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young cook, resume advice

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone. I'm looking for some advice about how to represent myself in my resume. I want to be clear about the experience I have but not overstate my experience or misrepresent myself by using titles I don't officially have. I'm currently revamping my resume, with the intent to move to a different city, I'll be moving to New England in the spring. 


Here's my current situation. I work in a fine dining Japanese Fusion restaurant, it is my first and only fine dining experience. I have other cooking experience, but for this job I was willing to start at the bottom. I started as a dishwasher here and within a few months conditions were favourable for me to move into the kitchen. Since then I went from plating desserts to the full cold side to the fryer and then just last night it was slow so I was able to get some training on the pans cooking steaks and seafood. In short I'm comfortable in 4/5 of the stations and am gaining experience on the fifth, the pans (that's not including the sushi obviously).


Anyway, where I'm struggling is in summing up what I do succinctly without claiming to be something I'm not. For example, I am responsible for maintaining the stocks of fresh produce, sometimes ordering fish, lots of prep for all stations, (though these are all shared duties, I'm certainly not the only one looking out for these things). I also make all of the desserts, generally whether I'm the one on that station that night or not. In addition I'll help prep for the hot side, especially the annoying things like deveining shrimp. On the other hand, I have been responsible for some new additions. It's often up to me to come up with app specials, we typically have a beef tartare special for instance and I'm the one who makes it Japanese and new every time. I have had my own ice cream recipes put on regular rotation. I changed the panna cotta from a simple little thing made with agar-agar to a more traditional one set with egg whites. I have duck breasts curing for duck prosciutto which has been a sensational product. In short, I feel like I've done more than can be summed up with a simple designation like "cook one", or even garde manger, lead line cook, etc. None of those things seem to fit what I feel I've accomplished for myself or for the restaurant. 


We're a fairly loose on the hierarchy front in case you haven't guessed. Most of what I manage to do I just fit into my normal routine somehow or go in early/stay late, or like the beef tartars just offer to help and constantly put more responsibility on myself. Sous-chef having a tough go with that crunchy/bright/sour element that he feels he needs? no problem, I've got lots Japanese tricks up my sleeve, I can help there. Now on another note, I don't want to appear like a snotty self-entitled know-it-all just because I got lucky with a few dessert recipes and the sous-chef doesn't have time to think of absolutely everything so things get delegated. 


Since so many of you are in positions of hiring, I just thought you might have advice on how best to present myself on paper.


Thanks for any advice

post #2 of 5

No offense, but I think it's a bit of a stretch calling yourself the 'lead line cook' when you don't have all the stations down 100%.  That said, my resume has a section under each job heading for responsibilities.  

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

no offence taken, I didn't mean suggest I thought of myself as a lead line cook. I'm looking for a way to succinctly "sum up" my responsibilities without listing them in all their minutiae, but that may be the way to go. I know the kitchen titles and their traditional roles but they also often mean different things to different people and I've never really experienced the tightly run brigade that is the classical method. I've never even heard of it at other restaurants at our level either, but maybe it's just my location. I guess my problem is that I don't feel that merely listing responsibilities accurately reflects where I am in the restaurant. Maybe a better place to explain that is in the cover letter? or not talk at all about it, hope I get an interview and go from there? 

post #4 of 5

I always include a cover 'letter' with any online/e-mail application.  It's usually just a few short paragraphs about me, my training/skills and work ethic.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input kingofnull. I understand now that I'm over thinking it. I just never have had much luck with getting work on my resume alone, I always seem to get work through someone I know or some other fortuitous circumstance. Since I'm moving somewhere where I don't know a soul to network with I want to give the right impression on a resume that I think initially may appear lacking. I should just let it sit for a while and edit it later.



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