Organizing your ingredients is essential to the success of any recipe. The same goes for your line cook resume.

There isn’t an industry around where customers scrutinize their purchases more than they do with food.

In most cases, that scrutiny falls on the line cooks.

Sure, there might be a Head Chef who makes the menu and oversees the kitchen, but a team of well-trained and hard-working line cooks are the ones churning out dishes.

From chopping and preparing necessary ingredients to throwing the dishes together and plating them, you know your way around the kitchen.

You need to be fast, accurate, and creative.

And let’s not forget that you are usually working long hours on your feet, often in a hot kitchen.

Like an engine under the hood of a car, the restaurant can’t function without your consistent and exceptional efforts, yet most people only think about you when things go wrong.

You are no stranger to intense expectations, which means you should have just the right attitude when it comes to writing your line cook resume.

If you’re ready to jump in and get writing, but you just aren’t sure where or how to start, we’ve got you covered.

Grab your computer, and let’s get cookin’.

Summary

  1. Resume Template
  2. Formatting
  3. Writing Your Resume Summary
  4. Areas of Expertise
  5. Writing Your Work Experience
  6. Writing Your Education Section
  7. Additional Sections
  8. Resume Points to Remember
  9. Resume “Don’ts” to Remember
  10. Some Helpful Tools

Let’s begin with a sample line cook resume to demonstrate how all the resume pieces fit together. Then we will break each section down to really drill into how to write the best line cook resume you possibly can.

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Line Cook Resume (Text Version)

Contact Info:

Calvin Ward
CWard@email.com
1 (207) 555-5500
Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

Summary Statement:

Line cook: With leadership experience thrives in a fast-paced kitchen environment and consistently provides excellent food quality and attention to detail. Passion for hospitality and food presentation exceeding customer expectations.

Key Accomplishments/Areas of Expertise

  • TEAM LEADER
  • OSHA
  • POS SYSTEMS
  • LEADERSHIP
  • ORGANIZED
  • FLUENT SPANISH SPEAKER
  • STRONG COMMUNICATION
  • PHYSICAL STAMINA
  • DEPENDABLE
  • COOPERATIVE

Professional Experience:

Deck House Tavern, Windham, ME
LEAD LINE COOK | May 2016 – Present

  • Created a unique system to efficiently track food costs and usage to decrease overspending by 13% each month
  • Maintain facility appearance, cleanliness, and display standards to ensure a pleasant dining experience for guests
  • Oversee food preparation and plating with exceptional presentation and style in mind to create a decrease in food waste by 10%
  • Train new line cooks and prep cooks to create a pleasant and hard-working kitchen atmosphere that has led to an increase in productivity by 15%

Boone’s Fish House and Oyster Room, Portland, ME
LINE COOK | Sept 2014 – Apr 2016

  • Prepared food items and fresh ingredients in a timely and precise fashion for a 50-seat seafood restaurant
  • Consistently exceed legal sanitation and cleaning standards to create a well maintained and organized work station
  • Monitor and restock prepared ingredients and kitchen supplies as needed throughout the duration of shift
  • Named Employee of the Month three times due to consistently positive reviews from patrons concerning presentation and taste

Joe’s Super Variety, Portland, ME
LINE COOK/PREP COOK | May 2011 – Aug 2014

  • Set up workstations with all needed ingredients and equipment
  • Professional, customer-first attitude driven by hospitality
  • Prepared all food items as directed in a sanitary and timely manner
  • Followed recipes and presentation specifications

Education/Certifications

AOS DEGREE | CULINARY ARTS
Southern Maine Technical College
Graduated March 2011

Formatting

When selecting the best format for your line cook resume, just like which details you will write out, there isn’t only one way to do things.

The format you choose should highlight your best skills by making them more noticeable visually and listing them first.

While there are multiple acceptable options to choose from, there are still features that should always be present in any well-planned format.

