The food and beverage industry was the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Despite that setback, employment of bartenders is projected to increase by 18 percent between 2021 and 2031. If you're eyeing a job behind the bar, a strong resume brings you a step closer to getting the job.
The average salary of a bartender in the United States is $23,085, according to Salary.com. Salaries can range from $17,403 to $31,410 and depend on your expertise and experience.
By tailoring your resume to match the bar industry requirements, you stand a better chance of beating the competition and securing an interview. So, how do you show your potential employer that you're the right candidate for the job?
Below, you’ll find a professional bartender resume example to inspire you. In addition, you’ll learn how to write a resume from scratch and ensure it passes the (Applicant Tracking System) ATS screening.
Important tip: Learn how to create a cover letter to accompany the resume. Recruiters are more likely to read a resume if you include a cover letter in your application.
How to Write a Bartender Resume
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to craft a perfect bartender resume.
1. Format Your Resume
Before you start writing, you must first decide on a resume format and resume layout to use. There are three main resume layouts:
- Chronological resume
- Functional resume
- Combination/hybrid resume
The layout you select will be determined by your experience level.
For instance, if you have several years of experience under your belt, like in our example, the chronological resume is the best layout. Not only does it allow you to highlight your work experience, it is ideal if you’re applying for a job in your industry. Moreover, the layout is applicable if you don’t have significant work history gaps.
If you’re fresh out of college with no work experience, a functional resume is ideal since it lets you highlight your skills.
The hybrid or combination resume combines both layouts. That is, it lets you display your professional work experience and specific skills in your field. Use this layout if you are a highly skilled and experienced professional or intend to change careers.
Once you choose the layout, the next step is to create the ideal resume layout structure. A standard resume outline will contain:
- A header: comprises contact details like name, job title, phone number, and email
- Professional summary: a short paragraph that captures a summary of your qualifications and achievements
- Skills: a list of relevant skills to demonstrate your abilities
- Work history: a detailed employment history, duties, and responsibilities in bullet-point format
- Certification: a list of all bartender-relevant licenses and certification
- Education: a summary of your education history
- Additional section: any other relevant skills, like languages and awards
The sections are interchangeable, depending on the resume layout you pick. The other consideration when writing your bartender resume is the format. Here are a few things you should know:
- Keep the margins at one-inch on all sides.
- Font size and type. Choose a universal font like Calibri or Cambria and use the standard size, which is 12.
- Use different formats like italics, bold and uppercase to emphasize specific details.
- Your resume length should be one page.
- Use 1.0 or 1.15 line spacing.
- Use white spaces in plenty – it’s easy for the eyes.
2. Write a Bartender Resume Career Summary or Objective
Keep in mind that, a job posting attracts hundreds of applications, and recruiters won't have the time to go over all the applications. Therefore, you want to write a summary that will motivate the hiring manager to spend more time on your resume.
The professional summary is the opening paragraph that summarizes your most notable experiences and achievements.
Use the space to indicate how long you’ve worked in your career and what you can offer.
If you don’t have work experience, write an objective for your bartender's resume. The objective focuses on your goals, aspirations, and skills rather than experience.
3. Describe Your Bartender Skills
The recruiter will want to know what you're capable of before they get to hire you. So, before you list your skills, go back to the job ad to check the company’s requirements. That way, you can better match your skills to those requirements.
The most common, bartender job skills include:
Soft skills for a bartender
Hard skills for a bartender:
- Interpersonal communication skills
- Time management skills
- Active listener
- Customer service
- Excellent memory
- Leadership skills
- Good organization skills
- Attention to detail
- Cash handling
- Beverage knowledge
- Cocktail making
- Food and beverage pairing
Keep the skills short and list no more than 10 skills that match the bartender job description.
4. Work Experience Section
Keep in mind that the hiring manager will skim through your resume. Therefore, your best approach is to list your employment history in reverse-chronological order. That way, you get to neatly display the relevant work experience, starting with the most recent.
It's essential to first start with the title of the position you held, followed by the name of the company where you worked. Next, indicate the start and end dates of your employment with the company. If you're still working here, indicate “Present” instead of the end date.
Finally, describe, in detail, your job responsibilities in bullet-point format. This makes it easier for the employer to scan and learn more about your background as a bartender. Mention your achievements, as well, so the recruiter can see what benefits you’ll bring to the business.
Remember, most recruiters use the ATS to screen resumes. Therefore, add the most relevant keywords to your descriptions so that they can be picked by the system. That is why we insist you keep referring to the job ad to know the correct keywords to use.
In addition, use action words like cleaned, stocked, prepared, served, greeted, maintained, and so on. These words describe what you actually did rather than what you were responsible for.
Another secret to help you win the job is to quantify your achievements using numbers, thus making them measurable.
In the food and beverage industry, certifications are mandatory. These will vary from one state and locality to another. For example, in Illinois, you must acquire the Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education Training (BASSET) to be allowed to sell and/or serve alcohol.
You must also obtain a state-approved Food Handlers Card, also known as a food handler certificate. You’ll need to check with your local and state administration to ensure you possess all the legal documents required to sell and serve drinks in a restaurant.
6. List Your Education Correctly
It may seem like a no-brainer to display your education level, but it's not that black and white. You must know how to make it work for your bartender's resume. The most crucial thing is relevance.
If you have the relevant bartending experience, there’s no need to include high school on your resume. Simply list the highest form of education. If you haven’t completed your current education, mention the course, and expected date of completion.
What if I don’t have bartending experience? Nothing to worry about. Make your resume shine by listing the relevant coursework and academic achievements under education.
The correct format for listing your academic history is as follows:
- Degree type and Major
- University name
- Year of graduation
- GPA, honors, courses
Here’s an example:
- Bar Management
- Food Service Fundamentals
- Customer Service and Bar Etiquette
- Cocktail Preparation (incl. garnish and presentation)
- Liquor regulation and legal implications
- Bar inventory and supply chain
- Drink pairing
7. Additional Section
Have any awards, other relevant certifications, languages, interests, or hobbies? Use them to garnish your bartender resume to make it stand out. If you have membership in professional associations, they could win you extra points.
The additional section of your resume offers you room to add things that may double your chances of landing an interview.
Bartending is a creative and people-focused job, and you should design your resume to reflect those attributes. Keep your resume to one page and choose the best resume template that suits your career level the most.
Remember to always refer to the job description so you can customize the resume to match the specific company requirements. Most importantly, match your resume with an attention-grabbing cover letter to increase your chances of getting hired.
Bartender cover letter
An ideal resume is a combination of content that would allow you to stand out and format that is
ATS-friendly, neat and comfortable to read. Learn more about writing the perfect resume here, and be sure to
check out expert tips on creating an effective Bartender cover letter to go with your resume.
Go to cover letter
Seun Ibukun has spent several years working in media, comms and HR. He has multiple degrees in linguistics and loves to talk about literature, tech, and offer career advice. He`s currently hanging out in the tropics on the first leg of a world tour.