Job Searching Resume Examples

The Ins and Outs of Building a Resume From a Bar Manager Job Description

Diane Caimares

Resume writer, Career Coach, and Business Owner


Many people turn their noses up at bartending jobs, as they do for most jobs in the food service industry. Little do they know, bartenders possess a lot of unique skills. Even though these jobs can require little to no education, bartenders must go through extensive training or schooling. Additionally, the demand for these jobs is extremely high, and the career growth opportunities often bring bartenders into management positions after years of experience.

So as many excel in their bartending job, the next step would be to try for a position in management. Taking the next step means researching the position and making the commitment to go for it. Then comes the resume, which is arguably one of the hardest parts of job searching. Why? Because your resume could be the difference between getting an interview or not.

So in this article, we have done a little research into the life of a bar manager. Then we will show you the ins and outs to writing a bar manager resume.

The Life of a Bar Manager

bar manager pouring drinks at his job, though it is only a small part of a bar manager job description

The bar manager is basically the head of operations at the bar. As a manager, the duties go beyond making drinks and keeping customers happy. Now there are business aspects added to the duties added to the bar manager job description to make sure the bar keeps running. This includes keeping a current liquor license, negotiating supplier contracts, managing budgets, and managing inventory. On top of that, bar managers must manage their staff, as well as hire and train new staff.

A Bar Manager’s Best Qualities

         When researching skills, qualities, education, and other components for the Bar manager job description, this tool helps provides a chart of management skills at different levels. It was created by Dr. Kammy Haynes. In addition to earning a Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, she is also the CEO of her own management consulting company. 

From the first impression of the pyramid, you can see that preparing for a career in management takes time, effort, and development. Only after conquering each level of the pyramid will you be ready for the next level. This is because each of the skills listed in the previous level help to build on skills in the next level.

Similar Job Titles to Bar Manager 

When applying for a bar manager position, becoming aware of general job titles will help broaden your search. Remember to do your homework when searching for jobs within the field. So when job searching, don’t limit yourself to just ‘Bar Manager’. Instead, try titles such as:

  • Bar Manager 
  • Assistant Bar Manager 
  • Restaurant Manager
  • Front of House Manager 
  • House Manager 

Salary

A Bar Manager’s average salary is approximately $51,486 per year in the United States. Salary for this position can be dependent on experience, gender, company size, and ultimately location. According to Comparably, the top five highest paying cities are:

Common Bar Manager Resume Mistakes

Now that you have taken a brief look at a bar manager job description, a bar manager’s qualities, and salary, it is time to perfect your resume. Before we begin with creating a template, let’s first look at some common mistakes to avoid.

A Poor Resume Summary

Many might say that putting a job summary is unnecessary. Others may say that you need it, but it is the least important aspect of your resume. However, adding a quality summary to your bar manager resume captures the attention of recruiters or employers right off the bat. Though it is only 3-4 sentences, the job summary should include any relevant skills, attributes, accomplishments, and qualities that are unique to you. It is your first impression, and sometimes it determines whether the hiring manager will read the rest of your resume.

Poor Formatting

This is the quickest way to discourage hiring managers from reading your resume. You also risk getting your resume thrown out by an ATS if it is not properly formatted. To ensure perfect formatting, you should create an initial template with large headers, the proper font and font size, and a lot of white space. Additionally, your resume should not be longer than 1-2 pages.

Exaggerating the Truth

Though this may get you to a round of interviews, the hiring manager will see right through your charade in the interview. Not only will this keep you from getting the job, but it can earn you a very bad reputation very quickly. Yes, you want to do a good job of selling yourself, but you should know where to draw the line. Be sure to be honest in your achievements, accomplishments, and skills.

Unrelated Work Experience/Skills

This is one of the most detrimental mistakes you could make when creating a resume. Why? Because you could put hours into formatting, proofreading, and gathering your professional experience only to never get a call back. The first step to avoiding this is to really do a deep-dive into your skillset and what you bring to the table.