Make sure that you are using a legible font so that things are easy to follow and separate your sentences and bullet points with clear and even spacing.

While a resume should always remain on one page only, there is still much ground to cover within that space.

It is estimated that hiring managers only review each resume they receive for about 6 seconds, so every formatting decision should be centered around how to get the most crucial information noticed first.

You should always consider listing your work experience and accomplishments in reverse chronological order.

Listing things backward from the most current allows hiring managers to see what you have been up to most recently and those details are usually your most impressive.

Pay attention to how you separate each section of your line cook resume so that things are neat and easy to follow.

Just like plating a dish, there are always standards to follow and areas in which to be creative.

Your goal with your resume format is to make things easy to read and take apart quickly so that you can get noticed for all the right reasons.

Start With Your Line Cook Resume Summary

Regardless of format, the first section of your resume should typically be your summary.
While an “objective” was recently the first section most resumes began with, this is now an out of date practice.

The reason for this shift primarily comes down to the fact that objectives don’t add much information, and when you are trying to fit everything on one page, there just isn’t room for “filler.”

A resume summary, on the other hand, makes use of a small space to briefly describe who you are as a line cook.

Keep your line cook resume summary to about two to three sentences.

Since this section is the first thing listed at the top of the page, make it count.

Try to really think about what details surrounding your experience and abilities will make the most favorable impact.

Yes!

Diligent and sharp line cook with exceptional leadership experience. Thrives in a fast-paced kitchen environment and consistently provides excellent food quality and attention to detail. Passion for hospitality and food presentation that exceeds customer expectations.

No!

Line cook with leadership experience who thrives in a fast-paced environment and makes good food for guests. Interest in hospitality and food presentation.

The “Yes!” example described the candidate with strong keywords to show off their abilities and quality of work standards.

The “No!” example doesn’t take the opportunity to describe the candidate with unique and specific language that could set them apart from the crowd.

PRO TIP: When writing your resume summary, it can be a challenge to try and narrow things down. Try to start by asking yourself, “what are the main expectations of a line cook?” Then answer the question with how you meet or exceed those expectations. .

Key Accomplishments/ Skills & Qualifications

While your summary section helped explain the kind of worker you are and what you value as a line cook, it isn’t the easiest thing to read and digest at a glance.

Including a list of skills and qualifications in your line cook resume is essential for drawing attention to your most impressive abilities.

Skills and Qualifications/Areas of Expertise

  • Dependable
  • Team Leader
  • Cooperative
  • OSHA
  • POS systems
  • Organized
  • Fluent Spanish Speaker
  • Strong Communication
  • Physical Stamina

When writing this list, it is important to consider the two main kinds of skills.

Hard skills:

  • Known as technical skills
  • Can be taught and practiced
  • Quantifiable

Soft skills:

  • Known as people skills
  • Associated with personality traits
  • Hard to quantify
  • Not always teachable, but inherent

Make sure that you include a good portion of both kinds of skills.

While soft skills aren’t necessarily something you can “prove” in a resume, and they tend to be more subjective, including them shows that you value the importance of those skills.

Make sure that you include hard skills that are the most necessary to list by paying attention to any job requirements noted in the job posting you are responding to.

PRO TIP: If you are responding to a job posting, read through it as you write your resume. Make sure that if any skills and qualifications are listed explicitly in the job posting that you include them in your own resume. Including those details in your list of skills and qualifications gives you the best shot at landing an interview.

Writing Your Work Experience

While every section of your line cook resume is essential and should be given great attention to detail, the bulk of your resume comes down to how you describe your job history.

The first decision that needs to be made when writing this section is deciding what previous work experience to include.

While you should typically list your previous positions in reverse chronological order, make sure that you are only including jobs that are relevant to being a line cook.

If you took a step away from cooking to pursue a different field of work, you might consider listing more relevant work first.

Once you have decided what jobs are most relevant to include in your line cook resume, it is time to start writing your job descriptions.

