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Cook Cover Letter Example

Use this Cook cover letter example to finish your application and get hired fast – no frustration, no guesswork. This cover letter example is specifically designed for Cook positions in 2022. Take advantage of our sample sentences + expert guides to download the perfect cover letter in just minutes.
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Cook Cover Letter Example
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The world of cooking is vast and exciting. There are numerous styles of cuisine to be explored and a never-ending stream of restaurants who need help in the kitchen. Whether you’re looking for your first position in the business or you’re a seasoned cook with years of experience, conveying the right qualities in your cook cover letter can boost your chances of landing your dream position.

A cover letter goes beyond the dates and names on your resume to share your personal story and establish you as the ideal candidate who understands the restaurant’s needs and is willing to learn new cooking skills and dishes.

If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, then you know that the high-turnover rate is a big headache for many managers. Kitchen staff seem to jump ship only months after being hired. 

To land a position as a cook, you’ll need a cover letter that convinces employers you’re experienced, reliable and serious about the position. Luckily, with Resume.io’s collection of resources, templates and tools, writing a job-winning cover letter doesn’t have to be difficult.

This guide, along with an effective cover letter example will:

  • Outline the purpose of a great cover letter and its importance in landing you a job
  • Recommend the best format for a cook cover letter and components it should include
  • Advise how to maximize the impact of each cook cover letter section: header, greeting, introduction, body and conclusion
  • Explore the realities of getting hired in a kitchen and how you can boost your chances
  • Help you avoid common formatting and writing mistakes

If you haven’t already perfected your resume, that’s a great place to start. Make sure to check out our cook resume example , templates and general resume writing guide ). Now it’s time to create a great cover letter that seals the deal on your dream restaurant.

What is a cook cover letter?

Primary purpose

When it comes to getting hired as a cook, experience is key. But employers also want to know that you have the right work ethic to complete the service correctly and efficiently. While a resume is great for explaining where you’ve worked, it falls a bit short when it comes to proving that you have the right qualities for a future position.

That’s where a great cover letter comes in. 

Also called an application letter, this document is usually 200 to 400 words long, or the length of one page. It’s a good idea to keep your cover letter concise and focused on a few key points that explain why you’re a great fit for the position.

Formatting is another essential part of an effective cover letter. As a general rule, it’s best to stick with san serif fonts like Georgia, Helvetica and Arial and a size between 10 and 12 points depending on how much space you have on the page. For even more specific formatting advice, check out our advice on fonts to use for cover letters.

Expert tip

What if the internship job application DOESN’T require a cover letter?

Unlike in other professions, cooks are often hired via contacts they have in the business or by submitting an application to a restaurant they like. Sometimes there’s no formal job description or application process. If that’s the case, do you still need to submit a cover letter?

Unless a manager asks you NOT to submit a cover letter with your application, it’s always best to include one. A well-written cover letter increases your chances of landing the position and makes a great impression from the onset. Why throw away this golden opportunity?

Maximizing your chances

Many restaurant owners or executive chefs would prefer to hire a job seeker with the energy and motivation to learn, as opposed to someone with more experience who lacks initiative or interest in the position. In that sense, a cover letter actually gives you a chance at beating out candidates with many years of work experience. 

This document allows you to focus on your biggest strengths, most formative experiences and your desire to apply those skills to this new position. By showing that you’re organized, hard-working and a team player, you can quickly position yourself as an attractive choice for any restaurant.

Expert tip

The importance of tailoring your cover letter

While on the job search, you can maximize the chances of your cover letter’s success by tailoring it to each individual position that you apply for. 

Not only do restaurant owners and managers want to know you’re interested in a position as a cook, they want to know why you want to work for them. Think about the restaurant’s clientele, menu items, special events, staff size, dining room and other factors. 

By tailoring your cover letter with the most relevant skills and experiences for the type of cuisine and work environment, you can stand out as a candidate who is seriously interested in the position.

Best format for a cook cover letter example

The great news is that learning to write an exceptional cover letter is a skill that can benefit you for the rest of your career, since the structure of the document stays relatively unchanged between positions and industries.

