Whether you’ve just graduated from bartending school or you are looking to upgrade from your current barkeep position, a great resume combined with a few of our other handy tips can help increase your chances of earning a great new job.
1. Change Up Your Resume Format
Unlike a traditional resume, where you might begin with an objective, followed by work experiences and education, a bartender’s resume can feature a slightly different format. For instance, instead of an objective, you might start with a skills section or prepare a very short summary and follow that with a skills section. Here’s an example that’s a bit more traditional:
Personable, high-energy mixologist with 4+ years of bartending experience and 9+ years in hospitality, as a waiter, host and cashier.
- Menu Development
- Menu Design
- Customer Service
- Inventory Management
- Cleaning Bar Equipment
- Whiskey & Tequila Expert
- Cashier/Fraud Prevention
Obviously, these are just a few examples of skills that might make one a great bartender, and your skills probably will differ somewhat from this list. You also combine the “Skills” and “Summary” information and put all of this into a single “Skills” section if you prefer.
For the next section, focus on work experiences, with the most recent experience listed first. Be sure to highlight several of the responsibilities you held during each of your work experiences, even if you weren’t working as a bartender.
After work experiences, add a brief section about education and credentials. When it comes to education, unless you have a degree related to hospitality, this is going to be less important than your licensing and bartending credentials. Still, if you do have an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree or higher, go ahead and your highest level of education in this section.
Once all of this crucial information has been compiled, you also might add a Hobbies & Interest section if there’s space. On a bartender’s resume, skills are the most important additions and you want to keep the whole document down to a single page. However, if there’s room, adding three or four thoughtful outside interests might be a good way to show a bit of personality.
2. Keep It Active
With that “Work Experience” section, you have a great opportunity to show off some more of your skills. For instance, under one work experience you could state that you “created classic cocktails & developed new recipes,” and “managed a bar staff of 10, coordinating schedules and assigning daily tasks.”
Whatever you list, be sure to use active verbs such as managed, developed, created, organized, launched, initiated, reduced, increased, enhanced and so on. These types of verbs add a bit of pep to any resume.
So rather than stating that you, “were tasked with creating specialty cocktails to boost midweek sales,” it sounds much better to state that you “Launched midweek specialty cocktail nights, increased sales by 25% Tuesday-Thursday.” This utilizes those active verbs and provides a hiring manager with a real look at your abilities and contributions to a business.
3. Highlight Your Soft Skills
When it comes to a bartender’s resume, skills can be divided into two categories – soft and hard skills. Hard skills include tasks such as being able to make a wide variety of cocktails or your ability to develop new recipes or keep your bar pristine.
Soft skills might sound less important, but they truly are crucial. These skills include a solid work ethic, multi-tasking, teamwork, communication, creativity, problem solving, etc. Bartenders definitely have to be great multi-taskers with friendly personalities and the ability to handle customers and build rapport with those customers so that they become return guests.
But how do you showcase this on a resume? Here’s a look at one work experience that highlights both soft and hard skills.
BARTENDER (FEBRUARY, 2016-DECEMBER, 2018)
Bantam & Marrow Tavern – Portland, Oregon
- Prepared cocktails for 200+ clients per night
- Developed recipes for special theme nights
- Managed 10+ bartenders & wait staff
- Created inventory management system, reduced costs by 30% each year
- Earned 1st Place honors, represented tavern at the Portland Battle of the Bars
These are just a few examples that showcase hard and soft skills. This bartender was able to manage a small staff, which highlights leadership and teamwork skills. The ability to prepare cocktails for a high volume of customers highlights that you can multi-task and handle high-pressure situations.
No matter what skills you list under your work experiences, it is wise that you quantify each skills with a concrete example. For instance, in the example above, we didn’t simply state that the person “was tasked with preparing cocktails,” we gave a hiring manager a glimpse of just how many cocktails/clients that were served on a given night.
Of course, what if this is your first bartending job? Don’t worry, you can show off your soft skills as they relate to other professions, as well. Here’s a quick example of how any work experience can highlight your abilities, even if you have no bartending experience.
SOCIAL EVENT COORDINATOR (JANUARY, 2017-PRESENT)
Pacific Blue – Newport Beach, California
- Designed Centerpieces, Lighting Displays & Buffet Arrangements
- Created Menus & Activities For Large-Scale Weddings & Corporate Events
- Managed 10-Person Special Events Team
- Developed Marketing Materials For Trade Shows & Wedding Expos
While these bullet points don’t relate to bartender tasks, they do shed some light on your abilities in general. This set of experiences indicates that you can lead others and highlights your creativity as well as your ability to handle a high level of responsibility. Those are skills that appeal to any hiring manager or boss, regardless of the industry.
In the end, it can be smart to enlist some help with your resume. After all, while you are an expert in bartending and hospitality, you probably aren’t an expert resume writer. For this reason alone, it just makes sense to hire a professional resume writer to create your bartender resume.
At Resume Writing Group, the hospitality industry is one of our areas of specialization and we can craft dynamic, job-winning resumes for bartenders, waiters, baristas, restaurant managers, chefs and other related professionals. If you need a bartender’s resume, skills such as ours can go a long way to ensuring that you possess a resume that truly expresses your abilities and talents.