For some, bartending is a job you have while putting yourself through school, and for others – it is a lifestyle and a long-term career. It is a unique work environment that allows you to make social connections, make good tips, become someone’s (sometimes) unwilling late-night therapist, and spread joy and good vibes to those out for a drink.
Getting a job as a bartender is not as easy as it sounds, and it isn’t always enough to have bartender certifications and work experience. It is the kind of job a lot of people want, so the number one rule for working as a bartender is to make sure your resume stands out.
Your bartender resume needs to walk the walk, talk the talk, and appeal to the hiring manager that is going to be looking through your application. Are you ready to start writing the best bartender resume you’ve ever had? You will find tips below and a full resume sample at the bottom.
Resume objective for bartenders
Applying for a job as a bartender can be a little different compared to applying for other jobs. Bartenders need to be knowledgeable and skilled when it comes to mixing drinks and free pouring, but they also need to be friendly, likable, and social due to the nature of the job. How do you get this across in a resume?
The resume objective is your chance to show the recruiter who you are and what you can do behind the bar because there is one thing you can be sure of – you won’t be the only applicant. Anyone can take a bartending course, but not everyone is made to be a bartender.
Summarize the experience you have and a couple of your most relevant skills (being organized, enthusiastic, outgoing, and good at basic math are all desired skills for a bartender). Add your professional goals and a little bit of personality, depending on the type of bartending position you are hoping to acquire. Your future employer needs to know you can handle that crucial customer contact.
Skilled bartender with 3+ years of experience in cocktail preparation. In-depth knowledge of craft beer, spirits, and wine, and experience in food and drink pairing. Work experience range from cocktail bars in London to steakhouses, nightclubs, and fine dining in the United States.
Resume skills for bartenders
There are so many things you need to be good at as a bartender, and the required skills extend far beyond just pouring drinks. You will be the face the customers see when they walk up to order, and essentially the company spokesperson and the individual who makes people want to continue buying drinks. Do you speak more than one language? Great!
A bartender needs to be outgoing and customer-oriented. You need to work well under pressure, know how to multitask, have a good memory (there won’t be time to check the recipe book before pouring every drink), and have that little extra that makes a customer feel special and seen. If you can make every customer feel like they are getting the VIP treatment – you will sell.
Organizational skills are also great to highlight, such as if you are detail-oriented, skilled with administrative tasks, and know basic math – this will show a future employer that you can become a useful asset to the company. Be someone they can rely on to keep everything running smoothly.
3+ years of experience | Friendly and outgoing | Organized | Professionally trained | Advanced knowledge of mixology | Skilled in free pouring | Attention to detail | Customer-oriented | Excellent memory | Inventory management skills | Energetic | Communicative
Bartender work experience
Any work experience related to bartending, the restaurant industry, or customer service is relevant here, but try to limit yourself to experience dating back 10 years (unless you have something impressive you want to highlight). Be specific about your work tasks, responsibilities, and achievements to make sure your resume stands out.
A bartender certificate is theoretically enough to get a job behind the bar, but hiring managers will be looking for an employee with relevant experience, as it helps minimize the need for training and keep things running smoothly. Have you ever been in charge of drinks at a friend’s birthday party? Great! List this as Private Event Bartending. It is the truth, and it will sound great on your resume.
Experts believe that there will be a significant increase in work opportunities for bartenders between 2014 and 2024, which is good news for any mixologist. However, demand tends to trigger supply, which could result in more people wanting to bartend. You need to show off your work experience so that your resume doesn’t get lost in a sea of other resumes.
Sample Work Experience
Lemon & Lime Bar, Bethesda, MD
Lead Bartender, 2017 – 2020
Mixed drinks and managed the bar at a busy location. Learned the recipes for 150 different cocktails, free poured, chatted with customers, and took care of administrative tasks like beverage inventory.
- Invented a new cocktail drink to the menu which is now a customer favorite and the bar’s signature drink.
- Introduced the use of technology and software to improve inventory routines and reduce financial losses.
- Trained 3 new bartenders and staff members to make sure they learned the routines fast, to meet the increasing demands at the workplace.
- Was responsible for closing up and handling inventory at the end of each shift.