Then you’ll want to analyze job descriptions for keywords. Using keywords increases your chances of being seen from a pile of other bar manager resumes. Many recruiters or employers use keywords to narrow their search and find candidates that fit what they are looking for in an individual. These keywords should be included in your work experiences, any projects, or education. Include keywords that you genuinely have experience with. 

Not Proofreading

Not proofreading your resume gives the impression that you are unorganized, not good at planning, and you don’t pay attention to details. Proofreading doesn’t always mean that you have to do it. You can ask a buddy to put a fresh set of eyes on it, or you can run it through a spell and grammar check, like Grammarly.

Building a Template

Having a bar manager resume template or a bar manager resume sample for yourself will make applying to jobs that much quicker and easier. You can build your own template, or you can find one on the internet to download. At the end of the day, all templates must have the same things in order to be efficient and helpful. There are different ways a template can be organized, but it should include at least 6 sections to create a complete resume.

  • Contact Information and links (social media links, digital portfolios, etc.)
  • Resume summary
  • Education
  • Professional work experience
  • Skills
  • One additional section: Hobbies/Interests/Awards/Achievements

As mentioned previously, you should ensure your template has large headers, uses the correct font and font size, and has enough white space to make it clean and legible.

Filling in Your Resume Template

Different parts of the job searching process including fitting your resume to a bar manager job description

Now that you have learned some common mistakes, and you have created your template, it is time to fill it in. The number one thing to remember when filling in your template is to modify it based on the job you are applying for. This bar manager resume sample you are creating is just that….a sample. We call it a sample because very rarely will you be able to use the same resume more than once or twice. You will need to tweak it a little bit each time you apply for a job.

Contact Information

This is probably the easiest section of your resume to write. All you need to do is list your name, phone number, your professional email, and any relevant links that provide further insight into your professional career.

It would look a little something like this.

Carter Williams
Phone: 228-973-0298
Email: Carter.Williams@gmail.com
[LinkedIn Profile]
[Digital Portfolio]

Resume Summary

As mentioned earlier, your resume summary is the gateway to the rest of your resume. This is where you engage the hiring manager in 3-4 sentences. You should include information about your previous positions, accomplishments, and skills. Make sure the information is relevant and shows how you could be of benefit to the company.

Here is an example from Zety:

Dynamic manager of local bar and lounge with 5+ years experience (plus another 3 years in restaurant supervision). Seeking to leverage knowledge of busy bar management, FoH and BoH leadership, New York City health code laws, and Irish, Scottish, and English beverages and 25% increase in bar patronage to grow alongside Finnegan Fitzgerald’s as the new bar manager.

Education

First things first. Make sure to look over their requirements to see what type of education they require or prefer. On one hand, many job descriptions don’t list education requirements. This is because some companies in the industry are beginning to place a higher priority on experience and skill. On the other hand, it is possible that a job description will require at least a high school or GED diploma. In rare cases, you could have some employers that prefer an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

So when writing your education on your bar manager resume, you will need to include your highest level of education. If that is a college degree, then include your major/minor, the school’s name, the location, and the year you graduated (if not the anticipated date). If it is a high school diploma or GED, then just include your school name, the location, and the date you graduated. You should also include any relevant certifications or diplomas.

College Education Resume Example:

BS Management in Hospitality
Graduation - 2014
Liberty University
Lynchburg, Virginia 

Relevant Certification: Hospitality Skill Certification, Food Safety Manager Certification, Bartender Certification 

High school or GED Resume Example:

GED 
Graduated - 2014
Langely High School
Atlanta, Georgia

Relevant Certification: Hospitality Skill Certification, Food Safety Manager Certification, Bartender Certification 

Bar Manager Professional Experience

Up next is the professional experience section. As you list your previous bar manager job descriptions, realize that this is a marketing document. The real purpose of this part is to sell yourself to potential employers. To do that, you should include real, measurable figures to showcase what you accomplished in your tasks in previous positions.

