The Necessary Next Steps to Job Hunting
Congratulations! Anyone can mix a cocktail by following recipes. We want you to be more than that. We know it’s a tough class. We really want to ensure you know the essentials for when you get behind the bar. With some extra effort, you understand the cocktails and more about each spirit… which is really what makes a fantastic bartender.
As a next step in your research, we like to encourage students to park themselves at the bar in any pub and learn more of what goes on by sipping a cocktail and observing. Even ordering a coffee, and watching what happens behind the bar is great because now you can see what bartenders do well, and what mistakes they make. There are a lot of bad bartenders out there. Lots of good ones too, just with bad habits. Now you should recognize what some of those habits are.
- Study the cocktail menu, and make sure you know those drinks
- Observe how the staff interact with each other
- Note their work ‘uniform’
- Ask when a hiring manager is in
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MEET A MANAGER WHEN THE PLACE IS BUSY! We can’t stress this enough. You could be the ideal candidate for the job but if you have no sense of when a good time to chat about employment options is… your resume will end up in the garbage. Proper scouting of a place will help with that.
Responsible Serving (Serving It Right)
You need your responsible serving certificate. In BC, we use Serving It Right. The program is administered by the government and anyone that sells alcohol, in any capacity, needs to have this certification. This is an online program that should take 2-3 hours and does have a multiple choice test at the end of it. It’s $35 and you have a couple attempts at successfully completing the test. Many people in the hospitality industry already have Serving It Right and now need to renew their certification every 5 years.
Employers like eager and trainable people
We constantly say that there are many jobs out there for bartenders. Managers are busy, especially if short-staffed. They don’t have time to post each job online. Be sure to have that one page resume printed and ready to hand out. Restaurants really need help
- dress as if you are ready to work that day
- introduce yourself and shake hands
- hand over a resume
- indicate availability
- repeat the following week
Catering and Event Bartending companies are regularly needing staff, especially for seasonal and summer events. Events might be irregular in schedule, but are great opportunities to network with other staff working throughout the city. Those staff will be in the know of any openings at their regular jobs… and networking is key in this industry. By coming through Fine Art… you already now have a few contacts with your fellow students, the instructor… and now some catering contacts like those below.
- Chris at Lavish Liquid in Vancouver ([email protected])
- Trish at Ever After Event Bartending in Langley ([email protected])
- Tera at Mad Hatter Bartending in Langley ([email protected])
You can also fine the above contacts on Instagram. Follow and message them directly. We have had many recent Fine Art grads get started with these local event bartending companies. It’s a great way to get a little experience, make some money and start building your contacts list. If bartending is just a part time thing for you, Event Bartending is the way to go. Send them all an email today!
We have a pile of resume writing tips to have your resume stand out. Each hiring manager will be looking for something different though. Chemistry is key for that first interaction. If you don’t get to meet that manager in person, then your resume needs to speak for you.
Make your work history relatable. Every job, club or organization you have been a part of has something relatable to what happens behind the bar. Tease out any customer service aspects. Stress your reliability to always show up on time. Organization and cleanliness are key.
Highlight relatable training too. Serving it Right is essential. WSET Certification? Do you have First Aid? Security training? Food safety? Barista training? Cooking classes?These other bits of training are not essential, but do indicate your desire to learn. Sometimes a manager might want FoodSafe for all staff. If you have it, then it’s one more thing in your favour.
Persistence will win you that job
Don’t get discouraged. There is a place for everyone out there that wants work behind the bar. Yes, we do get occasional calls and emails from managers that are looking for people. When we can send great graduates their way… they come back to us again and again.
Mason and Tom are now the key bartenders at the Wedgewood Hotel and they finished the classes just a few months ago… no experience before they started the classes and now they make great cash. Harry just landed a job as a bartender at Burgoo! Be sure to send us a picture of you behind the bar too, so we can showcase you as a recent success story!