How To Write a Prep Cook Resume

As a prep cook, it’s your job to streamline production in the kitchen through proficient food preparation. Your resume should reflect this ability and show potential employers you can adhere to strict food safety standards. In this guide, we’ll help you create a prep cook resume highlighting the most impressive aspects of your food service career.

  • Entry-Level
  • Mid-Career
  • Senior-Level
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1. Write a brief summary of your prep cook qualifications

Craft an enticing sampler of your culinary abilities to intrigue hiring managers. Provide your job title and years in the field, then list a few key qualifications from the job posting that match your skills and experience.

Working in a kitchen often requires teamwork – if you thrive in a collaborative environment, consider mentioning that in your profile. Also, discuss those unique qualities that make you right for the prep cook job you’re after. For instance, can you speak more than one language? Or do you specialize in a certain category of food preparation?

Senior-Level Profile Example

Prep Cook with 14+ years’ experience supporting chefs in large commercial kitchens. Use fast, precise knife skills to follow detailed recipes to the letter. Adept at balancing various tasks in a high-pressure work environment. Strong knowledge of food hygiene practices and regulations. Bilingual: Fluent in English and Spanish.

Entry-Level Profile Example

Hardworking Prep Cook with 3+ years’ experience in a fast-paced commercial kitchen. Use precise trimming and chopping techniques to minimize food waste. Collaborate with other kitchen staff to quickly prepare high-quality food orders for customers. Draw on deep knowledge of seafood dishes and cooking methods.

2. Add your prep cook experience with compelling examples

Your professional experience section is like the main course of your prep cook resume. It should highlight the key ways you’ve been successful as a culinary professional. Do this by creating bullet points to outline your accomplishments. When you can, use relevant numbers to provide tangible evidence of your contributions.

Maintaining a clean and safe workspace is essential as a prep cook. Mention how you’ve followed rules and guidelines when handling food so hiring managers know you prioritize diners’ safety and well-being.

Senior-Level Professional Experience Example

Prep Cook, Chica, Miami, FL | February 2015 to Present

[Popular 150-seat Latin American restaurant]

  • Efficiently chop and prepare produce items
  • Maintain and troubleshoot kitchen equipment as needed
  • Oversee and train 8 junior prep cooks on basic food preparation methods and quality standards
  • Clean and regularly inspect work areas for potential health and safety hazards

Entry-Level Professional Experience Example

Prep Cook, Red Lobster Hospitality, Minneapolis, MN | July 2019 to Present

  • Help prepare meals for 250+ diners per night
  • Descale, skin, and fillet many types of fish in accordance with recipe
  • Clean and prepare shellfish while strictly following food safety guidelines
  • Quickly dice, trim, and julienne vegetables while taking care to minimize waste
  • Package, label, and store ingredients in the correct areas, checking dates regularly and disposing of any items as needed
  • Uphold high standards of cleanliness, and take precautions to avoid cross-contaminating food items
  • Maintain and troubleshoot kitchen utensils and equipment as needed

Start by listing your highest education degree. If you don’t have a degree in culinary arts, list any relevant coursework you may have taken. Home economics, nutrition, and cooking classes are all things you can mention here as well.

If you’ve earned relevant certifications over the years, include them in your resume. You can prove your knowledge of food safety with a ServSafe certification or HACCP designation. These credentials are often a requirement for food service roles and show you’re qualified to begin work immediately.



  • [Degree Name]
  • [School Name], [City, State Abbreviation] | [Graduation Year]


  • Graduate – Culinary Arts
  • Saint Paul College, Saint Paul, MN | 2019



  • [Certification Name], [Awarding Organization] | [Completion Year]


  • Level 1 Certificate in Food Hygiene Awareness | 2020
  • Minnesota Seafood HACCP Safety Training | 2019

One of the best ways to improve your resume is to add keywords. That’s because many employers now use an applicant tracking system (ATS), which scans each submitted resume for keywords relevant to the job opening at hand.

To make your resume ATS-friendly, add a keyword-rich “Skills” or “Expertise” section. Here are some common keywords for prep cook resumes:

Key Skills and Proficiencies
Chicken filleting and deboning Efficiency improvement
Equipment maintenance and troubleshooting Food hygiene procedures
Food presentation Food waste management
Ingredient preparation Inventory monitoring
Kitchen equipment operation Meat trimming
New hire training Organization
Process streamlining Quality control
Recipe comprehension Task prioritization
Team collaboration Time management
Vegetable chopping and trimming  

How To Pick the Best Prep Cook Resume Template

A template must do more than make your resume look good – it should help make it easy to read. Hiring managers only take a matter of seconds to scan a resume, so choose a template that serves up your professional background simply and tastefully. Opt for a clean, professional template that reflects the precision and attention to detail required in the kitchen.