Each job description should include about three to five sentences to adequately describe the most important duties of the position.

It is necessary to be descriptive and specific about the tasks you discuss while keeping things concise and easy to follow.

While the bullet points you include will describe the tasks you completed for the jobs you are discussing, make sure that you are explaining things in a way that makes you shine.

Use this section as a platform to show off that you can do more than just talk the talk.

Yes!

Deck House Tavern | Windham, ME | Lead Line Cook | May 2016 – Present
• Created a unique system to efficiently track food costs and usage to decrease overspending by 13% each month
• Maintain facility appearance, cleanliness, and display standards to ensure a pleasant dining experience for guests
• Oversee food preparation and plating with exceptional presentation and style in mind to create a decrease in food waste by 10%
• Train new line cooks and prep cooks to create a pleasant and hard-working kitchen atmosphere that has led to an increase in productivity by 15%

No!

Deck House Tavern | Windham, ME | Lead Line Cook | May 2016 – Present
• Created a system to track food costs and usage
• Maintain facility appearance and cleanliness
• Oversee food preparation and plating
• Train new line cooks and prep cooks

The “Yes!” example lends quantifying and qualifying details to show results and describe accomplishments made by the candidate’s work efforts.

The “No!” example describes the work tasks with minimal detail and a lack of information that would show off the candidate’s skills and abilities.

PRO TIP: Showing off your skills is easier when you get specific through quantifying details whenever possible. If you trained incoming staff, give a number of how many people it was, or how quickly you were able to get them up to speed. Hiring managers will notice numbers on a page and see that you create tangible results.

(If you lack work experience, see below for a helpful section.)

More About Bots

As you work your way through your resume, it is important to consider who is going to be reading it.

However, in some cases, before a manager or owner can review your resume, it will have to face an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), otherwise known as a bot.

For some companies that receive a substantial amount of job applications, these systems help them narrow things down and avoid spending too much time on reviewing applications they aren’t interested in.

Having your resume reviewed by a bot might sound intimidating, but in reality, they sort resumes based on relatively simple guidelines.

In most cases, bots are programmed to search resumes for desired keywords that are associated with great candidates.

Including more keywords in your resume is an excellent way to increase the chances of your resume getting flagged by a bot.

Some resume experts now recommend writing your job descriptions in paragraphs and not with bullet points to include more keywords.

Standard Bullet Point Format

Boone’s Fish House and Oyster Room | Portland, ME | Line Cook | Sept 2014 – Apr 2016

  • Prepared food items and fresh ingredients in a timely and precise fashion for a 50-seat seafood restaurant
  • Consistently exceeded legal sanitation and cleaning standards to create a well maintained and organized work station
  • Monitored and restocked prepared ingredients and kitchen supplies as needed throughout the duration of shift
  • Named Employee of the Month three times due to consistently positive reviews from patrons concerning presentation and taste

Paragraph Format

Boone’s Fish House and Oyster Room | Portland, ME | Line Cook | Sept 2014 – Apr 2016
Prepared food items and fresh ingredients in a timely and precise fashion for a 50-seat seafood restaurant. Consistently exceeded legal sanitation and cleaning standards to create a well maintained and organized work station. Monitored and restocked prepared ingredients and kitchen supplies as needed throughout the duration of shift. Named Employee of the Month three times due to consistently positive reviews from patrons concerning presentation and taste.

A third option is also to write a paragraph description and then include a few key details in bullet points.

Boone’s Fish House and Oyster Room | Portland, ME | Line Cook | Sept 2014 – Apr 2016
Prepared food items and fresh ingredients in a timely and precise fashion for a 50-seat seafood restaurant. Consistently exceeded legal sanitation and cleaning standards to create a well maintained and organized work station. Monitored and restocked prepared ingredients and kitchen supplies as needed throughout the duration of shift.

