Getting your first bartending job.

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Comments (7)

eagles75 in atco, New Jersey

64 months ago

I am having a tought time getting my foot in the door has a bartender. I feel like all the interview and people have have talked to went well. I have traing has a bartender and my TIPS cert, just cant get my foot in the door. Anybody have any good suggestions.

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Vera in Ohio in Columbus, Ohio

64 months ago

same problem

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AB in Pompano Beach, Florida

53 months ago

If you're a very attractive female, take pb's advice.

If you're a male, you need to realize that graduating from bartending school in no way qualifies you to get behind the bar at a top notch establishment. Being a great bartender is about way more than just pouring drinks, there are so many intangibles that go along with it. And chances are, unless your a very attractive female, nobody is going to want to hire you right off the bat as a bartender. As a guy, unless you get lucky, there is really only one way to get where you want to be; start at the bottom and work your way up. Find a bar / club that has great bartenders, do whatever you need to to get in the door, and work your ass off. If you put the effort in, you will learn way more as bar-back than you ever did in bartending school. And remember, keep an open mind. Nobody likes training somebody that thinks they know everything already.

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Oz Man in Tampa, Florida

49 months ago

Great advice from both of you. Is the best way to start as a bar back to start knocking on doors or on line?

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Intoxicologist in Buffalo, New York

49 months ago

Good Advice from pb and AB. May I also add...

Before walking into an establishment, you must realize that in their 'off-hours,' owners/managers are inundated with requests for face-time by everyone, from wait staff to wine&liquor salespeople. Be respectful of that person's time, and do everything you can to stay memorable in that person's mind after you have left.

Think about what makes you special as an applicant, and what you can bring to the table, and sum it up in a few sentences. Think of yourself as a salesperson and you are selling yourself. Owner/managers don't want to hear about how you've always wanted to mix drinks, entertain people, etc. They want to know how you will save them time/money/bring in business/ make their life easier. Make sure your personal sales pitch focuses on what you can do for THEM, not how this job would make YOU happy.

Use your computer, or hire Kinkos, to create an EYE-CATCHING one page 'resume' with your name, address and cell phone at the top, and a bulleted list (lists are easier to quickly scan, than a wall of paragraphed text) then add some personal information that is relevant to bartending/barbacking. Without experience - give some illustrations/ examples/habits that show you are honest/responsible/a hard worker.
Be truthful. Embellish, but never lie.
Staple a business card to your on-page resume. The card may go in someone's pocket even if the resume gets folded in half and misplaced somewhere.

Don't expect people to call you back. You will be calling them. And again. And again. Until you get a 'no.' Be polite & persistent, but never pushy.
You are your best advocate.

The least attractive attribute of a prospective/new employee is a 'know-it-all' attitude.

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wayne in nyc in Hyattsville, Maryland

37 months ago

how do you get a job as a barback though?

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griff021 in Hollis, New Hampshire

29 months ago

Pretty much just ask at bars if they need any bar backs. a lot of times they will.

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