Our mission is to be the best Chef recruiting company in the world. We are not focused on being the biggest, but the best. Due to this, our clients expect us to provide them with the best possible candidates for their open positions. Your first impression to our clients will be through your resume. A professional resume makes a huge difference in receiving a call. We read them all day, so take it from me; IT MATTERS! Here are some tips to help you reach the top of our call list.
- Spelling and Grammar
This is probably the number one offense made throughout the tens of thousands of resumes that I see. Run the spell-check function in your software. Take the time to proofread your work for punctuation, past/present tense, vocabulary, and typos. If this is not your strength, ask someone else to help you. These errors diminish perceived educational value to potential employers and it shows that perhaps you just don’t care.
- Improper Formatting
Keep things simple yet professional. Keep it streamlined and consistent. Multiple fonts and font styles are a sure way to get noticed in a negative way. Keep previous positions, bullet points, dates and margins in the same vertical and horizontal planes and consistent throughout your document. Also, save it in PDF format. I read resumes on my desktop, laptop, tablet and phone. PDF is the only format that is absolutely consistent among all devices and won’t change your intended layout.
- Precise Dates of Employment
Avoid using broad date ranges like “2011-2015.” This says the amount of time you worked in this location could range from a) Jan 2011 – Dec 2015 (Nearly 5 years) to b) Dec 2011 – Jan 2015 (Barely 3 years.) Giving at least the month and year that marked the beginning and end of your employment is not only helpful in giving accurate information, but clears up concern that you are hiding something behind those vague dates. Also, if you don’t currently work in the most recent position on your resume listed as “present,” you might want to change that. Your submitted resume should always be up-to-date.
- Avoid Repetitive Words or Phrases
Each position you have held in your past is likely very unique in it’s own way. Don’t just copy and paste your job duties and responsibilities in similar positions. Highlight the unique accomplishments you’ve made in each position. This will keep the reader interested, in turn increasing the likelihood of receiving a call.
- Making Contact
Make sure that your contact information is entirely accurate and very easy to find. A non-working phone number or an email bounced back will quickly move you to the end of the line. If you’re on the job hunt and in the process of sending out resumes, it’s pertinent that you check your email and voicemail regularly. The food industry is very competitive and we fill these positions very quickly, so if you want to be a contender, it’s important that you show your interest or the opportunity will pass you by.
- Sell Yourself
Take your time with your resume. Write a concise personal profile. Be specific in the direction of your career, highlight only your strongest attributes and experiences. Keep this to only a sentence or two. After this, summarize your skills with bullet points. Long winded, half-page paragraphs will not do the trick. Be thorough, but keep it concise. This cannot be stressed enough. Choose your words very carefully and wisely to not add unnecessary length to your document. Employers and recruiters won’t sift through pages of elaborate descriptions. They want it really easy to find and even faster to read. Conversely, don’t cut out really important keywords that will match the job description you are applying for.
- Facts not Fluff
Back up claims in your resume with facts. Hard numbers, Percentages, Sales, Revenue, Food Cost, Labor Cost…are all facts. Hard worker, fast learner, Team Leader…While these may be true, they are subjective and not quantifiable unless backed up with facts. Something such as “Exhibited excellent leadership qualities, reducing turnover from 14% to 8% in 2 years,” is a subjective statement backed up with hard, quantifiable facts.
If a potential employer Googles your name, what will they see? LinkedIn? Facebook? Arrest Record? If there is any amount of PR that you can do to make your online presence as strong and positive as possible, do it. There are so many free and totally legal tools that are easily available to employers even before a phone conversation happens. It makes sense to do your homework and know what the rest of the world has access to.
So, to make a long story short, please give your resume the attention that YOU deserve. This is the first impression that you will be making with a potential new employer. It would stand to reason that you wouldn’t show up for an interview in wrinkled clothing, unkempt hair and without a shower, so do the same for your resume. So, let’s face the facts here. Employers are always looking for the best possible candidates that they can for their organization. So do yourself a favor and make the best possible impression you can.
Born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Melissa Bray always knew she wanted to be a chef. At the age of 10 years old, she enjoyed watching Julia Child cooking shows and helping her mother in the kitchen whenever she could. She grew up with three sisters and two working parents. Her mother was an accountant and her father ran one of the largest security companies in Vancouver.
At the age of 15 Bray’s father moved the family back to his hometown of London, England. Bray knew she only needed to get through 10th grade to be eligible for culinary school, and when the family moved to London, she began working in the food industry at age 15.
When I asked Chef Melissa about her hobbies, she seemed to come to a realization. Yes she enjoys other activities, but doing her job as a chef is truly what she loves to do. Even in the stressful times such as working with new people or in a backed up kitchen, she embraces the challenges because it’s just part of the nature of the job she loves so much. She described herself as a very laid back, chill chef that does not get bothered much. She has previously worked with high tempered chefs that yell, and does not want to bring that atmosphere in to her kitchens.
Today, Chef Melissa works as the Head Chef at Compass Rose Bar & Grill in Point Roberts Marina, Washington. Her typical workweek is Thursday through Monday from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Currently at Compass Rose, they are preparing for the next season. Chef Melissa does not expect this seasonal shift to change her menu all that much. She plans on sticking to a West Coast cuisine with an emphasis on seafood, her specialty. When she first arrived at Compass Rose, she immediately implemented seafood and the restaurant’s results have been improved ever since.
While initially looking for a new job as a chef, Chef Melissa began her search on Craigslist. She eventually made her resume available online and Chef Placement Services was able to connect with her, eventually finding the right fit for her and her family in Washington.
Chef Melissa has done lots of traveling over the years. In addition to Canada and England, she has also traveled to many states across the U.S. Her favorite stop was down in New Orleans, where the food, people, and overall atmosphere of the city just blew her away.
I asked Chef Melissa, if she could sit down and have dinner with one person, who would it be? She said she would like to connect with her mother and talk more about how she got in to cooking. She expressed she had learned lots of cooking skills from her mom, but could never make pastries quite as good as her.
Outside of the kitchen, Chef Melissa enjoys taking in nature. She is thrilled she is able to enjoy walks on the beach and time in the ocean, while taking in the wildlife and relaxing on the West Coast.