The purpose of one’s resume is not to get a job, but to get the first interview. Interviewing skills are very important, no matter the skill level or career level of the individual. Communication and chemistry are very rarely overlooked just because a candidate’s skill level is high. In hospitality we do not work alone. We work as part of a team, and therefore companies rarely ignore a potentially disastrous culture fit because someone’s skills are superior.
- TELL THE TRUTH…AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH
The best companies will not tolerate falsehood…so do not embellish… ever…about anything. Besides, you have value wherever you are in your career and there is a great job out there for the YOU that YOU ARE!
- USE MICROSOFT WORD…PERIOD
Most businesses use Microsoft Word and those that do not can also read Word docs. If you want your resume read, send it in Word.
- THE RESUME GETS THE INTERVIEW…NOT THE JOB
This is advertising. If you cram your resume full of every bit of information about you, there is no reason to bring you in for a face-to-face. Temper your resume with the highlights of your career, the impact you make, with the intention of leaving the reader thinking, “I have got to meet this candidate.”
- LAY IT OUT RIGHT
Busy human resources pros and operations executives will give your resume 5 to 10 seconds at first glace. Most often their eyes will go first to your CONTACT INFORMATION (for your residence location), then right to EXPERIENCE (to judge if your career history is a fit), then to EDUCATION, and then to their HOT BUTTON SPOT (personal choice…depends on the reader – could be certifications, objective, awards, qualifications summary, etc.). If they like what they saw, they’ll go back to the experience area to read the details, and so on.
- KEEP IT TO ONE PAGE
Yes, you! Content impresses…not multiple pages. Remember…you have 5 to 10 seconds. Save it for the interview. If the CEOs of Fortune 100 companies can keep it to one page, you can too.
- FOCUS ON IMPACT
If you are a Pastry Chef we already know that you are “responsible for all aspects of the pastry department.” Tell them something they don’t know! How did you…
- Decrease turnover?
- Drive sales or lower costs?
- Lead a team or champion a cause?
- Create a concept?
- Turn around a failing property?
- Redesign the kitchen or redesign a menu?
- Improve quality
- Increased dessert sales 26% by overhauling the menu to reflect contemporary trends such as seasonality and farm-to-table components
- Lowered food cost by 14% through streamlined purchasing, consistent training and implementing an incentive program for the staff
- Decreased turnover by 50% in the first year through one-on-one and group mentorship, skills training, and changing morale for the positive
- Personally consulted with group sales clients resulting in an $18K annual sales increase of specialty cakes, pastry tables and plated desserts Tell them “what,” but leave them needing to know “how.”
Use numbers, %’s and $’s…they stand out and catch the eye. Wouldn’t you want to meet the chef that…
- USE BULLETPOINTS
Nothing aggravates a resume reader more than trying to read a huge run-on paragraph in small-point font. Bulletpoints steer the eye, and look crisp and neat. And use a solid circle or simple shape. Do not use a “fleur de lis” or other fancy insignia…it defeats the purpose.
- USE FONT Sizes 11 AND 4
Do all of the copy in 11…it’s easily readable. You can use bold and italics SPARINGLY to add emphasis. Avoid underlining as it can draw the eye too much and make the page look busy.
- USE A READABLE FONT WITHOUT SERIFS LIKE ARIAL
You’ll get to discuss your creativity and flair in the interview process, don’t junk up your resume with a font that will make your formerly potential new company’s HR department’s eyes tear.
- PUT YOUR CONTACT INFO IN THE “HEADER” AND IF NECESSARY USE THE “FOOTER” FOR “References Available Upon Request”
We’re sticking to one page, right. If you have to, buy an inch by putting your contact info in the header part of the page. This is the ONLY place to possibly use a different font than in the body of the resume. Choose an easy-to-read font with serifs to add flavor…like Century or Times New Roman. Don’t list every way possible to contact you. Just use your home number. Here’s a good example:
Charles Q. Culinarian
1 East Elm Street
Chicago, IL 60611
Always center your contact information. If the resume is stapled to another document and your contact info is crammed in the upper corner (to make room for all the unnecessary fluff), it’s a pain in the neck. Keep it front and center – makes a bold statement. (Email INTENTIONALLY not underlined…remember…draws the eye AWAY from where you want it to go.)
LESS IS MORE…ELIMINATE FLUFF
Just because you have seen resumes with sections like Objective, Summary of Qualifications, Technical Expertise, etc. does not mean that it fits for you! There are occasions when those are appropriate and you need to discern when and why. Very often they’re redundant. Many successful professionals’ resumes have only their contact info, education, experience, and awards/skills/certifications/etc.
TIPS ON REFERENCES
Keep them on a separate sheet and provide upon request. Do not expose your valuable professional references to unnecessary phone calls and make sure those references are aware they will be contacted regarding your candidacy. A surprised reference is not a good sign.
SPELLCHECK AND YOU CHECK
Read your resume because spellcheck only makes sure that the word is in the dictionary! Many foreign words and culinary terms will not spell check.
Your phone number is now CONNECTED to your career lifeline. Therefore, change your voicemail to something like “Thank you for calling Charles Culinarian, I am sorry I missed your call but please leave a message with your phone number and I will return the call promptly. Thank you.”
Use a confident professional voice when you record your greeting. Potential employers may not want to jam to your favorite dance tune or hear a joke.
Use font 4 for spacing between jobs or categories. (Just like between these two paragraphs!) That’s how you manipulate the top and bottom margins and get more copy on ONE PAGE. Also…Do not shrink the left and right margins smaller than one inch and the top and bottom margins smaller than .7 inch.
- TELL THE TRUTH…AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH
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