Barney Bean’s Burgers & Grill, Glenmont, MD
Barman, 2016 – 2019
Bartended and recommended local craft beers based on the customer’s food choice. Engaged customers in small talk to keep them coming back, and organized weekly beer tasting events to get new customers through the door.
- Increased the number of returning customers with 31% by learning their drink orders and offering a customized service.
- Came up with a beer tasting concept to motivate customers to try local craft beers, which led to the grill being featured in a local drinks magazine.
- Used humor to keep customers in a good mood also on busy nights, and it resulted in many customers choosing to sit at the bar, which meant we could fit more people into the establishment.
- Held a crash-course in free-pouring with the other bar employees, to help reduce the costs of alcohol waste.
Perry Nightclub, Chevy Chase, MD
Bartender, 2015 – 2018
Free-pouring weekend bartender. Served drinks efficiently and with perfect accuracy, kept the workspace clean and organized, and aimed at keeping every customer satisfied through speedy service and a friendly approach.
- Successfully served 400+ customers per night in an incredibly busy nightclub environment.
- Was named Bartender of the Month seven times throughout my employment.
- Was the only on-site bartender to pass an internal free-pouring test.
- Created a system for bartenders to divide the responsibilities and be able to attend customers faster.
The Magpie, Washington, D.C.
Sommelier, 2013 – 2015
Recommended food and wine pairings, offered personalized wine suggestions depending on the customer’s preferences, updated the restaurant wine list as needed, and assisted with administrative tasks.
- Kept track of wine stock and inventory to ensure that we never ran out of the items offered on the menu.
- Provided customized assistance to customers that were new to wine and wine selection, to help them feel welcome and comfortable.
- Offered educated recommendations for wine and food pairings, based on real facts and science, with great results.
- Helped the restaurant owner track expenses to solve a serious financial issue, and successfully identified the source of the problem.
Is it necessary to have a college degree when you apply for a job as a bartender? No. If you have your bartending certificate (to show you know what you are doing) and some work experience, an employer might not even look too closely at this section.
That said, it can be a plus, and primarily if you studied something related to culinary arts, business, or hospitality. Having an education demonstrates the ability to learn and a certain level of commitment and perseverance, all of which are great attributes for a bartender.
Any higher-level academic achievements should be listed here, even if unrelated to the field of bartending. If you don’t have a college or university degree – mention your High School diploma to avoid leaving this section blank.
Bartender & Hospitality Training, Somerset, PA
Masters of Mixology, 2017 – 2019
- Interactive, hands-on training
École Ducasse, Paris, FRANCE
Bachelor in Culinary Arts, 2010 – 2014
- Included two professional internships
Art Institute of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
Associate of Arts in Culinary Arts, 2007 – 2009
- Top 10% of the academic program
- Food & Beverage Operations Management
In this section, you will write down all the shorter courses you have taken – those that do not count towards full academic programs and that are directly relevant to the bartending job you want. Skip the Aerobics class your mother made you take and the pottery course you took last summer – these won’t help you get a job as a bartender.
Listing courses is a great way to make your resume stand out. You probably took a class to get your bartender certification, and perhaps you have taken other complementary courses as well? Show off your commitment to bartending by specializing in certain areas, expand your knowledge by taking a cocktail- or drink management course, and list these courses here.
- 12-Week Beverage Management Course, Crescent City Bartending School, 2019
- Advanced Bartending Course, EBS Barschools, online, 2019
- Tiki Cocktail Course, EBS Barschools, online, 2016
What are your bartending credentials? Many courses lead to certification, which you can list in this section. As mentioned above, having a college education is not a requirement when you seek work as a bartender, and you can build up your resume with courses and certifications. Having a bartender certification will often be enough to catch the eye of a hiring manager.
Certifications are a direct way to prove someone’s competence or knowledge. Some states do require a bartender license, so make sure to do your research before applying.
Having certifications will also help you feel more confident in your role as a bartender, and confidence ups your chances of getting the job and performing well once hired.
- Masters of Mixology Certification (American Bartender Federation)
- EBS Certificate (EBS Barschools)
Complete bartender resume sample
The internet is full of job posts for aspiring bartenders, and it is essential to adapt your resume to the job you are seeking. To put this into perspective, we will feature a real bartender job post below, and then write a resume tailored for that specific job.
