Where do you start?
You have decided that you want to pursue a career in retail. Before you get going with your applications you must research the type of roles within the sector that you want to start applying for. Think about the types of roles you feel you would enjoy and have the right skills and experience for. Also think about what the long term career prospects are. In this competitive job market my clients like candidates that have really researched the roles they are applying for and are focused on one specific career path.
What does it take to succeed?
Each role and business will be looking for slightly different qualities but here are some generic ones that all businesses tend to look for.
• A recent related degree
• Retail shop floor and/or admin experience – either full time or part time during your studies
• Work placements or internships gained within the sector you are looking to secure a job in
• Strong commercial awareness
• Bags of enthusiasm
• Top organisation skills
• Resilience and the ability to cope in a fast paced pressurised environment
Making an Application
• Target agencies and job boards specific to the roles and industry you want to get into. Social media is also a great way to hear about roles.
• Is the role you are applying to within the area that you really want to work in? Recruiters will want to know why you have chosen to apply for the role and that particular career path. Also make sure you have also researched salaries and have realistic expectations.
• Avoid applying for several different vacancies with the same recruiter. Retailers are looking for focused candidates.
• Be realistic. Do you have the skills and experience required for the role?
• Keep your covering letter brief and the format of your CV clear and easy to read.
• Remember to cover the basics, check your spelling and grammar.
• Take the interview seriously; your attitude is every bit as important as your qualifications.
• Ensure you have thoroughly researched the role and the company. If you have been asked to prepare anything in advance, make sure this has been done this to the best of your ability.
• Plan your route in advance and allow plenty of time, so you can ensure you are on time. You have no excuses with Google maps with your phones’ GPS switched on and a variety of travel apps out there.
• Plan what you are going to wear; typically most retail businesses prefer candidates not to come in suits or business attire. Most have a relaxed dress code and like to get a sense of your personality, style and brand fit. IF you aren’t sure check with the recruiter.
• Be enthusiastic and show you are informed about the organisation and the role
• Avoid one word answers, back your answers up with relevant examples
• Be honest, but also ensure you actively promote your skills and potential
• Stick to the point, make sure you are answering the question asked
• If you are not sure, or do not understand the question always ask for clarification, or if you do not know the answer to a question, say so.
• At the end of the interview ask questions, this show an interest in the business and the role you are applying for.
We currently have a number of graduate/junior roles on behalf of our clients. Check out the link below and if you follow these tips you should have a new job in no time!