Bartending is one of the more fun jobs that a person can possess.

Creating cocktails, meeting new people every day, and the opportunity to grow, are always a possibility. These are the benefits of being behind the bar. The hospitality industry is filled with different adventures and is a great field to be in. With many people home due to the pandemic, it’s the perfect time to take a look at your bartending resume and make some improvements.

Paula Lukas has been in the industry for over 25 years and has a love for creating cocktails. She is a bartender and mixologist who has been doing beverage consultant on the side since COVID hit. When it comes to making a resume more professional, Paula suggests keeping things simple and clean. Make it easy to read and be sure to showcase any skills or expertise. She uses bullet points to keep things precise and encourages people to double-check their grammar and spelling.

Building a Resume

Building a Resume

It’s important to highlight any accomplishments on a resume. If you were featured in a magazine, received awards for cocktails, helped create a cocktail menu, etc. are all things that should be included. Keep things relevant by only using things relevant to the industry.

When asked what Paula would look for in a potential hire she added, “Someone who genuinely wants to work at the job. Knowledge is great but a willingness to learn as well. I’ve learned and have grown from nearly every place that I’ve worked at.”

Resumes are a way to promote yourself for a job. Therefore, it should be tailored to the industry or job you are looking to work in. They should include keywords that will help you stand apart from others. Keywords not only help to speak strongly as it is being read, but they can help get your resume noticed on job board websites like Indeed or LinkedIn.

Joshua Coates

Joshua Coates

Joshua Coates, General Manager of Thunderhead Lodge, Bar Consultant, and competitive bartender, believes resumes should be clear, concise, and accomplishment based. He recommends adding pertinent information on a resume and leaving out any filler content like duties at prior jobs.

Listing any form of education or training can be helpful to a future employer. Bartending school might not be necessary for the potential job, so Joshua recommends leaving it out in general. “I’m certainly not saying that I wouldn’t hire someone that went but most employers including myself do not think very highly of those institutions and they generally teach for a time period that is no longer relevant.  Types of education I like to see are workshops or seminars infusing, concentrating flavors, culinary-related is always good, classes about sexual harassment or responsible alcohol management, and so on.”

Including photos with a resume could pose a risk for discrimination. Joshua and Paula both advise to keep them out. However, getting a professional headshot done could be beneficial for those who are featured in a magazine or involved in cocktail competitions. Photographers are often affordable so if there is an option to get them done, it will help in the long run. These types of headshots and photos could also help your portfolio. For many bartenders, Instagram is their go-to.

Joshua said, “I’ve put a tremendous amount of work into my Instagram account which is perfect for bartenders. There is an incredible audience for this niche type of content and it’s easy to utilize social media for the bar industry because the things we do are so picture and video worthy.”

Every time he sends his resume to someone, Joshua includes links to achievements that will make him stand out. He noted, “A portfolio is very important and if someone doesn’t have much of one, I suggest they start building one today.”

Robin Wolf, award-winning mixologist and Bar Director of The Hatch Rotisserie & Bar in California Wine Country, looks at bartending as a social career. While a resume might get a foot in the door, having basic cocktail knowledge and practical behind-the-bar skills is key.

Robin adds, “The right foundation is necessary to any creative endeavor. Bartenders sell. We have to be able to chat with a guest, get the right drink into their hand, and create an amazing experience. They’ll forget what they had to drink, but not how you made them feel.”