I'm looking to start applying for cake decorating jobs at a few local places to better my skills and hopefully start a career. I don't do enough cakes to learn new things and better my skills I can do now. What do you look for in an applicant? How do you like to see applicant's work? As someone with no experience in a bakery how should I present my resume/portfolio?
It all depends on the type of business to which you are applying. If you are applying to very busy bakeries, they are going to look at speed for sure. These places expect their decorators to crank out a zillion cakes a day so make sure you are fast if you are applying to that type of place. They will probably make you decorate something there and time you while you are doing it. Just a heads-up.
If you are applying to a higher end bakery then you should make sure you bring a good portfolio of your work. If it were me, I would make sure to have some good 5x7 photos which are taken in natural lighting with a good camera. Try to have a good background for your photo that really allows you to showcase your cake. I am bad about this but I am not really looking to do this professionally since I have so much going on in my actual non-food career. Caking has been my hobby for the past 15 years or so. It just takes time and practice. You will get there! Good luck in your job search!
What do you look for in an applicant?
Someone who shows natural creative and artistic talent. If they possess that quality, they can learn the skills part. Above all, dependability, because it doesn't matter how good they are if they can't show up to do the work. (Sadly, this isn't usually known before hiring an employee.) All employers are looking for productive employees... production=profit. If you aren't fast, a true production bakery will train you how to be. You might not be timed to produce something for an interview, but they typically allow a certain amount of time per cake on production schedules during employment and you're expected to keep up. Periodical checks are done for each employee, but it's easy to "perform" as long as you're doing it "their" way as you were trained with their top of the line equipment. Speed, accuracy, and consistency are all considered when you're up for review or advancement.
How do you like to see applicant's work?
I personally like to see any form of the work that decorator's have done; portfolio or link to online photos, but there are bakeries that don't care to look at what you've done, they just want to see what you can do for them. Don't be disappointed if they refuse to view your work.
As someone with no experience in a bakery how should I present my resume/portfolio?
You should mail your resume. The cover letter should be personalized to the owner/manager mentioning that you will follow up with a phone call in X number of days to answer any questions that they may have. (It's difficult to put together an impressive resume with no work experience in the field, but your past work history may be helpful to express that you were a dependable, loyal, fast-learning, hard-working, and dedicated leader in your work ethics with previous employers. If you don't already have your resume finished, look online for helpful tips.)
During your follow-up conversation, you might also mention that you have an available portfolio to view if there's a good time to make an appointment with the bakery manager for an interview.
Should you choose not to mail your resume, it wouldn't hurt to pop in and ask to fill out a job application, but I wouldn't expect to get an instant interview if the owner isn't available.
thanks for the suggestions! I'm definitely going to have to figure out a good way of presenting my work as well ask touching up my resume.
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