The Barista Diaries: Building your resume by working as a barista

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Pictured is a man behind a coffee counter pressing down on a machine. Working as a coffee barista could help strengthen many skills, including problem-solving, teamwork, and customer service. Photo credit to cottonbro

In need of a resume addition that doesn’t take up too much of your time as a busy college student? Working as a barista strengthens your customer service and problem solving skills, and provides access to discounted coffee. Coffee shops are always in need of baristas, whether it be a chain company such as Starbucks or a local business. Here are a few reasons why potential employers love to see barista experience included on a resume:  

Organizational skills 

When you work in a chaotic environment where customers are filtering in and out all day, you have no choice but to keep your workspace organized. Cleaning up after spills or garbage is one of the top priorities a barista must consider to ensure cleanliness and customer satisfaction. Crafting multiple drinks at a time means that all of your milks, syrups and cups must be properly lined up to send customers out the door.  

Independence 

During those peak coffee run times in the morning and afternoon, each employee has their own task to complete. This means that if you call for backup with helping customers or steaming lattes, you may not always get the immediate help you need. Learning to juggle multiple tasks at once is a reality in the world of adulting, so learning this skill early on is a plus for potential employers.  

Friendliness and customer service 

Let’s face it: coffee shops are a top target for “Karens” to complain about their order or belittle service workers. No matter where you work, there are always going to be customers who have complaints. If you want to be professional and thrive in your dream job, you have to understand that complaints are a part of every job. Practicing patience and kindness are two of the main values at coffee shops so that every customer leaves with a smile on their face. If you have barista experience on your resume, employers will immediately recognize that you have what it takes to be kind to the most demanding customers.  

Teamwork and communication skills 

Although I mentioned that you will spend a lot of time as a barista learning to independently complete your tasks, you also adapt teamwork skills by working in such a small space. Having a good camaraderie with your fellow coworkers promotes a lighthearted vibe for customers to experience. You must communicate with your coworkers in order to keep the flow of customers at a good pace and to avoid any accidents of bumping into one another. The ability to collaborate with a group of people in a stressful setting shows employers that your teamwork skills are up to par. 

Willingness to learn  

Starting my barista position at Starbucks almost two years ago seemed impossible because I knew absolutely nothing about coffee at the time. However, I took that leap of faith and got right to learning. As a barista, you develop a skill set that goes beyond just making coffee. You also learn how to operate and clean espresso machines, making cold brew from scratch and managing a cash register. Making coffee is not the end goal for anyone, but all of the skills you inherit in the position will set you up to attain your dream job in the future. We all have to start somewhere, and being a barista is a great way to climb the career ladder.  

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