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How not to get a job in my shop

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I am always continually amazed at applications I get. Currently I am looking to hire a bakers apprentice/helper for our artisan bread program.

Today I got one from a recent culinary school graduate. The FIRST sentence of the cover letter read " Being a recent culinary school of &^%$##%% graduate I am probably waaay too overqualified for this job but...". That is as far as I got before I trashed it. Yes there were 3 a's in waaay. Do people actually want jobs? Just a rant.

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post #2 of 27

wow. you make me feel better. Thank You.

"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #3 of 27

I always like the ones looking for a sous position.  ;)

post #4 of 27

Unfortunately I think culinary schools (some not all) put it into their students' heads that once they drop the $6K or whatever the course fee is they will graduate and become executive chefs right away.  Uhm yeah right ok on that one...NOT!  Sure they're going to have book knowledge but they're going to have to work their way to the top. 

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post #5 of 27

6K? 6K?

 

I recently heard that with it's new tuition rates it costs $40,000 to graduate CIA.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #6 of 27

KYH  6K was what I was told the fee was from a private culinary college and their course is less than one year in length.  

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post #7 of 27

Oh and KYH.. I love your signature!!  I've read most of the Nero Wolfe books, got my husband into them and we loved the TV show!

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post #8 of 27

Sometimes you have to take the kids aside and show them where they went wrong.  It helps if they spend time in a kitchen before spending time and money on school. 

________________________________________

Cincinnati Dining


Edited by cycle1667 - 7/8/10 at 1:17pm
post #9 of 27

Actually, Rat, if you want to be a Harda** and make the world a better place, keep the resume on file. 

 

Wait 6 mths and mail the thing back to the orginal sender, no comments or additons needed.  Odds are a 100 to 1 that the dude might just actually realize what a jerk he was.  Lousy odds I know, but a good thing to do.

 

Me?   I've been know to mail invoices for time wasted to noobie no-shows, and have mailed conflicting resumes of the same applicant (two resumes from different times, with conflicting lengths of employment or qualifications) back.  I've never heard back from any of those people, but then again, I've never had my letters sent back to me either....

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #10 of 27

thats messed up, cant believe someone would send that in to a job.no respect at all. people like are the ones that ruin the reputation of my school.i can relate to this since i just graduated myself and some just dont understand it. most think they will be foodnetwork stars or something big as soon as you get out, and im sure u could if u had the right networking, but not really. alot of time when i had talked to chefs of other restuarants on several occasions, they stated how some of the students acted like they knew things and this and that. louisville is small so if a few students act ingnorant or think they are the chef, mostof us who take it seriously suffer. i wish i could workk closely with a chef and learn his ways but havent had the opportunity, kind of blows

Chef it up errrrday!!!
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post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 

Don't get me wrong here, I am not down on culinary students, just the fact that the girl applying would actually write that in her cover letter.

Thats what got my ire up. Without even coming in and seeing what we were about. Maybe she was overqualified for a apprentice position but then why apply? I still can't figure that out. This week we had our new hire walk out after screwing up a batch of scones 2 times. He couldn't get the scaling right and the boss let him know how he "felt" about it after the second screw up. He went to take a break and never came back LOL!.

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post #12 of 27

It was pretty nervy to write that in her cover letter.  Maybe she was applying for the position because she has been unable to find employment in the area where she feels she is qualified? 

 

Sorry to hear about your hire, rat.. some people are just not cut out for this business. 

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post #13 of 27

I know that when I graduated from school our chef-instructors told us exactly what was waiting for us: low pay, long hours, crazy chefs and fantastic opportunity.  We even had a few classes in our communications class on resume writing. I don't recall there being a lecture on stressing over qualifications though.

post #14 of 27

Well  Rat, you don't need to apologize or explain yourself, everybody's had those kind of cover letters.  I had one resume with "  As my cooking skills are in great demand, I have no time available for cleaning equipment...".  As Bugs would say, "what  a maroon"..

 

 

 

  An insult is an insult, and a kick in the crotch is a kick in the crotch.  It's just that the applicant doesn't realize what a jerk she's been.  Most employers will do the same thing you did and toss the whole application out, and our little student friend won't know what she' s done or why nobody responds to her.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post

 "  As my cooking skills are in great demand, I have no time available for cleaning equipment...".  As Bugs would say, "what  a maroon"..

 


 Are you kidding me?, my resume says that I am "Familiar with the proper use and cleaning of most restaurant equipment."  and I always try to get it into the interview that I have no issues jumping in the dish pit to help out. But then I never did go to culinary school and have people blow smoke up my derriere to inflate my ego. Also, I know there is someone waiting for my job.

"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #16 of 27

Nope, no B.S.  but then, if you read between the lines or "guessed" when reading the resume, the dude was a shop steward in a Union run central kitchen. 12 years in the same position, terminating when the Hotel got sold.

 

One of the funniest things I ever read on a resume was the job title "drop Chef" from this one guy who was applying for a prep cook position.  Needless to say, I was intrigued, 25 years in the biz and I had never heard of the term "drop Chef".  Had  to call the guy up just to find out what "drop Chef" meant.

