By Nick Baldwin, MD of DoMyCV.
The process of reviewing a CV or resume (for chefs or any other profession for that matter) has been likened to going on a blind date – the reader is effectively meeting you for the first time and they will want to find out what they need to know as quickly and as painlessly as possible.
Simply put, these things are
1. What does this person do right now?
2. What are they capable of doing?
3. What do they want to do?
4. Do any of these things match what I’m looking for?
Surprisingly, many people simply do not put this information on their CV or resume and instead fill it with long and clever phrases or, worse still, extracts from their job description which actually say nothing relevant!
Recruiters and Hiring Managers are famously not known for their levels of concentration or their attention span! But they will still want to know the important things about you as quickly as possible, and if the CV / resume does not tell them exactly that in the first few seconds then they usually stop reading and move on to the next one.
I know this because I was a recruiter for more than 20 years and saw it happen daily. Part of what I do now as a professional CV / resume writer is conduct assessments of people’s CVs and resumes – this is a free service open to anyone, so believe me I do see a lot of them! – and, sadly, not many leave me with a great impression.
Start your chef CV with a strong Profile statement
Whatever your role, your first opportunity to set the scene is with a strong profile at the beginning which clearly, concisely and convincingly tells the reader about you as an individual, what you do, and what makes you stand out.
The reaction we are aiming for here is not necessarily “Wow!” but more like “at last!” or “hurray!”. “Wow” is good, but remember you will have to live up to and exceed that expectation in interview, so we need to balance magnificence with realism.
Structure your Skills summary
Having been impressed by the Profile, the recruiter is now keen to read more, so they will move on to the skills summary. This should be a clear portrayal of your key skills i.e. the things you are known for being good at, and which define your application.
It should not just consist of “Communication skills”, “Team player”, and “People person” but more substantial, job-related skills which give an indication of what you do and where you can be positioned, and support your Personal Brand.
Include lots of interesting achievements
The recruiter will now be reading your chef CV employment history, probably the largest part of the document, and it is vital that we make an effort to keep them interested.
There is nothing more certain of ending your flourishing relationship with the recruiter than copying sections from your official job description. These only describe function and nothing personal to you, and never make for an interesting reading.
Instead, keep their interest alive by including some illustrative achievements, examples of things you have accomplished and that you are proud of in your job, but do keep them focused on the task in hand. If there are too many that are unrelated to your day-to-day role then the reader will be given the impression that you are always going off and doing something else.
Most importantly – Remember your chef CV / resume does not need to include everything you have ever done!
No-one, however committed to the task, will want to read every word of a 6 page document or more. In my experience a recruiter is more likely to put a long CV or resume to one side (by that I mean in the bin!) and not bother to read it at all!
What does yours say?
It can be useful to get an objective view of how your CV looks from an unrelated third party, who can check that it says what it should and sells you in the most effective way. This is just one of the services me and my team offer.
Nick Baldwin is an accomplished writer of CVs and resumes with a wealth of experience writing polished and compelling documents as well as LinkedIn profiles for individuals at all levels around the world, with particular experience in the US, UK, Middle East and Australasia.
Having enjoyed a highly successful career with a multi-national recruitment company for many years, Nick has a strong background and hands-on experience of recruiting at all levels both for his own companies and for clients, giving him a 360 degree understanding of the role of a strong CV or resume.