  • Employee of the Month (3 times)
  • Trained over 5 new hires

Here at Big Interview, we believe that writing your job descriptions with bullet points is still the best option.

It is always possible to be intentional about including keywords with bullet points, and they are more visually pleasing to the human eye.

PRO TIP: Pay attention to the use of “power words” in your job descriptions. Power words are action verbs that should impactfully describe how you tackled various tasks and job duties. Make sure that you are starting each bullet point with a new and distinct power word.

Writing Your Education Section

Your education section is fairly straightforward and objective in how you include your credentials.

Make sure that you write degrees or diplomas in order of relevance and impressiveness.

Always include the name of the school you attended, the title of the degree (if applicable), and the year you graduated.

Example:

AOS Degree | Culinary Arts
Southern Maine Technical College
Graduated March 2011

If you have any additional certifications or licenses, list them in your education section as well.

Example:

Maine Food Handler Certificate

Possible Sections to Include in Your Line Cook Resume

In some cases, you might feel that you have extra qualifications or accomplishments that didn’t quite fit in the main sections of your resume.

If this is the case for you, feel free to include an additional section to go over those details.

Some additional sections to consider including are:

  • Awards and honors
  • Publications
  • Noteworthy Projects
  • Social Media Influence
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Hobbies/Interests
  • Volunteer Work

What If You Have No Experience?

If you have no relevant experience related to becoming a line cook, you are not alone.

While some jobs adamantly require applicable experience, some restaurants don’t mind training a new team member if they have the right work ethic.

If you received any formal training or took any culinary courses, you will want to adjust your education section just a bit.

Start by moving it up below your line cook resume summary and add in additional details that will help it make more of an impact.

Did you earn a high GPA?

Gain any honors or awards?

Was there specifically relevant coursework for the job in which you are applying?

These are the kinds of details that will prove that despite being a bit inexperienced, you are hard-working and skillful.

Make sure that you include additional sections whenever possible, especially when you have relevant internships or volunteer work to speak of.

Stay positive and confident that you are the best person for the job, and the right restaurant will give you your first opportunity.

Line Cook Resume Points to Remember

Bring the flavor

Make sure that you are never reusing the same keywords or power words. Every bullet point and sentence should present new information, told in a unique way. A resume that uses diverse and intentional language is sure to impress a hiring manager.

Visual style sells it

While what you choose to write in your line cook resume and how you choose to write it is important, those details won’t get you noticed if your resume format isn’t neat and professional. Make sure that you are using proper spacing and a legible font to help guide the eye down the page.

Double-check the order

It is easy to overlook minor mistakes that could cost you an interview. Make sure that you are reading through your resume to check for typos or awkward phrasings. If you have someone who can look things over as well, always get a second opinion.

Try to Avoid

Portion control

Make sure that you are taking the time to narrow things down so that your line cook resume fits on one page. A busy hiring manager isn’t going to have the time or energy to read through a resume that goes on for too long.

You’re not alone

If you have a job posting to reference that explains the type of candidate they are looking for and what skills they want you to have, make sure that you include those details in your own resume. Don’t feel like you need to come up with everything yourself; pay attention to the details given to you.

Don’t forget the small details

Make sure that you don’t get so caught up in the more challenging aspects of resume writing that you forget your most essential information. Always include your name and contact information at the top of the page where it is clearly noticeable.

(See below for a helpful table of some suggested power words.)

Helpful Tools

Line Cook Resume Power Words

  • Administered
  • Founded
  • Adept
  • Formulated
  • Built
  • Implemented
  • Created
  • Improved
  • Consolidated
  • Initiated
  • Coordinated
  • Launched
  • Developed
  • Pioneered
  • Designed
  • Organized

Line Cook Resume Skills List

Hard SkillsSoft Skills
OSHAPunctual
POS SystemLeadership
Fluent Spanish SpeakerOrganized
Food Safety and SanitationMulti-tasking
Food Handlers CertificationPhysical Stamina