Best Prep Cook Resume Examples For 2024 (Template & Guide)

Crafting the perfect prep cook resume is essential for landing your dream job in the culinary world. Our guide and examples will help you create a standout prep cook resume tailored to showcase your skills and experience effectively.

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Prep Cook Resume: Overview

As a prep cook, you play a vital role in maintaining the efficiency and quality of a kitchen. You prepare ingredients, follow recipes, and ensure cleanliness and organization.

Prep cooks can find work in a variety of settings, including:

          • Restaurants
          • Cafés
          • Catering Companies
          • Hotels
          • Institutional Kitchens (like schools or hospitals)

Successful prep cooks possess a mix of culinary skills and personal attributes. Essential skills include knife handling, ingredient preparation, time management, and the ability to follow recipes accurately. Communication and teamwork are also critical in a busy kitchen environment.

Ready to create your best resume for your next prep cook job? Our impressive resume examples and easy-to-use templates will help you land the job!

Prep Cook Resume: Choose a Format

Writing a resume for a prep cook starts with choosing a resume format. Choosing the right format is crucial to presenting your experience effectively. There are three main formats to consider for a prep cook’s resume: chronological, functional or combination.

Each format emphasizes different aspects of your skills and experience, so let’s take a closer look at each one to help you choose the best format for your resume!

Chronological Resumes for Prep Cooks

A chronological resume is like a timeline of your professional journey, listing your work history in reverse order, so your most recent job shines at the top. This format is fantastic if you’ve been working steadily as a prep cook because it clearly shows your on-the-job experience.

Chronological formats focus on your previous job titles and your career timeline. For example, a prep cook would provide a list of previous jobs in and then provide bulleted sentences describing their responsibilities and achievements in each role.

Experienced prep cooks will benefit from this straightforward, easy-to-read layout that highlights experience front and center. However, be mindful that this format can also bring attention to any employment gaps, so it’s best if you’ve had a consistent work history.

Functional Resumes for Prep Cooks

A functional resume shifts the spotlight from your job history to your skills, making it perfect for prep cooks who might be new to the field or switching careers. This format lets you showcase your culinary talents and achievements without focusing on where or when you gained them.

This format places your skills, training and qualifications front and center, and may or may not provide any information about your previous job titles or employment history.

A functional format is great for highlighting what you can do in the kitchen, but keep in mind that some employers prefer a detailed work history.

Plus, Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) might have a harder time reading functional resumes, which could hurt your chances of getting noticed if you apply online.

Combination Resumes for Prep Cooks

A combination resume gives you the best of both worlds by blending the chronological and functional formats. It allows you to highlight your key skills while also detailing your work history.

To create a combination resume, a prep cook would, for example, list their most relevant skills and qualifications above their work experience to draw attention to their fit for the job.

A combination format is especially useful for prep cooks who have limited experience, but a strong skill set. You’ll get the flexibility to emphasize your qualifications comprehensively, making it easier for employers to see both your capabilities and your career progression.

Choosing a Resume Format

Choosing the right resume format can make a big difference in landing your dream prep cook job. If you’re not sure which format will work best for you, don’t worry—you’re in the right place!

A chronological format is usually the safest bet, especially if you have some work history. This format is not only easy for hiring managers to follow, but it’s also ATS-friendly, which many employers use to screen resumes.

Now, what if you don’t have a lot of experience as a prep cook? No problem! You can still use a chronological resume to make it work for you. Start by listing any relevant jobs you’ve had, even if they weren’t in a kitchen. Think about the skills you used or learned in those roles that can transfer to a prep cook position.

Highlight these transferable skills in your job descriptions. For example, if you managed inventory at a retail job, you could write something like, “Collaborated with a 4-person team to manage inventory for a high-traffic store, ensuring product availability.”

You can also customize your resume for each job application. Tailor your job descriptions to match the skills and qualifications listed in the prep cook job posting. This way, you can show employers that you have the skills they’re looking for, even if your experience comes from different roles.

Here’s a quick tip: use a strong, clear summary statement at the top of your resume to tie everything together. Mention your most relevant skills and experiences, and express your enthusiasm for the prep cook position. This will give employers a snapshot of what you bring to the table, right from the start.

How to Write a Prep Cook Resume

Once you have chosen a great resume template and the best format for you, it’s time to write your resume content. Writing a prep cook resume might feel overwhelming, but don’t worry—we’re here to help!

Our step-by-step guide will simplify the process, ensuring you create a standout resume that highlights your skills and experience.

