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Some tips on getting a bar job

Well the clues in the title, on a working holiday it stands to reason that at some point you are going to need to work. So what kind of job suites you the most? What about a working holiday job where you can lie by a beach all day long, meet loads of like minded people and get a little tipsy on a night, whilst saving money. Sounds like a dream doesn’t it?! Well it’s the perfect job for the off the plane, fresh faced foreigner like you! It’s bar work that you need. It doesn’t matter if you cant make a perfect Manhattan or pull the perfect Scuna (don’t worry this is an Australian unit of measurement, not a large man eating spider or any other creature that as been crawling around your head). All that matters is that you are willing to have fun, work hard and that you have a Responsible Service of Alcohol Certificate.


Here is a post taken straight from The Melbourne Bartenders Exchange, I think it pinpoints exactly what Australian venue managers are looking for. (TMBE is a Facebook group that you can all join, it has all the news and goings on within the boozy community of Melbourne, they also post jobs from time to time…)


Applicants should have the following, in order of importance…

a) Good work ethic and a big warm, friendly, fun yet professional personality. but without the ego please.
b) Not only unafraid of hard work, but eager for it.
c) Creativity and a drive to learn and explore new things in regards to all things boozy.
d) A team player who will regardless of situation have your workmates backs and know that they have yours too. 0 tolerance for laziness, whiners, shit stirrers, back chatters or angry bartenders… yes i know its hard to believe for some but you actually have to LIKE people to be good at hospitality.
e) important but less so than all of the above, a solid understanding of efficient bar service and a moderate to advanced knowledge and palate for cocktails/spirits/beer/wine. But this can be taught… a,b,c and d cannot.

See, you don’t have to know anything! You just have to be nice, NB if you aren’t then we cant help you you can only help yourself…

 Lets presume that you have flown into Sydney or Melbourne to start your journey, here’s a list of areas within these two fine cities where you should start looking for that first elusive job:


  • St. Kilda, The backpackers beach! Excellent place to meet all your fellow working holiday visa holders to earn your first dollars whilst watching people do the exact same sunbathing you want to do.
  • Chapel Street, The gateway to the city. Busy weekend place, plenty of tips from those who will spend their last dollars as long as they look good in front of their friends.
  • Church Street Richmond. Richmond is getting better and better, head up to here if you don’t like things too busy but want to feel the boozy vibe.
  • CBD, Some of the best cocktail bars in Australia are right here and there is so many of them. take about 60 CV’s for an afternoons stroll around the city.
  • King Street (city), Strip clubs equals big money tips… even for bartenders.
  • Sydney Rd. Brunswick, Slightly out of the way but well worth the trek, an arrangement of cocktail bars to more down tempo pubs.



  • Bondi Beach, Iconic and great for a booze up.
  • Coogee Beach, the up and coming Bondi
  • CBD, Same as Melbourne, you will find plenty of opportunities to get your skills tweaked.
  • Kings Cross
  • The Promenade
  • Darling Harbour


Approaching bars in Australia and how you approach them is very important to your success in landing a job. Australians are very big on personal contact. Phone calls and face to face meetings with management are a must compared to emailing your CV. Bar job availability is based on timing. you could be perfect for a role and hand your CV in when they have a full team, two weeks later their full timer could leave but it doesn’t guarantee that they will sift through past CV’s and pick you. Its all about volume, hand your CV into as many places as you can and i guarantee that one of them will need you, all you need is a great big smile and a to not look like you just crawled out of the gutter.

NB: I saw a CV that was written on a napkin in crayon and was just full of jokes, they were called and offered a job before they made it on to the tram to get home. Take a look at the place you want to work, if you can be fun with your CV then do it. A bar by its nature doesn’t hire boring people.


Please comment if you were successful and share your stories with us. or is you are having trouble you can ask me any questions you wish below and i’ll get back to you.


Enjoy!!!! You’re on (a working) holiday



joel mitchell /

25 Yr old male from Britannia! Making his way across the world, seeing sights and making memories but most importantly working as he goes. Join in with as many comments about your adventures too...

One Response to “How to Get Work on a Working Holiday”

  1. You Have A Visa, What's Next? | Working Holiday Jobs

    […] digs. Firstly, don’t worry, that’s what we are here for. Have a look at my next post on Tips For Getting a Bar Job, which shows you how to get a basic bar/waitress job within the first weekend of landing down in […]


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