Prep Cook Text-Only Resume Templates and Examples

  • Entry-Level
  • Mid-Career
  • Senior-Level

Eloise Smith
(876) 543-2109
[email protected]
456 First Street, Baltimore, MD 89012


Diligent Prep Cook with 9 years’ experience in high-pressure restaurant kitchens. Skilled at maintaining high quality standards during long shifts. Recent experience training new team members on proper knife and food preparation skills. Detailed knowledge of various baking methods. Adapt readily to new work challenges and industry conditions.

Professional Experience

Prep Cook, Au Bon Pain, Baltimore, MD | May 2017 to Present

  • Help prepare ~130 plates per night
  • Liaise with chef team to plan ingredient portions and ensure adequate inventory
  • Prepare and chop ingredients under strict time constraints without sacrificing quality
  • Closely follow recipe to help ensure all dishes are fresh and appealing
  • Oversee 2 assistants at bakery workstation
  • Maintain and sanitize kitchen surfaces, utensils, and equipment

Prep Cook, Nando’s Peri-Peri, Baltimore, MD | February 2014 to May 2017

  • Built and maintained up-to-date knowledge of restaurant menu
  • Provided on-the-job training to new hires to increase their practical skills and culinary knowledge
  • Accurately labeled, stored, and monitored inventory of ingredients
  • Used efficient chopping and trimming methods to reduce waste


Graduate Culinary Arts, Community College of Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD | 2014

Graduate, Western High School, Baltimore, MD | 2013


ServSafe Food Handler | 2014

Key Skills

  • Chicken Filleting & Deboning
  • Efficiency Improvement
  • Process Streamlining
  • Staff Training & Mentoring
  • Team Collaboration

Frequently Asked Questions: Prep Cook Resume Examples and Advice

What are common action verbs for prep cook resumes?-

Action verbs enhance your descriptions and make it easy for hiring managers to quickly understand your skills and accomplishments. If you’re finding it hard to come up with the right words to describe your past work, we’ve got you covered. Explore the list below and use some of these action verbs on your prep cook resume:

Action Verbs
Assisted Blended
Chopped Collaborated
Communicated Coordinated
Distributed Grilled
Heated Minced
Mixed Monitored
Organized Oversaw
Prepared Roasted
Sliced Streamlined
Supported Trained
How do you align your resume with a prep cook job posting?-

As restaurants and cafeterias look to order prewashed, precut, and pre-seasoned ingredients, employment for prep cooks is projected to decline by 5% over the next decade. Between 2022 and 2032, establishments are expected to hire people who both prepare and serve food to customers, reducing the need for designated prep cooks.

Although about 157,000 openings will become available each year as people retire or transfer jobs, you’ll need a strong resume if you want a chance to work in the best kitchens. Aligning your resume with the job posting is a great way to increase your chances of getting the hiring manager’s attention.

For example, if a restaurant is looking for a prep cook with experience in curing and fermenting, focus on your food preservation skills. From yeast and lactic acid fermentation to sugar and smoke curing, highlight the techniques they’re looking for and you’re familiar with.

What is the best prep cook resume format?-

Most prep cooks should use the combination (or hybrid) format. True to its name, this format combines two important features of other resume formats: the chronological format’s experience section, and the functional format’s profile section. (The resume examples on this page all use combination format.)

By fusing these two features, a combination resume offers the best of both worlds. The experience section lets you outline your recent work history – essential information for most employers. At the same time, the profile section lets you display your career highlights at the top, regardless if they’re from that work history or another part of your background. As a result, you can present yourself clearly and strategically. With this format, you give hiring managers the best view of your experience and relevant strengths, so they can make an informed decision to call you for an interview.

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Expert Advice
Include a cover letter with your resume

Increase your chances of landing an interview by sending a cover letter with your application. The secret ingredient for cooking up a strong cover letter is to tailor your document for the dining establishment you’re applying to. Learn how with our comprehensive cover letter guide. If you need more examples, check out our server and bartender cover letter guides.

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