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Question and introduction

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

I am a culinary student at CHIC in my last semester. I have worked in a kitchen for about 5 years, most recently in a "french" fine dining restaurant. At the restaurant the management and exec. would pester me daily about quitting school and becoming a sous. I refused to quit school and take this position. So it came down to them piling the responsibilities (and hours) of sous on my shoulders, which i was unable to handle while in school. This drove me to resigning my position. I am presently trying to gain employment in the downtown Chicago area with an upscale restaurant or hotel. I have applied at numerous hotels and restaurants (who have job listings that say they need cooks) to no avail. I never had trouble getting cook work before, and am wondering what it is that is keeping me from gaining employment now? I have many good references, and what i think is a decent resume (for a culinary student). My only thought is that maybe these places are calling the restaurant i worked at previously, and getting a bad reference. Has this happened to anyone before? Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thank you in advance,
post #2 of 4

Call references

Sometimes it happens, that You resign with some bad relations and this matters afterwords, but once you find place where You are realy needed, and improve yourself as reliable chef - all that previous becomes history. Just be patient, look for YOUR KIND of place and start over...Good luck.
post #3 of 4
Tyler, most places will say very little more than confirm dates of employment. They are afraid that they may be sued if they say anything else. So while it's possible that might be what's blocking you, it's unlikely.

Are you getting to interview before prospective employers reject you, or do you only fill out applications? If the latter, think carefully about what you say about your last job and why you left it. Be very diplomatic, but honest. Be positive: say something like, "Left to focus my energies on completing my culinary degree" instead of "Left because I was unable to handle the pressures of both work and school." (See the BIG difference between the two -- even though they're both true?)

For that matter, the same applies in interviews. If you come across as whiny, or blaming your previous employer, no one will want you because they'll think that might be how you are under all circumstances. If you can put it in a positive light, you're in much better shape.

Hope this helps. :)
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #4 of 4
You know this is a wierd business. You need to forget about adding this dis-gruntled employer to your resume. You are a student. If you show an area in which you show no employment, no one will probably ask for details, and if they do, you could come up with something. I'm not trying to tell you to lie on your resume, that's way wrong, but if you omit something. It won't be the end of the world. This is a tough very competetive business. You sound like you are one of the nice guys an just can't believe someone would hold a grudge like that, but they do. Great job for hanging in school, it will take you a whole lot further than those guys. They wanted to hold you back and in their control.
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