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In a competitive kitchen, it’s important for you to stand out from other potential applicants, especially as a second-in-command sous chef. One of the best ways to do this is to write a compelling cover letter that highlights your unique skills and hands-on experience. When you use a sous chef cover letter sample to help you create your document, it can make the process a lot easier.
Start by combing through our collection of food service samples written by experienced culinary veterans. Then use our cover letter builder, and add your own unique skills and restaurant experience. When it’s complete, you’ll have a strong service industry cover letter that will impress the restaurants you want to work for.
The most common sections you’ll see on a cover letter include:
In the heading, include your contact information so the places you apply to can reach you for an interview. Your name, city and state, email address and phone number are essentials. Include the current date you’re writing the cover letter.
Address the cover letter to the head chef or restaurant manager from the job posting, if the name is provided. Use a Mr. or Ms. before their last name. Otherwise, a formal “Dear Hiring Manager,” could be used.
This is the section for introducing yourself and expressing why you have an interest in the position. If you want to be bold, you can take an attention-grabbing, creative approach and craft a killer opening line.
As you can see in our sample cover letter, Ms. Jessica Alvarez is very detailed in her accomplishments. She quickly lets the hiring managers know that she has over five years of culinary experience as a sous chef, and that she has contributed to the difficult task of planning and launching a new menu. You’ll want to provide similar details to compete in the culinary world.
This should be the longest section of your letter, about three to four concise sentences. Explain how your skills and experience fit into what this job requires.
As you can see, Ms. Alvarez continues her impressive cover letter by clearly outlining her previous inventory budget, staff size and speed with quantifiable metrics. She presents herself as a confident chef who understands how to quickly get delicious meals out. If you provide similar details in your cover letter that prove your value and experience, you’re likely to get a callback.
Thank the restaurant hiring manager for their time in reading your application. If you want to be proactive, invite them to contact you for an interview, or say you look forward to hearing from them.
Either provide a handwritten signature if you’re submitting application materials in person or through the mail, or type your name if you’re sending electronically.
Attention to detail and getting things right the first time are important traits to working in a restaurant. So make sure your resume doesn’t betray you by containing spelling or grammatical errors. Double-check everything and get a friend to proofread if need be.
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.
One of the best ways to make your sous chef cover letter stand out is to incorporate industry-related keywords and phrases. Check out the examples below:
Recommend: Usually pertaining to a server position, this relates to your ability to make menu recommendations to guests and upsell menu items.
Deliver: Also relevant to a server position, this action verb refers to delivering orders to guests accurately and in a timely manner.
Hospitality: Restaurants thrive because they make guests feel welcome and at home. Use this word to indicate you can provide an experience that will make guests return.
Provide: This indicates that you provide service that is friendly and attentive.
Greet: This action verb can be used in a sentence about greeting guests in a friendly and professional way.
Multitask: Restaurants generally have a lot going on at any given time. It’s good to indicate you are comfortable with managing several tasks at once.
Team-player/team-focused: A restaurant is composed of many working parts. Use these phrases to demonstrate that you work well with others.
Prepare: This is a good action verb for a line cook position or other restaurant kitchen job where food preparation skills are essential.
Using job-related keywords that are relevant to restaurant work is important because you want to show you have experience in your desired position. Moreover, many larger restaurants, especially chains, may use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to sift through piles of resumes to find qualified applicants. These computer programs scan cover letters and resumes looking for keywords and phrases included within the job posting. If you make sure to include these important words in the materials you send, you can help increase your chances of scoring an interview.
For example, if you came across the following job post:
Sous Chef: Leadership position assisting Chef in running a very successful, well-established, high-energy, high-volume Annapolis, MD kitchen. Knowledge in all facets of back of house (BOH) with emphasis in Maryland/Chesapeake seafood vibe is helpful, but will train successful candidates willing to learn our way.
You could write the following statement that meets many of the job requirements: “Highly established sous chef with over three years of experience running high-energy kitchens in the Annapolis region. My specialty lies in preparing fresh Maryland seafood alongside a small but mighty BOH team.”Build a Cover Letter
Once you’ve tailored your cover letter to suit the needs of your coveted job, you should pair it with a strong resume that lists the details of your skills and specific work experience. The two work together to help you land the job.