Applying for any educational course can be a somewhat daunting task, all the more so when the role would allow you to follow a genuine passion. For culinary school students, this is the case without exception.
Those who study with us here at Le Cordon Bleu are gastronomes in the truest sense of the word. They cook food, they eat food, they think food, read books about it and watch documentaries about it! This means that completing an application to culinary school is a step that must be perfected.
The Importance of a Letter of Motivation
A huge part of this process is writing a personal statement, or as we like to call it, a letter of motivation. In order to gain a place at Le Cordon Bleu, every prospective student must write a letter of motivation explaining why they want to study culinary arts and why with our institution in particular. Within this letter, students must detail why they are interested in their chosen course, explain their background and convey real enthusiasm.
How long should a personal statement be? You have between 300 and 500 words to convince the admissions jury at Le Cordon Bleu to offer you a place at our culinary school. So, what will you say? Well, fear not, because we’re going to share a few insider tips on how to write a personal statement for a culinary school.
What Should I Put in My Personal Statement?
There are several reasons why writing a personal statement or letter of motivation is so important when applying for culinary school. Before you set about creating your letter, it is helpful to consider why you are doing so, as this can help you to plan the areas you need to cover within you letter.
The first thing to state is your interest. Tell us why you want to study culinary arts, and your chosen course in particular. Demonstrate a passion and deep understanding of your chosen course. Show how you’ve researched the course and convey your enthusiasm for the curriculum.
Explain what skills you expect to acquire during your studies, and how these will help you achieve your dream career. Outline your future career plans, where do you see yourself in five, ten years time? And explain why now is the perfect time for you to commit to studying.
This is the moment to explain and communicate your passion for food and Le Cordon Bleu, don’t waste it.
Did you grow up cooking cultural dishes with your family, and hope to one day share those flavours with guests at your own restaurant? Has wine always been your passion? Tell us what drives you to become the best professional possible.
Have you been working in kitchens for many years? Or are you looking for a career-change? At Le Cordon Bleu, we pride ourselves on accepting students from all walks of life. Our students don’t necessarily need to have a culinary background.
However, if you have any relevant qualifications and experience, please make sure to elaborate on them. Give details and specific examples, which prove that you’re a good candidate for your chosen course. Explain what you have learnt from your previous experience, what skills you have gained, and how they would transfer well to a culinary school education.
Tell us what you enjoyed from your experiences and how you think studying at Le Cordon Bleu will help you to build on this and reach your ambitions.
Applicants interested in gaining professional experience through the school’s Internship Pathway should write about why they are interested in a work placement, what they hope to learn from it and what skills they will be able to bring to that particular company.
After this, describe, why you were drawn to Le Cordon Bleu London in particular. Do you have a deep affinity for London? Are you excited by the city’s culinary, wine and cultural scene of London, and want to study amongst this exciting energy? Or have you been inspired by one of our alumni, or simply are drawn to our teaching approach? This information will help communicate your drive and commitment.
Tips for Writing a Personal Statement
So now you know why you’re writing a letter of motivation and what to include, but are there any other tips and tricks you should know?
Motivation Letter Format
First of all, it is important to know how to format a personal statement. There are certain pieces of etiquette that are used here. For example, if you don’t know the name of the person you are addressing the letter to, you should use “to whom it may concern” as an opening. The letter should be formal and polite.
Write an Engaging Introduction
One of the most important parts of a personal statement is the first sentence. Here, you will need to capture the reader’s attention and gain their interest. Instead of opting for the traditional “I am writing this letter as a statement of interest in your course…”, try opening with something more unique.
Perhaps you could choose an anecdote from your life that conveys your relationship with food or choose a quote from a professional who you admire. Opening with something a little unexpected is a great way to show creativity and flair, but remember to expand on the first sentence and relate it to your overall intentions of why you wish to study the culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu.
Be Honest and Be Yourself
Whilst there are certain aspects, as we have discussed, that should be in any letter of motivation, it is important to add a bit of individualism to your letter.
Be honest about your skills and experience, as we will be able to tell if your descriptions match the reality when we meet you!
Be yourself. Your personal statement needs to stand out and the best way you can achieve this is by channeling the creativity that any culinary professional has.
Find a Proofreader
Once you have crafted your letter of motivation, you will need to get some feedback on your piece. This is important, because it gives you an idea of how others might respond to it.
First, get a proofreader to check your spelling, grammar and translation, to ensure your letter is professional and easy to read.
Then, show it to people you trust for their opinion. Even better, if you know anyone who works in the culinary sphere, ask for their feedback, perhaps the head chef at your job, or a family friend who owns a restaurant? Whether friends or colleagues, all these people will be able to give helpful tips on how you can strengthen your personal statement.
Learn more about the programmes on offer at Le Cordon Bleu London before applying.