align with the role, department, or company culture. Good choices for your prep cook resume include:

  • Language skills - always ensure that you have qualified each language you speak according to relevant frameworks;
  • Hobbies - you could share more about your favorite books, how you spend your time, etc. ;
  • Volunteering - to highlight the causes you care about;
  • Awards - for your most prominent prep cook professional accolades and achievements.

Make sure that these sections don't take too much away from your experience, but instead build up your prep cook professional profile.

Key takeaways

We trust that this Enhancv guide has been informative and useful. To summarize the essential points:

  • Opt for a simple and readable format, focusing more on your prep cook achievements rather than just duties;
  • Emphasize your accomplishments in the prep cook experience section over mere responsibilities;
  • If lacking relevant experience, utilize various resume sections like education and volunteering to demonstrate your suitable skill set;
  • Never overlook the significance of pertinent higher education, training, and certifications;
  • Incorporate diverse sections in your resume to highlight not just your skills expertise but also your personality.
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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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