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The Hidden Skills of the ‘Hospo’ Job

Our author shares 5 employable skills that hospitality work can bring you.

A few days after my eighteenth birthday I decided I wanted to work in bars. It seemed cool. In fact, it was cool. I was making relatively decent money for someone at my age, plus tips, PLUS my boss let me take a stubbie or bottle of wine home with me after my shift because I couldn’t have a ‘staffy’ due to me being on my Ps. I liked my job so much in fact, that I continued to work in hospitality for the entirety of my university studies. Fast forward to now, where I have recently begun to think about clerkships and I silently curse to myself about my hospo laden CV. It turns out, top tier firms don’t care that you can carry four pints at once. They also apparently don’t care that I have a ‘vast knowledge of Australian wines and beers’. Anyway, fellow hospo workers, I would like to showcase to you five very employable skills that hospitality work can give you.


Nobody has any idea what it’s like to work in a team until you have 200 wine glasses to polish at 4am after your work has just hosted a wedding because the dwindling sales from their subpar wine list aren’t quite cutting it, and Tom who doesn’t usually work behind the bar is slowing everyone down.


Working in hospitality allows you to meet a range of people such as:

Sharon. 62. Infatuated with her new granddaughter Sadie and needs to show you just one more video of Sadie doing nothing overly spectacular. Drinks a chardonnay with 3 ice blocks.

Steve. 33. Tradie. Pretty friendly and says ‘good on you mate’ after you pour his beer. Drinks a pint of VB or Furphy depending on who’s round it is.

Oscar. 28. Wears glasses and often sits at the bar pretending to read a copy of Marx and Engels ‘The Communist Manifesto’ while really just scrolling through Instagram on his phone. Drinks a cab sav. No not that cab sav. The cab sav with the woody notes!

Therefore, you are going to wonderfully prepared to deal with the range of clients you may be exposed to in any corporate job.


Have you ever experienced the insanity of making hundreds of vodka, lime and sodas for snappy groups of ladies on their weekly ‘girls night’ during happy hour? Billable hour targets will pale in comparison!


So the chef over ordered on the lamb rumps and they are about to go off. What to do with them?? Add a lamb rump salad to the weekly specials? Or maybe lamb rump with root vegetables? Opportunities are endless, get creative!


Supposedly people come to bars, restaurants, pubs and clubs to have fun! Which also means they want to be served by pleasant and friendly staff. Even if you’ve been there for 10 hours and your feet are burning, you must deliver service with a smile!

So there you have it. There are 5 genuine skills a life in hospitality work will give you. How to write about these in your CV and cover letters is up to you though. Happy beer pouring!

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