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This guide, along with the corresponding caterer resume example will cover the following topics:
- What does a caterer do?
- How to write a caterer resume (tips and tricks)
- The best format for a caterer resume sample
- Advice on each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
- Professional resume layout and design hints.
What does a caterer do?
To cater means to provide food, but caterers are a lot more than cooks. Yes, for caterers the proof is in the pudding, but catering work is not only about taste. Caterers must also be aware of nutrition, food safety and dietary needs.
Caterers may work in any number of environments and must be prepared to maintain high quality no matter how challenging the setting. Some caterers act as private chefs for individual clients. Others cater parties, weddings and other affairs, in corporate dining rooms, on movie sets, or hotels. The list is as long as your imagination.
Before sitting down to write your resume sample, reflect on your style of catering.
What does a caterer do? Of course, create delicious meals, but there can be a lot more to catering than that. Some caterers also provide linens, flatware, china and glassware. In addition, they may suggest different methods of serving the food.
Getting the food to the hungry masses may look like any of the following:
- Each person orders their own food
- The caterer provides platters of different foods
- The meal is set up as a buffet
- Food truck!
- Family-style where there is food at each table
- Food stations where you order a la carte
- Any combination of the above.*
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Caterer job market and outlook
The post-COVID food service world is destined to look very different from pre-pandemic catering. U.S. consumers are planning more meals in and 1 in 3 said they would be reducing restaurant outings, according to a Deloitte survey. In addition, 79% said they would not eat at open, self-serve stations such as salad bars, food service giant Sodexo found.
Is that all bad news for caterers? Maybe not. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 6% growth in chef and head cook jobs from 2019-29, which is higher than average.
Catering’s new setup
The food service industry may have suffered greatly during the shutdowns, but caterers are bouncing back with new ideas.
Individual serving sizes, wider spread service stations, prepackaged snacks, self-service bar areas and personal serving utensils at single-side buffets are among the creative solutions to food and health safety concerns, BizBash said.
How to write a caterer resume
Before you begin to cook, you need a menu and recipes. The same holds true for your caterer resume sample. The guide will give you recipes for each menu item, but first you need to know what the meal consists of. The following sections should be included in your CV:
- The resume header
- The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The resume skills section
- The education section
When you plan a menu for an event, you take into account the environment, style, needs and desires of your client. The same holds true of your caterer resume. As you compile the elements of your application, make sure you are addressing those same elements. Keep the style and tone consistent with that of your future employer and try to anticipate and answer interview questions within your resume.
Keep in mind that most employers use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that sort resumes. These systems use algorithms to scan for keywords and phrases usually contained within the job listing. To give yourself the best chance to reach a human being, carefully examine the job listing and match those all-important keywords and phrases within your caterer resume.
One caveat: Keep your voice throughout and don’t force words in where they don’t belong.
Choosing the best resume format for a caterer
In most cases, we recommend a reverse chronological order resume. In this resume format, you use your employment history section to list your jobs starting with the most recent and going backwards from there.
However, if you have taken a more circuitous path to your current position, you may consider the other resume formats we suggest as chronological alternatives or hybrids. These alternatives are also useful if you are just entering the job market or are a mature job seeker. You may choose to add a client or event section if you are an independent caterer and downplay your employment history.
Unless you are a scientist or work in a highly technical field, the functional resume format should not be your first choice. It offers a means to emphasize niche or highly complex skills by expanding the skills section and reducing the employment history section in exchange.
For most caterers, a reverse chronological resume is the way to go.
Resume summary example: make it flavorful
The resume summary section should be your sweet spot. You’re in a creative industry and this is the one place in your resume where you can show that off. If you cater for big events such as weddings, you are selling yourself as well as your food.
In this short paragraph, you must make it clear to prospective employers why YOU are the right caterer for the job. Not only is your food delicious, but you are a great listener who will deliver fabulous food with grace.
Choose one or two of your most successful events or jobs and describe how you created a themed menu to remember on budget and without drama. Then, explain what you will do for your prospective employer.
Since this can be the toughest section to write, you may want further inspiration. Resume.io offers resume examples in our Hospitality & Catering category.
