There are several things that you need to do, if you wish to get a job in the retail industry:
- Visit the careers pages of the retail companies’ websites regularly: The major companies in the retail industry tend to have careers pages on their websites. It is on these careers pages that the positions that are currently open are posted, so that individuals who are interested in them can proceed to apply. Therefore, if you are keen on working within the retail industry, you need to make a point of regularly visiting the careers pages of the companies you are interested in working for. In most cases, the careers pages are updated in real-time (as positions fall vacant). That then makes it necessary for you to be visiting them as frequently as possible – say, daily or after every two days – if you are serious about getting a retail industry job. The way these careers pages are structured nowadays is such that you can easily initiate a job search: by simply entering keywords that are in line with type of role you are looking for. In most cases, you enter the keywords, then select a location near you – and the system returns all open positions that meet the criteria you entered. You then browse through the links to positions that are currently open, and if you find one that interests you, don’t hesitate to make an application. Remember, it is an odds game – the more the applications you make, the higher your chances of clinching at least one of them. Even if you are only marginally qualified for a position (that is, even if you don’t fully meet the qualification criteria), you can still make an application for it. It may turn out that none of the other applicants actually has all the qualifications, giving your application a chance to be considered. Remember, most of the HR managers in the retail industry are not perfectionists. They just want someone who will get the job done… So don’t shy from applying for positions just because you feel that you don’t have all the qualifications.
- Visit the major job listings portals regularly: There are job listings portals (like Monster.com, Jobs.com, Dice.com, Snagajob.com… and so on) where open positions from various industries are posted. It is not rare to come across retail industry jobs in such portals. In fact, browsing through the listings in some of those portals, you discover that the retail industry jobs form a good percentage [of the listings]. Therefore, if you are looking for a retail industry job, you need to make a point of visiting such portals from time to time and undertaking searches for the roles you are interested in. The way most of these portals are structured is such that you only need to enter keywords that are descriptive of the role you are looking for (and a preferred work location) — and then the system will give you links to all open positions that meet your criteria.
- Network with individuals who are already working in the retail industry: The idea here is firstly to get information from them on how they got the retail industry jobs. You may learn, from them, effective job search strategies you hadn’t thought about — which can help you considerably in your retail industry job search. They may also tell you about positions that have been advertised internally within the retail companies they work for (that is, vacant positions that may not have been publicly advertised). You can then proceed to apply for those positions. You see, not all positions that fall vacant in various are advertised publicly. Some organizations have a policy of telling their employees (the folks who are already working with them) to ‘refer’ job applicants — their friends and family — for positions that fall vacant. Isn’t it obviously only by befriending the folks who are already working in the retail industry that you can get to learn about such positions? At yet another level, networking with individuals who are already working in the retail industry means that you wouldn’t be lonely, should you get a job there. You would already have friends [namely the folks whom you already networked with] as friends to start with, even as you get to create more friendships in the workplace.
- Create a good resume: Keep it in mind that the HR managers in the retail companies get very many resumes. Loads and loads of them. You therefore have to figure out a way of making yours stand out. The most important thing here is to understand the types of skills and attributes that are in demand within the retail industry. Then you need to acquire and include those skills/attributes in your resume, in order to make the resume stand out from the huge pile on the HR manager’s desk.
- Prepare well for the interviews: Whether you get a retail industry job depends, to a great extent, on your performance during the interview. The most important thing is to create the impression (during the interview) that you are an ideal person for the role you are being interviewed for. But you also have to avoid being overzealous. Just give a solid but relaxed presentation during your interview, and you will have increased your chances of clinching the position considerably.