Barista Skills for Resumes and Interviews

male barista working in coffee shop
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Are you eager to get some job experience within an upbeat work setting? Thanks to the national craze for specialty coffee prompted by Starbucks and other coffee sellers, there are now dozens of coffee shops and drive-through espresso bars in every town in America, and they are always looking for talented and cheerful baristas.

If you can get hired by Starbucks, for example, you’ll be entitled to some sweet perks while the coffee percolates.

The company currently offers customized benefits packages, a stock program, generous college tuition support, and employee discounts. To work as a barista, you need solid customer service skills and the ability to work independently as well as with a team in a fast-paced environment. Loving the smell of fresh coffee doesn't hurt either!

Barista Job Responsibilities

Typical barista duties with a small, independent coffee shop or a large retail chain might include:

  • Preparing to open the store
  • Taking orders and ringing up payment
  • Grinding coffee beans
  • Preparing and serving light food and snacks
  • Cleaning work areas, coffee machines, and equipment
  • Creating stock displays
  • Keeping track of inventory and placing new orders
  • Preparing the store to close

On-the-job training may include learning things like:

  • The origins and flavors of coffee to best answer customers' questions
  • How to use and clean a coffee bean grinder and espresso machine
  • How to add foam and texture to milk
  • Adding artistic designs to the top of a latte
  • Knowledge of sourcing, roasting, extraction, milk temperatures, and different brewing methods
  • How to prepare specialty coffee and tea drinks

Advanced training teaches a barista to understand:

  • The coffee production process, from growth till the time it's poured into the cup, along with the ways in which the entire process affects the final beverage
  • Characteristics of different types of coffee
  • The roasting process, roast type, caffeine, and Swiss Water decaffeination
  • The characteristics of Fair Trade and Rain Forest Alliance coffees
  • The dimensions of coffees grown in different regions
  • How to create a drink for a customer based on his individual preferences

Barista Core Abilities and Attributes

  • An extroverted and vivacious personality
  • Top notch customer service skills
  • Ability to work well under pressure with high customer traffic
  • Taking initiative and working well independently
  • Attention and an eye for detail
  • Flexible and works well with a team
  • Knowledge of health, safety, and hygiene in the retail food production environment
  • Ability to multitask, juggling jobs such as taking orders, making drinks, ringing up customers, and answering product questions

Barista Skills List

Here's a comprehensive list of barista skills for resumes, cover letters, job applications, and interviews. You’ll notice that many of these keywords can be found in job advertisements for baristas. You should try to echo as many of the keywords listed in a job posting as possible in your resume and cover letter, since many employers use automated parsing systems to review potential candidates’ job applications.

These systems are programmed to seek out these words, and so the more you include, the higher your resume will be ranked. Required skills will vary based on the job for which you're applying, so also review our list of skills listed by job and type of skill.

Personal Attributes

  • Approachable
  • Attention to Detail
  • Dependable
  • Efficiency
  • Enthusiasm
  • Flexible
  • Hands On
  • High Level of Accuracy
  • Friendly
  • Follow Instructions
  • Informative 
  • Multi-tasking
  • Personable
  • Politeness
  • Positive Attitude
  • Professional
  • Punctual
  • Reliable
  • Team Player
  • Timeliness

Product Skills

  • Cappuccinos
  • Cashiering
  • Cash Handling
  • Cleanliness
  • Coffee
  • Coffee Beans
  • Coffee Blends
  • Coffee Grinding
  • Coffee History
  • Coffee Making
  • Coffee Production
  • Coffee Tasting
  • Espresso Blends
  • Espresso Machines
  • Espresso Techniques
  • Food Service
  • Health and Safety Codes
  • Inventory
  • Juice Bar Drinks
  • Latte Art
  • Lattes
  • Specialty Coffee Drinks
  • Tea
  • Tea Blends

Interpersonal/Sales Skills

  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Credit Cards
  • Customer Assistance
  • Customer Service
  • Display Building
  • Greeting Customers
  • Making Change
  • Managing Cash Drawers
  • Math
  • Money Handling
  • Monetary Transactions
  • Order Supplies
  • Ordering
  • Organization
  • Point of Sale Systems (POS)
  • Pricing
  • Sales
  • Sales Analysis
  • Transactions
  • Vendor Relations
  • Verbal Communication
  • Written Communication

Read More: Barista Interview Questions

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