Chef Cover Letter & Writing Guide

Submitting a chef cover letter when applying for a job is one of the best ways to emphasize your competence and showcase motivation.
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Creating the perfect chef cover letter is all about using the right ingredients in the right way. You need to be both professional and imaginative when crafting the document to ensure that you’ll impress hiring managers.

While a cover letter typically isn’t as important as a resume, it’s a complementary document that can make or break your chances of getting to the interview. It shows diligence, helps you convey more details about your competence, displays a passion for the vocation, and more.

So, how do you cook up a cover letter that’ll make you stand out among the competition? In this guide, we’ll give you step-by-step instructions, expert tips and tricks, as well as real-life examples. Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • The best format for a chef cover letter is the business letter format.

  • A cover letter should be one page long and between 250 and 400 words.

  • The first paragraph should hook the reader with your most impressive skills or accomplishments.

  • Your cover letter should be tailored to the specific position that you’re applying for.

  • Including a call to action toward the end maximizes your chances of getting an interview.

What Format to Use for a Chef Cover Letter?

The best way to format your chef cover letter is as a business letter. It’s the established way of conducting written correspondence in the professional world. By following a specific section arrangement and using an accepted layout, you’ll increase your chances of leaving a lasting impression on hiring managers.

Let’s start with organizing the information in your chef cover letter. Here’s how you should sort the sections:

Cover Letter Format

  • The heading is reserved for your and the recipient’s contact information.

  • A greeting is used to address the reader.

  • An introduction should be a catchy paragraph in the form of an elevator pitch.

  • The middle part should be 1–3 paragraphs long and all about your key skills, achievements, and motivation.

  • The last paragraph should feature a call to action.

  • A closing should politely conclude the letter.

Now that we’ve learned how to structure our chef cover letter, let’s find out how to make it visually impeccable.

To get a striking cover letter layout, you should follow these guidelines:

Cover Letter Layout Guidelines

  • Keep your cover letter one page long and between 250 and 400 words.

  • Select an appropriate font for your cover letter, like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman. Avoid overly stylized typefaces that are difficult to read.

  • Make sure the font size is between 10 and 12 pt.

  • Make the margins of your document at least 1 inch on all sides.

  • Set line spacing to 1.0 or 1.15 and include an additional line between paragraphs.

  • Align the text to the left or use justified alignment.

7 Crucial Elements For Your Chef Cover Letter

retail cover letter

Now let’s find out how to write each of the specific sections of your chef cover letter. To help you along the way, here’s a detailed visual guide:

#1. Heading

The heading of your cover letter should have your and the hiring manager’s contact information along with the date of writing.

Here are the details to include about yourself:

Heading Mandatory Details

  • Name

  • Job title

  • Address

  • Phone number

  • Email

Heading Optional Details

(Optional) LinkedIn, portfolio, personal website, relevant social media account, etc.

Then, date the letter and include the hiring manager’s contact details.

Here’s an example:

Heading Example

Ronald Anderson Chef 1276 Roosevelt Wilson Lane Highland, CA 92346 909-864-7447

Los Angeles, 07/04/2023

Charles Felice Hiring Manager The Old Tavern 187 Leisure Lane Los Angeles, CA 90017

#2. Greeting

Greeting the reader is the established way of starting a cover letter. Since you want to maximize your chances of catching the hiring manager’s attention, you should address them by their name.

By doing this, you’re making a personal chef cover letter and creating a connection with the reader right off the bat. Plus, it shows that you went above and beyond to research the company and find out who is going to read your writing.Let’s see that in an example:

Greeting Example

Dear Mr. Felice,

That looks way better than generic “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam” openings. And if you can’t find the hiring manager’s name, you can use their title.

#3. Introduction

The introduction should be one paragraph long and written to spark the interest of the reader. That’s why you should define what position you’re going for, mention how much experience you have, and point out one or two exceptional work-related accomplishments. Give the hiring manager a glimpse of what you’re capable of, and they’ll keep reading the letter.

Here’s a good example:

Introduction Example

I am writing to express my keen interest in the chef position at The Old Tavern. With more than nine years of experience helping restaurants increase their sales by up to 27% through exceptional cuisine, I am confident in my ability to replicate the same results at your Michelin-starred establishment.

