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Top 4 Characteristics of a Best-in-Class Bartender Resume

  1. Summary Encapsulate your past experiences and industry-specific skills in a few short sentences. For example: “Efficient bartender with 2 years’ experience running bar areas, providing great customer service and keeping work areas organized, stocked and clean.”
  2. Skills Put together a blend of practical and soft skills that are specific to the bartender position. Emphasize job-specific abilities such as expediting drink orders, complying with food and beverage regulations, and knowledge of drinks and mixology, as well as intangible skills such as a customer-focused approach, a strong work ethic and teamwork.
  3. Work history Focus on work experience from the past 10 years, and highlight aspects of previous jobs that speak to how well you can perform as a bartender. For example, stress your exemplary customer service at a previous telemarketing job, rather than your knowledge of different phone systems.
  4. Education Feature your highest education credential (e.g., a high school or college diploma) as well as date of graduation. A bartending position usually doesn’t require specialized qualifications or certifications, but may require a bartending license, which varies from state to state. Make sure you check if you need such a license, and include it in your resume after you’ve attained it, as well as any extra courses or certifications you’ve taken that tie in with bartending work (e.g., a bartender certification or a mixology course).

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This layout spotlights your summary section at the top, allowing it to make a big impact. With its light touches of color and use of space, the template is also easy on the eye.


This design utilizes a simple but effective color header for the applicant’s name and contact information, while still allowing for customization of each section.


This template literally “connects the dots” of your career, with a dot-header design linking your summary to your skills and work history sections. The monogrammed header and colored fonts also give the template a striking look.

Do’s and Don’ts for Your Resume

  • DO quantify your accomplishments to give them more impact Highlight your work achievements with numbers that show your effectiveness, rather than vague statements. For instance, instead of stating “served many guests and customers drinks at a winery,” make a quantified statement such as “Served over 100 customers per day at an urban winery.”
  • DO proofread your resume before submitting it Just as a bartender is expected to not mess up an order, don’t mess up your resume with easily fixable mistakes. Run a spell-checker on your resume, and review it carefully to pick out any grammar or punctuation errors. Also take the time to make sure all the information you present is accurate, and addresses the requirements of a bartender job.
  • DO eliminate first-person pronouns Avoid the use of first-person pronouns while building your resume. Make use of action verbs instead of “I” and “we” to give your resume a professional edge. For example, instead of saying “I am an experienced bartender and wine specialist,” make your resume more strongly-worded by writing “Highly-experienced bartender and wine specialist.”
  • DON’T forget to mention soft skills relevant to the job you are applying for The food-service industry requires practical skills and manual work, but also requires the ability to work well with others and interact professionally with customers. When putting together your skills list, be sure to include soft skills such as time management, being a team player, dedication, a good work ethic, and the ability to learn new processes quickly.
  • DON’T make your resume too long Brevity is the soul of wit — it’s also good advice for resume writing. Don’t waste employers’ time with information that is unrelated to bartending. Keep your resume short and to the point, limiting your work history section to 10 years at most, and only mentioning practical skills and accomplishments that are specific to being a bartender. Your goal: Keep your resume to one page.
  • DON’T use fancy fonts or resume designs The last thing you want to do is confuse recruiters or applicant tracking systems (ATS) that many employers use to scan your resume. You might think a flashy font or unusual layout will help you stand out from the crowd, but don’t increase the chances of hiring managers missing out on important information because they’re distracted by a visual flourish. Stick to a straightforward layout, and concentrate on the most important thing in your resume: your information.

Bartender Resume FAQs

1. What skills should be emphasized in your resume for a bartender position?

  • Cleaning and organizational proficiency
  • Responsible alcohol service
  • Changing and maintaining beer kegs
  • Preparing garnishes
  • Ordering and managing bar supplies
  • Liquor, beer and wine knowledge
  • Knowledge of craft and microbrew beers
  • Customer service
  • Time management
  • Menu knowledge
  • Skilled at mixing numerous drinks from memory
  • Multitasking
  • Communication skills
  • Ability to tweak drinks according to customer preferences

2. How can I make use of the correct keywords in my resume?

Because employers (and applicant tracking systems used by employers) will scan your resume for bartending-related words and phrases, make sure to pepper them throughout your resume. Review the job description and pick out important phrases that describe what the job requires, such as “wine pairings,” “restocking alcohol,” “creative mixology,” “organizational skills” or “liquor, beer and wine knowledge.” Then pepper them throughout your resume, showing that you already have these skills, or have applied them successfully in a previous job (e.g., “Tended bar during lunch shifts, displaying liquor, beer and wine knowledge”).

3. How should I approach my work history section if this is the first job I am applying for?

Use your skills section to convey the full range of your abilities, customizing them to fit the job description. If you have volunteer or part-time experiences that tie in with bartending, include them under a separate section titled “Activities.” For example: “Volunteered as a drinks server at a charity drive” or “Trained as a server and kitchen worker at XYZ Hotel.”

4. How should a resume be formatted?

As skills are just as important as experience in this job, look to a functional resume format, which devotes most of its space to different types of skills you already have, or the combination format, which lets you highlight both skills and work experiences that fit the job.

5. How should a resume be updated for the next step in your career?

Moving on up from bartending will involve taking on more managerial duties and responsibilities, so make sure you highlight any experiences you gain that show off your leadership skills, as well as your ability to work with restaurant or bar management to improve quality and efficiency of service. For example: “Collaborated with restaurant management to make stocking and ordering processes more efficient, saving $20,000 in annual costs.”