7 Bartender Skills (With Resume and Cover Letter Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 22 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A skilled bartender communicates with an array of patrons and provides them with a satisfying experience while maintaining professional standards. Bartending skills vary in scope, from mixing consistent and quality drinks to managing financial transactions and keeping track of inventory. When writing your resume or cover letter, it's helpful to consider the important skills of a bartender and how you apply them on the job. In this article, we explore some important bartender skills and discuss helpful tips for highlighting bartending skills on your resume and cover letter.

7 important bartender skills

Bartenders prepare and serve drinks in fast-paced environments, so understanding bartender skills and how they're applied can help you manage the demands of the job. Here are some examples of important skills for successful bartending:

1. Mixology

A bartender with strong mixology skills is well-versed in making cocktails and mixing alcoholic drinks. They stay informed of seasonal trends and can apply their understanding of ingredients to exceed customer expectations. Having skills in mixology can increase your employability. For example, your ability to serve pleasing drinks consistently can satisfy customers and generate good business for the venue, making you a highly valued employee.

2. Communication

Effective bartending involves your ability to communicate well with customers and team members. As a bartender, you might serve numerous customers per shift. Each customer can have distinct personalities and requests, so being able to communicate with varying customers, while maintaining a positive and polite attitude, is a valuable skill for the job. Bartending is also a team-oriented job, where excellent communication skills can help build team relationships and increase productivity. For example, you might coordinate with employees in the bar and kitchen, servers and security to organise and operate the venue efficiently to deliver effective results.

Related: How to Become an Effective Communicator (With Tips)

3. Memory

A bartender's job can be fast-paced, requiring you to be quick and memorise multiple orders at a time. The job can also require knowledge of how to mix different drinks, such as a margarita or a mojito. You might strengthen your short- and long-term memory skills by creating catchy phrases that help you remember drink measurements and ingredients. Another helpful way to strengthen your memory is to get to know locals by their first name. This can help you remember their usual orders and personal information to build a friendly rapport.

4. Organisation

As a bartender, it can benefit you to have strong organisational skills. This might include organising your work area in a way where tools and products are easily accessible for mixing drinks and serving customers. You might also apply your organisational skills to ensure the bar is well-stocked with ingredients necessary to meet customer demand, such as replenished beer kegs and popular spirits. Organisation is also an important bartender skill for keeping track of inventory, handling customer orders and ensuring the venue operates productively.

5. Composure

When you're a well-composed bartender, you can remain professional despite challenges you may face on the job. Composure can also help you assess challenging situations and confrontations better. This can help you determine the best course of action to manage potential conflict.

6. Stamina

Bartending can be a physically intensive job, requiring stamina to perform for extended periods. In this role, you may be on your feet for long periods, serving customers, stocking the bar, managing transactions and performing other duties needed for the role. The level of intensity at which you might perform can also vary depending on whether it's a weekday or weekend, the time of the day it is or whether you're in a busy season, like the holidays. Because of this, stamina is an important skill for bartending.

7. Cash management

As a bartender, you handle financial transactions throughout your shift. Having cash management skills can increase your ability to calculate numbers quickly and effectively. For example, a customer might pay off a percentage of an existing tab, requiring you note of how much they paid and how much they still owe. Having strong cash management skills can make you a valuable bartender.

Tips for highlighting bartending skills on your resume

Here's a list of some useful tips to help you highlight your bartending skills on your resume:

Mixology skills

Mixology is a significant bartender skill, so emphasising your proficiency in this area can help make your resume stand out among other candidates for a role. This can include mentioning a cocktail speciality in which you have proficiency or a unique blend you have concocted that your friends, family, and customers enjoy. Be sure to include any mixology certifications you have on your resume.

Example: Created classic and contemporary cocktails based upon seasonal trends in a fine dining restaurant setting that was featured as drink of the month.

Personality and service skills

While employers want to know about your technical hard skills, they can be just as interested in the soft skills you can bring to their business. Your resume is a great opportunity to highlight your friendly personality and customer service skills. You can also highlight your experience and skills in developing rapport with patrons or explain an occasion where a patron commended you for great customer service.

Example: Received numerous online reviews from patrons for providing exceptional customer service and courtesy in previous role.

Organisation and management skills

An important skill for bartenders is the ability to maintain the upkeep of the bar and manage stock-taking and inventory lists. Prospective employers might want to know that you're capable of these tasks and how well you can perform these skills. Highlighting your organisation and management skills on your resume can be a great way to attract the hiring manager's attention. For example, you might emphasise your skills at tracking inventory, maintaining a clean workspace or keeping accurate records of cash payments and receipts. These skills can help you stand out as a strong candidate and set you apart from competition.

Example: Responsible for measuring, counting and calculating liquor storage for weekly bar inventory.

Related: What Makes a Good Resume?

Tips for highlighting bartending skills on your cover letter

Here are some useful tips to help you highlight your bartending skills on your cover letter:

Provide specific examples

Your cover letter is your opportunity to express your skills and show why you're the right candidate for the job. To make a meaningful impression, it can help to provide one or two specific examples that detail how you performed a relevant skill in previous roles. This can also benefit you if you try to explain how it applies to the job position for which you are applying.

Example explaining specific experiences on a cover letter

Here is how you can provide a specific example of your experience on your cover letter:

In my current role as a nightclub bartender, I developed the skills to make dozens of popular cocktails to serve large volumes of patrons in a fast-paced setting. I take personal and professional pride in my ability to remain composed in stressful environments while maintaining customer service. My experience with maintaining speed and accuracy while serving a high volume of drinks and providing excellent customer service has prepared me to excel in this role.

Related: How to Format a Cover Letter (With Tips and Examples)

End with a convincing closing statement

Ending your cover letter with a convincing closing statement is a great way to leave an effective and professional last impression and increase your chances of making the shortlist of candidates. Be concise and write your closing statement in one paragraph. Try to focus your closing statement on recapping your professional strengths, expressing your passion for the job and thanking the hiring manager for their time and consideration.

Here are some points to consider for a strong closing statement for a bartender cover letter:

  • Instead of repeating the skills you previously mentioned, use new language to talk about how your skills and experiences can add value to the business.

  • Convey your enthusiasm for the job in a polite and confident manner. For example, you can say, 'I look forward to speaking with you about how I can put my skills to work for Yellow Brick Bar and Bistro.'

  • Include a call to action to help encourage the hiring manager to contact you. Be sure to state your contact information, such as your email address or phone number.

Example of a cover letter closing statement

Here is an example of how you can conclude a cover letter:

With my extensive experience working on special events and ensuring quality customer satisfaction, I believe I can meet the demands of this position in a timely manner. I welcome the opportunity to speak with you more about my experience and qualifications at JohnRemko@email.com or 04123 456 789. Thank you for your time.

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