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Discover what it takes to write a winning chef cover letter that gets you noticed by restaurant hiring managers. Get inspired with our chef cover letter samples and create your own with the cover letter builder.
You’ll also learn about the different elements that make up a cover letter and how to craft them, along with which keywords should be included in your document and why they matter to your job search.
The most common sections you’ll see on a cover letter include:
In your cover letter heading, include your name, phone number and email address so restaurant hiring managers know how to reach you.
If you’d like to visually stand out, create a customized header that contains your contact information. This detail makes your cover letter visibly different from other candidates, and increases the odds that a hiring manager will remember your application.
Your cover letter heading must match your resume in style, otherwise the inconsistent treatment makes your application look sloppy and rushed. This can hurt your employment prospects.
Research the name of the person who does the hiring and address your chef cover letter accordingly. This shows you’re respectful and polite, and that you pay attention to important details. If you’re applying to the head chef position, you’ll need to address your cover letter to either the restaurant manager or the owner.
Capture a potential employer’s attention by including action verbs in your introduction that reflect your skills and abilities. Address why you’re the best candidate for the job.
As you can see in our sample cover letter, our applicant, Albert Nolan, wisely shares that he has over eight years of experience and was responsible for creating menus and managing high-end kitchens. Hiring managers immediately know that this candidate can manage day-to-day and seasonal responsibilities at the back of house, freeing the manager to focus on budget and front-of-house needs.
This section is the place to include your training and experience in the restaurant industry, along with any professional certifications you may hold. Elevate your cover letter over rival applicants by proving your skills with quantifiable metrics, like how a new menu increased reservations and profits by 15 percent.
Look at our sample cover letter, for example. Chef Nolan lets hiring managers know that his menus were so well-received that they were promoted on the local and national level. He also lets hiring managers know that he was able to cut costs by 15 percent while simultaneously stimulating profits for an additional $280,000 a year. By demonstrating that he closely analyses how his actions negatively or positively impact his restaurant, Chef Nolan imparts that he truly cares about how his locations thrive.
End your chef cover letter by emphasizing your interest in the position and thanking the restaurant hiring manager for their consideration.
The final part of a chef cover letter is the signature, which is simply a closing, such as “Thank You” or “Sincerely,” followed by your name. Check out how our chef cover letter sample includes this.
This template is perfect if you’re seeking a bold visual statement, and also demonstrates that you are as up-to-date as your potential employer.
With its striking fonts and vivid coloring, this cover letter template helps you make a strong impression with hiring managers.
For job seekers who want to show off strong qualifications and experience without distracting bells and whistles, this clean cover letter example fits the bill.
The classic cover letter template is a good choice for job candidates with minimal experience who want to project a professional image.
This sharp layout places emphasis on job experience and major achievements, highlighting your abilities as a top-level manager.
This cover letter example is easily adaptable across many professions, allowing you to detail your experience, leadership skills, and technical expertise.
This clean template emphasizes your progressive, up-to-date experience and achievements -- the qualities that pioneering, cutting-edge companies seek.
This solid template lets you get to the point with your credentials, and why you are a good fit for the job.
When you need to get all the important details about your capabilities across without wasting space, use this compact, well-organized template.
As demonstrated on our chef cover letter example, it’s important to include action verbs that reflect your most valuable skills and experience. Restaurant hiring managers have certain qualities in mind when looking for chef candidates, and the right keywords can help capture their attention. Some keywords to consider might include those in the list below.
Innovate: Show that you’re an original talent as a chef. Tell about the specific ways you innovate with your dishes.
Create: Make clear as a chef your skill for creating new dishes, as opposed to only following recipes.
Prepare: Detail dishes you’ve prepared in past jobs, or communicate the variety of what you can prepare as a chef.
Manage: Show that you can do more than just cook. If you’ve managed other employees, make this known.
Organize: Make note of how your organizational skills manifest in the kitchen, and how this might benefit the entire restaurant.
Another reason to use action verbs in your chef cover letter is that some restaurants may use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to weed out undesirable applicants. These programs can eliminate as many as 50 percent of job applicants, simply based on the words and phrases found in their cover letter and resume. By including relevant keywords, your letter is less likely to be eliminated by one of these tracking systems.
To make your chef cover letter even more compelling, include a few examples of experiences you’ve had in previous restaurant jobs. Choose examples that demonstrate your best qualities. If you came up with a daily special that was popular with restaurant customers, talk about it.
For example, you could state that you were “in charge of managing a large catering order that was responsible for 20 percent of the business’s annual profit.” If so, be sure to include the details of how you made sure it went off without a hitch. Including personal experiences gives the hiring manager a glimpse of what you’re most proud of as a professional chef.Build a Cover Letter
Your chef cover letter is a great opportunity to expand on the details included on your resume. For example, if you included on your resume that you attended culinary school, you could elaborate on your classes in the body of your cover letter.