this site is my collection of all things cocktail since 1980 • please give credit if used for media purposes • condensed mobile version coming soon
For many years I created custom bartender resumes. I used professional programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. If you don't have access to these programs then no worries because anyone can create his or her own on free design websites such as Canva and novoresumes. You will need to register at both of these sites, but they are free. When finished you can save and download it as a PDF. This file can then be sent to a local printer or online printers such as Vistaprint, Moo, or OvernightPrints.
Bartender Blueprint.com has six bartender word.doc resumes you can download then start adding your information.
And of course, you can purchase paper and print them at home (I recommend white linen paper) but I highly suggest getting your resume printed professionally.
After all, you don't get a second chance to make a first impression.
iPad resume design by Cheryl Charming
Tips For Writing A Bartender Resume
A bartender resume is a little different from a business resume. Having had to look through hundreds of bartender resumes, I suggest listing your experience near the top of the page because managers like to quickly run their eyes down your experience.
2. Contact Information
Phone number and email address is sufficient
3. Under the contact information, type one line saying, I want to provide an excellent experience for guests at your establishment.
This is what bar managers want to hear. They want you to take care of their clientele because it creates repeat business, which means more money.
You can add to the blurb if you like such as, I’m a talented bartender who understands the bottom line. I want to provide an excellent experience for guests at your establishment.
The line "who understands the bottom line" is critical. Do you know what the bottom line is? The bottom line of any business is sales. Managers thrive on numbers. Let them know with this one line that you understand that.
4. Bar Experience
Start with the most recent. Give the years, your title, the establishment, the establishment's city and state, then a one to two sentence description.
2013-2014 Bartender • The Compass • Carlsbad, CA
Tended bar full time and filled in for cocktail shifts when needed. The Compass is a high-volume
gastropub that offers craft cocktails, weekly & happy hour specials, and late night menus.
2008 - 2010 Bartender • Woodie’s Cocktail Lounge • Orlando, FL
Mixed and served a wide variety of beverages and cocktails in this high volume sports bar catering to local clientele as well as professional and semi-pro hockey players. Exercised creative ability to develop traditional and new drink recipes. Late nights, stiff drinks, and a lot of crazy people.
2015-Present Freelance Bartender • New York Area
Provide excellent service for private parties, events, and occasions.
2012-2015 Head Bartender • Uno Chicago Grill • Cambridge, MA
Tended bar full time in this fun establishment that was huge with karaoke and dancing on the weekends. Worked full-service main bar and trained a hardworking staff of servers, bus help, expediters, food runners, & service bartenders. Responsible for bar inventory with over 20 tap beers and over 34 bottled beers. Lots of late nights in this extremely fast-paced bar.
2014-2016 Bartender/Server • 20 Brix Restaurant • Cincinnati, OH
Hired as a server then quickly moved up to bartender in this elegant modern restaurant offering California cuisine with a limited bistro menu. Full-service dark wooded liquor bar with over 100 wines from around the world. Late nights, stiff drinks, high volume, two bartenders and lots of smoky blues.
1999-2012 Bartender • Mellow Yellow Restaurant • Chicago, IL
I tended bar for guests and wait staff in this busy legendary neighborhood restaurant and bar known for its famous rotisserie chicken and herb-crusted steak with an extensive bar menu with large selections of wine, beer, and spirits.
2012-2017 Bar Manager/Bartender • Westshore Cafe • Lake Tahoe, CA
Situated at the water's edge on Lake Tahoe's Majestic west shore. An elegant retreat for lakeside dining and cocktailing. The patio bar is an ideal place to luxuriate in the sun surrounded by the Sierra Nevada mountains while enjoying many of the signature cocktails offered on the extensive drink menu.
5. Other Experience
Bar managers like to see your other experience to get an idea of other skills you bring to the table. Keep it short, no descriptions.
2010-2012 Part-Time Clinical Assistant • Hospice of New York, Queens
2015 Cook • Mama Linda's • Lebanon, OR
2014-2016 Real Estate Agent • Kaszynski Bripol Realty • Peru, IL
2016 Hostess • IHOP • New Orleans, LA
2015-2017 Construction • Boh Brothers Construction • Houston, TX
6. Accomplishments & Skills
Keep it simple.