Here are the key components:

  • The cover letter header
  • The greeting / salutation
  • The cover letter introduction
  • The middle paragraphs (body of the letter)
  • Cover letter conclusion and sign-off

While a cover letter is a bit more free-form than a resume, there’s no need to fear the writing process. You can find even more useful tips on each of these sections inside of our comprehensive guide on cover letters .

Adaptable cover letter example

Dear Mrs. Hildreth,

At Novus, your line cooks do more than just prepare food. They are the face of your brand and the reason why you are one of the most popular fusion establishments in the city.

Customers come to meet your self-styled “masters of the menu” and the food is somehow so much tastier when there is that emotional connection. Alongside all the standard kitchen experience that is detailed in my resume, it is my flair in identifying flavour combinations (gained from 18 months traveling in the Far East) and my innovation that sets me apart. I would love to tell you how I cook my Korean-Mexican inspired galbi.

My degree in culinary management from Florida State and three years as a professional line cook at the 4-star Pentagon restaurant have equipped me with everything I that need to become a valuable member of the Nova team:

  • Contributed in operational, customer and culinary initiatives – moved from 3* to 4*
  • Developed four new signature dishes to menu – twice as popular as normal options.
  • Managed the ServeSafe certifications of kitchen team. Responsible for hygiene.
  • Created a process-led spreadsheet for running an efficient kitchen operation.

Working with a team in the kitchen is my happy place. Great food does not happen in a vacuum, and I enjoy collaborating with equally passionate people to put a smile on our customers’ faces. I have been employee of the month seven times over the past three years – the most of any cook. I am only leaving because of the relocation to Denver.

If you need a young line cook who is keen to contribute ideas, energy and taste sensations, I would love the chance to come and cook something for you at a tasting interview.

Best regards,

Petra Walton

Copied!

The cover letter header

Your cook cover letter header has two important jobs to do. The first is to help identify your document. Restaurants are busy places, and you want your name and personal data to be highly visible so that the owner or hiring manager can easily see who the cover letter belongs to and how to get in touch. 

The second goal of your header is to make your application memorable with a bit of distinctive formatting that creates a polished look. Restaurants can receive many applications for one cook position, so a header helps ensure you’ll be noticed and appreciated for your professionalism.

Expert tip

Align document styles!

One way to show that you’re a serious candidate is by aligning the document styles of your cover letter and resume. By using a matching layout, you’ll create a “personal brand” — a look and feel for the application that makes you stand out. 

The header is likely the only place you’ll be able to use touches of color or design on your cook cover letter. While these elements can be attractive, it’s a good idea to consider the look and feel of the restaurant or food service company before choosing a style. 

For example, a fine dining bistro in a fancy hotel would probably appreciate a neutral color palette with subtle lines, whereas a colorful, retro design could work well for a themed diner.

The goal of the header: Identify the cover letter as belonging to you, through attractive and memorable formatting.

The cover letter greeting

Although your greeting is the smallest section, it plays a big role in setting a polite and respectful tone for the rest of your letter. Choose a greeting that is appropriate for your relationship with the restaurant. 

For example, if you know the owner or manager on a first-name basis, and especially if sending your letter in the body of an email, you may choose to use “Hi” or “Hello” followed by the owner's name. If the restaurant is more formal or you don’t have any contacts there, “Dear” followed by "Mr." or "Ms." and the last name of the owner or manager is usually the safest choice.

Expert tip

The importance of names and addressed greetings.

We can all recall that weird, awkward feeling when someone forgets our name. Conversely, it can be a great boost to self-esteem when someone uses our name when we least expect it. 

Turns out, there’s more than just anecdotal evidence to that fact that hearing our own names makes us feel good. Science has actually shown that we have a positive neurological reaction as well.

Using the name of the hiring manager or restaurant owner in your cover letter shows that you paid enough attention to detail to put in the extra effort. 

Unlike in other industries, finding the name of the person who does the hiring in a restaurant should be fairly easy. If it’s not online, you can try calling and asking, or even walking in the door to make a personal introduction. 

