How to write a CV for bar work with no experience in the UK

Updated 1 June 2023

When applying for a job as an entry-level candidate, a strong CV may help you demonstrate your potential to employers. To create a successful CV for a bar position, focus on showcasing your ability to work with people and keep your work area organised. Learning how to craft a tailored application document for this role may help you secure employment even if you lack relevant experience. In this article, we define bar work, explain how to write a CV for bar work with no experience in the UK and share a CV template and example for your reference.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

What is bar work?

Bar work describes roles in which you serve drinks to customers in places such as pubs, restaurants, clubs, wine bars or hotels. The role of a bar person or bartender is usually an entry-level position that you may pursue permanently or seasonally. For example, if you're a student, you may apply for this job to earn some money during the summer.

As bar work involves serving alcohol, work in this profession is typically only available to adult candidates. Some places may employ candidates as young as 16 years old in some areas, if the licence holder or bar manager approves the sales they're making.

Related: 14 restaurant positions and their duties (with salaries)

Find bar staff jobs

How to write a CV for bar work with no experience in the UK

Learning to write a strong CV for bar work with no experience in the UK can help you emphasise your skills and convince recruiters that you can succeed in the hospitality industry. Here are eight steps you can follow to create a successful entry-level CV for this role:

1. Review the job description

Before writing your CV, make sure you understand the employer's requirements. Read the job posting several times and list the role's key responsibilities and the qualities that the employer expects a successful candidate to have. Since bartending is an entry-level position, recruiters usually focus on sourcing candidates with specific personal qualities, such as strong teamwork and interpersonal skills. Also, you may benefit from demonstrating that you're a friendly person with a positive attitude.

Related: CV words to enhance your application (and pass the ATS)

2. Research the employer

Consider researching the employer you want to work for. Taking this step before creating your CV, instead of when preparing for a job interview, allows you to understand what type of customers the workplace usually serves. For example, if you're applying to an elegant restaurant, consider emphasising your knowledge of gourmet food and fine dining.

Related: Complete guide: how to research a company for an interview

3. Create a CV header

Begin writing your CV by creating a header at the top of the page. Include your full name, for which you may use a slightly bigger font. This makes identifying your documents easier for recruiters. On the second line, provide your phone number, email address and location. As bar work is an in-person profession, apply for jobs near your location if possible. Some employers may prioritise candidates who live nearby because it's easier for those people to fill any last-minute shifts resulting from a colleague's absence at work.

Related: How to create an effective CV header (with tips and examples)

4. Write your professional summary

A professional summary is a brief description of you as a candidate. Use this section to demonstrate any notable accomplishments or skills that employers may find valuable. When applying for your first job with no prior experience, the summary also helps you express your excitement about entering the workforce and securing a job at a particular organisation. The key purpose of the summary is to interest a hiring manager in your application. Consider improving the dynamic of this section by using action verbs. Here are some examples of action verbs suitable for bar work:

  • Served

  • Helped

  • Represented

  • Resolved

  • Prepared

Related: CV summary examples (and 5 steps for how to write one)

5. Mention your education

Use the next section to demonstrate your educational background. Bar positions rarely require a specific degree or diploma, but there are some courses that may increase your chances of success in this profession. For example, any background in hospitality or event management can be beneficial. Write your degree and date of graduation on the first line and mention the name of the school or university below.

Related: How to write your CV's education section (plus examples)

6. Demonstrate any experience you have

When applying for your first job, you can still emphasise your experience. For example, you may describe any volunteering opportunities you've had in the past. As a candidate for a bar position, aim to showcase any experience in a people-facing role. Even volunteering at an office may be beneficial, as it demonstrates that you have at least basic computer skills, which you can use to operate point-of-sale (PoS) and bar management software.

In the work experience section, write your job title – for example, volunteer – and dates of employment. On the second line, mention the name of the organisation where you volunteered and its location. Then, use bullet points to describe the tasks you performed.

Related: Writing a CV with no experience

7. Present your certificates

After outlining your experience, you may list any certificates you hold. For example, holding foreign language qualifications may increase your chances of securing a bar job, as it demonstrates your ability to communicate with guests from other countries who may speak little English. Write the name of the certificate, the name of the host organisation and the year when you completed it or the credential's expiry date.

Related: How to include languages on your CV

8. List your skills

In the last section of your CV, list your skills. Focus on showcasing both soft and hard abilities that you may use to engage in teamwork and deliver high-quality customer service. Here are some examples of skills suitable for bar work:

  • Ability to sell products and services

  • Good memory

  • Time management and organisation

  • Ability to work under pressure

Read more: How to list bartender CV skills: a step-by-step guide

CV template

Using a template is often a time-efficient way to create a tailored CV. It also helps you make sure you include all key elements in the right order. Here's a simple template you can use to craft your document:

[First name] [Last name], [Degree or certification if applicable]
[Phone number] | [Email address] | [City]

Professional Summary
[Two to three sentences highlighting your years of experience, relevant skills, education or certifications and achievements as an entry-level professional.]

[Degree] | [Date of graduation]
[Name of School or University]


[Certification Name], [Host Organisation] - [Year completed or expiry date]


(For the most recent role, list 5 experience items. For previous roles, list 3.)

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City]

  • (Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome or quantified results

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City]

  • (Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome or quantified results

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

[Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill]

Example bar work CV with no experience

Reviewing examples of job applications may help you understand what employers typically expect from a well-written CV. It can also teach you how to present your skills and potential as an individual who's entering the workforce for the first time. Here's an example CV for a bar employee with no experience:

Kate Westwood +44 (0)7555 123456 | | Brighton

Professional Summary
An enthusiastic and friendly student with volunteering experience in hospitality, customer service and event management. Has a positive attitude with strong maths skills and knows how to operate PoS software. Seeking a position that allows me to build a career in hospitality.

GCSEs, including English and maths | 2023
Brighton Secondary School

Spanish (B2), Spanish Language School - 2022

Volunteer | May–September 2022
Green & Yellow Community Centre | Brighton

  • helped to prepare venues and set tables for the organisation's weekly charity events

  • instructed participants and seated guests according to a seating chart

  • assisted event participants with any questions or issues

  • worked backstage before events to prepare marketing materials

  • assisted with other urgent tasks as necessary

PoS, email, presentation and word processing software | Customer service | Event preparation | Communication | Teamwork | Self-motivation

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