How to write a chef cover letter (with template and example)
Updated 17 January 2023
Chefs are culinary professionals responsible for creating menus in restaurants, running the kitchen area and sourcing ingredients for various items. It's a senior role in a fast-paced environment, with high expectations that the food you create pleases guests and improves the restaurant's reputation. If you're interested in a career as a chef, creating a professional cover letter improves your chances of securing an interview. In this article, we explain how to write a chef cover letter with a template and an example you may use as a guide.
How to write a chef cover letter
Learning how to write a chef cover letter that impresses employers gives you a better chance of securing a job interview and finding success. Review the steps below to learn how to write a compelling cover letter for chef roles:
1. Learn about the employers you're sending applications to
Once you've spent some time looking for job opportunities, try to learn more about the employers in which you're most interested. This helps you discover an organisation's core values, branding, current menu and customer base. You may then use some of this research in your cover letter to ensure your application is more relevant to the role. For example, if the employer focuses on French cuisine, you might want to mention your affinity with this type of cooking in your cover letter.
Researching employers in this way also helps you narrow down your choices to find the most suitable job opportunities. If you're looking for a chef role that gives you more freedom to create menu items, then this research indicates whether or not certain job opportunities might allow you to do so. It also gives you lots of details to help you tailor your cover letter and include information that shows you know what they need in a chef.
2. Write the cover letter specifically for the employer
To ensure employers take notice of your cover letter and application, make sure you tailor it so that it specifically addresses them. This might involve finding the name of the recruiter or employer so you're able to specifically name them in your cover letter. This information is available in the job posting but if it isn't, you might want to contact them directly and ask.
Doing this shows you've made the cover letter specifically for the job, which employers like to see. It shows you're actively engaged with this position rather than sending generic template cover letters to multiple employers. It also guarantees you're not wasting your time on applications for positions that don't suit you. For example, if you want to specialise in vegan cooking, it's inappropriate to apply somewhere without this option.
Related: How important is a cover letter?
3. Outline the job you're applying for near the beginning of the cover letter
Another way to encourage employers to keep reading your cover letter is to clearly outline the job you're applying for near the start. This form of signposting lets employers know exactly why you're contacting them. Try to include details about why you're interested in the chef role, why you think you're an ideal candidate and other information that points to your overall suitability for the position. Remember passion is always desirable for a creative field like cooking.
4. Mention your relevant chef skills and experience
Cover letters are an ideal way to showcase your most relevant skills, qualifications and experience to convince employers you're the best candidate for the job. Take the time to think about what chef skills are most relevant to the jobs you're applying for and highlight them in a compelling way. For example, if you have a few years of experience working in fine dining restaurants, mention this if you're applying for a position at a similar restaurant.
Experience is highly prized in the culinary industry, so try to draw parallels and connections between your aptitudes and the desired skills for the job, even if they don't align perfectly. For example, working as a pastry chef still requires a solid understanding of how kitchens operate, so it's a relevant experience even if the job is for a steakhouse.
5. Conclude the cover letter and thank the reader for their time
Ending your cover letter with a positive sign-off offers a good impression on the employer or recruiter, so make sure you conclude with a formal thank you. Thank them for their time and let them know they may contact you if they have any other questions about your application. You might also want to reinforce you feel you're the right candidate for the job before concluding the cover letter and providing your relevant contact details.
6. Check the final draft for errors before submitting your cover letter
It always helps to spend some time reviewing your final cover letter before sending it to employers. Check for any spelling errors, grammatical issues or clumsy formatting and fix these before sending your letter. Employers read many applications when recruiting, so any glaring spelling issues might convince them to pass on your application. This especially applies when you're spelling out any technical culinary terms.
Make sure the writing for your cover letter is concise and flows well. Aim for no more than a page of written content to keep the reader's attention and ensure you don't ramble for too long. When you've cleaned up your cover letter and checked it for errors, send it out as part of your application.
Cover letter template for a chef position
Here's a cover letter template to help you write your own:
[First name] [Last name], [Degree or certification if applicable]
[Phone number] | [Email address] | [Location]
Dear Hiring Manager,
[Express excitement for the position including the role title and the company name]. [Introduce yourself by explaining why you're applying for the job and how the job aligns with your career goals and what specifically draws you to the company].
[Explain your relevant experience and qualifications without repeating what's in your CV]. [Highlight one to two relevant achievements with facts and data when possible]. [Explain why you'd be a good fit for the company]. [Optional - address employment gap or career transition].
[Express gratitude]. [Summarise qualification]. [Restate interest in role]. [Call to action + availability and preferred contact method].
Related: 10 essential chef skills
Cover letter example for a chef position
Take a look at the example below to help you write your cover letter:
01234 567 891 | John.Howard@email.com | London, UK
Dear Hiring Manager,
I'm a professional Chef with over five years of industry experience looking to advance my career. When I found this job opportunity for a chef at The Kitchen, I felt I was the ideal candidate. Some key accomplishments in my previous role as a chef include being about to streamline order-to-table times by 40% and creating new and exciting menu offerings, which resulted in a 30% increase in customer visits.
My most recent employment at The Bistro provided me with an excellent platform to develop my skills in menu creation, food preparation and managing a team in a fast-paced environment. The establishment has won numerous awards thanks to my inventive dishes and commitment to high-quality food. I think my skills and experience would be a perfect match for the open position at The Kitchen, where I could continue creating fantastic dishes to help elevate the brand. Your core values of teamwork and creativity align incredibly well with my current level of expertise and passion for cooking unique and tantalising dishes.
It would be fantastic to discuss the position further with you and go into more detail about how my skills and experience may help your business grow. If you have any further questions for me, please get in touch.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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