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Still no LUCK

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hey, I'm a recent graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Pittsburgh. When i finished my schooling there I decided to come back home to New York to start my culinary career. I've been back home now since June and still haven't found work. I've been working temp jobs through a temp agency and that's about the only luck I've gotten. If you can help me find a stable job please let me know because I need to gain more experience in this field.

post #2 of 22

what have you done as far as look?   have you any experience in the kitchen at all?

post #3 of 22

You may have to widen your horizons a bit.

What is holding you in NYC?

Family?

Friends?

Punch up your resume and scatter them all over this great nation of ours (maybe overseas too?)

I can just about guarantee you will find SOMETHING to do.

Some mom and pop place (maybe something better?) will snatch you up.

Go take that job but don't stop there.

Be honest, tho.

Let mom and pop know you are still looking.

Karma is a b***h.

 

mimi

 

OBTW... what happened with the recruitment promise from LCB?

post #4 of 22

Where in NY state are you? 

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm in Queens, NY
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
I do have kitchen experience. I've worked at Disney's all star movies resort for my four month externship. And I've been working throughout colleges, airports and small businesses through the temp agency.
post #7 of 22

I'm at a loss as to how to respond without knowing about your search efforts. Mostly because I have a hard time believing you live in as populated an area as Queens NY, only one of five boroughs in NYC and can't find permanent work somewhere. Ditmar Boulevard in Long Island City is loaded with restaurants of all kinds and that is just one street in the city. Manhattan has hundreds, some of them the best in the country. Queens must also have hundreds of cafes, hotels, diners, pizza, fine dining, etc.  I live in upstate NY and visit NYC occasionally. Every time I do I'm overwhelmed with the number and variety of foodservice places of every description, some of which I did not know existed or would never considered feasible, yet there they are and thriving to boot.

So I guess I'll say this. Type up your resume, pick a street or make a list of places you would like to work and go meet the chef, fill out an application or otherwise make your existence known.

If there is something about your situation that you have left out, please tell us what it is. Otherwise, you are swimming in a sea of opportunity. What's the problem? 

post #8 of 22

You might have to lower your standards a bit.

 

If the guy doesn't have a job for you, ask him if he knows anyone else that's hiring.

 

If the guy doesn't have a job for you, that usually means he doesn't have a job for you at the moment. Kitchen work is high attrition, and the guy probably isn't going to remember you when his saute cook quits the week after you visited.

 

Follow up is crucial.
 

post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
I've sent my resume out to many restaurants and I've filled out just as many applications. I feel that their looking for people with a little more experience and that's why they're not giving me a chance. I know that I'm cut out for the job and I can do the work. But I'll take you're advice.I'll print out a few copies of my resume and personal go down to these restaurants in NY.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Also to inform you of my search history. I've used monster.com, careerbuilder and I've also applied to common restaurants like Applebees, Friday's, Chili's, steak houses, Olive Garden. I've tired hotels but whenever I search they say there's no open positions
post #11 of 22

Personal attention is the key. Everyone needs to put a face with the name. Meet the chef. When you do, you need to let the resume speak for itself and let the chef know ; you will show up on time, do any job they need doing and work as hard as you can. The chef doesn't care if you know a hundred recipes. He/She wants to know you will listen, work hard and learn what they teach you. 

As someone who has done some hiring of cooks, I can tell you that your resume is not as important as your appearance and attitude. 

Without having met you I'll ask you to check yourself out. If you have put out that many resumes and applications and no response, something you are doing isn't working. Figure out what it is. 

When you go looking for a job, wear nice slacks, button down shirt and a dress jacket. Classic navy blue sports coat is a good all around choice. A tie would not hurt. Shine your shoes. In other words, dress up. Shave. If you have facial hair, shave it off or trim it so it is neat looking.  Get a haircut or make sure your hair looks neat and tidy. Cover up any tattoos you can. Wear deodorant. No cologne. No jewelry except a watch and a ring.  Check your spelling when you write things down. You seem articulate here on the forum. Make sure you are when talking to the chefs. 

