In a Rush? Serving Up Tips for a Line Cook Resume

Reliability. Many chefs would agree that this is the telltale trait of a line cook. When the restaurant is full, the pressure is high and the kitchen is a mess – this is when a line chef shows their worth. Does the chef rely on you to prep the food to high standards and on time? Can you be trusted to do that without needing micromanaging? Then you are halfway there to be a great line cook.

If you are seeking a way to better sell yourself to potential employers, you’ve come to the right place. Many skills make an excellent line chef, like organization and punctuality. It is not enough to have these qualities though, you have to make those line cook resume skills shine to get an interview. Let’s see how.

First of all, establish exactly what are your qualities and what can you bring to the table. After reading this article and finding a good resume template, you should be able to cook up the perfect resume!

Everyone knows that there are several types of people in a kitchen – like the head chef, sous chef, and fish chef. What is not common knowledge is that there are also distinctions between line chefs. Here are some of them:

Traditional line chef

This is the most usual kind of line chef. There can be more than one line cook in a restaurant. If that is the case, they’ll be ranked as cook 1, cook 2, etc., with cook 1 being the most experienced. Depending on the restaurant, this chef can handle one station or manage multiple parts of a serving line. If that is the case, you should be extra attentive, fast, and ready for any challenge, as your job can change in a second. If you have experience in this area, highlight it in your chef resume as this is the most wanted type of line cook today.

Prep cook

As the name says, the prep cook is responsible for preparing the ingredients for the chef. Cutting, measuring, defrosting, labeling, maintaining storage areas – all that is the job of the prep chef. If you are looking to get your feet wet in the industry – this is where. You’ll be learning the basics of how a kitchen works and soon will jump to being a line cook. Here, emphasize how fast, responsible and punctual you are on your kitchen resume.

Appetizer chef

The appetizer chef is responsible for the sides station. Salads, soups, hot appetizers, and easy vegetables are all handled by this cook. There is more responsibility involved. If you are a line chef but looking to get more involved in a kitchen, why not apply? Include every past line cook job you had in different restaurants and go in detail about the dishes you were in charge of.

Short order cook

Short order cooks are quick. And we mean quick. They have food out in a matter of minutes and are best suited for simple and ready to serve items.

Play your strengths and study the job descriptions around your area. There is nothing wrong with changing your resume for each position you apply as well. If they are looking for a short-order cook, demonstrate your knife skills. Expand on your experience getting food out of the kitchen fast – pointing out jobs that required that. If the opening is for a short order cook, express your love of cooking and how you are never late as an employee. Describe past jobs where you were in charge of preparation and serving food, and how you handled that.

Traits and features of a great line chef

We know every restaurant is different and each employer, unique. Even so, some qualities are an absolute must for line cooks, and there are essential culinary skills for a resume. If you have them, show them, and if you are lacking any, they are a great point to improve yourself!


Being punctual is a necessity for most jobs, and you will always be looked at with more respect for it. For a cook, however, being late is a luxury they can never afford. If the prep is not done in time or the first order is late because of a chef, the entire night will suffer. It is hard to overcome that snowball effect. Be clear on your resume about it, and follow up with actions.

Cleanliness and organization

Messiness may be cute on a twenty-something student, but for a professional chef? Not acceptable. Being an organized person will definitely translate well into a kitchen job. When everything has a place, clean-up is a breeze, and it shows. Your workstation must be clean and sanitized, not to mention organized, if you want to be a lead line cook, or really any kitchen worker. Employers will be looking for this trait on a line chef, so start with your resume. Clear paragraphs, bullet-point lists, and professional fonts will showcase your organization skills, and are great resume builders.


A restaurant has to provide good food every day. This is a simple concept that is not so easy to achieve. A kitchen is like an well-oiled machine – all parts have to work on the same speed and manner. A great line chef delivers fine dining and great customer service on a quiet Tuesday and on Christmas night – all the same. Make a point to elaborate on how consistent you are on your resume. If you had a particularly difficult job with high demands, illustrate that. Don’t be afraid to brag!

Time Management

An extremely skilled line cook or chef makes great food and manages an efficient kitchen with great culinary skills for a resume
Odds are you won’t have to wear the funny hat, but you should probably think about it

Lack of time management is why many with culinary expertise cannot work in a kitchen. Such a high-pressure environment requires all of the kitchen staff to know what to do first and how long to stay in each task. An accomplished chef knows what needs to be done three hours from now – and manages their time for it. This is a skill that has to be present on your resume, as every employer will skim through looking for it.

Paint yourself as a proactive person that knows how urgent things can get in a restaurant. Explain how you ensure the quality of your work. Use each past work experience as a chance to flaunt one of your qualities, with examples. Following these tips will get your resume on top of the list, and get you a trial shift to prove it all!

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