Tending bar is a job that appeals to a wide variety of people, from college students, to professionals, to retirees looking for extra income. Even though tending bar isn't considered a formal job, you still need a formal resume, and the information you need to convey to a bar manager is unique. It pays to have an effective resume, as available jobs are only expected to grow by 9 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, so competition will be vigorous. Bartenders in the U.S. make a median wage of $8.98 per hour, before tips, as of May 2011.
Add Your Education
You may think that even though a college degree is not a prereq for bartending, you do not need to list your degree. Wrong. Having a degree will set you apart from the other candidates, showing that you have initiative, ambition and brains. Bartenders need to know math so they can make change quickly. If you do not have a college degree, list your high school and when you graduated.
This section is the most important part of your resume. You need to be specific about your industry experience. When listing an establishment, note If it is a high-volume or fine dining place, as bar managers look for specific kinds of experience. Be sure to list what point-of-sale systems you used, like Aloha or Micros. Include all job functions you performed, such as shift leader or server. List whether you trained other employees.
When listing your work experience, be as specific as possible. Bar managers are looking for people to make them money. So if you had high sales on a regular basis, note that and specify how high the sales were. For example you could have a bullet saying, "Consistently earned high sales, ringing $2,000 nightly." Include a bullet if you created a custom drink or drink menu, increased bar revenue, or performed flair.
Don't shy away from applying if you have no experience. Some bar managers look for energetic people they can mold into their own type of bartender. Include any industry experience you have, such as serving or barbacking. Create a section for certifications if you have a bartending license. Ask to speak with a manager and explain that you would take a starting position but your goal is to tend bar. This enthusiasm will help you get a foot in the door.
2016 Salary Information for Bartenders
Bartenders earned a median annual salary of $20,800 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, bartenders earned a 25th percentile salary of $18,650, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $28,770, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 611,200 people were employed in the U.S. as bartenders.
Lisa Hope is a professional writer and entrepreneur. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism, specializing in online media, and a master's in mass communications specializing in social media, both from the University of Florida. She is a professor of communications, a novelist, and the founder of a firm that specializes in resume review.