Last updated: 14.12.23

How to Write a CV for a Catering Job


The catering industry is one of the UK's largest and busiest industries, turning over billions every single year. It also benefits from having a huge range of career levels, from entry-level positions suitable for part-time work with no qualifications to highly skilled professions like head chefs and dietitians. 

If you're looking to work your way up, or you’re considering a career change, the first step in applying for a new role will be preparing a CV. In this article, we share advice on how to write a CV for a catering job and give some top tips for helping your CV stand out in this industry.

What Is a CV?

CV stands for curriculum vitae and is a document that the majority of employers require as part of a job application. A CV will list important details about you, give an overview of your education, qualifications and relevant work experience, and list your key skills and competencies.

Having a CV makes it easy for a potential employer to gauge whether you might be right for a role and decide whether they want you to attend a job interview. Having a good CV is essential to being successful when searching for a job in any sector, and the catering and hospitality industries are no different.

What to Include in a CV for a Catering Job

If you’re starting from scratch, there are several elements you must be sure to include when learning how to write a CV for a catering job.

Contact Details

Your name and contact details should be at the top of your CV and are essential in making sure that the interviewer or recruiter can get back in touch with you if they want to proceed with your application. You should include your full name, email address, phone number and home address. If you have a LinkedIn profile, it can be useful to add the URL to the top of your CV as well.

Relevant Catering Work Experience

Relevant catering experience is one of the most important sections of a catering and hospitality CV. This outlines any previous roles that you have had, how long you worked there and gives an overview of your responsibilities, which helps the reader understand whether you’ve got the right background for a job.

You should only include work experience that is relevant to the catering job you’re applying for, and should list the name of the company, your job title and the month and year you started and finished. For each role, use bullet points to list what the position involved to give an overview of what you did and learned on the job.

Previous Employers

You should list your previous employers as part of your relevant work experience on a catering CV, but some jobs may also ask you to include references. This involves adding the contact details of employers that you have previously worked for, so a potential employer can get in touch and ask them for feedback on your performance in the role.


If you have any official catering qualifications, or other relevant qualifications like first aid training, you should list these at the end of your CV. This can be presented in a list and should include the name of the qualification, the accrediting body and the date that you were awarded it.

How to Write a Personal Statement for a CV in the Catering Industry

Something to consider when researching how to write a good CV is that most applicants include a personal statement at the top of their document. This is usually a couple of sentences that introduce you as a candidate and highlight your main skills, achievements and aspirations. It’s essentially an elevator pitch about yourself.

Writing a personal statement can be really tricky, so it can be useful to ask for input from other people, whether that’s friends or colleagues, to get a good idea of what makes you stand out as an employee and what you should highlight. Stick to 4-5 sentences maximum, and try to give a concise overview of who you are, what you can offer a catering company and what makes you a valuable employee.

What Skills to Put On CV for a Catering Job

A key section of a CV for catering is a skills profile which outlines the particular skills that you bring to the table as a candidate and highlights any technical competencies. You should include a mixture of technical abilities related to catering roles, but also soft skills like teamwork and communication, to give a good overview of where your talents lie.

Make sure to include examples of where you have gained these skills and applied them in previous roles, so that you’ve got evidence to support what you’re saying about yourself. Try and include what the skill is, where it was gained, and how it helps you in a catering role.

How to Make Your CV Stand Out

Once you’ve included everything you need in your CV for catering jobs, the final step is to go the extra mile to help your application stand out from other candidates. Here are some of our top tips to do just that.

Gain New Qualifications

Qualifications are important in many industries, but they can often be overlooked when it comes to catering. This is often because people do frequently enter the industry at a base level and work their way up, rather than gaining outside qualifications and moving into the industry. 

If you're lucky, then employers might have helped by putting you on training courses, but sometimes, if you’re looking to take that next step, you'll need to use your own initiative. Fortunately, there are a lot of options out there.

Some of the most useful food safety courses are the Level 1, 2 and 3 food hygiene courses. These courses are designed to give varying levels of knowledge to professionals in the catering and hospitality industry, and there are two big benefits. 

The first is that they’re recognised by a huge range of governing bodies and businesses, and the second is that they have no entry requirements. Consider the Level 2 course if you're looking to show employers you’re serious about food hygiene and understand concepts such as HACCP, or Level 3 if it's a supervisor position you're chasing.

Completing qualifications for the catering industry online is one of the easiest ways to help boost your CV and your chances of success when applying for a catering job. Take a look at Virtual College's food safety courses for a full selection of training options.

Demonstrate Your Flexibility

Jobs in catering and hospitality aren’t often nine to five, simply because there are always people looking to eat through every waking hour. Even very senior chefs may have to stay very late or arrive very early to prepare their kitchen for the day ahead. 

If you’re looking to work in a restaurant or bar, then you’re going to need to do a good job of demonstrating your flexibility on your CV. Explain that you’re happy to work when required, and if possible, show that you understand the need to be timely.

Pick Up New Skills

If you're looking to progress your career in the catering industry, then picking up new skills in your current job is always a great idea. We’ve already talked about the benefits of online training, but qualifications aren't the only way of showing that you know how to do something. 

One of the best ways of doing this is by putting yourself forward to take on a new responsibility or trying something new in your job. If you’re working as an assistant cook in a kitchen, then always look for opportunities to be shown new techniques or foods to prepare. This will certainly help your CV, as employers like to know that they're hiring someone that not only has plenty to offer, but also shows that they're willing to learn.

Show You're a People Person

It's a cliche when it comes to writing CVs and preparing for interviews, but when it comes to the catering industry, this really is essential. There are very, very few jobs in this industry that won't require you to deal with people regularly, if not the entire time you're at work. 

If you're working in the kitchen, then constant communication is required with cooks, chefs and sous chefs, and of course the front-of-house staff. If you're working front of house, then naturally you're going to be dealing with customers. 

As a result, your CV needs to do a good job of explaining to your potential employer that you're very aware of the communication demands of the role, and that you have the skills to effectively work with other people. If you're thinking of applying for some more senior chef roles, then remember that your skills in cookery are only half of the job - organising everyone else in the kitchen is the rest.


How long should a CV be?

A CV should be between two to three pages long, although you should always make sure that the information you’re including is relevant and shouldn’t waffle on the page just to fill space. Aim to include your details, personal statement and work experience on one page, and then talk about skills and qualifications on another.

What does a CV look like?

There’s no official format for a CV, so you have freedom to present the information there however you want, as long as it’s readable. There are lots of catering CV templates out there that can be customised, so this is a good place to start if you’re formatting your CV.

How far back should a CV go?

You don’t need to include every single catering job that you’ve had on a CV, especially if you’ve been working in the industry for a couple of decades. Instead, focus on your most recent role, the roles you were in the longest or the roles where you gained the most relevant experience.


A catering CV doesn’t need to be as elaborate as CVs for other industries, but it does still need to be a concise and engaging overview of who you are as a candidate and what you can bring to the role you’re applying for. Making sure that you’ve included all the necessary information on your CV should be your top priority, followed by making it stand out from the rest with things like additional qualifications.

If you’re looking to spruce up your catering CV with food safety and hygiene training, Virtual College offers a range of CV-boosting online courses for the catering and hospitality industries. Take a look at our range of courses here, or find more career advice on our blog.