How to Become a Bartender - No Experience Required
Lots of people want to become a bartender but don't know how to go about doing it. This
article will show you how to become a bartender with no previous bartending experience. As
you will see it is a simple step-by-step process. Having the right plan of action is more
than half the battle.
The Goal - Get an Interview
The biggest obstacle to getting a bartending job is getting the interview first.
Without putting yourself in front of the people who do the hiring you can't get a
bartending job. This seems simple enough but many would-be bartenders get caught up in the
myth of "they won't hire me without any experience."
Employers often use the "no experience" reason for not hiring as a polite way to end
the conversation. The truth is that in most establishments your Attitude is way more
important than your experience. Experience breeds bad habits. Many owners and managers
would rather hire a "blank slate" and train them properly. But this "blank slate" must
have a phenomenal attitude. It is your duty to not only develop this phenomenal attitude
but to make sure it shines through during the application process so that you can put it
on full display during your interview.
Please don't misunderstand me - some bartending jobs require experience, but most do
not. Experience is required at high volume, super fast paced establishments. For these
bartending jobs you must be extremely efficient at making drinks and serving customers -
there is just no time to learn on the job. But most establishments are not high volume and
super fast paced. So why are you still hearing that they want experience?
There are two tools that will make sure your great attitude is conveyed during your job
search. A great cover letter and a bartending specific resume. Many bartending jobs will
only require that you fill out their application. If you want to be included with the
group of people applying for the job and don't want to stand out - then by all means, fill
out the application. If you want to elevate yourself above the crowd - then have a really
great cover letter and resume than separates you from the pack.
In order to have a great cover letter and resume you must design it specifically for
getting a bartending job. Do not be generic. To write a compelling cover letter you need
to tell a compelling story. Remember all the challenging situations you have been in. Try
to remember even the smallest details. Is the story about how you handled an aggravated
customer? Is about some obstacle you overcame? Does it show how you are a great team
player and employee? Your cover letter must show -not tell- that you are a great hire. The
employer needs a reason to hire you; you must give them that reason by showing how you
will be an asset to their organization.
After you have told a compelling story in your cover letter you must back it up with a
solid resume. This resume doesn't have to have bartending experience on it, but it must be
tailored to bartending. It should never have irrelevant information (i.e. type 90 words a
minute; proficient in excell; etc.) You would be amazed at how many resumes get thrown in
the garbage because the applicant doesn't bother to even list relevant information.
Examples of relevant information and experience could include: used upselling techniques
to increase sales per customer visit, learned customer satisfaction is exceeding - not
meeting - customer expectations, voted "easiest to talk to" in my high school yearbook.
Notice that none of these bullet points requires bartending experience. You need to tailor
your previous experience, no matter what it was, to fit the skill sets of bartending.