How to Get a Job as a Barista

Does the smell of coffee wake you up in the morning? Do you know the difference between a macchiato and a piccolo? Do you believe that you’re quite the coffee connoisseur and like mixing with people who know their lattes from their flat whites?

Then a job as a Barista might be the perfect one for you.   

Getting a job can be a challenge, (we know!) so we want to help you by giving you the inside running into what employers are looking for and how you can put your best foot forward to get a job as a Barista.

How to get a Job as a Barista

With the services sector in growth, there is currently high demand for good Baristas.  

The path to this job:

You can get a job as a Barista in one of three ways – either walking into a cafe and applying over the counter or responding to a job ad or online ad, or applying through a company’s career page on their website or expressing interest to be on their Future Talent Team through JobGetter.

A Barista is typically an entry level role or one you can move into from a previous retail job.

Can I get this job with no experience in retail?

You can get a job as a Barista relatively easily, in fact for many, a Barista job can be their first step on the job ladder. It doesn’t however, mean you need no experience with coffee. You definitely need to know one coffee from another.  

Coffee is so much more than white or black these days – we’re a cafe society and you’ll need to know that a latte and a cappuccino, while both are coffees with milk, they are totally different things.  

To do this, you can undertake a Barista course – they’re usually about a day in length and you’ll learn how to use a coffee machine as well as a bit of fancy latte art (the patterns in milk on the top of your coffee). You might also want to watch some videos on YouTube about the best way to make coffees, the different varieties and some clever tricks to really hone your skills.

You might start as a Cafe All Rounder or Wait Staff or Sandwich hand but you’ll more than likely need to undertake a Barista course before you can land the Barista’s job.

A Barista is typically an entry level role or one you can move into from a previous cafe or hospitality job. It’s not absolutely necessary that you’ve had previous experience, although some employers do look for either hospitality experience or other job experience.

If you don’t have experience in a job, you might want to look at doing some volunteer work to put on your resume as it will be looked upon favourably. Find out more about how volunteering can help here

Job Perks

You’ll get to drink a lot of coffee! You may also be able to work a variety of shifts or hours, depending on where you work. There’s also the benefit of flexible hours so a jobs as a Barista can be ideal if you’re looking to work around study or family commitments, or if you’re travelling.

What employers look for:

When applying for a job as a Barista, employers are looking for 5 key things:

  1. The way you interact with people and to be friendly and warm
  2. Your ability to work under pressure
  3. Your attention to detail
  4. Your ability to be punctual and reliable
  5. Your ability to work as part of a close team

It’s really important, then, that you include all of these details in your JobGetter profile and resume or CV.

We highly suggest that you state specific tasks when you outline any previous roles that might be connected to the job role of a Barista e.g. your ability to serve customers in a cheerful and happy way or the responsibility you had to deliver something quickly and accurately.

We recommend that, for any previous role or volunteer work you’ve done, you outline demonstrated capability, that is, what you’ve actually done, and achievements in as many of these areas as possible. For example, rather than saying you have experience, outline what you did on a typical day that shows that experience.

Skills you should have in your JobGetter Profile and CV

Being able to demonstrate the following skills/abilities will really help you increase your chances of progressing your Barista career:

  • Great communication and interpersonal skills
  • A warm and friendly personality
  • Attention to detail
  • Punctual and reliable
  • The ability to work in a fast paced environment
  • The ability to work as part of a team
  • Well presented, clean and tidy
  • An understanding of various types of coffee and how to make them
  • Experience with coffee machines
  • Latte art
  • Languages you speak (including English) – also include the level e.g. fluent, conversational, basic

And, if they apply:

  • Knowledge and expertise of specific coffee equipment or products
  • Computer literacy including basic IT skills
  • Understanding of stock and inventory
  • Ability to deal with different types of people
  • Cultural sensitivity and awareness
  • Well presented and well spoken
  • Outgoing, friendly and personable
  • Retail, job or volunteering experience (if any)
  • Languages you speak (including English) – also include the level e.g. fluent, conversational, basic

Qualifications

A basic Barista course is really all you need although, if you’re interested in working in a hotel or high end bar or coffee shop, you make want to do an Advanced Barista course. If you work in an environment where you’ll also be handling food, then a Food Handling Certificate might also count – but it’s typically not needed.

If, however, you are working in an establishment that serves alcohol, you might also need a Responsible Services or Alcohol (RSA) Certificate. Again, this is a one day course that may local training companies offer.

What’s the Career Path for a Barista?

Working in the hospitality industry can be fun and is often very busy. Typically you might start in a smaller coffee shop but you can work your way to up to larger or more prestigious employers or into Cafe Manager or Hospitality Manager roles.

Next Steps:

Here’s how to best find a job as a Barista.

Go here to join the Job Networks and express you interest in working for for some great retail brands who are looking for fantastic retail staff.  

You should also review your existing CV to make sure it speaks directly to the person who is hiring. Have a look here for how to nail your resume as the first step to getting HIRED!

We’ve also got some tips to making sure you stand out. Here are 5 creative ways to get noticed by your brand of choice.

Lastly, we know that looking for a job isn’t the most rewarding experience, so here are some tips to effectively manage the various stages of a job application or visit our career advice and job hunting tips pages for more interesting hints. 

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