Bartending is one of the most sought-after positions in the hospitality industry. A bartender manages alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage services in restaurants, bars, and private functions and customizes drinks according to customer preferences. They also monitor the bar counter, have in-depth knowledge of the drink and food menu, and organize the inventory.A bartender resume needs to be more than just a list of your past jobs. It needs to include your skills and work experiences in a structured, thoughtful manner that makes sense and makes a recruiter want to read it. If you use our guide on building your bartender resume, you might even get the equivalent of a bartender tip: a full-time job.Let’s begin by looking at the three main resume formats.
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Job Duties of a Bartender
The fundamental role is to measure and serve many different types of beverages to the customer. They may mix drinks based on specific customer preferences, come up with innovative concoctions, or follow strict orders from a house or event menu. Excellent bartending service leads to exceptional customer satisfaction and growth in the restaurant’s revenue, event service, or bar-based business.
Below are the principal duties of a bartender:
Following lounge, restaurant, or business manual to create drink recipes, using standard measuring equipment such as a jigger to pour ingredients including liquor, garnishes, fruit, ice and mixers.
Ensuring a thorough identification of underage drinkers and politely denying their cocktail orders.
Ensuring there is always a sufficient supply of liquor, beer, wine, mixers, ice, straws, and glassware for the service.
Maintaining an accurate inventory of alcohol and non-alcoholic beverage stocks and ingredients in the business.
Managing the cash counter drawer by overseeing payment receipts and checks.
Building an efficient pace preparing and serving drinks to customers.
Cleaning the bar, tables, chairs and work area to maintain a sanitary and organized environment.
Bartender Median Salaries
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a unit of the United States Department of Labor, a bartending job pays an average annual income of $23,680, not including tips. The pay usually fluctuates based on work experience.
Top skills for Bartenders
Your role as a bartender is diverse. You are attending to customers, slicing garnishes, crafting specific cocktails, pouring drinks, handling money, working late hours, and keeping the workstation (including your colleagues’) clean and tidy. Before you decide to apply to a position as a bartender, we recommend that you read through the top skills in this section to see if you have what it takes.
Knowing how the art of cocktail-making is related to culinary optionsMixology is the study and application of mixing drinks. So bartenders need to know the basics of mixology to handle cocktails in many different serving sizes. You will also need to provide insight into the right food and wine pairing options for customers for a drink menu based on seasonal ingredients. This means knowing about the proper use of everything from infusions to syrups to the acidity of certain fruit juices to many different kinds of techniques. If you are considering bartending as a profession, knowledge of the preparation of new and exotic cocktails certainly ups your game.Numerous bartending schools can help you master the cocktail-making techniques and how they pair with food by offering professional courses.Some of them are:
- The Mixology Master Method, which offers a 32-hour bartending and mixology certification course.
- ABC Bartending Schools, with 43 years of training and placing bartenders.
- Liquid Lab NYC preaches the concept behind modern cocktail making through their professional class.
- New York Bartending School, which guides beginner bartenders and home mixologists to upgrade professional bartending skills.
Ingredient knowledge and drink name expertise, including liquor, mixer, and garnish use.Do you know the difference between gin and rum, bourbon and whiskey, and dry and sweet vermouth? What about the difference between a Mexican tequila and a Hawaiian Kahlúa? Do you know what it means to serve a drink “on the rocks” or “neat”? If you don’t, you have a lot to learn before applying to become a bartender. Any new ingredient introduced to a drink can have a massive effect on its taste, temperature, and alcoholic volume content. You need to know how an Amaretto mixes with lime juice, orange juice or cranberries. How adding hot sauce can spice up a triple sec, and how adding a tiny bit of sugar or pepper or coconut flakes on the rim of a glass can change a drink’s and a customer’s entire complexion.
Knowing how to use tools properlyYou need to know what to use to make a drink and the best container for it. That means learning about all different types of spoons, shakers, sticks (like the swizzle stick!) — the difference between a muddler and a blender. How to use a steel or titanium shaker instead of a plastic container when mixing. It’s also essential to know the difference between the many glass types and how they fit a particular drink. You can’t serve champagne in a regular open glass you’d use for a beer, for example. And you can’t drink a Margarita off a shot glass. Knowing about glasses also requires learning about how much volume they take in and whether they change a drink’s taste.
POS system application knowledgeMost businesses that sell drinks use point-of-sale (POS) systems, which are software platforms that help you manage customer orders and tabs, process payments, and track inventory. You can secure a good understanding of bar POS systems like TouchBistro that helps bartenders with easy elimination of double-entry errors, get a sense of table reservations, and keep track of alcohol stock, napkins, and other liquid ingredients.
Effective cash-handling skillsCash flow and proper sales control are crucial elements of bar management in any restaurant or lounge. A bartender should follow prescribed business rules. You should also learn how to manage cash registers effectively, overseeing cash transactions by keeping a tab on changes and checks from customers, and inspecting large bills for possible counterfeits.
SalesBartenders are not only in charge of cocktail-making and serving but also responsible for increasing bar sales. As a bartender, having a few sales tricks up your sleeve, such as free sampling, sharing tasting notes when suggesting drinks to patrons, and updating the cocktail menu, helps bar sales. A nice smile and a friendly demeanor also don’t hurt.
Customer engagement through good communication skillsBartending is all about the interaction between you and the customer. Bartenders need to maintain a clear communication of what’s available, drink menus, and each beverage order. This means you don't need good spoken and written language skills, even in several languages. You can take personality development classes from Udemy or Skillshare to increase your conversational techniques and confidence.