You can use the same basic resume when sending out multiple applications, but by making small adjustments based on each job opening, you will increase your chances of getting hired.
While this post does not state it explicitly, the tone indicates that they are looking for a bartender with experience. They want someone who can memorize drink recipes, free pour with accuracy, complete orders in a POS system, prepare both alcoholic- and non-alcoholic beverages, and someone hardworking and friendly.
They want someone who can do it all. When applying for a role like this, your main task is to demonstrate that you are the right person for the job.
Note that the above job post is for a job in Oregon, where a bartender needs to be licensed by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Make sure you check the individual requirements in your state before applying for a bartending job.
Bartender & Mixologist
Happy and enthusiastic bartender with 3+ years of experience. Professionally trained in cocktail mixology, and with a passion for numbers, accuracy, perfectly mixed drinks, and smiling customers. Accustomed to fast-paced work environments and an excellent multitasker who is always ready for a challenge.
Hard-working | Bartender certified | 3+ years of experience | Friendly | Multitasker | Detail-oriented | Organized | Excellent communication | Familiar with over 100 drinks | Reliable | Precise free pouring skills | Clean
- OLCC Service Permit (Oregon Liquor Control Commission)
Big Break Bar, Portland, OR
Head Bartender, 2017 – 2020
Managed a team of three bartenders and handled opening and closing the bar, as well as cleanup and inventory. Mixed drinks, poured beer, and served snacks, while also being in charge of the register and keeping customers happy.
- Maintained the workspace clean and organized which was appreciated by both management and other staff members.
- Established a close relationship with loyal customers, learned their drink orders, and gave them the VIP treatment with every visit.
- Provided weekly training and held staff meetings with the other bartenders and floor staff, something that led to better teamwork and improved efficiency.
- Became known for solving issues and preventing fights with the use of humor and a good attitude.
Oliver’s Sports Bar, Phoenix, AZ
Lead Bartender, 2017 – 2020
Kept everything running smoothly in a busy and loud sports bar. Recommended drinks, paired drinks with food items from the menu, worked the floor, bartended, and made every customer feel special.
- Used POS system to enter drinks and orders and was the first to be trained to use the latest technology.
- Implemented new and more efficient cleanup routines, to reduce the time it took to close up after a shift.
- Created videos and tutorials to aid with the training of new bartenders, which are still being used today.
- Suggested a weekly Hot Wing contest where the winner got a free round of beers, and it increased the number of daily weekend customers with 73.4%.
University of Oregon, Portland, OR
Masters of Business Administration, 2017 – 2019
University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
Bachelor of Arts: Business Administration, 2016 – 2012
- Concentration in Entrepreneurship
- RSCC Responsible Serving of Alcohol
- Beer & Wine Training (Atlanta Bartending School)
A bartender needs to be quick on their feet – literally, and ready to work hard. Write a resume that highlights your skills, personality, and desire to become a valuable asset to the company. Make sure you have researched the bartender licensing requirements for your state.
Bar and restaurant owners will be looking for a bartender that can be the column that holds everything up – someone to rely on when it gets busy, and who will put on a friendly face and work with a positive attitude even when things get stressful. It is not enough to be that person, but it needs to come across your bartender resume.
- As a bartender, you need to understand the importance of working as a team and be a good team player with a positive attitude.
- Knowing how to multitask and function in stressful environments is essential, and it is something an employer wants to see.
- Every U.S. state has different requirements for bartenders, so double-check if your state has licensing requirements before applying.
Tips from Experts
“A resume will not get you the job; the only thing we need a resume to do is to get us a phone call. That is the whole point of a resume.” – Jason Shurtz, Creator, and Founder of The Bartending Blueprint
“This is your chance to be dynamic and really show them who you are. Show your personality and gear it towards the person that they would want to hire.” – Dave Allred, Owner/CEO Bar Patrol
Bartending is a popular profession, making it crucial for you to have a resume that stands out. Research shows that most hiring managers don’t spend more than a few seconds looking at a resume before discarding it, so your window to catch their attention is considerably small. Don’t waste the opportunity and protrude by writing a top-notch bartender resume.
Your bartender resume should be honest, inviting, and enthusiastic. You should demonstrate that you have the required experience and show your future employer why you are the bartender they should want to hire.