Bartending Skills to Include on Your Resume
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated January 30, 2023
Published June 21, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Bartending is an exciting, fast-paced career. Bars see countless resumes for every job vacancy, so yours will need to stand out from your peers. In this article, we discuss what bartenders do, what skills to include on your bartending resume, how to improve your bartending skills, and how to demonstrate these skills in a job interview.
What does a bartender do?
Bartending is a versatile field that requires professionals to perform several tasks and duties. Bartenders are best known for preparing beverages for customers. They must measure these beverages with complete accuracy and adhere to local and national guidelines. Bartenders monitor bar inventory, manage ingredient orders, and keep track of bar equipment.
Bartenders can work in many fields and occupations. These include:
Vacation resorts and cruise ships
Skills to include on your bartending resume
When writing your resume, you'll need to consider the following skills:
Bartenders need to pour drinks accurately to serve high volumes of customers well. They also need to maintain inventory and restock the bar. In order to manage your extensive workload, you must work efficiently, which requires excellent multitasking skills. For example, you need to take the next set of orders as you pour drinks, and be ready to take payments and give change in between.
If you want to excel at being a bartender, you need a good memory. Bartenders need to prepare several drink orders at a time and remember the right ingredients for the drinks. Part of the job also involves knowing your regular customers by name and remembering their faces as well as their orders.
To improve your memory, you can practise with those around you. The next time you make yourself a drink, ask your friends and family if they need something and try to memorize their request. Next time you get them a drink, repeat their previous order and see if it's a match.
A good bartender needs to have expert knowledge of mixology and should have a list of customized drinks in their repertoire that sets them apart from other bartenders. You will benefit from extensive wine, spirits, and craft beer knowledge to make suitable recommendations for guests.
Bartenders need to have good communication skills because they interact with several customers at a time. A bartender should also know how to change topics quickly or de-escalate heated conversations as they arise. Bartenders are part of larger teams and need to communicate their needs or the needs of customers to the rest of the staff.
To build rapport with customers quickly, bartenders need strong active listening skills. Professionals in this field need to be skilled listeners and show empathy. This is because they spend a significant amount of time talking with customers at the bar.
Flexibility is essential for bartenders because they work shifts. Many bars are open evenings, nights, and weekends, so bartenders work irregular shifts and hours.
Bartenders also need to show flexibility in their responsibilities. At times, they may need to support servers and take customers' orders or run food to tables during busy periods.
Bartenders need to have excellent organizational skills. Professionals in this field manage and handle many ingredients during their shifts, so keeping the most commonly ordered ones nearby is key. An organized drink station is an essential aspect of keeping up with orders and working efficiently. Organizational skills are also necessary for bartenders who need to keep track of customers' drink orders and who need to supervise other bartenders or employees.
Successful restaurants build their staff based on effective teamwork. Bartenders need to collaborate with management, servers, bartenders, and kitchen staff to ensure the best customer service for guests. Every staff member in a restaurant has their own role to play but needs to support each other to work efficiently.
Another aspect of being a good bartender is having the right interpersonal skills. Where communication deals primarily with communicating clearly and effectively, interpersonal skills mean bartenders have the right attitude while working a shift. Bartenders need to be friendly, charismatic and welcoming to ensure an excellent experience for every guest. A bartender may also begin a conversation with a customer to establish a foundation of trust. Part of having interpersonal skills means knowing how to read people and adapt to different personalities. This also improves customer loyalty and encourages repeat business.
Attention to detail
Accuracy is an important skill for bartenders. When your customers know what to expect, they'll keep coming back. Every drink should be made the same as the last and to the customer's specifications. By using their keen attention to detail to follow recipes, bartenders reduce waste caused by overpouring or needing to remake drinks.
Understanding of cash management
Bartenders are in charge of their own inventory and making sure their cash balances at the end of the night. As such, a bartender needs to know how to make calculations as quickly as possible. Many bartenders decide to use tabs for regular customers, which requires the bartender to keep a record of the money owed to the bar.
Bartenders spend the majority of their shift on their feet and need to have the stamina to keep up with a fast-paced work environment. Bartenders should maintain their customer service and accuracy through busy periods of service. This is why physical and emotional stamina is essential. Bartenders also need to remain calm under pressure to manage orders non-stop for hours at a time.
How to demonstrate your bartending skills in an interview
Here are some tips to show a recruiter or hiring manager your skills:
Show attention to detail
To demonstrate your skills in a job interview, be sure to pay attention to details. You can do this by repeating small details the interviewer shares during the interview and bringing them into your replies. Showing this attention to detail will demonstrate your ability to stay consistent and accurate.
Demonstrate your customer service and interpersonal skills
Bartenders need to have excellent customer service skills. During your interview, build rapport with the employer or hiring manager and provide examples of instances when you've displayed excellent customer service skills. Bartenders need a lot of personality, so let it shine through in your interview to exhibit your ability to make fast friends and hold interesting conversations. Remember to keep your body language open and maintain eye contact.
Show how you adapt
During the interview, you need to show your ability to adapt. Provide the interviewer with examples of when you've adapted to challenging situations at work. For example, extending your shift when someone called in sick or covering for a server who was overwhelmed. If you've had jobs that required you to take on multiple roles or a large number of customers, share examples with the interviewer.
Demonstrate your leadership skills
Take the time to show off your leadership skills and your ability to manage a team. Bartenders play a vital role in any restaurant or bar and are often in charge of supervising servers. This is why your leadership skills can set the atmosphere of the establishment. Share ways you've managed conflict or interpersonal issues between servers or colleagues. You can also show leadership skills by explaining how you've managed inventory, cash, and other components of the bar.
Express your creativity
You need a certain level of creativity to be a bartender. This profession requires you to substitute ingredients when necessary, alter drinks, and create new recipes whenever possible. To show the interviewer your creativity, you can share one of your favourite cocktail recipes with them. You may also choose to highlight your enthusiasm for making cocktails that suit seasonal menus.
Show your problem-solving skills
Bartenders need to be natural problem solvers, which is why a recruiter will want to know how you find solutions when challenges arise. You can show you have problem-solving skills by telling the interviewer about a time you fixed an issue, such as calling a repair person to fix the dishwasher or delegating tasks to servers so supplies could be restocked during busy periods.
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