Below you will find resume example text for a caterer summary.
Experienced and passionate caterer with over five years of experience in the catering industry, serving clients throughout New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Bringing forth experience catering for private clients, corporations, nonprofits, and cultural institutions. Constantly striving to provide every client with innovation, quality, and commitment to excellent service. Specializing in American Cuisine and local flavors. Working to uphold a commitment to sustainable agriculture and environmentally friendly practices.
Employment history sample: the meat of your CV
Your employment history section of your CV details your career up to now. Use bullets to describe your successes and highlights at each job. Each bullet item should focus on a tangible outcome instead of a job duty.
Your CV should be no longer than two pages and should not go back more than 10 years unless absolutely necessary. If you are an independent caterer, you may list your biggest events or clients. Be prepared to offer references from those you list.
Get creative with your language. Instead of “creative food ideas,” try “always coming up with fresh-baked dishes.” Don’t stretch too hard for it, though. Keep it sounding natural.
As a caterer, you may choose to mention popular menu items you created or how you developed efficiencies that saved on a corporate food budget. Data and details go a long way toward making your case, so be as specific as possible. If you can, evoke the flavors of your dishes to whet the appetite of your prospective employer.
Below you will find resume example text for a caterer employment history.
- Responsible for planning unique and satisfying menus that meet and exceed client expectations.
- Sourced food and introduce local dishes when possible.
- Managed all financial aspects of the business and effectively managed client’s budgets.
- Hired extra staff when necessary and properly trained all staff members.
- Address any additional needs or concerns of the client, working to continually satisfy the client.
Skills section example: the cream of the crop
Your resume skills section is where you hit the highlights. This is an opportunity to review the job description again and match your abilities to the requirements listed.
Here are 10 skills that LocalCatering says make a good caterer: cooking (of course), food safety, customer service, flexibility and creativity, leadership, motivation, financial planning (Don’t overlook this one. You may be a great chef, but if you blow the budget every time, you won’t last long.), business management, marketing, attention to detail.
Elaborate upon those a bit or break them down. For example, customer service includes excellent communication and responsiveness. Choose your top 4-6 skills and list them as bullet items.
Below you will find resume example text for a caterer skills section.
- Culinary Techniques
- Excellent Customer Service Skills
- Food Safety
- Project Management Skills
Caterer resume education example
Caterers may have formal chef training or have learned on the job. Whatever the case is with you, be sure to list all degrees and certifications here. If you have earned any honors or distinctions for your work, be sure to add them here or create a separate awards section. If you hold a degree higher than a bachelor’s degree, you may leave out your high school. If you completed a culinary course in high school or after school, make sure you note that here.
Below you can see an education section from a caterer resume example.
- 2000-2004 Riverdale High School, High School Diploma, NY, NY
- 2004-2008 Culinary Institute of America, Associate of Culinary Arts, NY, NY
Resume layout and design: packaging is important
Presentation makes a difference. You think about how the food looks as well as how it tastes; your resume layout and design should look as fabulous as your dishes!
Here are some guidelines to follow:
- Legibility above all: Keep it clean and leave plenty of white space
- Features that increase the legibility of your caterer resume are bold titles and bulleted lists of accomplishments. Large blocks of type are hard to read.
- Give your contact information a little flare; you want those hiring managers to know how to reach you quickly
- Use the "E" or "F" patterns, which follow the way the eye moves when reading, to place your text. This means that the top-left corner of any screen or document is the one that gets the most attention. As you move diagonally towards the bottom right, the readers’ focus will drop more and more.
- Use an online resume builder such as ours that includes spellcheck to avoid typos and formatting errors.
If you don't have experience in graphic design or the time to fight with word processors, consider using one of our professionally-designed resume templates to free you from the mundane tasks and let your creativity fly.
Key takeaways for a caterer resume
- The food service space may have changed, but changing with it will serve you well.
- Just as you change your menu depending on the diners, you need to change your CV to fit the employer.
- Use vivid language to describe your food and get their mouths watering!
- Use the online resume maker to get your resume finished faster and get your job hunt started!