We have looked at similar job titles, so don’t stress if the job titles you want to mention aren’t exactly the same as the job title listed in the ad. The most important thing is to show that the day-to-day tasks and skills they are asking you to perform are skills that you have done before and are experienced in. Often you would include these (or similar) tasks in your bar manager job description:

  • Hiring, training staff, creating and enforcing rules.
  • Ensuring compliance with health codes.
  • Promoting brand image and maintaining inventory. 
  • They are also in charge of the bar’s budget. 
  • Handling inventory and ordering materials such as food, drinks, ice, glassware, and cleaning supplies.
  • Collaborating with cooks to order food for the restaurant or bar.
  • The bar manager job description might be involved in coaching, counseling, and disciplining employees .

Formatting for this section is very simple. Just make sure your work experience is in reverse chronological order so ensure your most recent accomplishments are highlighted. Additionally be sure to use bullet points or dashes to list your tasks.

Here is a Zety Example:

Lounge & Bar Manager
January 2014–April 2019
The Jolly Judy Dempsey, Brooklyn, NY

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities
- Built a personable and professional hospitality team and ensured staff were well-trained and consistently supported.
- Led bartender and barback recruitment, training, development, and managing of performance evaluations, employee relations, and benefits.
- Altered bar menu and associated snack menu depending on season, holiday, and vendor promotions.
- Monitored customer data to make actionable decisions based on bar traffic and demographics.
- Maintained professional appearance, time management skills, strong communication (written, verbal, and listening), and positive attitude.

Key Achievements
Increased weekday bar patronage by 65% with new marketing and promotions overhaul.

Skills

For the skills section, you should include 5-10 relevant skills. A relevant skill is a skill that is either listed in the job description or is necessary to complete day-to-day tasks. Examples of important skills for bar manager resumes usually fall under three categories: communication, management, and customer service.

Communication

  • Written and Verbal: Bar managers need excellent verbal and written communication skills to handle difficult situations with customer service reps and co-workers alike.
  • Conflict Resolution: As with any service job, bar managers should be able to deescalate chaotic situations. These situations could arise at a moment through customer-customer, customer-employee, or employee-employee interactions. It is the bar manager’s job to anticipate problems and communicate efficiently enough to solve them.

Management

  • Motivation: Bar managers must be able to motivate their team to succeed at their job.
  • Leadership: Bar managers must be influential leaders who can inspire others through effective communication, motivation, encouragement, and delegation skills.
  • Organization: Bar managers must be organized and detail-oriented. 
  • Advertising & Marketing: This entails using various marketing strategies to advertise the establishment to potential customers.
  • Brand Awareness: This entails building awareness for the establishment’s brand identity and products through various platforms like social media, print media, word-of-mouth publicity, /etc.

Customer Service

General Customer Service: This entails providing excellent customer service by resolving any complaints or issues customers may have related to orders or services rendered by the establishment.

Other skills that would look good on a bar manager resume are: 

  • Memory
  • Mixology and Preparation
  • Teamwork
  • Friendliness
  • Composure
  • Creativity
  • Consistency
  • Efficiency
  • Creative Thinking 
  • Collaboration and Teamwork 
  • Decision Making 
  • Adaptability

Pro Tip: Keep in mind that the skills section is not the only place you display your skills. Be sure to give evidence of these skills in your bar manager job description when you list your previous work experience.

Interview Questions 

Many ask “When is the best time to practice for an interview?” Well, the best time to practice isn’t when you get offered the interview. It is while you are sending off your resumes. You should always be practicing answers to general interview questions, as well as situational interview questions that may be specific to your industry.

Here are a few to get you started.

  • What is your management style? 
  • How do you handle conflict in a bar/pub? 
  • May I ask you to list the ingredients for a drink?
  • When hiring for a bartender, what three qualities would you search for in an individual? Why? 
  • How would you handle a situation where you….?

Conclusion

For many people, this will be the first time that they have ever been in charge of a bar or restaurant, and that is okay. The important thing is to show your potential for success by avoiding common resume mistakes, marketing yourself, and tailoring your resume to the job description.

Your bar manager resume is the first impression you will make on the employer, so make it count!

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