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How to Become a Bartender
4 Tips on How to Become a Bartender
There are as many paths to becoming a bartender as there are bartenders. Some have gotten into the business through family and friends. Some bartenders get a job by beating the streets until they get blisters (and hopefully a job).
The first thing you need to do is get the school curses. Some people, when new to bartending, are reluctant to announce that they are looking for a bartending job. Maybe they are changing careers and are looking to make cash in the interim. Maybe they are in college and don't want their parents to know they spend their nights in a bar. But this must be overcome.
You would be amazed how many people you know - know bartenders. And I mean really know them. They spend time with their bartender on a weekly or even daily basis. This type of situation lends itself to developing real relationships very quickly. So don't be suprised when you tell Uncle Joe or cousin Robby that you are looking for a bartending job and they reply, "Oh, I think I can get you one."
Aspiring bartenders will also want to create a cover letter and resume strictly for bartending jobs only. This is an absolute must. Bartenders are expected to put their personality on display when behind the bar. Their cover letter and resume has to POP with personality. Traditional job employers want boring resumes on white paper. Do NOT do this for a bartending job. Get creative and let your personality shine through.
If you are new to bartending the personality you put forward in your cover letter and resume has to overcome your lack of experience. You can and should present your previous experience so that it comes across as a bartending skill.
The third tip on how to get a bartending job is that you need at least some fundamental skills. Bartending doesn't require any specific degree or certification but you have to come to the table with some skills. If you are totally new to the business I recommend checking out this video series. It was produced by the folks at expert village and is a tremendous resource for beginning bartenders. I have imbedded on video below. When viewing don't worry about the recipes but pay attention to the technique. Go to a restaurant supply store and get the equipment you see the bartenders using, like a martini shaker, strainer, pour spout and wine knife. Set up a small work station and practice using these tools. Have fun with it and don't get intimidated.
The video series has a ton of recipes but don't be fooled. In most establishments you will make the same 20-50 drinks over and over. Once you know all the standard two ingredient drinks like a screwdriver, rum & coke, and greyhound learning all you need is actully pretty easy. It is a myth that bartenders need to know hundreds of recipes, don't be fooled.
Last but certainly not least....Take Action!
"Action is no guarantee of happiness, But without action there is no happiness."
Just decide to believe in yourself and follow a plan.
Those are my simple and easy to implement tips on how to become a bartender.