Write the ideal food preparation resume with this quick guide

Food prep workers keep the restaurant business booming, using their extensive kitchen skills to create wondrous works of art while delivering quality service and products to patrons. A great food prep worker can make or break a restaurant, and many owners realize this.

However, owners also know they must be selective in who they hire, leading many to look over applications thoroughly in order to decide if someone is the right fit for the job. When creating your resume, it’s important for you to keep in mind that there will be a host of other candidates who want the same job, so you need to do everything in your power to make your resume stand out.

Keep reading to learn how to craft the perfect food preparation worker resume that’ll help you land your next job.

1. Make a lasting first impression with your food preparation resume summary

Your resume summary (sometimes called profile) sums up your entire resume, usually in about three sentences. This short paragraph is your elevator pitch, and it allows hiring managers to see exactly why you’d be the right fit for their restaurant.

When employers are sorting through resumes, most tend to read the resume summaries first, weeding out applicants that don’t sound like they’d be a great fit. This can lead to some good candidates getting excluded from consideration; therefore, you need to craft a resume summary that draws people in.

When looking to get through this first step, it’s important to open with three things: a skill or personality trait, your job title and how much experience you have. If someone opens up with, “I love the restaurant industry and being a food prep worker is my dream job.” how many employers are really going to think that’s the right person for their business? Just about zero. While the sentiments are nice, the above statement talks about nothing beyond the applicant’s passion and goal.

The restaurant wants to know exactly how you can benefit them. Instead, aim for something more like this: “I am an energetic food prep worker with nearly 12 years of fine dining and catering experience.” This lets the hiring manager know one thing about you, your current job title, and how much experience you bring to their restaurant.

2. Optimize your work experience section with accomplishments

For those with experience in the field to talk about what you’ve accomplished in measurable data. For example, if you decreased food losses by 15% or improved productivity by 30%, add that information in! Hiring managers and owners want to see exactly how you helped your past employer, and simply listing off job responsibilities tells potential employers nothing about what you accomplished.

That doesn’t mean you can’t talk about your responsibilities, but try to make sure the responsibilities you list in this section match with what you place in your skills section. Finally, try to keep each responsibilities section short and concise (roughly 5-6 bullet points for your last job).

For those with limited experience in the field, you’re not out of the game yet. New graduates or those looking for a career change can relate their past experiences in other fields to a food prep worker’s job requirements. For example, if you worked as a customer service rep, this is the perfect time to talk about how you perfected your communication skills, even in extremely difficult situations. By making connections like this, you’re showing employers you’re ready for the job, even with little to no experience in the field.

3. List your education succinctly

While experience will always help food prep employees looking for a new position, education is something more and more employers are looking at. This section will likely be one of the shortest in your resume, only requiring your degree title, school name and when you graduated. However, if you received some real-world experience or were honored for your work, include a short section about your accomplishments. Finally, look to see if there are any specific skills the job listing is looking for that you can tie back to your education.

For example, if they are looking for someone who regularly lifts upwards of 75 pounds and you were on your school’s weight lifting team, this is the perfect place to put that information in rather than listing it on your skills section.

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4. Give your account manager resume extra flair with a skills section

Food prep workers have a vast array of both hard and soft skills as well as their areas of expertise. However, while it can be tempting to list everything you think is relevant to a position, it’s important to take a step back and think about what employers are actually looking for. You can start by looking at the job listing. So, if the listing says something like, “Must have excellent communication skills,” make sure you put that in your skills section.

If the job listing is a little vague on what exactly they’re looking for, or if you have room to list more skills (you’ll probably want 8-12, depending on your resume format), this is the perfect opportunity for you to show what you can bring to the table.

Some skills you may want to list include:

  • Knife skills
  • Understanding and hygiene and safety protocols
  • Fluent in Spanish and English 
  • Customer-Service Oriented
  • Superb attention to detail
  • Dedicated team player
  • Food prep
  • Clean and Organized
  • Expansive knowledge of French, Mexican and Thai cuisines 

The possibilities are endless, and you’ll likely want to also include any software programs you’re familiar with, like Tillpoint or Microsoft Office. There’s nothing here that you can’t list if you think it will help you obtain the position; however, make sure you choose to list those skills that you are most competent with.

In conslusion...

Getting a job as a food prep worker starts with the perfect resume, and the above tips are sure to make you stand out from other candidates. By starting with a strong summary and tailoring your work experience, education and skills to each job listing, you’ll find those job offers start rolling in.

Published on May 31, 2022

A documentary photographer and writer. Noel has worked for International publications like Deutsche Welle in Germany to News Deeply in New York. He also co-founded the global multimedia project Women Who Stay and collaborated as a journalist fellow with the University of Southern California. He went from traveling around the world to sitting on a couch thanks to the pandemic, but he gets to help other people actually do things (like find jobs) thanks to Kickresume, so he won't complain.

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