There are five essential sections to a resume outline:

          • Contact Information
          • Resume Summary or Objective
          • Work History
          • Skills
          • Education

Once you have nailed down those five sections, there are some optional sections to consider as well, but we’ll get to that later in this guide. Let’s get started!

Contact Information

The first step in creating your prep cook resume is to make sure your contact information is clear and easy to find. This is super important because you want potential employers to be able to reach you without any hassle.

Here’s what you should include:

          • Full Name: Use your full name to keep things professional.
          • Location: Just include your city and state. There’s no need for your complete address.
          • Phone Number: Make sure it’s a number you answer regularly and has a professional voicemail greeting.
          • Email Address: Use a professional email address, ideally with your name in it. Avoid using nicknames or quirky addresses.

Here’s an example of contact information for a prep cook’s resume to guide you:

Lynda B. Cook
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Remember, your contact information is the first thing employers see, so keep it neat and professional. Double-check for any typos or errors before you send out your resume!

Summary or Objective

Next, you will write a brief introduction to your resume. This will be a short 2-3 sentences that will let employers know your qualifications and entice them to read more.

There are two ways to write this introduction: a resume summary or an objective statement.

Deciding whether to use a resume summary or an objective can be tricky, especially if you’re new to writing resumes. So, let’s break it down!

A resume summary is a short, punchy statement that highlights your experience and key skills. It’s perfect for experienced prep cooks because it gives employers a quick snapshot of your professional background and what you bring to the table.

For example, a resume summary for a prep cook’s resume might say something like this:

“Detail-oriented prep cook with 5 years of experience in fast-paced kitchens. Skilled in ingredient preparation, recipe adherence, and maintaining kitchen cleanliness. Dedicated team player with a passion for culinary excellence.”

A resume objective is a bit different. It focuses on your career goals and what you hope to achieve in the role you’re applying for. If you’re new to the culinary world or don’t have much experience as a prep cook, an objective can show your enthusiasm and potential.

For example, an objective statement for a prep cook resume might say something like this:

“Aspiring prep cook seeking an entry-level position to utilize my culinary training and strong organizational skills. Eager to contribute to a dynamic kitchen team and grow my culinary career.”

No matter which you choose, make sure to customize your statement for each job application. Use keywords from the job description to make your resume stand out to the ATS.

Tailoring your summary or objective also shows employers that you’ve done your homework and are genuinely interested in the position.

By focusing on these key points, you’ll make a great first impression and boost your chances of landing that prep cook job!

Work History

Next, you will provide a detailed work history to let employers know more about your previous job experience.

Your work history section is where you really get to shine and show potential employers what you’ve done and what you can bring to their kitchen.

First, list your work experience in reverse chronological order. This means starting with your most recent job and working your way back. For each job, include the job title, employer, location, and dates of employment.

But don’t stop there—this section is your chance to showcase your accomplishments and responsibilities in a way that really highlights your skills and experience.

Underneath each job entry, you will write at least three bulleted sentences describing your responsibilities and accomplishments at each job.

To make your work history stand out from the competition, start each bullet point with strong action verbs like “prepared,” “assisted,” or “maintained.” This makes your responsibilities sound dynamic and impactful.

Pro Tip: Whenever possible, include numbers to show the impact you had. For example, “Reduced food waste by 15%” as employers highly value quantifiable achievements. The metrics provide clear context to your abilities.

Here’s an example of a work history section of a prep cook’s resume:

Prep Cook
Gourmet Bistro, Miami, FL
June 2020 – Present

          • Prepared ingredients for daily menu items, ensuring high quality and consistency.
          • Assisted chefs with recipe execution and plating, contributing to a smooth and efficient kitchen operation.
          • Maintained cleanliness and organization of the kitchen, adhering to health and safety standards to create a safe work environment.
          • Reduced food waste by 15% through efficient inventory management and careful monitoring of perishable items.

When writing your work history section, emphasize the skills that are most relevant to the prep cook role. If you’ve done something that directly relates to the job you’re applying for, make sure it stands out.

Use keywords and phrases from the job posting to align your experience with what the employer is looking for. This not only helps with ATS but also shows that you’re a perfect fit for the role.

By following these tips and structuring your work history like this, you’ll make a strong impression on hiring managers. Remember, this section is all about showing what you’ve achieved and how you can bring those successes to your next role as a prep cook.


Next, you will create a skills section for your prep cook resume to let employers know that you are ready for the job.

In a busy kitchen, a prep cook needs a mix of hard skills and soft skills to succeed.

Hard skills are the technical abilities you use daily, like chopping vegetables or following recipes.

Soft skills, on the other hand, help you navigate the fast-paced, often stressful kitchen environment.