Physical strength and stamina for the long bartending days and nightsBartenders spend hours on their feet walking and standing while preparing drinks and attending to customers. It also often requires lifting and carrying heavy liquor cases and glassware that weigh up to 40-50 pounds. Did you know there are fitness classes and workouts just for bartenders? It’s true. Some are even free for people who can prove that they work in the hospitality industry, including the MX3 Fitness Service and Nightlife Industry Free Yoga. If you’re the combative type, the Bartender Boxing Organization Daily Workouts is a great option to boost your cardio, keep you light on your feet, and attain body flexibility.
Educational Requirements for Bartenders
Bars or restaurants often do not consider a formal degree as a prerequisite for this profession. Nevertheless, acquiring a certificate or licensure brings up your bartending knowledge quotient by a mile.
DegreeBartending schools offer an extensive curriculum, bartending experience, and networking with people in this industry. They include teaching standard bar set-up for front and back bars, liquor types and usage, bar equipment maintenance, and customer psychology. They also make a point to educate people about alcohol and industry-related laws and regulations.Some of the best bartending schools providing diploma or degree courses are Crescent City Bartending School and Florida Technical College.
CertificationsGaining in-depth knowledge of bartending requires learning various bartending principles through professional certification courses. These certifications provide you with technical skills of bartending like managing glassware, mixology concepts, and POS handling.Here are some organizations and associations offering bartending certification courses:
- Industry-related organization: Harvard Student Agencies (HSA) is a corporation that provides students associated with Harvard University meaningful opportunities for employment. The Harvard Bartending Course educates you about bartending and increases your knowledge of mixing drinks. They provide two cocktail-related courses:
- Art of Mixology: Learn all about the popular techniques used in bartending, interact with industry-experienced bartenders with 20+ years of experience in the field.
- The eTIPS Certification Course: The eTIPS, the online administered form of TIPS, teaches strategies to ensure responsible alcohol service and consumption.
- Nonprofit member organizations or guilds:
- The United States Bartenders’ Guild, a nonprofit professional society of bartenders, provides a Master Accreditation program. The three tiers to the program are Spirits Professional, Advanced Bartender, and the Master Mixologist certifications.
- The Wine and Spirit Education Trust offers certifications on the production part of spirits, wine, and sake production, from fermentation to distillation to post-distillation, and different program level knowledge on Scotch, Cognac, Mezcal, vodka and more. The exam features a blind testing course.
- The Wine Scholar Guild offers certificate programs in the regional wines of France, Italy, and Spain. The program includes lessons on the history of wine in the area and the importance of their local climate, soil, and grape growth.
- The Council of Whiskey Masters offers programs to become a Master of Scotch (SM) or Master of Whiskey (WM) at different expertise levels. The exam consists of a 100-multiple choice question where the student must get at least 80 percent of questions correct. Graduates of this program can add “CSP” or “CBP” letters after their names, a great feather in your career cap.
- For-profit organization: E-learning applications like Udemy and Coursera put forward online bartending courses that help aspiring bartenders beginner-level concepts of mixing drinks. Industry experts also provide tips on the storage of ingredients, liquor types, and cocktail formulas. EdApp also offers courses covering all aspects of the sustainability of fresh ingredients served in beverages.
LicensureA bartender license qualifies bartenders to serve alcoholic beverages. You can seek a bartender license by attending a licensing program approved by the federal or state alcohol regulation board. These programs equip you with several state and federal laws and the ethics to serve alcohol responsibly.Florida has a MAST (Mandatory Alcohol Server Training) Permit that is mandatory to serve drinks. They do not provide you courseware themselves but state a list of credible establishments that deliver the curriculum in alcohol laws, sales and supervision. New York recommends the ATAP (Alcohol Training and Awareness Program) for a bartender license in New York.
Bartender Resume-Writing Tips
The main objective of your bartender resume is to hold the attention of the employer. Write it in a simple and easy-to-read manner. Communicate your technical and soft skills clearly.
Refer to these other resume writing tips and ensure your bartender position:
- Don’t use a necessarily creative resume layout. The profession of bartending is creative by nature and is people-oriented. But it doesn’t mean you have to apply those attributes while creating your resume layout. More straightforward and direct is better. Hiring managers have to skim through many job profiles and look for crucial information so focus on what you can do and write it cleanly. Do not experiment either with font styles and make sure you align your resume content with good headlines and subsections.
- Use relevant keywords. It is vital to include keywords that compel hiring staff to notice your qualities that match the job description. Do not forget to connect them to your previous work roles.Some of our keyword suggestions are mixing, restaurant server, garnishing, food server, guest service, hospitality, and inventory management.
- Give an insight into your interests and linguistic abilities. Nowadays, the recruitment team is looking into the potential candidate’s creative interests and personality to see if they have good social skills. Remember that bartending is a fun and exhilarating profession. Hence, we advise listing your hobbies and any knowledge of foreign languages.
- Highlight attending awards and certifications. As a bartender, you are responsible for managing the serving of liquor and non-alcoholic beverages. To showcase your awards from previous job experiences, mention third-party courses from e-learning programs. Write about recognitions you received for being an excellent catering and cocktails server.
What do you know about bartending?
If you are applying for bartender, the hiring manager is bound to ask this question. It’s a crucial query from the company’s perspective as they judge whether you are familiar with their business. Prepare the answer to this interview question in these ways:
- Research the company as well as information about the owners.
- Acquire knowledge of the clients the business serves.
- Know about their core products, experiences and company culture.
What is the difference between mixologists and bartenders?
Here are some functions of mixologists and bartenders that help to understand their roles in the hospitality sector.
- Prepare original cocktail recipes.
- Remain in touch with culinary industry trends.
- Work behind the bar.
- Create and serve standard cocktails and house specialties.
- Work at a quick pace and manage crowds.
- Provide good customer satisfaction.
- Maintain the register of alcoholic beverages and ingredients.