If, however, there’s no way to know who will be reading your letter, you can always use a friendly collective noun. For restaurants, “Team” or “Family” often work well.

The goal of the cover letter greeting: Establish a personal connection with the person who will read your letter by using their name and the appropriate greeting.

Adaptable cover letter greeting example

Dear Mrs. Hildreth,

Copied!

The cover letter introduction

For a busy manager or owner reading your letter, the introduction is a crucial moment. By the time they’ve finished the first two sentences, they’ve probably already made a judgement about whether or not it’s worth reading until the end. That’s why your introduction should give them the best you’ve got.

There are a few ways to capture the reader’s attention and show them that you have the right attitude and skills to be a part of the team. A relevant anecdote, surprising fact or interesting personal statement can all work well. Just make sure to keep any stories concise so that the reader can get to the point right away. 

The goal of the cover letter introduction: Grab and hold the reader’s attention while establishing that you’ve got the right traits for the job, encourage the manager to keep reading into the body section.

Adaptable cover letter introduction example

At Novus, your line cooks do more than just prepare food. They are the face of your brand and the reason why you are one of the most popular fusion establishments in the city.

Copied!

The cover letter middle part (body)

The cover letter body is where you’ll finally dive into all the experiences and qualifications that make you the right candidate for the cook position you are seeking. Since this is the bulkiest section of your cover letter, you can simplify the writing process by breaking it into two smaller sections.

First, you’ll describe your most relevant experiences and achievements as a cook. One great way to do this is by using the STAR method. Start by describing a Situation and the Task required, then detail your Action and the positive Result it caused. 

For maximum effectiveness, make sure to keep these anecdotes short and highly focused on experiences relevant to the job at hand.

In the second section, you can discuss your hard and soft skills and your goals for working with this prospective new employer. You can also mention potential contributions and aspects of the new restaurant you appreciate and want to learn more about.

The goal of the cover letter body: Highlight your previous achievements and experiences, and explore potential contributions to the new work environment you hope to join.

Adaptable cover letter body example

Customers come to meet your self-styled “masters of the menu” and the food is somehow so much tastier when there is that emotional connection. Alongside all the standard kitchen experience that is detailed in my resume, it is my flair in identifying flavour combinations (gained from 18 months traveling in the Far East) and my innovation that sets me apart. I would love to tell you how I cook my Korean-Mexican inspired galbi.

My degree in culinary management from Florida State and three years as a professional line cook at the 4-star Pentagon restaurant have equipped me with everything I that need to become a valuable member of the Nova team:

  • Contributed in operational, customer and culinary initiatives – moved from 3* to 4*
  • Developed four new signature dishes to menu – twice as popular as normal options.
  • Managed the ServeSafe certifications of kitchen team. Responsible for hygiene.
  • Created a process-led spreadsheet for running an efficient kitchen operation.

Working with a team in the kitchen is my happy place. Great food does not happen in a vacuum, and I enjoy collaborating with equally passionate people to put a smile on our customers’ faces. I have been employee of the month seven times over the past three years – the most of any cook. I am only leaving because of the relocation to Denver.

Copied!

The cover letter conclusion and sign-off

Now that you’ve made your best case for yourself as a cook, it’s time to close out the cover letter respectfully and on a positive note. One of the best ways to do that is with a call to action. This sentence expresses your enthusiasm for the position and invites an owner or manager to get in touch. 

You may also choose to leave your contact information again in the closing paragraph, space permitting.

Then, end the letter with the appropriate sign-off. “Best regards,” “Sincerely” or even the less formal “Thank you” all work well.

The goal of the cover letter closing: Encourage a hiring manager to contact you via an effective call to action, then end the letter on a polite and respectful note. 

Adaptable cover letter closing example

If you need a young line cook who is keen to contribute ideas, energy and taste sensations, I would love the chance to come and cook something for you at a tasting interview.

Best regards,

Petra Walton

Copied!

Writing psychology: cover letter tools and strategies

For a job as a cook, there are a few key qualities you’ll want to convey:

Teamwork and communication: Line cooks, prep cooks, sous chefs and head chefs all have to work together and with the servers who bridge the gap between the food preparation and the customers. 

