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How to Get a Job at a Department Store

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If you are interested in working in the retail sector, and enjoy working exclusively with customers, then perhaps a job in a department store is a good choice for you.

As a department store employee, you will work to place product on the sales floor, organize the product and coordinate displays, help with transactions, and finally, but perhaps most importantly, work with customers to ensure that they are able to find what they are looking for and make sales.

Work in a department store is unlike that of your average retail store. Because department stores tend to sell higher-priced items, the expectations for the employees are also higher. These employees must be well-groomed and well-dressed, and have a polished demeanor. Thus, when applying for a job at a department store, it is important that everything from your appearance to your resume show that you possess this quality.

Develop a Professional Resume

When preparing a resume and cover letter, begin by making a list of all of your experience that is applicable to working in a department store. You may be surprised at what previous jobs may be applicable to this position. Any customer experience, sales experience, or other work experience that deals with customers will help. Someone who has experience as a server or waiter/waitress would be considered to have applicable work experience based on his or her knowledge and skills of sales and customer service.

List all of this relevant experience under the heading of “work experience.” Also be sure to list any education received, and any skills that you possess that would further you along in this position. This may include skills such as: strong communication skills, strong sales skills, working well with money, etc.

Generally, the hiring managers of department stores don't have time to look over lengthy resumes or cover letters, so while you want to be sure to list all relevant experience, it is best to keep it short and concise, limiting it to a single page.

Completing the Job Application

Many department store chains require that in addition to bringing in a resume, the applicant also complete an application of employment. When filling out this application, remember to avoid leaving spaces on the application empty, whenever possible. If you have a gap in times of employment, write the reason, such as “attending school,” or “backpacked through Europe,” etc. However, only do this if the reason for this gap isn't negative. If necessary, try to include other activities that are not related to your job, such as participation in youth organizations or extracurricular activities at school or in the community. This will show that you are well-rounded.

First Impressions

Your appearance plays a vital role in applying for a job at a department store. Department store employees are sometimes the first impression that customers will have of the store, so it is crucial that employees not only act accordingly, but are dressed to convey the sophisticated tone of the department store to the customers. Therefore, those applying for a position at a department store should dress the part when turning in a resume, application, or attending an interview.

Timing is Everything

Many potential employees turn-in their resumes or applications at department stores throughout the year, in hopes that when it comes time to hire, managers will call them for an interview. However, when turning in your information, show that you are aware of their rush times, and avoid going in on Saturdays, during large sales, during holidays and back-to-school shopping days. Managers do not want to be taken away from their jobs to take a resume from someone. This shows that you don't have an understanding of how department stores are run.
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Popular tags:

 expectations  Europe  employers  resumes  cover letters  retailers  work experience  managers  knowledge

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