Worried that your resume has more potholes
than Route 66? Do you believe your lengthy job hunt
or recent unexpected layoff will make your next interview
a nightmare? Don't panic! First, make a list of your
most recent culinary exploits. Second, come up with
two new things you've learned from each.
Did you go camping with your child's scout troop?
Well then! You were improving your instructional techniques:
Talk about how you taught 15 preteens to bake a cake
using a cardboard box and some aluminum foil. Highlight
the lectures you gave on finding edible plants in
Hitchhiked across Europe for a month? You researched
foreign cuisines and discovered new ingredients. Describe
the way your Italian aunt showed you how to drain
the blood from a pig and make jelly. Rave about the
hottest trend in Viennese pastries, pomegranate syrup.
Held five barbeques in your backyard? You sharpened
your Mise en Place skills and learned time management.
Explain how you cut each vegetable for your crudités
platter into a different shape. Laugh about how your
overly ambitious menu kept your guests eating for
Above all, be honest. You don't want to have to go
through this all again after you're fired for lying.
How would you explain that?
You can't avoid it. To get
a job in today's tough market, you MUST have an electronic
resume. Formatting your resume for electronic distribution
allows you to quickly respond to new opportunities and
have your resume seen by a wide range of employers.
The three main styles of electronic resumes are email
resumes, attached resumes, and resumes stored with online
classified services such as ours.
Attached resumes are convenient for you, because
you use the same resume file for printing and attaching.
However, virus-wary employers may delete your resume
without even looking at it. Unless employers specifically
ask for an attached resume, a better way to send your
resume is via email.
Resumes included in the body of an email are great
for employers. They don't have to open another document.
They can easily forward your resume to a colleague.
They can also print it for further review.
Storing your resume with online classified services
allows a wide range of employers to easily review
it. When selecting an online classified service, make
sure to review their policies. Can you update your
resume anytime? Do they notify you when your resume
is reviewed by an employer? How long do they keep
your resume active in their database? Can you remove
your resume once you've found a job?
No matter which format(s) you choose, never forget
basic resume standards. Always include a cover letter.
Always spell check and have others review your resume
before you post it. Always follow up on the submission
with a hard copy and a phone call.
Confused by the variety of ways to submit
your resume online? Not sure which format is preferred
by prospective employers? Here are our Top Ten Tips
for preparing an effective electronic resume.
Don't focus on the way your resume looks at the expense
of what it says. It's the content not the formatting
that ultimately matters.
Unless specifically asked, DO NOT send your resume
as a file attachment. Instead, include your resume
in the body of an email.
Type all your information from left to right. Don't
center or justify any text. To highlight items, capitalize
them. Use lots of "white space" to ensure
Use a font, such as Courier, where every letter is
the same size. Set your margins for a line length
of 65 characters to fit most email programs.
Save your resume as a "text only" file
with "line breaks." This will make it simple
to cut and paste your resume into emails. Don't forget
to spell check before saving.
Review your resume in a text editor, such as Notepad.
Special characters, such as quotation marks or bullet
points, will appear as strange unwanted characters.
Replace or remove these characters.
Once you're happy with your text resume, cut and
paste it into an email. Send a test email to yourself
and friends to check for mistakes.
Be sure to include a specific subject line when sending
an email resume. It should reflect the content of
You must write a cover letter. Mention where you
found the ad, what your qualifications are, and how
you can help the company.
Save a copy of your resume on your hard drive, on
a disk, and as a hard copy. This will make it easy
for you to reproduce, in case it gets lost or doesn't
arrive. Also, it's still a good idea to bring a hard
copy to interviews.
An interview is all about expressing yourself verbally. Employers want to learn who you are, what you can do, and how you can help them. When you create, practice, and present a verbal resume, you can confidently answer the question, "Tell me a little about yourself?" A verbal resume is simply a quick, concise, oral summary of your experience and skills.
Begin your verbal resume by making two lists. What skills are sought by the employer? What talents can you provide? Next, compare the lists, prioritize the employer's needs, and decide which talents you should highlight. You should focus on the skills which are most likely to fulfill the employer's top three needs and provide one or two quantitative examples for each.
Prepare to present your verbal resume as you would a lecture or speech. You might create note cards for each employer need with bullet-points listing your related talents and measurable achievements. It is vital that you repeatedly practice your verbal resume with an audience. If you can not present it smoothly to family and friends, how can you expect to perform flawlessly during the stress of an interview?
Perform your verbal resume with confidence. It will create a definitive picture of you in the interviewer's mind. It will also demonstrate that you are well-prepared, proactive not reactive, and secure with, not timid about your skills. A verbal resume is an easy way to make a great impression.
