How to Find Catering Jobs

19 07 2013

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Image via Flickr creative commons from USDAgov

Before checking for the latest jobs on catering recruitment websites, the first thing you need to do on your road to the kitchen is to get some experience.

The catering world is growing, which means there are more opportunities for younger chefs to enter the profession. That does not mean you will walk into just any role, the market is quite competitive. Before you start your search you should be sure you are as employable as possible – the best way to do that is with adequate work experience.

You should start by contacting a local restaurant or café to see if they will give you a couple of shifts here and there, with a view to giving you something part time. It doesn’t matter if you are just washing dishes for a while, that could be the gateway into preparing some cold dishes. More importantly than anything else it will give you an important glimpse of the environment you will be working in.

Working in a kitchen is unlike almost anywhere else, the hours are long and hot. It is also very stressful. Although that can be said of many jobs, there is a certain mentality required for kitchen work and it is good to get used to the camaraderie and the atmosphere. For example, even the best head chef in the world will be inclined to bawl and shout at you during the busiest dinner services. If you buckle under the pressure or a good rollicking, and take it personally, you may struggle with kitchen life. Once you have learnt to deal with it, and not take it personally, the hard skin will make life in the future much easier. Future employers will also know this. They are unlikely to take someone on cold.

If you have all the experience you think you will need, it is time to start looking for a job. Not all catering companies will list their vacancies on a job site. Although most do, it may be worth calling up a restaurant nearby to see if they have any positions available. If not, leave your CV with them – along with a good impression – and hope they may be in touch next time they are looking for someone. You will most likely be required to go for a trial shift; your past experience will help you immeasurably if this is the case.

Job sites are most likely the place you will find a job, and there are some sites specifically tailored to the catering industry. At the same time, if you live in a city or large town, take a walk around to see if any places are advertising on a board outside.

Make sure your CV looks as good as possible. Detail clearly what you have done and what you have achieved. Do it succinctly, try not to blabber on and train it to what will be expected of you. If it is an Italian restaurant, experience with Italian food will obviously do down well. If you do get an interview, just because you’ll be working in chef whites does not mean you can turn up wearing whatever you want. Dress smartly.

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