If you’re looking to make the jump from the kitchen to another career field, then you know that it can be daunting. How do you take your years of experience and translate it into another field? What kind of information should you be putting in your resume? And how do you present yourself in a way that gets you an interview?
It’s easy to become overwhelmed, but with a few simple tips, you can write a resume that will have you on your way out of the restaurant industry and into an industry you’re excited about! Keep in mind, if you truly aren’t comfortable writing your own resume, there are resume services out there that can help: https://www.resumego.net/
Formatting Your Resume
The first thing you will want to do is choose a resume format! For a lot of job seekers, a chronological resume is a standard. You have probably written one before when applying to a new job! This is a type of resume that lists your employment history in order by date. As someone looking to switch fields, you don’t need to highlight where you have been working. Instead, you want to show how your work history and unique experience is relevant to the field you are going into. With this in mind, a functional resume is a direction you want to go. A functional resume is like a highlight reel for your work history and skillset, and this is especially critical when a lot of your work history has been in a different field than what you are applying for.
The Objective Statement
For the first part of your functional resume, you will want to write an objective statement. This is a great opportunity to explain your work history, and where you’re trying to go. It also helps clarify for whoever is looking over resumes and applications that your resume is supposed to be in this hiring pool. It can be confusing to receive a resume with a lot of experience in a different field, so make sure to address that. Don’t make the person reviewing your application struggle to connect your work skills to their industry; spell it out for them!
Make sure to tailor your objective statement to each job you are applying to. This will show the person reading your resume that you are paying attention and taking this seriously, which can give your application an edge.
The Skills Section
Someone going through many job applications a day is often looking for buzzwords and quick information first. A skills section is your best bet to catch their eye. For this part, you will want to sit down and think about your work history. Whether you’ve been a line cook, prep cook, or chef, there are a lot of different roles and responsibilities that you have handled. Start making a list of the kinds of things you’ve done in those roles! Some examples might include managing inventory, training new team members, tracking temperature logs, or estimating prep needs for the workday. These are all tasks that have taught you transferable skills!
What’s a transferable skill? Most skills can be divided into hard and soft skills; hard skills are measurable and learnable. They tend to be specific to a job, but that does not mean they are not transferable. Some examples might include budgeting, keeping an inventory, and following recipes. Soft skills are more on the interpersonal side, such as leadership, communication, and problem-solving. Hard skills are important, but as someone who is switching careers, your best assets will be your soft skills, because those are easier to apply to a new workspace. Take stock of what kind of skills you have, and make a list. You might be surprised at how many you have picked up over the years!
While building your skills section, remember to reference what you know about the industry you are trying to land a job in. For instance, if you are trying to get into marketing, what kind of skills does that job entail? Where does your background crossover with those skills? Double-check the jargon of that industry if you can.
This leads to your work history. You have two options here: you can continue with the functional resume format and list things in order of relevance and importance, or you can list your work history in a chronological format, to keep things neat.
The second option is called a hybrid resume and can be helpful depending on your work history. This would make sense if none of your past jobs are in a field you’re applying for. Because none of these jobs are any more crucial than the other for proving your readiness for the position, a chronological order would keep the information organized. Having a steady work history can also back up some of your soft skills, such as dependability and a good work ethic.
A functional work history might make more sense if you haven’t always been in the restaurant industry and did some work that is relevant to your current field. For instance, if you are trying to get into sales, you may want to show your salesperson position you held a few years ago before your various cook positions.
Write out your roles and responsibilities for each job, while editing out anything that doesn’t have to do with your future career. Your future employer may not need to know that you can dice a bus tub of onions in under twenty minutes, but they may be interested in the fact that you have experience ordering and receiving large shipments of products. Remember that you can also list relevant volunteer experience! Don’t be afraid to write a longer resume; according to some studies, recruiters are more likely to prefer two page resumes over one page resumes, and in your case, you will want to use that space to highlight why you are a good fit to your future employer.
Switching careers is a difficult transition, but keep in mind that many employers are eager to take on new perspectives and fresh eyes in an industry. With a solid resume, a thorough knowledge of your own skills, and a willingness to learn, you can land a job in a field you’re excited about.