Are you looking at jobs in bartending? You've probably put together a pretty good bartender resume that highlights all of your experience and skills. But, the hiring manager may also want a cover letter.
Nobody likes writing a cover letter. However, it's much easier to write one when you approach it with the right mindset and know what skills you want to highlight.
Keep reading to learn what to include in a bartender cover letter and access a free template you can use to create one more easily.
What Is a Bartender Cover Letter?
A bartender cover letter is a one-page document sent with a resume that highlights why you want to become a bartender and how you can benefit them. Prospective bartenders can use this document to show that they know a bit about the hospitality industry and that they can offer a unique value to the business. Cover letters serve as an introduction and summary that outlines your resume while allowing you to directly present your case for being hired.
One important thing to note is that we don't believe you should send a letter with your resume unless otherwise specified by the business. Each position likely has dozens of applicants or more, so hiring managers don't want to sift through pages of information they didn't request.
How To Write a Bartender Cover Letter
No two cover letters will be identical and this is a good thing. Your cover letter needs to highlight your most valuable skills and position you as the best candidate for a given position. However, there is a general structure you can follow to make writing a cover letter easier than ever.
You should break your bartender cover letter down into the following three sections:
First, a brief introductory paragraph. It should state where you saw the position advertised, how long you've been in the field, and any recognizable businesses you worked at. This section is short and to the point but sets the stage for everything to follow. If you have experience in bar management, allude to that here.
Second, a summary of the skills you've outlined in your resume. Maybe you have experience with menu engineering, or you worked as a barback at a fast-paced bar. Maybe you know a lot of spring cocktails, summer cocktails, fall cocktails, winter cocktails, popular cocktail recipes or drinks every bartender should know. Even if you've never worked in a bar or restaurant before, you can use this section to list out the skills and experience you think most closely aligns with what the business is looking for. If you've got experience creating workflow documents, you can emphasize how this would be useful in creating a bartender cheat sheet for the bar and what bartender tools you recommend.
Third, a paragraph outlining your educational experiences. However, this isn't limited to a college degree you've achieved. Things like a bartending license, sommelier certification, cicerone certification, or other pertinent certifications should go here. You can also state what topics you like learning about, if you've read any of the best bartending books, or something else that would be relevant. The key is to show that you're dedicated to the craft and can learn new skills as needed.
After these sections, make sure to conclude by thanking the person reading it for their time and include contact information. This will help establish you as a professional and give them the tools to reach out to you if and when they want to schedule a bartender interview.
Bartender Cover Letter Tips
In addition to structuring your cover letter properly, there are a few things you can do to make your application stand out from the rest.
Here are a few bartender cover letter tips:
- Keep it brief. Many people make the mistake of writing a novel for a cover letter. Time is money and hiring managers don't want to be wasting theirs reading a 5-page report on how great you are. Stick to a single page and only cover the most important skills and experience you have.
- Match the job description. Cover letters, like resumes, should be tailored to the individual role you're applying for. Try to match the language and skills mentioned in the bartender job description. You'll have a better chance of getting across the skills and value you'd bring to the table if it's written in a way that the hiring manager understands.
- Include real data if possible. How many people did you serve on an average night at your old role? How much did you increase sales? How many years of valuable experience do you have? If you have any of these data points available, they're a great thing to include in your cover letter. People are naturally drawn to numbers, and they can help convey your value more easily.
- Don't bring up salary. Unless the job description explicitly asks what range you're looking for, talking about your desired bartender salary at this stage is a major red flag. Cover letters give prospective employers insight into your personality and goals. If you bring up money, many hiring managers will not even give you an interview as they're concerned you're only looking for a paycheck.
- Use names if possible. If a job description includes a particular person to email when applying or the name of the hiring manager, your cover letter should be addressed to that person. Be sure to use the full name if you have it as a letter addressed to someone by their first name is too personal. If no name is listed, we recommend sticking to the tried-and-true "to whom it may concern".
Bartender Cover Letter Template
Instead of starting from scratch, you can build your own cover letter using our free downloadable bartender cover letter template.
Once you download it, give it a look through. In this sample bartending cover letter, you’ll see we followed the exact formatting we listed out above.
Feel free to edit the sections that you need and remove or add new sections as needed.
Don't forget to add your personal contact info, so the hiring manager will know how to get in touch with you to schedule an interview. You'll also want to make sure all the information in the cover letter matches that in your resume. Take the time to double-check each document before sending it. You don't want to make a mistake and come off as not being detail-oriented.
We've Got You Covered
Bartending can be a great and rewarding job, but you've got to get your foot in the door first. Follow the tips above or use the provided template and add a professional cover letter to your next resume to keep your career moving and growing.
You'll also want to check the rules for how old to be a bartender in your state and city. This way you don't waste your time drafting a cover letter for a job you can't legally get.