What you need to know

How to write a CV for success in the Hospitality Sector

When looking for your next job, your CV will be key.

It will show prospective employers why you and your specific set of skills and experience make you the ideal candidate for the position that you’re applying for.

Your CV is essentially a document used to sell yourself to prospective employers. It needs to tell them about you, detail your employment history and include your skillset, abilities and accomplishments. Importantly, it needs to demonstrate why you are the best person for the job!

So, how do you go about writing a CV that will get you that interview?

What information to include in your CV

While your CV will be unique, featuring your specific skill set and experiences, all follow a similar structure. The sections you’ll need to include, and employers will expect to see, are:

Name, professional title and contact details

The first part of your CV should contain your name, any professional title and your contact details. Your email address and phone number(s) are essential. When it comes to your address, you simply need to list your town and county. You could also include a link to your LinkedIn profile, but only if it’s up to date!

Tip: Title your CV with your name instead of ‘curriculum vitae’ or ‘CV’, as it’s a waste of valuable space.

Personal profile

A personal profile is an important element of your CV. A short paragraph, underneath your name and contact details, which gives potential employers a summary of who you are and what you’re about.

To make the most of this personal statement, include information about:

Who are you;
What you can offer the company; and
What your career goals are.

Tip: Modify your CV for each job you apply for, emphasising the specific qualities you have that pair you to the role.

Experience and Employment History

This is the crucial part where you’ll need to outline any previous jobs, apprenticeships and work experience. State the job title, employer, together with the dates you worked in that role. Then a sentence summarising the role, bullet pointing your key responsibilities, skills and achievements should then sit below this.

Examples of key information that a potential employer would want to see here would be:

What sort of shifts did you do in each job?
Did you manage rotas or undertake financial responsibilities?
Were you required to place food orders?
Were you responsible for being in charge of a food budget, giving consideration to gross profit margins or profit and loss accounts?
If the position you’re applying for is a managerial role, what prior experience of this do you have? And how many people have you managed before?
Specifically, for chef roles:
What produce was used, fresh versus brought in?
What sections in the kitchen can you run?
Did your previous establishments hold any accolades/awards?
Be sure to select the responsibilities most relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Tip: List your employment history in reverse chronological order, as your most recent role will be the most relevant to prospective employers.

Education and qualifications

Your education should again be listed in reverse chronological order. Include the name of the institutions, the dates you were there, together with the qualifications and grades achieved.

You can also include any key skills here if you have abilities that you want to show off to the employer, for example any specific culinary skills or being fluent in any other languages.

You can further enhance your CV by inserting a brief section of your hobbies and interests, to help show how well you fit into the company or the industry. For example, perhaps you have a particular interest in food photography and therefore mindful of presentation, or maybe you’ve been a contestant on Master Chef and enjoy competing on shows like this.

Tip: Do not include hobbies that don’t add value to your CV. Any listed interests/hobbies need to make you stand out and be relevant to the job you’re applying for.

References

You can simply include a line that reads ‘references available on request’. Ideally, you’ll need two referees that are happy to be contacted.

Cover Letter

In addition to your CV, employers will also want to see a cover letter, together with any necessary completed application form. Be sure to include in your letter the position you’re applying for, why you’re interested in the role, as well as the employer/company itself.

Although tempting to skip the cover letter, making time to prepare one could be the difference between a door being opened or closed on your next career step.

And finally, one thing you’ll want to try to do is keep your CV to two pages maximum, making it easy for potential employers to read and scan through by using headings, bullet points and lists rather than long paragraphs.

Good Luck!

Free Advice Appointments

At this challenging time, Goldstar are offering Free Advice Appointments.

If you need help with figuring out your next career step in the hospitality industry, our dedicated and experienced team are here to answer any questions you might have.

Get in touch with us and we can offer you bespoke advice and discuss the various options available to you.

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