A job as a Commis Chef is often the first step on the kitchen career ladder. After gaining some experience, the next step up is a job as a Chef de Partie.
To land your first job in the kitchen, you need a great CV that shows your passion for cooking and interest in food, plus any qualifications you have in cookery or food hygiene.
To move up the ladder your CV will need to show the skills you've learnt in the different sections of the kitchen, your willingness to listen to the senior and head chefs, and an ability to take on board their instructions and criticisms.
Whether you're looking to start your career in the kitchen or take that next step up the career ladder, our free CV template is tailored to ensure your CV stands out from the crowd.
A guide to writing a Commis Chef/ Chef de Partie CV?
FIRST AND SECOND NAME
Home number | Mobile number
Home address, Home Street
In the personal profile, you should professionally introduce yourself, in three or four sentences, with relation to the job you’re applying to.
Try to include: your current work situation, what type of work you are searching for (part-time, flexible hours, or full-time employment starting immediately) some key skills and/or traits that will show the potential employer that you are a good candidate for the advertised job.
I am hard-working and reliable commis chef with two years of experience working in commercial kitchens. I am looking for a challenging full-time role that will expand my skills and knowledge of cooking. I have a positive attitude and good knife skills.
The work history section is to show the potential employer what jobs or work experience you’ve done. It is the first chance for you to highlight the skills and experience each one has given you, and this is turn should show why you are a good fit for the job you’re applying for. You don’t need to include every last detail, just pick the best parts. You can always write down and save your examples or other relevant skills for the interview.
- Job title, name of employer, location, month and year started – present (or month and year that you left)
- Briefly list the duties you had, and skills you learned while working here. Choose skills or qualities that the employer has listed in their job description.
- Commis chef, Pizza Express, Upminster, June 2017 – present
- Responsible for topping pizzas to order and working with the pizza chef to cook table orders correctly and in good time.
- I have learned how to manage my preparation time effectively, read tickets, and the correct handling of dietary requirements and customer allergies.
What jobs should you include?
- Try to include your work history for the last five years. If you haven’t been working for that long, that is okay. It will be explained by the education history. If you have recently moved to the country, it’s okay to include employment in other countries. There is more advice on work and education history in our top tips online article.
- If you’re a newly trained chef, put your education history first and include any work experience in kitchens, or other jobs you’ve had that might be relevant, such as working as a waiter in a restaurant or a retail job.
- If you’re a chef de partie or looking to move up the ladder to your first CDP role, you’ll need to include your current job role first in this section, and details of any other commis chef jobs you’ve had. If you’ve worked somewhere that doesn’t have such a strict hierarchy of roles, that’s okay. Just write down the name of the role as it was (chef or cook, for example) and explain what it involved and what you learned. If you have done any other relevant roles such as waiting tables or working as a barista you can include these too if your work history only goes back one or two years.
In education history, this is a chance to show any relevant training you have done, what skills you have learned from your courses, as well as general education subjects you’ve completed. As you get more work experience, this section will become shorter, as your work history becomes more relevant and more recent.
To be a Commis Chef, as a minimum, you will be required to have GCSEs in English and Maths and a Level 1 Food Safety Certificate.
It's possible to progress on to being a Chef de Partie from on the job training but generally, Chef de Parties have a NVQ Level 2 and a Level 2 Food Safety Certificate. Be sure to include other qualifications such Healthy and Safety, First aid and COSHH, (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) if you have them, as it will help your application.
- Name of course or qualification, name of training centre or education centre, dates you were in attendance or you completed the course
- Explain briefly the training certificate relevant to the job you are applying to. What did you learn that is relevant to the job?
- Professional Cookery Level 3 NVQ Diploma, Havering College, September 2015 – May 2017
- Improved my skills through practical and written assessments. We focused on cooking theory, knife skills, presentation, pastry and baking, sauces, making terrines, advanced butchery techniques and fine-dining desserts
Here is your chance to highlight the best skills you have in relation to the job you’re applying for. Hint: these will be the skills listed in the job advert, but only highlight the skills you have. Misleading information on your CV is likely to trip you up in an interview and is unprofessional; you don’t have to show you have every last skill listed in the job advert to be successful.
- Working in a team – ‘Working on group projects for my cookery diploma helped me learn to be a better team member, and how to successfully lead a team and delegate tasks to achieve a goal or run a smooth service.’
- Communication skills – ‘From working at Pizza Express I have learned to listen carefully to instructions for food preparation from my senior chef, and the importance of being able to communicate effectively with my team during service.’
- Knife skills – ‘Improved through demonstrations and in practical sessions at college and focusing on continued improvement at my job.’
- Running a section independently – ‘Since gaining more experience in my role at Pizza Express, I have been given more responsibility for my section and learned about maintaining stock levels, being ready for service and thinking about what to order for the next day.’
First and last name
Job title and relation to you in the work place (if it isn’t obvious from the job title), work contact number (or main company phone number which they can be reached through) and work email address
Who should you include as a reference?
- References should ideally be from your most recent line manager or supervisor. The second reference can be from a current colleague, or line manager or supervisor from a previous job. It’s best practice to ask someone if they will be a reference for you before they are contacted. Be aware that not all employers actually contact references, but it’s important to have them available if needed.
- However while you are in your current job, it is also important to consider that you may not want your references to be contacted until you have had an interview for a new possible job, or are actually offered it. If, for instance, you weren’t offered the new job, so you end up staying in your current job then you might not want your manager having been contacted as a reference. It can cause tension or awkward conversations about why you were trying to leave. One way to get around this is to just write ‘References available on request’. This shows the new employer that they can ask you for them as needed, but also means you can ask them to only contact them if you are offered the job, and then have time to ask the reference if it’s okay for them to be contacted. Most potential employers will be happy to wait to do this after offering you the job.
- If you have only had one previous job, or have been studying, it is okay to include a tutor as a reference, or someone else as a character reference (who is not related to you).