Have some one look over your resume for readability, spelling mistakes and general appearance. Be sober. Be confident, not aggressive. Stand up straight, look the chef in the eye, give a firm handshake. Be unfailingly polite. Say please and thank you. Do not use curse words. Zip up. 

I realize these may seem obvious and basic but I am constantly surprised by the number of people who don't do them. Find some one and ask them how you look before you leave the house. 

There are many reasons to get rejected and there are many you can do nothing about. Too tall, too short, etc. But you should control what you can. 

Last, when I was hiring, my only statement to anyone asking for a job was that they had to come down and fill out an application whether or not they had a resume. If they did that and showed up decently dressed, with a pen, and were pleasant, filled out the application before asking any questions, I generally hired them.  The reason is because the job always consists of following simple instructions from me. The first instruction is to come out and fill out an application. I am still surprised at how many people could not do that. This also gave me a chance to see how they presented themselves. Well dressed got high marks. jeans and a t-shirt, not so much. If they can not make a minimum of effort at finding a job, they probably will not make much of an effort once they had one. 

I don't know what you are doing or not doing but I'm offering this as a first step. You should also contact the local chapter of the American Culinary Federation and attend a meeting. Bring your resume. Ask the contact person if it would be okay to stand up and inform everyone of your job search at an appropriate time. Be brief. "I'm a graduate of .. and I'm looking for a job. I have resumes with me if you are interested."  


Edited by chefwriter - 1/19/13 at 9:23am
post #12 of 22

If you ask me, the internet has pretty much trashed the job hunting process. Sooo many businesses don't even ACCEPT written apps anymore, they just refer you to online sites. And yes you often get "Sorry we have no job openings at this time." Even when you know for a fact the branch IS hiring. Even when you do get through, it severly limits the ability to find a suitable employee. Think of it....say they get 3000 online apps. Do you honestly think some Chef or manager or owner is LOOKING at all those? No, they're programing the site to screen out most, based on what? (obviously not ink color or handwriting)

Whatever it is, I'm sure it equally has nothing to do with quality of applicants. Only face-to-face can they gauge your attentiveness, appearance, sincerity, articulation, eagerness, etc as outlined by others above. And I've know people who've sent out hundreds of blind resumes, intro letters and online apps only to get ZERO invitations to interview or even a response.  So as applicant, you have to do your own brand of "screening". By focusing on those who will SEE you, and be attentive to YOU. (I've been interviewed by peeps "going through the motions" easily distracted, even bored by what I'm saying. And I've walked out

of a few of those rather abruptly.) Of course even a great chef isn't necessarily a decent interviewer so.... more variables.

So sure it'd be nice to submit 50 apps online, get 7 or 8  calls to interview, and have 3 job offers to choose from. But the odds are way against it.

Bottom line: there's playing the numbers....and there's playing GOOD numbers.

post #13 of 22

You could try a trail at Momofuku's Noodle Bar in East Village. I trailed at a couple of David Chang's restaurants. Noodle Bar is a good place for someone just starting out. I do believe that group always takes resumes through their website. Give it a shot.

post #14 of 22

What kind of work are you looking for?  Prep, hot line, pantry?

What shift? AM, MID, PM?

What kind of food? American, Italian, Fusion, etc?

What type of restaurant? corporate, mom & pop, deli, volume, fine dining?

What are you looking to make? $9/hr - $14?

 

Answer these and I may be able to help you.

post #15 of 22

You might also check out 

www.goodfoodjobs.com

 

There are lots of food related jobs there and not necessarily in restaurants.

www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

Reply
post #16 of 22

You might want to check to see if the agency Richard Butel (Butensky) Culinary Professionals is still in business. It's a free-lance catering company that places you in different locations for days or weeks at a time. I worked for him many years ago and was sent to some pretty cool places, like the Jacob Javitz center, and Kauffman studios in Astoria Queens, etc, and back then they payed well too, different rates for different jobs, depending on location, etc. with opportunity of long-term placement. His office is located somewhere in the village, don't really remember where, but you have to be there and square. They don't mess around.