Looking for a fresh career
and considering the culinary industry? Wondering if
your skills are adaptable? Many traditional talents
can be translated into culinary language. Evaluate yourself
using these questions and see if you make the cut.
What position is right for you? Absolute beginners
should try for plating assistant or dishwasher. Those
with some food experience might try for line cook.
Management professionals might find success as Front-of-House,
Back-of-House, or even assistant managers. As you
acquire knowledge, you will get more responsibility.
What skills will I need to succeed? Research the position
you choose by talking with professionals currently
filling the role. Make a list of the specific talents
they use on a daily basis.
What talents do I have that I can use? Motivational,
budgeting, and training skills are always applicable.
Other translatable talents include party planning,
writing, and problem-solving.
How can I develop the talents I lack? Culinary schools
are a great resource. Search StarChefs SchoolFinder
to find the one nearest you. Network and talk with
as many people working in the industry as possible.
Consider taking an internship with a prominent local
Where do I go now? Develop a set of realistic goals
to meet as you transition into the culinary profession.
Changing careers is not easy. It will most likely
take over a year to complete the move.
Are you detail-oriented or sloppy? Be
careful, your cover letter might be saying more than
you like. Even when applying for a job online, you should
always write a cover letter. Cover letters provide prospective
employers with their first impression of you. Here are
some guidelines to help you put your best foot forward.
Before writing a cover letter, you must answer a
What need is the employer trying to fill?
What am I trying to achieve?
What skills can I provide to this employer?
How has my experience prepared me for this position?
Why do I want to work for this company?
When you have answered these questions,
you are ready to write. Your cover letter should be
short and to the point with three distinct sections.
First, it should state who you are and why you are writing.
Next, it must tell the employer, with two or three examples,
why you are right for the position. Finally, you should
propose further action.
The strength and complexity of cover letters lies
in how these three simple sections are written. Your
cover letter should not be a mere echo of your resume.
It is a chance for you to show some creativity. You
might tell a brief story such as "my most difficult
The most important thing to remember is that your
cover letter reflects you. Be sure you and a friend
proofread and spell check it several times.
Mom was right, "thank you" is
a powerful phrase. Three out of four jobseekers fail
to send post-interview thank you notes. Therefore, when
you send a note you provide the prospective employer
with a powerful, positive, reflection of you.
A thank you note should be short but structured.
Start by thanking your interviewer for meeting with
you. Next, reinforce your qualifications with a message.
Finally, suggest a schedule for future correspondence.
There are several ways for you to emphasize your
qualifications. You might highlight particular skills
sought by the employer. You can expand upon or clarify
a response covered during the interview. You can reiterate
the talents which make you an excellent candidate.
Or you can mention things your forgot during the interview.
When you send a thank you note, you also showcase
your written communication skills. Furthermore, you
demonstrate your predisposition to treat people with
respect; something that's important when dealing with
vendors, coworkers, and customers.
If possible, send your thank you note on the same
day as the interview. It's ok to send it via email,
but it would make a better impression by mail. Don't
let common courtesy become rare, always say thank
you. You might be surprised by the difference it makes.
The best way to stand out in today's worldwide
marketplace is not to stick out. When applying for international
positions, it's very important to convert your resume
into a multi-national format. Here are a few suggestions
to help you develop a global resume.
CV versus Resume: Europe's standard CV or curriculum
vitae and a resume are very similar. A CV generally
includes more detailed information, including personal
information such as date of birth or marital status.
CV's tend to be longer than resumes as they often
include lists of published work, speaking engagements,
affiliations and continuing education.
Employment Chronology: In the U.S., reverse chronological
order (most recent first) is the standard way to present
your employment history. However, the standard in
many countries is chronological order (oldest to most
recent). Take the time to learn which format in preferred
in the country to which you are applying.
Specify your Education: Describe your educational
background in detail to ensure it will be clearly
understood. Make sure to include the university, program
name, course highlights, and location.
Check your terminology: Use industry-specific or job-specific
language that will be understood anywhere in the world.
Which English? Before submitting your resume in English,
check to see if your prospective company uses American
or British English. There can be significant spelling
differences between them.
Another Language: When preparing your resume in a
foreign language, always have a native speaker of
that language review it. Not only will they catch
any spelling or grammatical errors, they can also
provide valuable insight on proper formatting.
Foreign Experiences: Include all of your foreign language
skills and be sure to document any training, living,
or educational experiences you had outside the U.S.
Computer skills: These skills are important in any
modern culture. Be sure to detail your knowledge.
Paper size matters: Standard 8 ½" x 11"
paper is not the standard abroad. Be sure to reformat
your resume to fit the European standard A-4 paper
(210 by 297 mil! limeters).
Work Permits: Visas and work permits can take months
to acquire. Contact the country's embassy in the U.S.
for more information and application requirements.