Keen to build your bartending experience? Here are some of our top tips to help you get to the top.

Perhaps you’ve admired the flair and creativity of a bartender from across the bar as they concoct your favourite cocktail or maybe you’re looking for a part-time job which is sociable and offers flexible work arrangements. Whether you would like a career as a bartender or you are looking for a part-time role around your studies, figuring out how to get bartending experience can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s why.

You probably already have transferable skills

You probably don’t realise it but despite not having bartending experience, you will probably have a wealth of transferable skills from other walks of life which you should include in your CV. If you’re looking at an entry level role as a bartender, companies are more likely to look at your personal attributes and transferable skills, such as:

  • An outgoing personality
  • Good memory
  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Numeracy skills
  • Reliability

Don’t forget to back each point up with relevant examples. Companies will scan your CV for any suggestion that you are able to pick up tools of the trade quickly, so make sure you emphasise times where you didn’t necessarily have the experience 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 experience as some companies will prefer a candidate with a good set of personal traits and a good attitude over experience! Whether you are experienced or not, make sure that your resume and where necessary, cover letter, is full of personality and emphasises a hard-working attitude.

You can work your way up

If you are finding it difficult to get bartending experience it could be worth starting as a barback, server or a glass collector. These roles will usually require no previous bartending experience but they will give you exposure to the role, it will help you to get your foot in the door and if you work hard you will naturally progress into a bartender position. Make sure you progress as quickly as possible by offering to take on additional duties which would normally fall under a bartender’s remit.

Know your bartending stuff

Some bartending roles may involve a working interview or the interviewer may ask you to demonstrate how you would make a popular cocktail. Make sure that you’re one step ahead of the curve by learning the most popular cocktails in your spare time. Aside from the interview, this will be half the battle when you start a bartender role and you will make your way through orders more quickly.

Make sure you list this as an area of interest that you are gaining experience in on your CV, this shows that you have taken initiative in the field will make you really stand out! You can check out a range of online cocktail making guides, some of the most popular cocktails worth learning include:

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

Aside from knowing the most popular drinks out there, when applying for a bartending job make sure you learn the basic techniques, these include:

  • Shaking
  • Straining
  • Stirring
  • Muddling
  • Blending

If you master this in your own time, you’ll be able to impress potential employers with your tenacity and initiative, having taken training into your own hands. Not to mention it’s a great opportunity to host a cocktail making evening with your friends… get them to taste your cocktails and give you feedback!

Are you keen to start but have no experience? Lots of experience but want jobs that fit around your busy schedule? Make sure you sign up to Coople who can provide you with great bartending jobs at any level, allowing you to work and gain experience with some of the best bars out there!

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