Food & Drinks

How to Change Careers to Become a Cook

It is a universal experience to gaze out of the office window dreaming about your desired career path. Many of us seek the thrill of kitchen service during peak hours, with the smell of exceptional food taking up the air. While it may feel like a gamble to change your career to become a cook, we are here to tell you that it is incredibly feasible and doable. To get started, check out our guide below, which takes you through the simple steps to achieving professional cook status. 

First, let’s check that our resumes are all looking the best they possibly can. If you feel you need to give yours a bit of a refresh and an update, you can use the ResumeHelp super easy-to-use cook resume example so you know you’re including all the sections needed to get started in this industry! 

Now that your resume update is out of the way, let’s begin! 

Culinary Training

If you’ve never worked in hospitality before and don’t feel confident enough to take the leap without prior training, your first step should be to pursue a food service program. You will need funding for many culinary schools, such as the Culinary Institute of America. But, if you are looking at staying in this profession for the rest of your life, training from a certified school such as the CIA is the best way to guarantee you get off to a great start. 

Enter Hospitality

If culinary school and training aren’t an option for you right now, you can enter the hospitality and food service industry without it. But, you likely won’t walk straight into being a cook. There are some entry-level cook positions, but it is more realistic to first set your sights on being a kitchen assistant. Here, you will gain experience working in a kitchen and understand how to work through peak seasons and hours. 

If you want to enter the industry but have no prior experience in food service, don’t worry. Employers frequently give those with no previous hospitality experience a chance, as this is an industry with high demand and is very fast-paced. However, for the time being, use your resume to highlight transferable skills that you have, such as customer service, time management, keeping calm under pressure, organization, etc. 

It is also good to note that most positions often offer on-the-job training, so you will learn the required skills and techniques as you go on. 

Work Your Way to the Top 

No matter if you have training or not, you won’t be head honcho in your first position. Instead, you will be required to work your way up the ranks, whether you stick to the same establishment or gain experience in various kitchens. Of course, all kitchen experience is valuable, and you are advised to take all the support and help that comes your way! 

Focus On Skill Development

You may not need formal qualifications to become a cook, but you will require skills that are continuously developing and growing. Here are some skills you should take note of:

  • Creativity
  • Time management
  • Patience
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to take criticism 
  • Organization 
  • Kitchen hygiene and cleanliness
  • Passion
  • Fast learner
  • Adaptability
  • Team player
  • Leadership 
  • Multitasking 

Whether you choose to study at a culinary school or enter the industry without training, it is achievable to become a cook. Your performance and work experience will speak for themselves as you progress, and eventually, you will reach the cook job title that you have aspired to achieve for so long!

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