How to Write a Bartender Resume
The hospitality sector offers plenty of job opportunities, with bartending considered one of the most fun.
As an industry, it is expected to increase by 6% over the next 10 years.
A bartender resume is your opportunity to show potential employers that you are exactly what they are looking for.
You have seven seconds to catch the attention of a recruiter, so your resume has to stand out for all the right reasons.
Bartending today is not what it once was. Nowadays, your bartending skills need to be more than simply pouring a drink.
During the interview process, you may have a challenge or test. A high-end restaurant might ask you to make food and wine pairings. A cocktail bar may ask you to make an untraditional cocktail.
Make sure you have the knowledge you claim to have. They may test you on it.
The focus of your resume will be your experience and skills. Most bartending jobs only require a high-school education and career promotions happen over time, as your experience builds up.
Recruiters will also be looking for examples of industry knowledge and essential soft skills.
Depending on the level of the position you are applying for, your responsibilities may vary. Entry-level jobs are more about making the drinks, while the more senior bartenders are responsible for producing drinks menus, creating new cocktails and ordering stock.
When it comes to your resume, the recruiter is looking for evidence of strong communication skills:
Your role is all about people. You need to be able to hold conversations with people you've never met before. You also have to be confident enough to cut them off when they have had too much to drink.
As a bartender, you need to be friendly and approachable. Building a rapport with customers ensures they will order more from you and stay longer in the venue you work in.
Your resume should also indicate organizational skills:
You are expected to have conversations with strangers while remembering drink orders and giving the right change, all at the same time.
As your working hours can be hectic, you need to know where all the products are and put them back in the right place straight after use.
Here are some additional skills you may need:
- Good memory
- Smart appearance
- Handling cash
- Mental math calculations
- Knowledge of cocktail recipes
- Conflict resolution
- Critical thinking
- Engaging personality
- Monitoring alcohol consumption
- Food and wine pairings
- Barware and utensil knowledge
- Hygiene regulations
- Sense of humor
Your resume needs to include:
- Personal details
- Work experience
- Awards and certificates
- Interests and hobbies
Your resume should be laid out in a clean, clear format:
- No fancy designs or hard-to-read fonts
- Font size should be 11 pt or 12 pt, with headings clearly distinguishable from the rest of the text
- Keep it to one page if possible, and don't fill all the space. Leave some white space to give the reader's eyes a break
- Save your resume as a PDF
In this section, include your:
- Contact number
- Professional email address
If you have any social media profiles or a blog related to bartending, add those links here.
Michael Who – Bartender – email@example.com – 555-555-5555
There is no need to include your address or location.
The summary or resume objective is the section that captures the recruiter's attention.
A summary details your most notable achievements and experiences. Use this method if you are applying for a more senior bartending position.
An objective is for those applying to entry-level positions and focuses more on your goals.
Creative and enthusiastic bartender with over four years of experience working in cocktail bars in Boston. Winner of the 2018 Boston Cocktail Creator Award. Passionate about improving revenue through innovative cocktail menus.
Charismatic cocktail-lover looking to develop my passion for great tasting drinks and keeping customers coming back. Skilled in mixology, food and wine pairings, and working in hospitality. Previous experience includes waiting on tables in a fine-dining restaurant.
Don't be generic with your introductions. Be as specific as you can with your skills and experience.
However, do not exaggerate. The hospitality sector receives many resumes every day, regardless of any job openings. They know when someone is extending the truth.
The best format for your experience is reverse-chronological.
Starting with your most recent experience first, detail:
- Position name
- Responsibilities and achievements
Bartender – Dukes Cocktail Lounge, Boston (December 2018–June 2020)
- Created Thanksgiving, Christmas and Halloween-themed cocktail menus
- Ran cocktail and cheese-and-wine events for customers
- Served drinks to over a hundred customers during 12-hour shifts
Higher education is not needed for a bartending position. If you do have a degree, however, you should mention it in your resume.
Equally, if this is your first bartending role and you are a college student, write the year you started your course and your intended major.
Include the following information about your degree, if you have one:
- Degree type and major
- University and location
- Years studied
- GPA, awards and standout courses
In this section, only mention the awards and certificates that show you are the perfect employee:
- Have you ever been the employee of the month?
- Have you taken any first-aid courses?
- Have you, or could you complete, a ServeSafe course? Or become TIPS-certified?
You could also mention in this section if you have a driving license.
Make a small, bullet-pointed section highlighting up to eight of your strongest skills.
Use the job description to pull out the skills and keywords the employer is looking for.
While you may be tempted to fill the space with experience and skills, giving your resume a bit of personality with a few of your hobbies or interests goes a long way.
If you have a blog or Instagram account dedicated to alcoholic beverages, write a brief description of it. If you like to build cars, or hike, tell them.
Your hobbies and interests indicate who you are as a person. Someone who likes to build things from scratch is resourceful and patient. Someone who enjoys energetic activities takes care of themselves and most probably takes pride in their work too.
These little snippets of information also act as icebreakers in your interview and can help you to connect with the interviewer.
If this is your first bartender job, you will need to focus on your transferable skills.
If you have experience as a barista, or in retail, you could mention your experience in handling cash, using a cash register, and dealing with customer complaints and requests. All these are skills that can transfer well to a bartending job.
Any job role held for a long period shows loyalty and dedication.
For your first bartending role, your hobbies and interests will go a long way. Start a social media account where you review craft beers. Take a wine course or start a blog educating others on the wines of the world.
Any courses you've completed show dedication to the craft.
Use action words such as ‘hosted’, ‘trained’, ‘implemented’, ‘analyzed’, ‘advised’, ‘greeted’ and ‘recommended’.
Coordinate your resume to match the company's branding. It builds an association between you and the company. If their logo is red, use red for your section headings.
Keep it clean and concise. You do not need to detail every success you've ever had – stick to those that directly relate to this role.
Research the company's values and demonstrate they are yours as well. For example, if they pride themselves on delivering the best service, say you love to provide excellent customer service and give examples of when you have done that.
Include keywords and phrases from the job description. Many recruiters use automated systems to scan resumes for those words, and select the candidates with the most matches.
Quantify your accomplishments. How much extra revenue did your cocktail generate? By what percentage did your wine event draw in new customers?
Proofread your resume before submitting it.
Make sure it complements your bartender cover letter. You do not want a mismatch of information.
Take the time to get it right – never settle with your first draft.
Have a career counselor or friend/family member look over it to catch any typos you may have missed, and to offer suggestions on how it may be improved.
Applying for a job can be stressful.
Don't rush to get your application submitted. There are no extra points for being the first to submit your resume.
Have confidence in yourself and the words you write. If you don't believe you are the best candidate, the recruiters won't either.
Include as many of the keywords from the job description as you can. Too few and you might not be considered; too many and they might not see you as genuine.
Quantify your achievements wherever possible.
Be genuine and show some personality. It's part of your job description as a bartender.