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Ten Top Tips for Getting a Retail Job

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Retail jobs can be fun and rewarding and may lead to some amazing career opportunities, not to mention quite lucrative ones. Finding that perfect retail job, however, can be a daunting task. These 10 tips will help get you on your way to finding the retail job of your dreams.

1. Market Yourself

A well-written resume will go far when you are looking for a retail job or product manager job. If you are unable to create a professional resume yourself, it is well worth the money to hire someone who knows what they are doing to create it for you. Keep it brief, but make sure that you have enough information to adequately represent you. Your summary at the beginning of your resume should be dynamic, well-written, and capable of delivering the ''pow'' that will get the hiring manager's attention. Include industry-specific buzzwords and give examples of your accomplishments.

2. Hit the Streets

While the classified section of your local newspaper is a good place to begin your search for product marketing manager jobs and other jobs in the retail industry, it is not and should not be your only option for finding a job. You can physically visit stores to see if they have any positions posted on location. Dress professionally and carry several copies of your resume. When you are looking for project manager jobs, you can't limit yourself to just one venue for your job search. Think big and broaden your search options.

3. Network Your Way to the Top

Networking is a great way to find out who is hiring. Try to meet local people professionally, in person, and even online. When you are ready to make your move, start asking around to see who is hiring. When you shop at your favorite stores, collect business cards or get friendly with some of the folks who work there. Keep in touch with them, even if it is just going into the store to talk with them. That way, when you are in the market to start job shopping, you can tap into these associations and get some leads. Even if the particular store where they work isn't hiring, most people in the retail industry keep their ear to the ground and can be a great source of information on who is hiring in the industry.

4. Go Off the Paper

Check out the websites of companies that you would like to work for and see if they are advertising for positions there. Many companies rely on their websites for posting positions, as opposed to placing a classified ad. Sure, go ahead and look through the classified ads of your local paper, but keep in mind that every other person who is looking for a job in the retail industry is doing the exact same thing. Increase your chances by going off the paper and checking company websites under the ''job'' or ''career'' sections and browsing the job postings there.

5. Narrow Your Focus

Sure, it may seem appealing to apply to every single establishment in town and wait for the offers to roll in, but by narrowing your focus you can actually increase your chances of finding a position. There are a couple of reasons to do this. First, if you focus on several places that you frequent, your interest will shine through on your resume and in your interview. Second, by narrowing your focus you can tailor each resume to each specific company. A resume that is created just for the company and job position and sent to a few places is far more effective than a generic resume sent to numerous places.

6. Cold Call 'Em

Put on your most professional clothes, grab some resumes, and walk right into the store. Ask for the manager and tell him or her that you are interested in working for the company. You may not get a job or even an interview on the spot, but that manager will remember you. When an opening comes up, your resume will be in the stack and they just may give you a call. Cold calling can be intimidating, but it is a very effective way to get jobs in the retail industry, such as product development manager jobs and other such positions.

7. Focus on the Hour

While a salaried job may be what you would like to have, it may not be a very realistic expectation. In the retail industry, many jobs are paid by the hour. Don't limit yourself by looking only for salaried jobs. Even product marketing manager jobs can pay by the hour. There are several job websites that only advertise jobs paid by the hour. Check these out and see what is available. You may even start out in an hourly job and work into a salaried position. Again, don't limit yourself.

8. Dress for the Job You Want

Consider what job you want and where you want to work. What is the dress code there? Duplicate the style of dress at the place where you submit your application when you go for your interview. If the tone is business casual, dress appropriately. On the other hand, if the store has a funkier, more relaxed atmosphere, you don't want to waltz in wearing a business suit. This is why it is a good idea to either choose a store where you shop regularly or visit the store prior to interviewing or applying so that you have a feel for the type of store it is. Dress for the job that you want, whether you want a retail job, product manager job, or even a job as CEO of the company.

9. Have Your Act Together

When you go in to interview or drop off your resume, have your act together. Dress for the part, resume in hand, with references and, yes, a pen. Have everything that you will need so that you don't have to ask for a notepad or phone book or say that you will bring a resume back later. If you need to carry a copy of your resume with you at all times in case you make an impromptu application, then do so. Carry a clean, professional copy of your resume so that you are always ready to place it in the hand of the person who could very well be your next employer.

10. Sell Yourself

Always put your best foot forward when you are applying or interviewing for a retail job. Even when you are just talking to one of your networking contacts in the store, keep a professional image. You never know who is looking at you, who is watching. Always sell yourself. When you get into your interview, remember that in your retail job you will be required to sell, so begin by selling yourself. If you can convince the interviewer that you can sell yourself, you have won half the battle.
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