#4. Skills, Qualifications, & Experiences

The main purpose of your cover letter is to demonstrate your skills, qualifications, and experiences. That’s why the middle portion should explain what makes you the best candidate for the position.

You want to focus on those abilities and accomplishments that are relevant to the job that you’re applying for. Furthermore, you can make your achievements stand out by including numbers to add measurable value and plausibility to your competence.

Let’s see what that looks like in an example:

Skills, Qualifications, & Experiences Example

While working as a chef at The Green Canteen, I revamped the menu to incorporate organic ingredients and implement a farm-to-table concept, increasing the restaurant’s customer base by 17% within the first three months. Further experience in organizing the kitchen allowed me to reduce the establishment’s food waste by 15% to make the business more profitable and sustainable.

#5. Reasons for Applying

Specifying the exact reason for applying to the organization, in particular, is a surefire way to set yourself apart from the competition. By doing that, you show that you’re already invested in the company and likely familiar with their work and structure.

That’ll signal to potential employers that you’re likely to perform better than other candidates, be more involved in their efforts, fit in with the team faster, and so on.

Here’s how you can demonstrate your reason for applying:

Reasons for Applying Example

I am particularly drawn to The Old Tavern due to its commitment to go above and beyond and take part in the community. Your “Chefs for Everyone” initiative to host free workshops for upcoming culinary experts and then donate food to local shelters resonates with me on a personal level.

#6. Call to Action

A call to action (CTA) is a term typically used by marketers to elicit a response. When it comes to cover letters, you can use this concept to increase your chances of getting an interview invite.

The process is simple: in the last paragraph, you want to thank the reader for their attention and suggest they call you over for further conversation.

Here’s an example:

Call to Action Example

Thank you for your time. I am looking forward to the opportunity to discuss my qualifications further during an interview.

#7. Conclusion & Sign Off

A conclusion to your chef cover letter should match its greeting and be brief and polite. You can choose one of the many ways to end a cover letter, include your signature, and call it a day.

Here’s what that looks like:

Conclusion & Sign Off Example

Kind regards, Ronald Anderson

Here’s a complete example of a chef cover letter to show you what the final product should look like:

5 Best Strategies for Crafting a Chef Cover Letter

chef skills

Let’s wrap up this detailed guide with a few expert tips and strategies that will help you perfect your chef cover letter:

Tips to Write a Chef Cover Letter

  1. If you’re writing a chef cover letter with no experience, you can leverage other activities to craft a compelling document. This includes internships, personal or school culinary projects, volunteer experience, and so on.

  2. Meticulously proofread your cover letter before submitting it. You don’t want simple typing mistakes to detract from the overall experience and lessen the impact your letter has on the reader. Plus, a spotless document indirectly showcases accuracy and attention to detail, which are important skills for chefs.

  3. Tailor all the chef skills and experiences in your cover letter to the position that you’re going for. For instance, executive chefs should likely showcase their organizational and managerial prowess, while head chefs should emphasize more of their food preparation skills.

  4. Highlight that you’re up to date with the latest culinary trends to increase your chances in the application process. Also, make sure that the trends align with the restaurant’s menus and policies. This includes everything from farm-to-table food trends to climate-conscious food and more.

  5. Match your cover letter to your resume. Since hiring managers are likely to read both documents, don’t repeat the information; instead, talk about new skills and experiences in each.

Final Thoughts

The projected job outlook for chefs and head cooks is 5%, which is faster than average. A well-written cover letter is a good way to secure one of those spots. Ultimately, even a short cover letter for a chef that features only a couple of your key skills and achievements is better than not writing and submitting one at all.

Remember to approach the crafting process as you approach making your signature dish. Be precise and professional, but don’t forget to add a touch of personal flair and individuality to it. Feel free to check out our templates and examples to get ideas for your chef cover letter. That way, you’ll stand out in the eyes of hiring managers and be one step closer to an interview!

Sheila Kravitz
Sheila Kravitz
Content Writer & Head Editor
By day, Sheila Kravitz writes stellar content and works as a head editor. At night, she spends her time winning at trivia nights or playing Dungeons & Dragons with her friends. Whether she’s writing or editing, she gives her maximum effort and ensures no error gets past her watchful eyes. When she’s doing none of the above, Sheila likes to spend time with her cats and her partner, endlessly watching crime documentaries on Netflix.

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