Perhaps you’ve admired the flair and creativity of a bartender from across the bar, watching in awe as they show off their bartending skills. Maybe you’re looking for a part-time job that’s sociable and offers a flexible work schedule?

If you’re keen to build your bartending skills and experience, we’ve got some tips to help.

Whether you would like to embark on a career as a mixologist or simply need something to do while you complete your studies, figuring out how to become a bartender when you have no experience can seem daunting.

It doesn’t have to be. Here’s why.

You already have transferable skills

While you might not have actual bartending skills and experience, you more than likely have a wealth of transferable skills from the rest of your life that you can include on your CV.

When you’re just starting out you’ll be looking at an entry level bartender position. In this situation companies understand that you won’t have any hands-on experience.

Instead, they will look at your personal attributes and general life skills, which could include things like:

  • An outgoing personality
  • Good memory
  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Ability to work well under pressure
  • Numerical literacy
  • Reliability

Remember to back each point up with relevant examples. Companies will scan your CV for clues to see how easily you’ll be able to pick up the tools of the trade.

Make sure you highlight those instances where you didn’t necessarily have the know-how to begin with, but went above and beyond to get up to speed quickly.

Don’t get too hung up on the fact that you don’t have bartending skills just yet. Some companies would much rather hire someone inexperienced with great personality traits over a more qualified candidate who doesn’t have the right temperament for the job.

Whether you are experienced or not, make sure that your resumé and cover letter (if applicable) are full of personality and emphasise a hard-working attitude.

You can work your way up

When you’re first starting out, why not look for work as a barback, server or even a glass collector. These roles usually don’t require any previous bartending experience and they’re a great way to get more exposure to the role.

Going this route will allow you to get your foot in the door. If you prove yourself to be hardworking and reliable it’ll only be a matter of time before you’re working behind the bar.

One way to speed up your progress is by offering to take on additional duties, which would normally fall under a bartender’s remit. You’ll up-skill yourself and the bartender will appreciate the help.

How to learn bartending: know your stuff

Some bartending roles may involve a working interview. Others might require you to show how you would make a popular cocktail. Make sure that you’re one step ahead by learning and mastering the recipes in your spare time.

Aside from helping you ace the interview, doing this will stand you in good stead when you start your bartender role and have to get your drinks orders out fast.

Be sure to mention on your CV that you’re mastering the art of mixology in your spare time. Showing that you’re someone who takes initiative will make you stand out from all the other applicants.

Do a search online for cocktail making guides. Some of the most popular drinks worth learning are:

  • Mojito
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Margarita
  • Martini
  • Mai Tai
  • Caipirinha
  • Daiquiri
  • Piña Colada

It’s also a good idea to familiarise yourself with some basic bartending techniques:

  • Shaking
  • Straining
  • Stirring
  • Muddling
  • Blending

Master these in your own time and you’ll be sure to impress potential employers with your tenacity and initiative. Taking your training into your own hands means less work for them. Just make sure you do a good job of it.

Your newly acquired bartending skills coupled with your knowledge of different types of drinks is also a great way to score points with your friends. You could host a cocktail making evening and ask them to provide feedback on how your drinks taste and look.

How much do bartenders make in the UK?

The kind of salary you can expect to earn as a bartender will vary according to your level of experience as well as where you end up working.

While pay scales will differ slightly depending on the establishment, your starting salary won’t be less than the UK minimum wage.

When browsing available jobs on Coople, you’ll notice that employers generally include the hourly rate as well as any other benefits you can expect, such as holiday pay.

Ready to shake up your bartending future?

Whether you’re completely green or already have a wealth of knowledge under your belt, you’ll find a bartending position to suit your skills and schedule at Coople.

We’re here to help. Start by downloading the Coople Jobs app and begin browsing available jobs. Learn more about how Coople works and take a look at the worker resources on our blog. Good luck!