Running a successful bar or restaurant requires hiring bartenders with the right skills to make bartending look easy.
However, this is more easily said than done as many new and experienced bartenders don't know how to create an effective resume and showcase their skills. Many bar owners are also unaware of what exactly to look for in their new hire and what bartender salary to offer.
Keep reading to learn what a bartender's resume should include, the top skills they need, and access a free sample resume.
Bartender Resume Examples
To make creating a comprehensive resume easier, we compiled a sample resume for you. Typically, bartenders have a resume that might look something like this.
Instead of starting from scratch, you can build out your resume using this downloadable free bartender resume template.
Additionally, there are some qualifications that can help your resume stand out from the crowd. The more experience and skills you have, the more attractive you will seem to any potential employers. These can include:
- Being bilingual (Spanish, Mandarin, etc.)
- Previous experience as a bartender or barback
- Any bartending license, sommelier certification, cicerone certification, or other pertinent certifications
Bartender Resume Format
It may sound unimportant, but the format you send your resume in can have a major impact on whether a business will look at it. To ensure your resume doesn't get ignored, here are the steps you should take.
First, always send your resume in the file type specified in the bartender job description. Most bars or restaurants will want your resume in PDF or Microsoft Word format. However, that's not always the case so make sure you pay attention. A mistake here will give employers the impression that you lack an attention to detail.
Second, focus on relevant experience. Have you been a bartender before? Do you know how to mix drinks or create recipes? Anything that shows you have a background that would benefit you in the role should be included. Make sure to also explain how this experience impacted the business. If you improved sales by 20% or saved a restaurant hundreds of dollars in liquor cost, make that clear. To really stand out in this role, you could also consider becoming an expert on serving, so you’d be the total package.
Third, keep it brief. Employers will sort through dozens or more applications for every opening they have. If you send in a book about yourself, they may not feel it's worth the trouble of reading. Stick to one page if possible and don't include a bartender cover letter if the bar or restaurant doesn't ask for one, or it wouldn't add any useful information.
Bartender Resume Skills
When applying to be hired as a bartender, it's important that you highlight certain skills and experience in your resume. Even if you don't have prior experience, you can highlight certain skills that show you're a good fit for the role.
These are the top skills a successful bartender needs:
Knowledge of Common Drinks
By far one of the most important skills a bartender needs to have is knowing how to make the most popular cocktail recipes and the drinks every bartender should know. If you don't know how to make simple and popular drinks like an Old Fashioned, Gimlet, or a martini, you're not likely to get hired or keep a job as a bartender for long. Take the time to read up on the most common drinks ordered at the restaurant or bar you're applying to and practice making them. This will show that you really want the job and can be trusted to make drinks without oversight. You may even want to look into menu engineering, so you can help create seasonal menus for spring cocktails, summer cocktails, fall cocktails, winter cocktails, and more.
Spilled or overpoured drinks are a problem faced by nearly every bar or restaurant. If you have trouble pouring alcohol, you'll have trouble being a bartender. Take the time to practice your free pours and learn any specialty pours at the bar or restaurant you want to work at. At the very least you need to understand pouring beer, pouring wine, how many shots in a handle, and how much is one part, so your cocktails aren't made improperly. These skills will not only keep your customers happy, they'll limit the amount of alcohol and revenue the bar wastes.
Anyone who's worked in a restaurant can attest to the fact that the bar layout is key to streamlining workflow and keeping up with orders. A disorganized bartender can quickly cause a backlog of customer orders and create headaches for everyone they're working with. You need to be able to keep track of multiple orders, know where each ingredient and bartender tools are located, and the amount of each type of liquor that you have on hand.
Luckily, tracking your bar inventory has never been easier. BinWise Pro is an automated bar inventory system that speeds up liquor inventory counting, automatically adjusts your inventory levels in real-time, and gives you access to a running stream of historical data. It even comes with a free wine cellar app and inventory scanning app. All of that helps you make the most impactful decisions possible and avoid running into issues meeting customer demands.
Very few bars or restaurants manage to survive with just a single bartender. Instead, they usually have multiple bartenders, barbacks, and servers that rotate across shifts. Bartenders are expected to stay on top of everything happening during the shift and be able to provide clear, useful guidance to the rest of the team. Knowing how to manage a bar will get you a long way in the industry and will show businesses that they're making the right move in putting their faith in you.
Good Customer Service
A bartender is expected to spend nearly all of their time interacting with customers and keeping them happy. If you aren't great at staying calm in stressful situations or capable of cutting someone off when they've had too many drinks, you may want to look at a different line of work. You also need to be able to build enough of a rapport with customers to upsell drinks with ease. Remember to keep your cool and maintain a light, friendly atmosphere at all times.
Bartending is a fast-paced and hectic job. However, it's not all done during prime selling hours, you'll actually show up much earlier to prep garnishes, set up the bar, and get everything ready for service. This time is very valuable and determines how many customers you can serve and whether or not you can make the drinks they request. If you lack the ability to manage your time, you'll soon find yourself trying to make drinks while preparing the bar. You should create a bartender checklist that you can follow every day to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
One often-overlooked skill that all the best bartenders have is cash management and handling. On top of making and selling happy hour drinks, you'll also be taking payments and handing out change. Mistakes made during this process add up quickly and will really upset the manager and owner. Remember, it's okay to slow down a bit to ensure the cash you receive and return are correct. You don't want to find out at the end of the night that you've made a very costly mistake.
Resume The Search
With so many important bartender duties that affect a business' bottom line, it's key that a bartender has all the skills listed above. Highlight your experience and emphasize the ways you could benefit the bar or business and you're on your way to a bartender interview and possibly a new job. Just make sure you're of an appropriate bartender age or you'll never get your foot in the door.