Restaurants and bars have higher expectations than ever before in regard to what level of experience and professionalism they expect from their employees. Bartenders are no longer just expected to be able to pour a beer and make basic drinks. They must be able to provide an entire serving experience for the guests, from making the most current drinks and shots to keeping their guests entertained with their conversation and their level of skill and panache when they pour. Having a professional, well-formatted resume is one way to demonstrate your professionalism when applying for a bartending position.
Describing the Bar
One of the first questions that the management at the new restaurant or bar will ask is about your previous employment. The resume does not leave you a lot of room to describe the type of bar or atmosphere of the bar where you worked before. However, one way to address this issue is to include a short paragraph under the employment section that explains the type of bar and the style of service or dining that the bar provided. Another method for describing the bar is to include the information in a cover letter.
Your resume should also explain your accomplishments as a bartender. Because bars and restaurants are so unique and offer different styles of drinks and service, it is important to be descriptive about your previous experiences. Your resume should contain a section that summarizes your skills -- you can call this section "Qualifications" or "Summary of Skills." In this section, you will list your most important skills and qualifications, such as any special certifications that you possess, special training that you have undergone, language skills and the number of years of experience that you have. In addition, place specific skills and experiences under the relevant employer in the "Employment" section of your resume.
Ordering the Information
The order in which you place the information is just as important as the specific information that you include. Read the job ad in detail to ascertain which skills and experiences are most important to the employer. If the employer emphasizes experience in the ad, it is usually a good idea to list your "Employment" section right after your "Summary of Qualifications." This brings your experience to their attention right away. However, if the ad emphasizes specific skills, such as knowledge of wines, you may wish to place a section labeled "Training" or "Education" after the qualifications to highlight the wine courses you have taken or special courses or training you have received.
Making a Good Impression
When you are satisfied with the content of the resume and the order in which you have placed the information, it is time to make the resume look professional and attractive. A well-formatted and attractive resume will gain a closer reading faster than a plain or poorly formatted resume. Your name should stand out immediately. Place it at the top of the resume and make it slightly larger than the headings to ensure that it is the first thing the employer notices. Use a clear and readable type throughout. The headings should be in a typeface that is legible and easy to skim. Finally, make sure that your resume prints cleanly and without smudges.
Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.