Preparing 5-star in-flight meals at 30,000 feet, often on short notice, while keeping track of your passengers’ safety and comfort is no easy task. Knowing what to stock, managing costs, who to call, timing, making sure food arrives and is stored at the proper temperature until it is time to serve, plating and serving food attractively in a minimalistic galley are part of an important skill set. Corporate aviation employers expect this skill set, whether or not they remember to include it in a job description. Featuring your culinary skills effectively in your flight attendant resume is an easy way to stand apart from the competition and brand yourself in a way top employers will appreciate.
However, don’t stress: showcasing culinary skills on your resume is easy compared to all the hard work you have done as a flight attendant! Corporate flight attendants who I have helped highlight their culinary skills end up with more interviews and better jobs. Even if you are making the transition from a commercial airline or have just finished flight attendant school, you likely already have some culinary skills employers will appreciate.
Flight attendants with a corporate flying background may assume their on-the-job experience speaks for itself. Yes, it is great to mention situations you have handled, hard-to-please passengers you delighted, and customer services challenges you have overcome. However, we all know the learning never stops. As a good corporate flight attendant, you are always on the lookout for cooking classes to take, cookbooks that can be helpful, or culinary expertise from colleagues in the industry. In today’s competitive job market, it is especially important to feature your ongoing learning and growth on your resume. The biggest reason to highlight it? It shows that it is important to you.
The employers we work with tell us time and again that their cabincrew is a reflection of their company, and a continuation of their brand. Says one, “I’m picky about who I hire since they are the representatives of this company, and I pre-screen applicants based on the resume and cover letter they submit. If they submit a professional resume that shows in-flight culinary background combined with experience in real-world situations they will encounter while flying with me, I know they deserve a call.”
When in hiring mode, employers are screening resumes for things like background in the culinary arts, food safety, beverage selection and management, menu planning and presentation. Here are some simple ways I have found to use all sections of your flight attendant resume to highlight your culinary background.
Specialized Training Section of Resume
After your personal contact information, your professional flight attendant resume should begin with the three most important sections, which are very brief and to-the-point:
1) The Objective statement
2) A Qualifications section (a list of passports, certifications, languages spoken, etc.)
3) Specialized Training. This section includes all of your emergency and recurrent crewmember training, and is a great place to list any in-flight catering and cabin service courses and year taken, like this:
CAPS Recurrent Emergency Crewmember Training (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
Recurrent Evacuation Crewmember Training: GV-SP/G500/G550 (2011, 2012, 2014)
Self Defense Training, Fire Safety and Firefighting Control, Emergency Evacuation, Ditching, Accidents Incidents (2013)
ServSafe Certification (2015)
In-flight Catering and Cabin Service (2015)
Experience Section of Resume
The experience section of your resume is your opportunity to feature the relevant details of positions you have held, from most recent to oldest. The mistake many prospective corporate flight attendants make is simply listing job title and dates held and a generic description of their job duties. Make your culinary experience and customer service skills really stand out by including a value-added description of what you did that no one else could. Be sure to focus on things your employer will care about. Such as:
- How you impacted the bottom line.
- How your skills made a difference in customer experience (in turn, elevating your employer’s reputation).
Think about your past positions, both as a flight attendant and in other roles, and how they showcase your culinary skills. Consider non-aviation jobs you have held in customer service and any previous positions that involve culinary, such as running your own coffee shop or working as a cook, waitress or chef. Here are some examples of well-worded job descriptions that showcase culinary skills:
- Maintained interior of three aircraft, including cleaning, stocking and general upkeep, both in home airport and abroad, where resources were limited.
- Built worldwide network of contacts (FBOs, caterers, driving services) to ensure smooth arrivals and departures and adapt to destination changes.
- Improved passenger in-flight culinary experience to rave reviews while cutting food-related costs
- Exceeded job functions and delighted owner and family by preparing meals at their residence during long-term trips.
Education and Training Section of Resume
The Education and Training Section of your resume is usually pretty straightforward; listing the degrees you hold and dates obtained. Some flight attendants already have experience as chefs. Others can gain it through culinary training. If you lack formal training beyond flight attendant school, consider a specialized multi- or one-day course for flight attendants in advanced culinary skills, from saucing techniques to menu planning.
Awards/Achievements, Affiliations or Personal Strengths/Interests
If your culinary experience or expertise does not fit into the traditional Experience or Education buckets on your resume, consider adding an Awards/Achievements, Affiliations or Personal Strengths/Interests section at the very bottom of your resume. For example:
- Affiliations: International Association of Culinary Professionals
- Awards/Achievements: Employee of the Month: recognized for culinary excellence
- Personal Interests: Cooking, cuisine and wine aficionado: cooked with Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s Hotel, London
Food is a personal experience and a unique way to sell yourself to employers. When an employer calls me for help screening resumes or posting a job, culinary skills are often at the top of their list of must-haves.
|Amanda Jenkins is a Member Support Specialist at BizJetJobs.com where she helps flight attendants navigate the job market and present themselves effectively to corporate employers. Contact her at email@example.com. Any thoughts expressed in this article are entirely Amanda’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Air Culinaire Worldwide.|
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