Both are equally important because they ensure you can handle the physical demands of the job while also working well with your team.

Top 5 Hard Skills for Prep Cook Resumes

          • Knife Handling: This is crucial for preparing ingredients quickly and safely. Being adept with a knife can significantly improve your efficiency and reduce waste.
          • Recipe Execution: The ability to follow recipes accurately ensures that each dish meets the restaurant’s standards for quality and taste.
          • Food Safety: Knowledge of health and safety regulations is vital for maintaining a clean and safe kitchen, preventing foodborne illnesses.
          • Ingredient Preparation: Proficiency in chopping, slicing, and dicing ingredients ensures that everything is ready for the chefs, keeping the kitchen running smoothly.
          • Kitchen Equipment Use: Familiarity with various kitchen tools and appliances means you can efficiently use everything from mixers to grills, enhancing your versatility in the kitchen.

Top 5 Soft Skills for Prep Cook Resumes

        • Teamwork: Kitchens are collaborative environments. Being able to work well with your colleagues ensures that operations run smoothly and efficiently.
        • Time Management: Prioritizing tasks and managing your time effectively is essential to meet tight deadlines, especially during busy service times.
        • Attention to Detail: Ensuring accuracy in ingredient preparation and recipe execution helps maintain the quality and consistency of the dishes.
        • Communication: Clear and effective communication with colleagues and supervisors is crucial to avoid mistakes and ensure that the kitchen runs smoothly.
        • Adaptability: Kitchens can be chaotic, and tasks can change rapidly. Being flexible and adaptable helps you handle these changes without stress.

Here’s an example of how you might format the skills section of your prep cook resume:


          • Kitchen Organization and Cleanliness
          • Food Safety
          • Knife Handling
          • Teamwork
          • Commercial Kitchen Equipment
          • Recipe Execution
          • Attention to Detail
          • Customer Service

By highlighting both your hard and soft skills, you’ll present yourself as a well-rounded candidate who can handle all aspects of a prep cook job.

This balanced approach can help your resume stand out to employers looking for someone who can thrive in a kitchen setting.


Next, you wil provide your educational background so employers know you meet the job requirements. Including these details on your resume is essential, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Simply list your degree, the institution, and the location. However, it’s usually best to leave out the graduation date to avoid any potential age bias.

For example, an education section for a prep cook resume may look like this:

Culinary Arts Diploma
School of Culinary Arts – Tampa, FL

You can also consider mentioning any relevant certifications or coursework in your education section.

However, if you have multiple certifications, it might be more impactful to create a separate section to highlight them.

Additional Sections

To really make your prep cook resume stand out, consider adding some optional sections.

These can give employers a fuller picture of your qualifications and show that you’re going above and beyond the basics.

Here are some additional sections to think about including:

          • Certifications: Adding a section for certifications, like a ServSafe Certification, can highlight your knowledge of food safety and sanitation practices, which are crucial in a kitchen environment.
          • Volunteer Experience: If you’ve volunteered in a community kitchen or at food-related events, this section can showcase your passion for cooking and your willingness to gain experience outside of paid positions.
          • Professional Affiliations: Memberships in organizations like the American Culinary Federation can demonstrate your commitment to the culinary profession and your desire to stay updated with industry standards and trends.
          • Awards and Honors: If you’ve received any accolades, such as “Employee of the Month” or cooking competition awards, include them to show your achievements and recognition in the field.
          • Languages: If you speak multiple languages, this can be a valuable asset in diverse kitchen settings, enhancing communication with a broader team.

By including one or more of these optional sections, you can provide a more comprehensive view of your skills and experiences, helping to paint a complete picture of who you are as a culinary professional.

Top Certifications for Prep Cooks

Adding certifications to your resume can really set you apart and show your commitment to professional development.

Here are some key certifications that can strengthen your prep cook resume:

          • ServSafe Certification: This certification validates your knowledge of food safety and sanitation, which is crucial for maintaining a clean and safe kitchen environment. It covers essential topics like proper food handling, storage, and hygiene practices.
          • OSHA Safety Certificate: Earning this certificate demonstrates that you understand and can implement workplace safety standards. It’s particularly valuable in kitchens where there are various potential hazards, from hot surfaces to sharp knives.
          • First Aid Certification: Being prepared for emergencies is a great asset in a busy kitchen. This certification shows that you can handle medical emergencies, providing first aid until professional help arrives, which is a vital skill in any high-pressure environment.
          • Food Handler’s Permit: This permit is often required by local health departments and shows that you comply with local food safety regulations. It’s a fundamental certification that reassures employers you are trained in the basics of food safety.
          • Certified Professional – Food Safety (CP-FS): This advanced certification demonstrates a high level of expertise in food safety and sanitation. It’s ideal for those looking to move into more senior kitchen roles or who are responsible for overseeing food safety protocols.

