Is It Hard To Get A Bartending Job?

is it hard to get a bartending job
Joe | Last Updated: November 24, 2023
I'm Joe, a veteran bartender with over a decade in the industry and a burning passion for mixing drinks.

So you’ve decided that bartending is the industry that you want to dive into and are ready to take the next steps to go out in search of the perfect job.

Woohoo! Great choice!

When it comes to finding the right bartending job, there are lots of questions that you’ll be keen to learn the answer to.

In this post, we’re going to answer everything you need to know about finding a bartending job even if you don’t have experience and are not sure where to start, as well as the common question “is it hard to get a bartending job?

In essence, no, it’s not particularly hard to get a bartending job. Those with bartending experience will find the process easier than those without but even if you’ve never worked a bar in your life, finding a bartending job isn’t hard providing you know how to go about the process.

Let’s get into it…

Is It Hard To Get A Bartending Job?

For the most part, it’s not difficult to find a bartending job especially if you live in countries such as the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.

The bartending industry is booming and there are plenty of great jobs up for grabs all around the world for those that are eager to learn and are committed to getting into the industry.

is it hard to get a bartending job

Whilst bartending is very much a skilled profession, even those with very little or no experience at all can try their hand at bartending thanks to the vast amount of jobs available.

Most major cities will always have bars and restaurants that are on the lookout for passionate bartenders, but even towns and villages have local establishments that require bartenders, especially in the UK.

Whether you’re traveling around the world and looking to earn money whilst doing so or are looking to work your way to the top of the industry, there are plenty of bartending jobs that can be attained with the right approach.

>>Read more: why are bartenders so rude?

How Hard Is It To Get A Bartending Job?

The difficulty of finding a bartending job will largely be determined by your attitude towards work, geographical location as well as experience in the industry.

But you’ll be glad to know that for most people, finding a bartending job is not very hard at all and just requires persistence and patience.

Those who are keen to get into bartending and live in a busy city with plenty of bars and restaurants will find it easier than someone living in a remote part of the world with few opportunities.

Equally as important in finding a bartending role is the experience you already have. If you’ve previously worked in retail or a restaurant previously, it will be easier for you to find a bartending role.

That said, even those with very little experience can land a bartending job so long as they have the determination and a great attitude towards work.

When it comes to being hired for a bartending role, it’s all about giving yourself the best possible chances of success by using every tool that is available to you.

We discuss this further below.

Can I Be A Bartender With No Experience?

Yes, you can certainly become a bartender with no prior experience. Whilst it may take you longer in some instances to find a role, many get into the bartending industry when they first start working.

The great thing about bartending is that it doesn’t require a whole bunch of training to begin with. Instead, hiring managers are looking to get a feel for how you will manage the pressure that comes with bartending.

This is why it’s crucial that those with no bartending experience come with the right attitude. Candidates will need to be upbeat, positive, and have a friendly persona to succeed as a bartender.

They’ll ideally be practical, hands-on people who are highly social and can communicate well with people from all walks of life.

Working behind a bar is a great way to develop your social skills and confidence, but having a good foundation of these two skills will increase your chances of landing a bartending job despite having no experience.

If you do have some experience in the working world that’s great, even if it may seem unrelated to bartending it’s still something that may be transferable to the bartending world.

But even if you’ve never worked a day in your life and are fresh out of school, the bartending industry still welcomes you with open arms so long as you are committed.

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How Do I Get My First Bartending Job?

Now that you know that it’s certainly possible to get into the bartending industry even if you have no experience, let’s look at the most effective way to approach applying for bartending jobs.

1. Write a CV

First, you’ll want to craft a CV that details all of your qualifications, experience, and achievements, even if they do not relate to bartending in any way.

This gives the hiring manager a mental image of your experience and helps them to determine whether you’ll be fit for a bartending role.

Be sure to include your school grades and any part-time or full-time jobs you’ve had in the past, as well as some hobbies and interests you have outside of work.

If you do have some experience in the working world, be sure to list only the most relevant to a bartending job, such as retail, customer service, or sales roles.

2. Use job boards

Once you’ve crafted a CV, you’ll then want to upload this to job boards such as Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, etc, and ensure you have it set so that recruiters can find you.

Depending on your location, it may be wise to reach out to some recruitment agencies that specialize in the bartending industry as many large bars and establishments use recruiters to find employees.

Next, you’ll want to search through the job boards and look for bartending roles that are within your area and apply for them.

Some may require you to write a cover letter which should include why you think you’re the right candidate for their position and what makes you stand out from the crowd.

Search the job boards regularly for new bartending jobs that come up in your area and be sure to have job alerts turned on so that you’re notified immediately when new jobs come up.

3. Hand out CVs

In between searching online job boards for positions, you’ll want to print out multiple copies of your CV and begin physically handing out your CV to bars, restaurants, clubs, and other establishments that may be looking for bartenders.

This step is SUPER important and is one that can be a real game changer when it comes to finding a bartending position.

Walking into bars and asking the staff if they are currently looking for bartenders and if you can leave your CV with them for any future positions shows that you are dedicated to finding work and have the confidence to look for it.

is it hard to find bartending work
Photo by Michael Burrows

I’ve found MANY bartending jobs this way, especially whilst traveling through new cities as it’s also a great way for the bar to immediately put a face to the CV which will give them a first impression.

Be sure that when you enter the establishments you are dressed in smart casual attire and look presentable.

Repeat until successful

Now that you’ve crafted your CV, signed up for job boards, and physically handed out your CV to bars and establishments in your area, you’re well on your way to finding a bartending role.

This is where patience and persistence come in as it may take some time before you hear back from bars, especially if they are not hiring currently or you lack experience.

Continue to search online job boards and identify new businesses that may require a bartender to work for them.

Don’t give up if you don’t hear anything back in the first few weeks. Stick with it, and if you don’t hear back for a while, revisit your CV and tweak/optimize it where you can.

It’s also a great idea to speak with a friend or family member who may already work as a bartender to ask them to look over your CV before you begin handing it out.

>> Read more: Bartending part-time: everything you need to know

Final Thoughts

So, is it hard to get a bartending job? No, so long as you have the right attitude for success and live in an area with jobs available, there is no reason why you cannot find a role.

Of course, it’s going to be more challenging for those who lack any work experience at all, but this just means you’ll need to be more patient and put more work into finding a role.

Bars are always on the lookout for keen staff, so be creative with finding a new role and be willing to search for some time before you hear back from employers.

Remember, hiring managers are looking for personality more than experience. Show them that you can speak to people confidently and are capable of knuckling down when needed.

Best of luck with your job search and know that it’s possible for anyone to get into bartending.

I believe in you!

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