If you currently attend culinary school, have dreams of becoming a chef, or already hold a chef position, establishing yourself online can provide great benefits. Having a presence online can help create employment opportunities, allow you to network with like-minded individuals, and create a following of individuals genuinely interested in your work. Many top-level culinary professionals today have an online presence in order to connect with and inform those who are interested in following their careers. There are several ways to promote your culinary capabilities online, so we are starting with some of the basics.
Start a Website or Blog
Having your own space online to share your work and experience with future employers or fans can lead to many great connections and possible opportunities. Plus, it gives you a way to organize your work and create an online portfolio. At the very least, your profile should contain an ‘about me’ page to tell readers about your background within the culinary arts, a page detailing your work, and a contact or hire me page to get the attention of possible employers. There are many ways you can start a website or blog these days – both free and paid services. So where do you start? You can visit our resources page to find some possible businesses that can help you. Sites like wordpress.com or wordpress.org allow you to begin a site, while including a blog, and it’s relatively easy to set up and manage. Even hosting services like GoDaddy offer website development and creation with discounts for using their hosting services. Overall, starting a website, blog, or both is a great start.
Join Online Culinary Groups
If you have a Facebook account, you can search for culinary groups or pages that will allow you to communicate with others and establish yourself within these groups. Maybe some of them have links to prominent people in the industry that could help you with your dream of becoming a chef. In addition to this, you will want to create your own Facebook fan page to establish yourself, and even link back to your blog on this page to create more exposure to your work. As you build up your portfolio and begin working in the culinary field, you will create valuable connections and will be able to list your work experience on your blog. More people will visit your blog as you become more established in the culinary world, which is why having an online presence is crucial to your success.
Create a LinkedIn Account
This is one of the most popular websites to connect with employers, both past and present, and may connect you with a future employer as well. The idea here is to add connections with people and list your skills and areas of expertise so people in your field can contact you with questions or job opportunities. If you aspire to create a career as a chef, having a LinkedIn account could help you find your next big job and really get your name out there as a skilled culinary artist. You also have the ability to connect with top-level chefs and begin professional relationships that can turn into mentor/mentee relationships. Visit our post about the benefits and importance of having a mentor in the article section.
As an added bonus to your devoted readers of your blog, you could create a newsletter to send to email subscribers each week, containing a favorite recipe of yours, or even a short free e-book about your journey with the culinary field and tips for other chefs. Or, even better, you could make pitches to other food blogs or magazines, asking to write a guest post or paid blog post for them. This way, you get to market yourself to their hundreds or thousands of readers and possibly gain a job or more readers for your own website. When you post on someone else’s blog as a guest writer, you have the ability to add your link (website/blog) in order to drive traffic back to your site. Many individuals do this online to help them drive traffic and it works.
Seeking as many online opportunities to earn a solid reputation as an expert in your field will help you further your career in the long-run, and is a vital part of becoming an established chef. If you don’t know where to start that’s okay, it’s completely normal to not know how to take the first step. However, after you find that first step then make sure you take it and don’t wait!
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