These certifications not only enhance your resume but also equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in a prep cook role.

Including them on your resume shows potential employers that you’re serious about your culinary career and dedicated to maintaining high standards in the kitchen.

8 Tips For Writing A Prep Cook Resume

Tailor Your Resume: Customize your resume for each job application. Look at the job description and highlight the skills and experiences that match what the employer is looking for. For example, if a job emphasizes knife skills and food safety, make sure those are prominently featured on your resume.

Use Keywords: Incorporate job-specific keywords from the job listing. This can help your resume pass through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), which many employers use to filter applications. Keywords for a prep cook might include “ingredient preparation,” “recipe adherence,” and “food safety.”

Be Concise: Keep your resume to one page, focusing on the most relevant information. Hiring managers often have limited time to scan resumes, so make sure every word counts. Highlight your most recent and relevant experiences to show you’re a strong fit for the role.

Highlight Achievements: Use action verbs and quantifiable metrics to showcase your accomplishments. For example, instead of just saying, “Managed inventory,” say, “Reduced food waste by 15% through efficient inventory management and careful monitoring of perishable items, resulting in cost savings for the restaurant.”

Include Soft Skills: Demonstrate your interpersonal skills, such as teamwork and communication. Kitchens are collaborative environments, so it’s important to show you can work well with others. Mention experiences where you successfully collaborated with chefs or other kitchen staff.

Proofread Carefully: Ensure your resume is free of typos and grammatical errors. A clean, error-free resume shows your attention to detail, which is crucial in a prep cook role.

Use a Professional Resume Design: Choose a clean, easy-to-read format. Use consistent fonts, bullet points, and headings to make your resume visually appealing and easy to scan quickly.

Seek Feedback: Have someone review your resume for additional insights and improvements. A fresh set of eyes can catch mistakes you might have missed and suggest ways to make your resume even stronger.

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Key Takeaways

          • Prep cooks play a crucial role in the kitchen, preparing ingredients and ensuring efficiency.
          • Choosing a suitable resume format is vital for highlighting your skills and experience.
          • Tailor your resume for each job application, using relevant keywords and quantifiable achievements to make it ATS-friendly.
          • Including both hard and soft skills will help employers understand your full range of abilities.
          • Proofreading your resume is crucial to ensure it is error-free and professional.

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Updated: June 11, 2024

To make your prep cook resume stand out, choose a visually appealing resume template to catch the eye of potential employers. Then, engage the reader by using strong action verbs like "prepared," "assisted," and "maintained." Be sure to quantify your achievements—numbers grab attention. For example, "Reduced food waste by 15% through efficient inventory management." Also, include a mix of hard skills (like knife handling) and soft skills (like teamwork) to let employers know you have the right know-how for the job and work well with others.

Tailoring your resume for each job is key. Carefully read the job description and highlight the skills and experiences the employer is looking for. If the job emphasizes teamwork and cleanliness, make sure those aspects are front and center on your resume.

Keep your resume concise and to the point—one page is usually ideal. Focus on the most relevant information that showcases your skills and experience. Hiring managers often spend just a few seconds on each resume, so make sure yours is easy to read and quickly highlights your strengths.

Absolutely! Volunteer experience in a kitchen or food-related setting can enhance your resume. It shows your passion for the culinary field and your willingness to gain experience in different environments. Be sure to highlight what you did and any skills you developed during your volunteer work.

Including hobbies and interests can be a nice touch, especially if they relate to cooking or food. For instance, if you love experimenting with recipes at home or participating in cooking competitions, mentioning this can show your passion for the culinary arts. Just be sure they add value for potential employers and don’t waste valuable page space.

It's generally best to leave references off your resume and prepare a separate document to provide them upon request. Choose references who can speak positively about your work ethic, skills, and experience in a kitchen setting.

Job descriptions should be specific and detailed enough to show your responsibilities and achievements but concise enough to keep the resume readable. Aim for 3-5 bullet points per job, using action verbs and quantifiable results where possible. This balance helps paint a clear picture of your role without overwhelming the reader.


Conor McMahon, CPRW

Conor McMahon, CPRW

Content Writer

Conor is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) for He has over three years of professional writing experience as well as experience in professional development training. As a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (PARWCC) Conor has written on career development topics ranging from resume and cover letter best practices, employer/employee communication, job seeking help, and more. He received his degree in Music Industry at Northeastern University and plays guitar in his free time.

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