 

I'm with chefwriter. I don't understand how you can't find work in nyc... One of the things I loved about working in the city was being able to find work right away after leaving an old job.

Also, don't you have a network of friends in the business? have you tried calling the school you graduated from and asking about job placement? I know the school I graduated from offers lifetime job placement, so you might want to check with them. They might have something in NY, who knows.

 

If I were you and I were desperate, I would actually take the subway into the city and walk around and ask. I remember doing that when i was young. Always worked for me.

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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post #17 of 22

You might want to check to see if the agency Richard Butel (Butensky) Culinary Professionals is still in business. It's a free-lance catering company that places you in different locations for days or weeks at a time. I worked for him many years ago and was sent to some pretty cool places, like the Jacob Javitz center, and Kauffman studios in Astoria Queens, etc, and back then they payed well too, different rates for different jobs, depending on location, etc. with opportunity of long-term placement. His office is located somewhere in the village, don't really remember where, but you have to be there and square. They don't mess around.

 

I'm with chefwriter. I don't understand how you can't find work in nyc... One of the things I loved about working in the city was being able to find work right away after leaving an old job.

Also, don't you have a network of friends in the business? have you tried calling the school you graduated from and asking about job placement? I know the school I graduated from offers lifetime job placement, so you might want to check with them. They might have something in NY, who knows.

 

If I were you and I were desperate, I would actually take the subway into the city and walk around and ask. I remember doing that when i was young. Always worked for me.

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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post #18 of 22

found his info, but not sure if he's still in business.

 

45 Grove St New York, NY 10014
(212) 366-5363
 
Employment Agency
 
Staffing For Food Service Companies. Chefs; Waiters
“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
post #19 of 22

Try to do some research on the places you're applying to. Almost always if you're brought in for an interview they'll ask you, 'why do want to work here?' If you can give them a well thought out response it'll make an impression.

 

The conveniences of online applications, online postings, and email are very tempting, but going to places (during off-peak hours) and talking to people in person (with luck the chefs themselves) is usually more effective. From my own experience, I think I got 10% of the jobs I initiated contact with online, and 95% of the time I got a job when I initially just walked into the place of business. Have a copy of your resume too in case nobody has time to chat, so you can pass off a substantial amount of information about yourself. If they ask you to fill out an application, take the time to fill it out then and there (using your resume for quick reference!)

 

Offer to do a stage, or a trial period with no pay if you're really passionate about working a certain place. Even with a golden resume or culinary degree, some won't be convinced until they see you in action. 

 

As mentioned you might have to bite the bullet and lower your standards, at least this way you can build your resume, and even more importantly... get in some real-world experience. My last job was a complete nightmare, but it taught me a lot in the two years I somehow survived...


Edited by Junglist - 1/27/13 at 3:43pm

'A fool can't act the wise, but the wise can act a fool...' - Kweli

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'A fool can't act the wise, but the wise can act a fool...' - Kweli

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post #20 of 22

You must do a trail.  Eventually, to land a job higher than a cook, you have to do a tasting, or multiple tastings.  If you've never done one before, it will be a nightmare.  Typically your first tasting, you will always mess something up - badly.  Luckily it will probably one be for a sous position. 

post #21 of 22

Chefchadnyc.

What is a tasting? I've never done one and from your comment, I don't look forward to it. 

post #22 of 22
Basically you are cooking for a person or people that will decide whether you got the job or not.

They come in many shapes and forms, here are a few:

They give you basic outlines ahead of time (7 courses, 1 bread, 1 salad, 1 app, 1 pasta, 1 fish, 1 meat, 1 dessert). You typically have a deadline (serve first course at 5:00) and then continue on.

You could be trailing and at one point they turn to you and say: take this, this, and this. Go make me an app and an entree. You have 45 minutes.

They always have a time limit, as everything we do, does. They are about flavor, technique, creativity, problem solving, and speed; all things we need at the highest level.

There is no way to 'fake' it. Thats why these are real no BS tests. Blow their socks off, though, and name your price.

These are about showing off your style, vision, and voice as well. Its like any audition.

Dont pee your pants.
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