Although there is a high demand for employees throughout the retail industry, the best jobs go to those applicants who shine. Whether you are already doing retail work and want to take advantage of additional retail opportunities, searching for your first retail job, or transitioning from another field into a retail career, here are tips to ensure that you take center stage during your all-important interview.
Spruce Up Your Resume
Your resume speaks volumes when it comes to first impressions. Make sure that, whenever possible, you quantify your accomplishments. Saying that you "doubled the average number of units per sale" is more impressive than saying you "contributed to an increase in sales." If you have retail experience, be specific about the types of companies for which you have worked and they type of work you have done. Simply listing your employers and job titles doesn’t communicate your full range of skills or specialties. If you have retail experience, be sure to emphasize that in your resume.
Know the Company and Its Products
Before you even apply for a job, you should gather information about the company and have knowledge of its products. You can gather this information on the Internet and by visiting a store location. Before your interview, conduct additional research. This will enable you to answer specific questions with authority and help put you at ease. If you are among the many who transition to jobs in retail from another industry, your knowledge of the company’s products (even from the viewpoint of a consumer) can give you a competitive edge.
Highlight Your Flexibility and Commitment
If you can be flexible in the hours you work, be sure to mention it in your cover letter and during your interview. The nature of store jobs is such that employers have retail opportunities from early morning to late evening. For some types of retail work, retail opportunities exist literally 24 hours per day. Similarly, if you are able to work longer hours during the store’s busy season, state that during your interview. Flexibility and commitment are especially powerful for those who are getting their first mall jobs or transitioning into retail.
New to Retail? Highlight Strong Skill Sets
Just because you’re new to retail jobs, there’s no reason to be intimidated. The skills you develop at other jobs, through volunteer work, or in school are some of the same skills you will need for retail. While you’re working on your resume, and definitely before your interview, think about the ways in which you’ve developed customer service skills, communication skills, teambuilding skills, organizational skills, or other talents required for the position to which you’re applying.
Find the Perfect Fit
Whether you’re looking for part-time store jobs or a full-time retail career, it’s important to find the right fit. Just because a job is available doesn’t mean that it’s the right job for you. There are online job sites that specialize in retail jobs, and that will provide you with a range of retail opportunities in your geographic area. These sites are a great place to find the job that is a perfect fit with your needs, interests, and skills.