If you’re a chef looking for your next career move, here are five great tips to make sure you get noticed and hired by the best employers:
1. Find ways to let your creativity shine
As every HR manager will tell you: CVs say very little. How much information can people really fit onto one or two pieces of paper? Once you achieve satisfactory qualifications, undertake a range of career supporting jobs and participate in impressive extra-curricular activities, your CV is likely to blend into other CVs written by chefs competing for the same job as you. CVs in their traditional form made sense before technology allowed people to express themselves in other ways. Today you can do better.
This means: utilise technology. Do something that makes you stand out. Do something that lets your qualities shine. Videos are a great way to do this. In a video you can show enthusiasm and passion for being a chef in a way no CV can. It also lets you highlight other qualities employers prize.
Don’t send an hour-long monologue, though. Remember that recruiters only have a limited time. Ideally, employers will already have a video or audio option built into their hiring process. If they don’t, keep it short and compelling.
Find a way to highlight your talents. Otherwise your application will sit alongside hundreds like it. The bottom line is: stand out by letting those qualities that can’t be seen on your CV, but that you want the employer to know, shine.
2. Think outside the box
Go against the grain. A US jobseeker created an online ad that would appear every time employers he was targeting (New York Head Chefs) searched their own names. It cost him $6. He got hired.
Ads won’t necessarily get you a job, but doing something people aren’t expecting, or that hasn’t been done before, will get you noticed.
Demonstrate that you are willing to learn new things, undertake challenges, and have different experiences.
3. Social media espionage
Facebook is for friends, Twitter is for catching news, and LinkedIn is for job seeking – right? Wrong. Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools allow you to study, connect and interact with prospective future employers and colleagues.
Learn their likes, dislikes and priorities. Interact. Seize the opportunity to get noticed and even build a relationship, before you’re officially interviewed. Remember, likeability has always been a key factor in people getting hired. Positive social interactions can only help.
Of course, your social media interactions can work against you, too. Remember – a good HR department is likely to check your social media presence just as much these days as your actual CV.
4. Study the company’s top performers
If you’re seeking to replace, for instance the Head Chef in a well respected London restaurant that may have moved on, or if you’re hoping to join an expanding team, look at the qualities the company prizes and see how they match yours.
Emphasise where they match, and boost yourself in those other areas. That’s what employers are looking for.
5. Be proactive
If you know the company you want to work for, don’t wait for any official job posting.
Many companies – the more creative ones who want talent to find them – accept CVs at all times. Being proactive means you can get noticed before the race has officially begun. This is a perfect moment to send a tweet “pitch” and to make sure you get seen early on.
And when you apply, show why they should take you even if they don’t have a current open position. How do you do that? Reread point 1.
If success in property is location, location, location, success in job seeking for chefs at all levels comes from standing out, standing out and standing out. The top employers today understand that, and are adjusting their recruitment processes to let applicants shine and to focus their search on identifying the qualities that mean the most to them. This process saves them time and money in recruiting, and in the long term, gets them the best employees.