3 Ways to Get a Job as a Barista with No Experience
If– like I was– you’re looking to become a barista but don’t have experience, check out my first post on this three-part series entitled “Becoming A Barista with No Experience,” starting with five key traits needed and looked for in a barista — for a glance on the attitude and mindset that will be very helpful in getting a job at a coffee shop! Based on researching articles and job postings, these are traits employers are looking for over and over again. If they match you, it’s a sign you may be a good fit, which means you’ll enjoy your job and the company, and customers will enjoy you too! If not, and you realistically don’t see yourself being that way, you probably won’t be a good fit and will just feel stressed and out of place.
If these traits match you and you’re committed to becoming a barista, here are some ways I started pursuing to get hired at a coffee shop. Try them out and let me know how it works out- or if other ways worked for you—by sharing below in the comments!
3 Ways to Get a Job at a Coffee Shop
I know it’s a bummer for you shy or introverted people out there, but in many industries it’s not about what you know, but who you know. However, there are many ways you can network by being genuine, and not feeling you need to meet people just because you might benefit from them in the future (keep it real!):
- Start by talking to baristas or the owner of your favorite coffee shops
Get to know them, or give them a chance to know you a little bit. Who knows, they might be hiring, looking to hire soon, or if they decide to, they’ll know you’re interested. Knowing you a bit more than a random person may make them more comfortable in hiring a familiar face instead!
- Ask your friends and family
I actually know two or three baristas in my circle of friends, and they were really sweet on sharing how they got hired and stepped into the industry. One had offered me a position where she worked (it was just a bit too far!), and another was gracious in helping me get hired where she worked by giving me an application and a recommendation (they wanted someone with experience though!)You never know what direction a simple conversation can go, and friends genuinely want to help you out—you’d do the same right? You may be surprised about who you know– you may know someone who knows someone who’s hiring. Also, employers would rather hire someone recommended; a character reference goes a long way and eliminates some of the risk associated with hiring someone they know nothing about.
2. Call around.
Just pick up your phone. Look up coffee shops, and call to see if they’re hiring. Many are looking for someone, others are “always hiring,” and others may be soon—so they happily take applications or resumes to have on file. I just started by calling my favorite shops and those close to my neighborhood. I discovered a couple cute places that way too.
3. Job Searches.
Off or online, whatever you prefer. Some I used: Linked in, Google, Craigslist.
What worked for me?
Being unexperienced in the coffee industry, but an aspiring barista, I tried all of these. There are more options I’m sure, but these are the big ones I encountered, and obviously different things work for each person! I pursued each of these methods.
Networking was fun, and it was so encouraging to see the people in my life root for me and try to help me get a job with them! Visiting different coffee shops, meeting the employees, and asking if they were hiring was great as well—so many of them were so nice and it was fun to meet people, check out various places and enjoy a great cup of their coffee!
As I was awaiting phone calls and answers, I wasn’t worried—even if doors closed and I got turned down (some places did want experienced), I just knew that narrowed my search to the right fit. According to my resume and experience, I wasn’t what they were looking for, and I was ok with that! You want to find an environment you’ll enjoy, and one that is looking for someone like you, so that you’ll be a good fit for each other! After all, you don’t just want a job, but a job you’ll enjoy and flourish in.
What did work? I didn’t have much luck with Google search or Linked in, but my jackpot was Craigslist! Obviously, you should be careful with Craigslist, especially if you’re not experienced with it (a few months ago I responded to a job post that wasn’t what it appeared to be—thank God I realized it before I showed up for the interview!) Don’t respond back with any personal information like your phone number, where you live, and especially don’t give your credit card or social security numbers!
I was looking on Craigslist for coffee shop hirings in my area, and one came up that DIDN’T require experience (hurray!) Instead, they said they provided training, and emphasized wanting a great attitude and personality. Immediately, I knew this was something special. Providing training showed they were willing to invest in people, and I wanted to grow and give back to an environment like that. The character traits they mentioned also were traits that are important to me—thus a good fit!!
Part of me wondered if it was too good to be true, because I had seen fake posts on Craigslist, and this was a brief post without the company name or contact information. But I still sent a cover letter and resume just in case, and left out my personal and important contact information. They responded back excited to meet me, with their contact info—and the more I researched their coffee shop, the more excited I became!
I’m so thankful how things have come together these last couple weeks. I’ve been taking it one step at a time, and thus far have ended up at Carino Coffee, a great, latin-inspired shop in Aurora! Come visit, and their Kaladi Latte is my favorite so far (and as I’m posting this post, I’ve been quite fond of their Caramel Macchiato). I’m excited for what this journey will bring, and can’t wait to learn, grow, inspire and become inspired by the people and situations I’ll continue to encounter!
What are your stories of entering the coffee industry? Do leave your feedback and tips to help out other aspiring baristas! I also have so much to learn as I’M so new to this– So any nuggets of advice are welcome here!