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Photos of work in resume?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Though I'm currently still in pastry school (almost done!), I have been one of the lucky ones who has an industry-related part-time job and every now and again get a "freelance" job of making a cake or something similar for individuals. With graduation on the horizon, I've been applying to full-time jobs, mostly at fancy restaurants. I had the opportunity to come in as a trail for a night and had a great experience. I didn't get the job though.

But given that I was told I didn't have enough experience with plated desserts, this got me thinking. The person who made the decision left for the night before service started so he didn't even see the quality of my work that I was allowed to do for dessert orders. He also didn't ask for a portfolio, but if he had, he would have seen plenty of pictures of plated desserts I had done for school. And if it was just about experience, he could see what experience I had (or didn't) written on my resume! But this is irrelevant to my question.

I got over the rejection, but it gave me an idea. I used to be a graphic designer so I have a very neatly designed resume with a little illustration I use on it. What if I were to include a couple photos of my best work (small, of course) along the side or something like that? That way, maybe people can see that although I'm a student, it's not like I stand around and do nothing in the kitchen. :) Would this kind of thing be frowned upon?
post #2 of 8
I would not include them in a resume but rather bring them in a neat portfolio to the interview. Helps a lot, pictures are just that and I don't mean to insult you by saying this but pictures they can come from anywhere--internet, books. It is hard to prove you are the one actually making the product unless you are in the picture too. I had an experience with a former employee who was taking pictures of all the plate ups and then posting them on his blog claiming that he personally came up with and made them. I know you would never do that but that is something some employees may consider.

During the interview ask what would you be doing, the answer would be plated deserts right? Then you say "Wow I just happen to have a small portfolio right here, lets take a look" That would be the best way to get your work seen.

Remember just bring a few pictures of your best stuff a whole album will only be a distraction. Good luck and don't be discouraged, it is a crap economy right now so it is doubly hard to get a job.
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post #3 of 8
I agree. Pictures don't belong on the resume itself, but I would definitely start a portfolio to bring with you to interviews. And don't wait to be asked if you brought one along. Give it a few minutes into the interview then offer it up yourself when the opportunity presents itself. Don't give a narration for every photo, but have a select few that you talk about, and be prepared to answer questions about every one. As for what to add, I'd throw in a mix of plated desserts and full cakes, 8-10 of each, no more. Make it look somewhat professional. Don't just throw the photo into a page protector. Mount it to some card stock first, or if you have the experience mount and bind them professionally, though that it not necessary. Finally, be very selective about your photographs if you do want to offer up a portfolio. It doesn't matter that you are not a professional photographer, but if you offer up photos you will be judged, not only on the food shown, but the photograph itself. No blurry, out of focus photographs or ones with a serious white balance problem. A half-a$$ed portfolio can do more damage than good so make sure you present your best.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses!

Maybe my trail night wasn't really traditional, but they put me to work as soon as I came in. No sit down to talk session. How should I bring up the portfolio in that situation?

As a designer, when I was looking for jobs, I'd include a link to my online portfolio in every cover letter I sent. If I set one up for my culinary career, would it be okay if I did the same?

The reason why I thought to put it into my resume is that without being arrogant, I feel like I do decent work. I would like to be given a chance for potential employers to see that rather than be judged immediately by "oh, you're just a student". :)
post #5 of 8
I think a link on your resume to your portfolio would be nice, put it along with your e-mail. Many chefs these days have their blogs going on which also includes references, bio and resume.

I don't know this particular chef but I really like this blog. Very professional and a great online tool.

Brian J. Annapolen
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post #6 of 8
Great point rat, its more impressive if you put portfolio rather than pictures. The company or employer would be intrigue on what can you do for the job.
post #7 of 8
In the past I have dropped off a sample platter of my product prior to applying for a position. It has always worked well for me.
post #8 of 8
I don't agree, I would do whatever it takes to get my foot in the door. If the HR has a pile of Resumes what the heck is going to make yours stick out. I maybe looking for someone who thinks outside the box, doing things different just may get you into a job that does things different...............Pick you own path, you will never be a leader my following crowd.................ChefBillyb
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