Turning a passion for food into a lifelong career can be both a challenging and rewarding process. The popularity of the culinary field has grown tremendously in recent years due to the rise of popular media such as cooking shows on television and food blogs. Due to this growth, the culinary field has become quite competitive. Obtaining a degree from a culinary school can give you the edge you need to stand out as a professional chef in a kitchen of amateurs, but a degree is not always enough to land a job. Below are some tips that can help culinary school graduates cook up their careers.
Most culinary schools require their students to complete an internship before graduating. This allows the students to receive hands-on training and establish relationships with other chefs in the field. Relying on these relationships developed during culinary school is a great first step when searching for your first job. Make sure to perform to the best of your ability during the internship. If an opening exists at the training location in the future, you may be at the top of the list of candidates for the job.
Online Job Searching
The Internet is an excellent resource for finding a job in the culinary field. There are websites specifically geared toward employment opportunities in the food industry, such as ChefJobs.com and StarChefs.com. There are several openings listed on these sites at any given time. You can search by a specific job title, such as executive chef, restaurant manager, caterer, or food tester. Generalized employment sites such as CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com are also great places to search for culinary jobs.
In-person Job Searching
Applying face-to-face at restaurants, hotels, and other food-related businesses is another option. Be sure to bring a professional, updated resume complete with all of the information regarding your culinary school education and any other experience you have related to the food industry. Having a polished resume and cover letter is critical when applying for a job. It shows that you are serious about your search and have taken the time to organize and write out all of your qualifications for the job you are applying for.
The culinary field is fast-paced and often requires working long hours, evenings, weekends, and holidays. You must be in good physical condition so you can endure standing on your feet for extended periods of time and lifting heavy food items. Before starting your job search, make sure that you are prepared for this type of work environment. The training and education you receive in culinary school is just the first step towards a career in the food industry. A passion for food, hands-on experience, and a great deal of determination will bring you to the career you've always wanted.