Careers Finding a Job Important Job Skills for Chefs Share PINTEREST Email Print Hero Images / Getty Images Finding a Job Job Searching Skills & Keywords Resumes Salary & Benefits Letters & Emails Job Listings Job Interviews Cover Letters Career Advice Best Jobs Work-From-Home Jobs Internships Table of Contents Expand Skills You Need to Be a Chef Top Chef Skills Attention to Detail Business Sense Cleanliness Creativity Culinary Expertise Fast-Paced Decision Making Motivational Management Style Organization Team Player More Chef Skills Resume and Cover Letter Samples By Alison Doyle Updated on 01/04/22 Chefs are in high demand all over the world. They oversee food production at places where food is served. They may work in restaurants, private homes, events, and hotels. Chefs are responsible for directing the cooking staff and for making numerous decisions related to everything from food production to administrative issues. It takes a variety of both hard and soft skills to be a great chef who can effectively command a kitchen. If you're passionate about creating new recipes, are detail-oriented, and want to lead a successful kitchen, then becoming a chef could be the perfect fit for you. Here's an overview of the skills you need to become a chef, in-demand skills that employers look for, resume and cover letter samples for cooks, and how to make your skills stand out when you're seeking employment. What Kind of Skills Do You Need to Be a Chef? Successful chefs need business and communication skills, as well as the ability to develop recipes, plan menus, and ensure the meals they serve are of the best quality. These skills include the following: Budgeting for expenses and managing employees.Communicating instructions clearly and effectively to staff.Motivating kitchen staff and developing constructive and cooperative working relationships.Developing and preparing creative, interesting, and innovative recipes.Having a keen sense of taste and smell to create meals that customers will enjoy.Agility to handle knives and other cooking implements properly for cutting, chopping, and dicing.The ability to work long shifts overseeing the preparation and serving of meals.Time management skills to ensure efficiency in meal preparation and service. Top Chef Skills Catherine Song / The Balance Attention to Detail Cooking is a science. Every ingredient and measurement must be exact, including ordering food products or figuring out how long to cook certain items so that they're all plated at the same time. A chef needs to have an eye for details such as: Heat ControlMeasuringPortion SizingPrecisionPresentationQuality of FoodSupervising Business Sense A good chef should also be good at running a business. He or she should always be thinking about how to make delicious food while also being cost-effective. Chefs often deal with the following tasks: AdministrativeBudgetingBusiness AcumenBusiness SenseComputer SkillsConceptual ThinkingControl Labor CostsCost ControlCost ReductionCustomer ServiceFood PricingFood SafetyFood RegulationsFood ScienceFood Service ManagementHiringInventory ManagementInventory RotationKitchen ManagementLocal FoodsOrderingOperationsProduct Selection Cleanliness Chefs need to know how to keep their kitchens sanitary. This is very important in a restaurant, where unsanitary conditions can affect the quality of the food, and can even force a restaurant to shut down. Chefs are responsible for following the local health code and dealing with: Health and SafetyHygieneSanitary Practices Creativity Working in the food industry requires creativity. Chefs must be open to incorporating new food items into menus as well as improving older recipes. Creativity and imagination will keep customers coming back for more. Chefs experiment in the following ways: CollaborationExperimentingMenu DesignPresentationRecipe DesignTrial and Error Culinary Expertise The most important hard skill chefs need is an ability to cook, as well as knowledge of the kitchen. This broad skill includes a variety of smaller skills, including knife and tasting skills. Chefs need to be able to cook precisely and efficiently. They also need to be skilled at recognizing flavors and judging the balance of seasonings. Chefs often have experience with: BakingBaking TechniquesConsistencyCookingCulinary ExpertiseFood PreparationGrillingIngredient SelectionKnife ControlKnife CutsKnife SkillsPastryPresentation Fast-Paced Decision Making A chef should be able to make decisions quickly and efficiently. The kitchen is a fast-paced environment, and a chef has to make numerous decisions at once. They should be able to: Handle PressureProblem SolvingTake Initiative Motivational Management Style A good chef will motivate those working in the kitchen. He or she should be able to keep everyone working at a fast, efficient pace by demonstrating the following traits: CommunicationCooking TechniquesLeadershipPassion Organization Chefs must be very organized in the kitchen. Often, they have to work on a variety of tasks at once and must do so while keeping the kitchen clean and safe. They must create order and structure in the kitchen. They do this in the following ways: Commitment to Quality Being Efficient Kitchen Safety Kitchen Tools Multitasking Planning Safe Food Handling Sanitary Practices Team Player A chef is part of a team and must be able to work well with others. Not only must he or she work with the other cooks in the kitchen, but he or she must also be able to work effectively with staff and management. Chefs should be able to: Accept FeedbackCollaborateShow CompassionEmotional IntelligenceGive FeedbackBe InterpersonalHave a Sense of HumorTeam BuildingTraining More Chef Skills Banquet DiningCateringFirst AidFlexibilityHandle CriticismHotel KitchenNutritionPortion ControlSeasoningServiceSource IngredientsSupervisionWell-Tuned PalateWillingness to Learn Review Resume and Cover Letter Samples Cook Resume and Cover Letter Examples How to Make Your Skills Stand Out ADD YOUR MOST RELEVANT SKILLS TO YOUR RESUME: Review lists of the top skills employers look for when evaluating job applicants, and the best skills to put on your resume to help you get hired. HIGHLIGHT YOUR SKILLS IN YOUR COVER LETTER: Use your cover letter to show the hiring manager that you're a strong match for the job by mentioning how your qualifications fit the job requirements. USE SKILL WORDS DURING JOB INTERVIEWS: Keep these skills in mind at job interviews, and be prepared to give examples of how you've used each one.