When attempting to secure an exciting position as a sous chef, a strong resume can be a tremendous asset. Executive chefs and restaurant groups' human resources departments depend on well-written resumes to appreciate a candidate's skills and leadership abilities fully. If you're preparing to apply for sous chef positions, you might benefit from learning about the best practices for writing an exceptional resume. In this article, we define the role of a sous chef and review the steps to take when writing a sous chef resume, illustrated with a template and example.
Related: How To Become a Sous Chef
What is a sous chef?
A sous chef is a culinary professional who performs both management and craft-based functions in a kitchen setting. "Sous" means "under" in French and refers to the sous chef's position in the kitchen hierarchy, directly under the chef de cuisine and executive chef. Sous chefs typically earn their leadership position after working several years as cooks, mastering their craft and earning their chefs' confidence. Besides their cooking duties, sous chefs assist with administrative and mentorship responsibilities. Here are the key responsibilities sous chefs commonly have:
- Opening and closing the premises
- Delegating tasks to cooks
- Handling intensive cooking tasks that require exceptional skill
- Coordinating with service staff and management to prepare for service
- Checking deliveries for quality and proper quantity
- Placing orders
- Maintaining a clean and orderly work environment
- Leading service by directing line cooks and ensuring dishes' quality
- Teaching cooks new skills
- Taking inventory
- Determining the cost of dishes and developing recipes
How to write a sous chef resume
Here are the steps to take if writing a resume for a sous chef opening:
1. Review the job description
Whenever you're preparing to submit a resume, either a new one or one you already wrote, take time to review the job description closely. Each employer has different ideal candidates, so they do their best to specify the qualifications they hope to see in a resume. Reviewing job descriptions ensures you apply to jobs you're well-suited for and also enables you to draft a new resume or adjust an older one to address employers' needs directly. When a hiring manager or executive chef reads a resume tailored to their operation, they know a candidate truly wants to join their team.
2. Make your header
The first section of a resume is its header. It introduces your name and contact information so employers know how to refer to you and reach you for an interview. Although you left-justify the rest of your resume's text and prepare it in size 12 or 14 font, your header is centered and two or four font sizes larger. This ensures this critical information is easily legible for whoever reads your resume. Headers include your:
- Full name
- Phone number
- Email address
3. Write a sous chef resume objective
A sous chef resume objective is a brief introductory statement of one or two sentences. It summarizes your professionalism and experience, aiming to convince the employer that you're an enthusiastic candidate worth interviewing. Resume objectives also help people understand how the following sections of your resume set you apart from other applicants. Successful resume objectives include:
A description of your work ethic: Resume objectives incorporate a few adjectives or descriptive phrases that emphasize your best work habits.
The depth of your experience: Resume objectives mention how long you've worked as a cook or sous chef and also characterize the quality of the restaurants where you formerly worked.
Your key skills: Resume objectives highlight the key skills you can bring to an operation. For sous chefs, these might be more craft-oriented skills or managerial skills.
Your professional goals: Resume objectives include a statement of your professional goals. Ideally, you can present your goals so that they align with the employer's, convincing them that hiring you would be a mutually beneficial partnership.
Related: 23 Chef Resume Objective Examples
4. Outline your work history
Your next section outlines your work history, including where you've worked and what responsibilities you've fulfilled. Starting with your most recent job and proceeding in reverse chronological order, provide the following details for each employer:
- The name of the operation
- The position you held
- The employer's city and state
- The dates of your employment
- A bulleted list of your primary responsibilities
Since you likely had a wide range of duties in your previous positions, you only choose some of them to present on your resume. Prioritize sharing the ones that closely match the responsibilities described in the job posting.
5. List your skills
Your skills section details the talents and capabilities you have that make you a distinctly qualified candidate. Bullet a few skills of yours that required the greatest amount of effort to gain or that you believe to be unique. Aside from craft-based and technical skills specific to cooking and managing restaurants, you can also highlight skills such as speaking foreign languages, since many restaurants employ people of various linguistic backgrounds, most notably Spanish.
Read more: Sous Chef Skills: Definition and Examples
6. Detail your educational history
Your education section specifies any specialized training you have or confirms a basic level of educational attainment. If you attended a degree- or certificate-granting institution, list it first, along with what you studied and when. If high school is your highest level of education, list where you graduated from and in what year you did so. You also can mention if you have a food handler certification in this section, which some employers might require.
7. Share your activities
Activities sections are optional, but they can improve the impression you make on employers. Often, the hobbies or groups you take part in outside of work reveal characteristics of yours that support your claims of having a great work ethic.
For instance, someone who volunteers regularly shows the same commitment to teamwork and helping others that sous chefs need to succeed. You also might share an interest with the chef or hiring manager who reads your resume, convincing them they'd enjoy your presence in their kitchen. Besides volunteering, you can share activities such as sports, creative hobbies and participation in professional groups or organizations.
Related: How Much Money Do Chefs Make?
8. Proofread and edit
Now that you have all the components of a great resume, you want to be sure you present it as professionally as possible. Carefully review what you've written to ensure it's grammatically correct and reflects your qualifications to your liking. A resume free of typos helps you make a positive first impression and demonstrates your attention to detail. Here are some resources that might help you improve your resume ahead of submission:
Proofreading apps: You can find many free proofreading apps online that scan your text to spot potential mistakes. These apps can recommend fixes and make suggestions to improve your overall sentence structure.
Reading aloud: Reading your resume aloud helps you identify where your sentences become unclear or sound unnatural. Aside from being technically correct, a resume's text should also flow and read nicely.
Hard copies: After writing and reading your resume on a computer screen, your eyes might become fatigued and overlook subtle errors. Printing out a copy and using it to edit helps refresh your perspective, improving your ability to catch any last mistakes.
Friends and family: If you have any friends and family who are talented writers and readers, they can be a great source of advice. Since these people know you well, they also might suggest attributes of yours worth including in your resume.
Sous chef resume template
Here's a template you can use when drafting your sous chef resume:
[Position] | [Dates of employment]
[Employer name] | [City, state]
[Position] | [Dates of employment]
[Employer name] | [City, state]
[Type of degree, if applicable] | [Major]
[Honors or achievements, if applicable]
[School name] | [City, state]
[Dates of attendance for college/date of graduation for high school]
Sous chef resume example
Here's an example of a sous chef resume that follows the above steps and template:
Committed and diligent sous chef with five years of experience working in exceptional fine dining restaurants, refining an expert knowledge of French cuisine. Aiming to apply the same responsible managerial practices that enabled food cost maintenance and competitive pricing in a sous chef role with Jus Restaurant.
Sous chef | May 2018-June 2021
Brasserie 72 | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Maintained all inventories with first-in-first-out principles to ensure freshness and reduce waste
- Mentored cooks to improve their technical abilities and efficiency
- Collaborated with front of house management to update menus and direct sales of specific dishes
- Costed all menu additions to ensure responsible pricing and preparation
Chef de partie | July 2016-March 2018
Chez Alain | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Worked all stations from garde manger to meat and fish, following directions and recipe specifications
- Maintained spotless walk-ins and ensured all refrigeration units were properly functioning
- Prepared all sauces and braises while cleaning vegetables for the entire kitchen's use
- Full knowledge of various electronic inventory systems
- Experienced team leader able to follow human resources protocol at all times
- Excellent butchery skills
- Able to manage labor to avoid overtime and keep operational costs in line
- Fluent in Tagalog
West Philadelphia High School | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Safe food handler certified
- Volunteer with the Feed Philly Food Pantry
- Member of the PA Rock Climbers Association
- Local DJ for venues in the Philadelphia metropolitan area