 

It's the guy who drops stuff in the fryer basket, and then drops the bsket into the fryer.......

 

Don't spill coffee on your keyboard now............ 

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #17 of 27

lol, I thought he was the guy that made the drop biscuits....live and learn.

"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 

Is a drop chef like a hydro-ceramic engineer AKA dishwasher??

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post #19 of 27

I have one for you

 

"Not available on weekends"

 

WTF

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post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsy2727 View Post

I have one for you

 

"Not available on weekends"

 

WTF


I've had that told to me to my face in an interview before.  Needless to say that person was not hired. 

 

 

 

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post #21 of 27

Here's one... "I'm only here to cook.  I don't do closing duties or side jobs"    

 

WTF is that???

 

Guy brought in a resume today and told the owner those exact words.  When the owner told me that, my answer was EVERYONE closes and does side jobs even the opener has closing duties that they have to do before they can go home.  Period.  Turns out guy worked at another location so I called the KM over there and after finding out the issues they had with him, I'm not even going to reccommend him for an interview.  We went through that BS with our former KS and I'm not willing to put any of us through that ever again. 

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post #22 of 27

I hired a guy whose resume said he was an underwater ceramics technition

post #23 of 27

Rat, I would have brought her in, gave her a knowledge test and a few hours of staging to show her exactly how much she doesn't know and then tell her that wasn't hiring her because she was waaay underqualified!

 

As many of you know, not long ago I left the fine dining world to do jail food service.  I have been interviewing for a new supervisor.  In my ads I explain that it is jail work and that the candidate will have to pass an extensive background check conducted by the sheriff's department.  To help things along and make sure I am not wasting my time or the detectives time, I do a very quick background check using readily available resources on the web.  I am amazed when I pull up some of these people with rap sheets pages long.  What do they not understand about the phrase "extensive background check?"

http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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post #24 of 27


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rat View Post

Don't get me wrong here, I am not down on culinary students, just the fact that the girl applying would actually write that in her cover letter.

Thats what got my ire up. Without even coming in and seeing what we were about. Maybe she was overqualified for a apprentice position but then why apply? I still can't figure that out. This week we had our new hire walk out after screwing up a batch of scones 2 times. He couldn't get the scaling right and the boss let him know how he "felt" about it after the second screw up. He went to take a break and never came back LOL!.

 

Oh yeah, you can't point out their mistakes because then you're "picking on them". They've been told by everybody their whole lives how "special" they are and how everything they do is just wonderful. They can't take any criticism. I just hired a guy who worked at the hoity-toitiest restaurant around here. Said he'd worked prep and all the stations, including fry station. I told him to drop 12 shrimp, so he took 12 raw shrimp and put them directly in the fryer basket and was going to drop it in. Apparently they don't batter fry shrimp there. They only use the fryer for french fries ('scuse me, pommes frites). I don't know what he thought I was when I interviewed him, but he's baffled that the chef is a woman. He's young and green, but I think in the end he'll be all right once he catches on. Meanwhile, he's busy asking the other cooks what his position is (since there's only ever two people on the line). Does that make him the sous chef? The cook I'm losing told him he could call himself the CEO if it made him more eager to come to work. I'm really sorry to lose that guy.

post #25 of 27

Oh and KYH.. I love your signature!! 

 

I've gotten into the habit of changing it frequently (no particular reason). Leeniek, but that particular quote ("I found Nero Wolfe sitting in front of a very large platter of very small lamb chops.") has always summed up the Nero Wolfe character for me.

 

I've got a ton of other-food related ones. Easy enough, of course, with the Wolfe stuff. But I've been researching a book about the relationship between food and protagonists in detective novels, and it's incredible the gems you find.

 

For realistic food references---that is, stuff you are likely to make yourself---check out the Spenser books. One example: The timer rang in my kitchen and I got up and went and took the rice out of the oven. I cracked the cover on the casserole so steam could escape, and shut off the oven and turned toward Susan across the counter……what’s for supper?” she said. “Grilled lemon and rosemary chicken, brown rice with pignolias, assorted fresh vegetables lightly steamed and dressed with Spenser’s famous honey-mustard splash, blue corn bread, and a bottle of Iron Horse Chardonnay.

 

My favorite Spenser line is: We ordered the full tea. I like everything about tea, except tea. But I tried to stay with the spirit of it all.

 

And, just to bring this back on topic, I'd hire Spenser to work in my kitchen any day.

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #26 of 27

So, I've been working in a kitchen for 7 years, and I am going to start culinary school in the fall..... I'm debating whether I should even put that on my app when I graduate lol

post #27 of 27

I worked for a chef that used to say, "I need a new grill guy" or whatever the position might be. 

 

He'd follow up by saying "Find the resume with the most creative or colorful font and throw it away.  We'll start from there."

 

Used to crack me up.  People are just hilarious sometimes.

 

And a piece of advice to culinary students/grads.  Be as humble as possible when your ears are still dripping and you can't even drink yet.  Tools.

 

I don't mean ALL of them.  Just the ones that act like god's gift to a kitchen without ever working in a REAL one.

 

Just my $.02

 

(and by the way, the drop chef thing.  that's absolutely classic)

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