Don't list High School.
8. If you can fit it in then list 1-3 references. If not say "References Upon Request."
9. Provide an image.
Imagine being a manager with 25 - 50 resumes on your desk. You figure it out.
10. An attention-getting resume can get your foot in the door, but it is up to you hto nail the interview. So dress nice, smile, give eye contact, a good handshake, and sit up straight.
Here are some sites that also give bartender resume writing tips.
Artofdrink.com Darcy O'Neil's 2006 Bar Resume. The first cool bartender resume I remember seeing that inspired me to create resumes.
Below are few custom bar resumes I created in the past. Names and contact info has been changed.
Action Verbs For A Bartender Resume
Google Images (on the "usage rights" dropdown make sure to choose "free to use."
(check the file usage)
Public domain photos
Free Copyright Images
If you decide to have imagery on your resume then here are some places you can find free copyright images.
Custom Bartender Resume
22 Résumé Tips by Tobin Ellis
I still create custom resumes, but the price is $150.
I can graphically create just about anything you have in your mind. It will be created in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator and saved as a PDF or jpg...whatever you want. I will also give you the master files, so in the future, if a friend of yours has access to these programs they can easily edit and update your information.
Just email me.
In the past week, I've sifted through about 100 cover letter/résumés. In a past life in the advertising world, I did the same for a year, looking in total at about 1000 of the same. In 16 years of helping people open bars, I've probably seen another 1000 or so. Anyone out there at all whoever wants to get a job... here's all you need to know about résumés:
1. If you have that trite, cliché "objective" statement and it remotely resembles this, delete it now: "Objective: To utilize my skills and experiences in order to be part of a team environment in a corporate setting" You have said basically nothing with this statement. Honestly, you will get a lot more callbacks if instead you were honest and said "Objective: To land a good job." And yes, objective statements are silly, it is the objective of every person interviewing for a job.... to get hired. double duh.
2. In fact, if you find any of the following words or phrases anywhere in your cover letter, or résumé, delete them now: utilize, team player, proven abilities, opportunity, self-starter, motivated.
3. Read the job listing. If you aren't qualified, don't answer it. I know that YOU think your five months at Subway somehow qualifies you to take over my company's bookkeeping and payroll, I think it just means you make mediocre processed meat sandwiches behind sneeze-proof glass.
4. Follow directions. If a job listing asks you to submit X, Y, and Z and you submit X, B, and R ... do I need to explain this? Wait-- yes, yes, I do. Reread #4. Eleventeen times.
5. Heed Shakespeare. That dead guy once said, "Brevity is the soul of wit." The average hiring decision maker is probably looking through 50-100 or maybe 500 résumés just like yours, on their 23-minute break for lunch at their desk or during their kid's soccer game they are going to miss AGAIN, and the last thing in the world that is going to get you a callback is to force them to read your poorly structured, repetitive, rambling cover letter about how boring, and cookie cutter you are. Get to the point and quickly. You want the job, you need money. We want to hire you and pay you money. Don't turn this into the 1500-word college term paper.
6. Stand out. A résumé does not get you a job, it gets you an interview. That's all you should be trying to do. The single most effective way to do that, beyond obviously being somewhat qualified, is to make them curious to find out more. So don't be afraid to tease their curiosity. I once ended my résumé with listing my duties at my last job as "...where I wrote the ad that promptly got me fired." I was by far the least experienced copywriter the agency looked at, but I got the interview (and the job). Why? I got the interview. Once I was in the room, I knew how to get the job. Take it one step at a time. On my first day, they flat out told me "we weren't going to hire you, we just wanted to see that ad that got you fired." (It was a true story, so that helped. And it was a -great- ad.)
7. Unless you are applying for a senior executive position or highly, highly technical position AND you have more than 15-20 year’s experience in your field, there is -no- reason your résumé should -ever- be more than one page. You're not that interesting, you're not that experienced. I would bet if Leonardo Da Vinci had a résumé, it would be a half-page. Steve Jobs would probably be ten words on a cocktail napkin. A desalinized, hemp, acid-free, recycled cocktail napkin. Keep it simple, stupid.
