Born and raised in the Midwest, I have become accustomed to the taste of a great steak. Aside from the flavor, the various cuts and presentations, the thing about a steak that leads me back to them time after time is that each steak is its own work of art…prepared especially for me! I think for most restaurant patrons this single fact is lost, as each meal that is brought before you has been constructed just for you. Now that I have you thinking about food, drooling and hungry for more, let’s dig into the topic at hand- your resume.

Every resume you create should be a targeted piece of work,just as each steak is carefully prepared to exact specifications for each patron. While you’re skills, knowledge and experience may remain constant, the manner in which you present them to each job opportunity should be tailored to each organization and role. Whether seeking out your first gig, career advancement or even your dream job as the head chef of a 5 star restaurant, here are some things you will want to consider.

Understand what is being sought. You may be an award-winning culinary artist, however if you cannot convey this within your resume, your chances of getting considered are slim. Most job postings list the specific qualities and skills for which their seeking to fill and recruiters and hiring managers will target resumes that contain these exact words and phrases. It’s not enough, and even a bit tacky, to simply list out your accomplishments. Now is not the time to dig out the thesaurus- make sure your resume incorporates these keywords, so long as you’re being honest. If the job description is vague, some good old fashioned net-working, or even reaching out directly to the recruiter to garner some insight will prove valuable.

For example. As you detail relevant experience, avoid simply bulleting out your tasks. If you’re the next Cake Boss, listing out tasks such as, “managed confectionary menu” or “decorated cakes” won’t make you stand out among the crowd. Consider listing specific accomplishments, such as, “Created five new cobbler dishes.” Even better, show how you’re work had a positive effect on the bottom line, such as, “Created five new cobbler dishes that increased weekly patronage of our diner by 15 percent.” Again, honesty is where it’s at, so only list that which you’ve actually accomplished.

Remember the basics. One of the central tenets of any good food handler is to ensure cleanliness…even the simple task of washing one’s hands. Failure to comply with such basic tasks can spell disaster. While spellcheck is great, make sure you’re giving your resume a thorough once-over for spelling and grammar. Computers are great at ensure words are spelled correctly, however you don’t want to be known as the person who makes a wonderful desert (the thought of sand in my mouth is stealing my appetite as I write this). Make sure your bullets line up neatly and you’re punctuations is properly placed. Don’t go overboard with font and serif; rather stay traditional in the 10-12pt range and something along the lines of Arial or Times New Roman. These may seem rudimentary, however failure here means you’re likely to land in the, “Not at this time” pile.

If you’re ready to put down the spoon, knife or the handle of the fryer and dip into your resume, consider making these tips part of your recipe. Your resume is only going to get a few precious seconds of eye-contact, so make a bold impression with a blue ribbon resume. If you find yourself having trouble or are concerned about writing skills, consider enlisting the help of an expert resume writer. As Daniel Boulud once said, “To me, there’s no great chef without a team.”

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