Business Category Business: career motivation and tips to move ahead

How to Apply for a Bar Job

A bar job boasts flexible hours, a social atmosphere and a fast-paced workplace. Most bars offer competitive hourly compensation and the opportunity to subsidise that salary with money earned from tips.

Once you have gained experience in a bar, you can find similar employment anywhere in the world. There are, however, restrictions and requirements that you must meet to apply for a bar job.

Select the type of bar job that suits you, as the food and beverage industry is diverse. There are rowdy sports bars, expensive lounges, small local pubs, nightclubs and many other niche bars. Each environment is different. Some bars are high volume establishments, while others can be extremely laid-back. Upscale bars often require you to have professional training, while others might hire you with no experience.

Research the legal requirements to serve alcohol in your home state or province. Many areas have legal requirements you must meet before working in a bar. You may be required to be the age of majority or older to serve or pour alcohol. You may also have to earn a certificate that qualifies you to responsibly serve alcohol.

Obtain your appropriate certification. To serve alcohol in a bar, you will need to be trained on how to do so responsibly. Most states and provinces offer courses at community colleges and continuing education institutions to formally certify you to serve alcohol. Some bars will require that you complete a postsecondary bartending course, which can be found at various colleges.

Prepare and submit your resume. Once you have researched the type of bar you are applying to and have earned your certification to legally serve alcohol in your home state or province, you must prepare your resume to reflect your training and the job you seek. Prepare a cover letter briefly outlining your experience, qualifications and appropriate skills. If possible, submit the resume in person to the manager responsible for hiring new employees.

Follow up with the bar you applied to. After you have submitted your resume, it is important to follow up with the individual with whom you left your resume. Contact them to answer any questions they might have regarding your experience, training and skills. The goal is to arrange an in-person interview.


Some bars have open interview hours designated for candidates seeking employment. Call the bar you wish to apply to and ask if there are specific times or days that are more convenient for receiving applications.


Do not enter a bar during peak volume hours, such as weekend evenings, to follow up on a job application.

Things Needed

  • Current resume