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How to Get Started in Your Bartending Career

by Business Bod

In this modern economy, sometimes it feels like there’s no telling which jobs will pay the bills, and which ones won’t. 

And honestly—A.I. has made this process even trickier. 

Well, if there’s one type of career that won’t be going anywhere soon, it’s bartending. 

Think about it. 

This job will likely not be (completely) sourced to A.I. anytime soon (at least until we have really accurate, life-like robots capable of pouring drinks and bantering with customers). 

Plus, as long as humans have been on the planet, they’ve enjoyed socializing and spending time together—and bartenders are definitely a ‘social glue’ of sorts for our society. 

Bartending is truly a highly social job that can provide you with a wide range of networking opportunities, making it an excellent choice for those looking to expand their professional circles.

Plus, with the rise of craft cocktails and high-end bars, bartending has become an increasingly lucrative career path, with the potential for excellent earnings and job security.

As a bartender, you’ll learn valuable skills in customer service, communication, and time management, all of which are highly transferable and in demand in today’s modern (and oftentimes weird) job market.

Bartending also offers a level of flexibility and autonomy that can be hard to find in other careers, allowing you to work on your own terms and pursue other passions alongside your job.

So in this blog post, you’re going to learn exactly how to get started with your new bartending career. Let’s break it down step by step. 

1. Educate Yourself

To really get started with bartending, you’ll want to educate yourself and get some practice making drinks and memorizing all of the ‘classic’ cocktails. 

Here’s a brief list to get you started. 

You can start this process right now by memorizing ingredients. 

But you can take it a step further by getting yourself some supplies and practicing for yourself, your friends, your partner, and your family, at private parties, etc. 

Bartend for free a few BBQs or parties for your friends, and pretty soon you’ll actually have a pretty firm grasp on exactly what it’ll take to be successful. 

2. Get Your Resume In Order

If you actually want to be a bartender, you’ll eventually need to get your first bartending gig. 

This can be deceptively difficult—for a few different reasons. 

Now, keep in mind that you can go the freelancing bartender route. If you’re interested in that, check out this post

But for the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus more on the aspect of literally becoming a bartending employee to start things off. 

With that being said, the first step is to craft an awesome resume. But keep it brief. It shouldn’t be any more than one page (unless there’s just so much awesome stuff that you MUST use two pages to fit it all in). 

You should also craft a custom cover letter for each and every position. And you should try to address this cover letter to the person who’ll actually be hiring for the position. 

This shows them that you actually care about the business, and not just about turning in hundreds of resumes to ‘shotgun’ your way into a job. 

Also, make sure to check back in with the establishment to follow up on your resume—even if you don’t get a callback. 

This doesn’t always yield amazing results. But for some managers and bar owners, this will actually do a lot to show them that you care about getting a job at their establishment. 

3. Nail The Job Interview

First, make sure to research the bar or restaurant you’re interviewing for and come prepared with a basic knowledge of their menu, atmosphere, and clientele.

Dress professionally and arrive early to demonstrate your punctuality and respect for the interviewer’s time.

During the interview, showcase your customer service skills by maintaining eye contact, actively listening to the interviewer’s questions, and providing thoughtful responses.

Be sure to highlight any relevant experience you have, such as previous bartending or hospitality work, and emphasize your ability to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment.

Finally, express your enthusiasm for the job and the opportunity to be a part of the team, and follow up with a thank-you email or note to show your appreciation for the interviewer’s time and consideration.


If you follow these steps and don’t give up, you’re bound to get an amazing bartending gig. 

You also need to understand that this process can take some time. So be patient, and keep doing the legwork to find great opportunities. 

If you don’t find a job right away, keep honing your bartending technique, your resume, and your interview skills—and keep applying to local bars in your area. 

With continued improvement and effort, you’re bound to find an awesome gig that works well for you! 

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