8. Typos? Really?
9. It bears (or bares) repeating: don't use "utilize," use "use." Utilize is you trying to sound fancy. It's one of the dumbest words in the business world. Maybe the English language. You don't "utilize" your skills, you use them. If you don't understand good grammar and proper word choices, keep it simple and talk the way you really talk.
10. Without being a smart-ass, be funny. There are a lot of people who do nothing but look at résumés... all... day.... long. If you don't get past them, you don't get the job. True story: when applying along with about 1500 people for one seasonal position, at the end of my résumé I included a listing of "FAVORITE CEREALS." Then I listed my favorite cereals. I got the interviews, the job, and on my first day, about 20 of the staff said: "Oh, you're the cereal guy." Sounds corny, but guess what? I got the job. Because I got past the gate-keeper by making them laugh. And I got remembered. And Peanut Butter Captain Crunch, Kashi Crunch, and homemade granola if you're wondering.
11. I know you want to impress me with your "excellent communication skills." You aren't going to impress me, at all, by using polysyllabic words and run-on sentences. What will impress me? Short, simple, honest, focused sentences like "I'm exactly what you're looking for and per your requirements, I am pretty darn funny." That is the kind of sentence that stands out and gets a callback. Less is more. And yes, I'll take sentence fragments (like all the ones herein) before run-ons, every single time.
12. No, your friend Sarah is not a reference. Neither is your Mom.
13. Cheryl Charming is going to kill me for saying this, but unless you are applying for a very creative or inherently fun/entertainment-based position, lose all the graphics, clip-art, doodles, colors, butterflies, and rainbows. I want to hire an adult, not someone who just woke from nap-time at the local kindergarten.
14. If you've been at any job but your present one for less than six months, leave it off or have a really good explanation as to why. I know it's no longer a workforce of people who stay in one job for 20 years, but if you can't hold down a job for a year, you're a huge risk/red flag.
15. Just to contradict me, watch out for gaps in employment. A smart hiring manager doesn't scan your résumé for any of the blah blah blah you wrote-- they are looking at timeline and trying to first see a) if your previous job titles are relevant to the position they are hiring for and probably more so looking to see b) how long you worked at each job and c) how long any gaps between jobs were. Gaps more than a few months almost always signal you're hiding a job that you got fired at.
16. Always show the dates you worked at each job.
17. Learn what a PDF is and send your cover letter and résumé as well-formatted PDFs. Especially if you're applying for an office job. Nothing says amateur more than someone who sends in an "email résumé." MS Word docs are okay, but honestly, PDFs are better. And please oh please don't send your résumé as a forwarded email with all those ">>>>>"s and line breaks. I get enough chain letters and spam from Latvian hookers looking to show me sexy-time pictures.
18. Do not use a cutesy salutation. Stick with "Dear Sir or Madam" or "Dear Hiring Manager" or something like that. "Dear Future Boss", "Attention Ladies and Gentlemen" and "Hiya!" aren't nearly as clever as you think. If you're going to try and be funny, build some credibility first, and save the comedy for the end.
19. Do not send a photo. I know, I know, you're a 9.5 with a great rack or diesel arms and you think being pretty or buff is going to help you get a job. If you're applying for a Vegas pool or nightclub, you're right. For a professional job, it says "I'm hoping you think I'm attractive and will call or hire me because of my looks." Totally unprofessional and completely ineffective... except for employers whom you will wish you never had to work for.
20. Do not make demands. One applicant said, "I am curious about your position but would like you to tell me the name of your company or send me a website link before I submit my résumé." Hey, dingdong--- WE are the ones asking the questions here. If you don't want to apply, don't. Triple duh.
21. If you want to be pro-active--- no matter how much you hate your job now, stick it out for a least one year, leave on good terms, and make sure your immediate supervisor loves you to death. You -will- need him/her for a reference sooner or later. Building a great résumé starts today. Or five years ago. Get going.
22. If you can't follow any of the above advice, can't hold a job, don't have a college degree, dropped out of high school and/or none of your former employers can stand you.... chances are you're an excellent candidate to start your own company. Just ask billionaires Steve Jobs, Sheldon Adelson, Sir Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Ralph Lauren. But whatever you do, don't apply for the position I'm hiring for. One malcontent dreamer in my company is plenty.
Respectfully, Sincerely, Yours Truly, Cordially,
BarMagic of Las Vegas