How to list bartender CV skills: a step-by-step guide
Updated 29 March 2023
Working as a bartender is an exciting, socially dynamic role that requires excellent customer service skills and certain technical abilities, such as understanding mixology. The required skills for becoming a successful bartender typically include the ability to serve mixed alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to a high standard. If you're interested in becoming a bartender, it can be helpful to understand the main skills to include on your CV. In this article, we explain what bartender CV skills are, list some of the key bartending skills, outline how to list these abilities on your CV and look at some helpful tips.
What are bartender CV skills?
Bartender CV skills are various hard and soft skills that bartenders have, which allow them to do their job adequately. Some of these skills require training or qualifications to hone, such as mixing drinks, while others are more inherent, like rapport building. Bartenders work across a variety of environments, ranging from bars to hotels, and focus on serving customers alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. They also process payments and handle customer enquiries to ensure patrons enjoy their experience.
Key bartending CV skills
Below are some of the most vital bartending skills to include on your CV:
A good memory is crucial for bartenders, as they often receive multiple drink orders at once. Having a good short-term memory is useful for not only remembering drinks orders but also for remembering how to make them and who to give the drinks to after making them.
In some cases, such as with bars that serve regular customers, long-term memory is also beneficial for remembering customers' names and their preferred drink orders. Utilising your long-term memory in this way can also be an effective way of building rapport with regular patrons, which encourages future business and usually results in a good tip for the bartender too.
Bartending is a customer-facing job, so good interpersonal skills are critical, as they allow you to listen to customer orders and answer any questions they might have. It's also common for customers to talk with bar staff while enjoying a drink. Due to this, interpersonal skills can allow you to build a rapport with customers, which is also beneficial for improving the customer's experience.
Bars and drinking establishments tend to get quite busy, so communication skills are vital for bartenders. As part of their role, they often speak with customers and other staff members to take orders, update stock and operate the bar effectively. A polite and professional tone is most often used when taking orders and greeting customers, with more informal communication skills employed for small talk with patrons. This is vital for establishing a good connection with regular customers.
As the role deals primarily with customers, it's no surprise that customer service skills are essential for bartenders. Not only do bartenders take drink orders and offer drink suggestions, but they also talk with customers and provide social interaction for them. Customer service skills are also essential for greeting customers or handling belligerent or unruly patrons at the bar.
Behind the bar is a well-stocked supply of drinks, supplies and other sundries that bartenders work with daily. Knowing where to find specific drinks and ingredients requires excellent organisation skills, otherwise, drinks might take a long time to make. Organisation skills are also essential for providing drinks to the right customers and getting the total bills correct and not over or undercharging guests. Moreover, a well-organised bar is much better presented, which improves the aesthetics of the establishment and encourages customers to visit.
Bars and other establishments that use bartenders tend to be busy places with lots of distractions. As such, adaptability is a critical skill to have as it enables you to effectively navigate these environments and provide customers with drinks and answer customer queries. Working in these types of high-pressure environments can be challenging, but with an adaptable skill set, it's much easier.
A bartender covers lots of different small jobs in short bursts, such as taking orders for a table and mixing an assortment of drinks before taking payment. To perform these duties effectively, good time management skills are vital to ensure that customers receive a good service. Switching between tasks is only doable if you can effectively manage your time, which is crucial when working as a bartender.
How to list your bartending skills on your CV
Here are some steps you can follow when listing your bartender skills on your CV:
1. Review the job description
When including your bartending skills on your CV, It's crucial to review the job description for each role you apply to so you can understand the unique skills and qualifications that prospective employers want to see in an ideal candidate. In these descriptions, employers often include sections that share what responsibilities the company hopes you can fulfil, along with a list of skills.
Many companies also use automated scanning tools to search for certain keywords and phrases outlined in the job description to assist with the shortlisting process. Due to this, it's vital that you identify these words and phrases and list them on your CV to help improve your chances of gaining an interview.
2. Create a skills section
For this next step, include an individual skills section on your CV. In this section, mention the soft and technical skills you've developed through your education and experience. You can add these as a bulleted list or separate them by commas. When doing this, ensure that you mention skills that are relevant to bartending.
3. Highlight your skills when listing your responsibilities
As a bartender, there are several essential responsibilities you might include when writing your CV. Listing these can help show hiring managers how you apply your skills in the workplace. For example, if you share that you stocked shelves and ordered new alcohol, this can show your inventory management skills. Some examples of responsibilities you might add to your CV that highlight your skills include:
greeting guests and answering questions about the various drink items on the menu
performing mixology to create different cocktails with specific measurements of alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages
verifying the age and sobriety of patrons to ensure that the business is operating legally
stock-taking and ordering resources for the bar, including alcohol and sundries like straws or napkins
adhering to various alcohol licensing and health and safety laws to ensure legal compliance
creating new cocktail ideas for the drinks menu
cash handling and performing transactions for debit or credit card transactions
4. Show your skills through your education and certificates
Including an education section on your CV is crucial when applying for jobs. Though many bartending jobs don't require formal education, sharing the qualifications or certifications you've earned can reveal some of your skills. For example, if you earned a degree in business administration, you likely developed key business skills, like dealing with transactions and customer service. Moreover, including certificates or mentioning your personal licence can show that you have specific skills in the bartending field that hiring managers might require.
Tips for including your bartending skills on a CV
Here are some additional tips to conisder when listing your bartending skills on your CV:
Proofread the document
Proofreading your CV before submitting for bartending roles can show restaurant and bar managers your attention to detail, which can be a critical skill they hope to see. This includes ensuring that there are no typos, spelling or grammatial mistakes in the skill section or elsewhere on the document. You can also verify that your skills listed in your CV match where you listed them elsewhere, such as on your online applications.
Demonstrate the skills listed
Before submitting your CV, double-check to ensure that you demonstrate the skills listed in their own section in other parts of your CV. For example, if you list cash register management as a skill, you can demonstrate that you possess this ability by outlining how you used it when listing your responsibilities. Similarly, if you include soft skills, like communication or problem-solving, you can use active verbs in the responsibilities section to show how you applied them in your previous experiences.
Expand on your skills in your cover letter
While you may simply list your skills on your CV, you can expand on these in your cover letter. This might mean highlighting two or three of your best qualities. In your cover letter, rather than listing your responsibilities, you can mention your achievements here and how you applied certain skills to succeed in your previous roles.
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