Being able to work respectfully and efficiently with other restaurant staff is an essential quality to highlight in your cook cover letter.

Ability to take initiative: One of a restaurant owner’s biggest nightmares is a new hire who stands on the sidelines and waits for others to do the work. Choose experiences for your cover letter that show you went above and beyond to help the restaurant thrive.

Reliability: One of the biggest problems in the restaurant industry is people who don’t show up. Make sure a hiring manager knows you’re not one of them by conveying commitment and responsibility in your cover letter.

Efficiency and organization: During a busy dinner service, the kitchen can be a stressful place. A cook’s ability to prepare food items in a timely manner is essential to the reputation and success of the restaurant.

The power of liking

There’s a psychology principle called “reciprocal liking” that seems much too simple to be true: we like people who like us. 

And more importantly: we are more likely to accept and help people who share commonalities with us. 

Studies have shown that the mere impression that someone else likes us causes us to change our attitude and behavior towards them. So how does this relate to a cover letter for a culinary arts position?

In fact, it’s a principle at the essence of being hired in a restaurant. We can all recall a time when we ate at a restaurant where the chef obviously didn’t care about the quality of their food — and likely, we did not choose to eat there again. 

Conversely, what makes mom or dad’s cooking so good? Love of course!

Clichés aside, the truth is that restaurants who want to produce high quality meals and retain customers need cooks who are passionate about what they do. Cooks who have a natural interest in the type of food and kitchen operations make for much better candidates than those who have completely unrelated goals. 

You can use the power of liking to show a restaurant owner that you appreciate their cuisine and want to learn more about making it. 

There’s no need to go overboard with the compliments, but having tried the food once or twice probably wouldn’t hurt in helping to create the genuine feeling that you want to be part of their team.

Let’s take a look at an example:

Although much of my experience has been in fine dining, I have always had a passion for Japanese cuisine. In my last position, I was in charge of staff lunches twice a week. I used that opportunity to study and recreate noodle dishes like ramen and udon as well as develop my own teriyaki chicken recipe. As it has been my goal to work in a Japanese restaurant, I often visited Umami to sample the flavors and get inspiration. I know that I would bring all of my passion, energy and determination to a position in your kitchen.

Copied!

Common mistakes to avoid in your cook cover letter 

Sloppy formatting: Poor font, color and styling choices suggest you haven’t spent the time to get to know the restaurant where you are applying to work, or at least you haven’t shown any effort to align yourself with its image. 

Luckily, professional formatting doesn’t have to be a pain. Check out Resume.io’s templates and cover letter builder tool to finish your application with ease.

Generic letters: Restaurants want to know why you’re interested in them. A generic letter suggests that you’ll take any job at all. Make sure to tailor your cover letter to the needs of each restaurant you apply to.

Overly complex grammar: You may be passionate about cooking, but there’s no need to get literary in your cover letter. Simply convey your personality and professional self in a natural way.

Spelling mistakes: Typos and grammar mistakes not only make your cover letter hard to read, they also give the impression that you didn’t bother to check it before submitting. Make sure to use a spell checker and ask a friend to proofread the letter for you.

Key takeaways

  1. Even if a job advertisement doesn’t mention a cover letter, it’s always a good idea to submit one as part of a convincing application. The only exception is if the application instructions explicitly ask you NOT to include a cover.
  2. To maximize your chances of landing the position, make sure to tailor your cover letter with the skills and experiences most relevant to each restaurant you apply to.
  3. Follow the tried-and-true cover letter structure to keep your document concise and easy to read.
  4. Restaurant owners want to know what about their business excites you. Make sure to come across as genuine in your interests and goals.
  5. Poor formatting is one way to dash your chances of making a good first impression. Resume.io’s expert templates and builder tool can help.

With Resume.io, you can create a perfect cover letter in just a few minutes. No uncertainty, no hassle. Go out there and win!

For additional cover letter inspiration and ideas, take a look at our related hospitality and catering cover letter examples :

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