How to Get a Job in the Retail Industry How to Find a Retail Job Best 10 Retail Jobs for an Entry-Level Employee Best Skills to Make a Career in Retail To Sum Up
How to Get a Job in the Retail Industry How to Find a Retail Job Best 10 Retail Jobs for an Entry-Level Employee Best Skills to Make a Career in Retail To Sum Up
Updated 06/10/2020

How to Get a Job in the Retail Industry

Worried about not having a job? Don't be! Instead, be more constructive. Read this guide to start promoting your retail career.

Worried about not having a job? Don't be! Instead, be more constructive. Read this guide to start promoting your retail career.

The retail industry presents lots of employment options across various sectors, including logistics, purchasing, promotion, design, online sales, and more. It allows you to start as a simple store sales worker and significantly move up the career ladder.

The retail industry offers many full-time and part-time employment opportunities. Therefore, many students or graduates start their careers from this point. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an entry-level retail sales worker’s average annual salary is about $25,440.

We have collected several vital nuances and tips. By understanding them, you can quickly get a job in the retail industry, even with no experience. Get ready to improve your knowledge!

“Retail is a customer business. You’re trying to take care of the customer—solve something for the customer. And there’s no way to learn that in the classroom or in the corner office, or away from the customer. You’ve got to be in front of the customer.”
Erik Nordstrom, President, Nordstrom Direct


How to Find a Retail Job

You may be feeling confused right now, not knowing where to start. Relax, breathe in, and begin the step-by-step process of getting a retail job.

Begin a Job Search

The first step you need to take toward your future position is to start researching vacancies. Check out what job offers are available in your area. It could be job positions in clothing stores, fashion & accessories, pet care, at the mall, etc. There may also be options for remote work, for example, in online stores. Your main goal is to research the market, explore the options available to assess your chances of success, and build a winning strategy.

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Improve Your Network

Did you know that more than 60% of jobs are found through networking — not online? Jobvite' Job Seeker Nation Survey shows that 50% of respondents heard about jobs from friends; 37% say they learn about job offers from the network.

That is why building a professional network is an opportunity to find a job quickly. Talk to your friends in the retail industry to find out about open vacancies at their companies. Make new contacts among store or supermarket employees to find out about the available job offers. Build your profile on Linkedin and explore the recruiters' pages for current offers.

Market Yourself

One of the frequently asked questions among new job seekers is how to get a retail job with no experience. The answer is to create a professional resume and cover letter.

A resume is a document in which you must describe your qualifications, background, and skills. Naturally, if you are a student or graduate, you will have no work experience, so you should focus on your skills and education.

A cover letter is a must-have for all entry-level employees. In it, you tell the potential employer in more detail why you want to take this position and how you can benefit the company.

Note! Your resume and cover letter should be different for each job you are applying to meet each company’s needs.

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Prepare For an Interview

One of the most critical steps in getting a job is preparing for an interview. You must take this step responsibly, especially if you are applying for a retail job with no experience. At a meeting with a potential employer, they will assess your speech, demeanor, gestures, skills, and so on.

Need powerful advice to pass an interview successfully and get hired? Read this guide: Different Types of Interviews.

If you want to be the right person for your desired position, you must prepare ahead of time by rehearsing the answers to questions that may be asked. Take care of your appearance and don't be late for the meeting.

Do an Internship

An internship is an opportunity to gain the necessary skills for the job and experience that you can write on your resume. Many companies hire graduate students for the summertime. A successful internship can lead to a candidate getting a permanent job.

So, where to look for internship offers?

  • At your college. Typically businesses leave their internship job offers at the college office. Ask your supervisor, secretary, or director about possible vacancies.
  • Among graduates. Try to reach out to your school alumni who work in the retail industry to find out who their company is hiring. By the way, this is also included in the construction of networks.
  • Internet. Use Google to find available positions in your area. For example, Nike and Apple are offering internship jobs to begin a retail career path for various places and countries.

Be Persistent

Do not think that if you have not found a vacancy in a company that it does not hire staff. Many job offers can only be found on the company's websites, and some of them have not even been published yet. Send your resume and cover letter to the company you like, explaining why you would like to work for them and your advantages. With high-quality documents, you will definitely get noticed and offered an interview once a vacancy is opened.


Best 10 Retail Jobs for an Entry-Level Employee

So now you know the basic steps to find a retail job. Next, let's take a look at the most suitable positions to get employed with limited experience. We will also provide an approximate salary level for each position in accordance with the PayScale data.

  1. Cashier
    All you need for this role is a high school degree. Usually, the cashier accepts payments, issues checks, tracks and conducts purchases, makes an exchange or return of goods, checks the balance, and works with the cash register or POS. It’s an easy way to enter the retail industry. A good candidate must have an eye for detail, demonstrate customer-oriented service, time management skills, and be sociable. The average salary for a cashier is $11.72 per hour in the United States.
  2. Retail Sales Assistant
    This role requires vivid interpersonal and communication skills. It is also enough to have a high school diploma. A retail sales assistant welcomes customers, provides a high level of service, participates in the delivery process, clarifies customers’ needs and desires, recommends products following clients’ wishes, and maintains the store. Holding this position, you can expect to get about $12.05 per hour.
  3. 75% of resumes are rejected before they reach the hiring manager. The best candidate has a quality resume that is approved by the applicant tracking system.
    Tailor Professional Resume
  4. Sales Associate
    A good candidate for this position is result-oriented with basic math skills and great communication abilities. The sales associate’s responsibilities include quality customer service, increasing sales, maintaining the availability of goods in stock, building trusted relations with clients and the team, conducting inventory procedures, product awareness, assessing the needs of buyers, and helping customers make a choice. On average, the sales associate gets $12.63 per hour.
  5. Buyer
    If you are considering working in this position, you will need at least a high school diploma and excellent organizational skills. A buyer is a person who identifies customer preferences, finds the most favorable offers in terms of price and quality, ensures timely delivery of products, carefully follows all the terms of the contract, prepares purchase reports, and attends various events to keep abreast of market trends. On average, buyers earn about $56,000 per year.
  6. Visual Merchandiser
    This employee defines and develops strategies for visual merchandising, window dressing, signage, advertising displays, creating an attractive product image, acting in accordance with the company's culture, observing sales, keeping in touch with suppliers, and so on. The visual merchandiser must be an innovative thinker and have analytical skills. On average, such specialists earn about $42,000 per year.
  7. Cleaning & Maintenance
    All stores require a person to maintain cleanliness and order. In this role, you will need to perform various cleaning tasks, plan and sustain scheduled checks, store inventory, use and replenish detergents, keep the room clean, maintain warehouse premises, and follow safety rules. An appropriate candidate is characterized by honesty and responsibility. On average, holding this position, you can make about $11 per hour.
  8. Security Guard
    Sometimes it happens that passions in the store build-up, and the help of a strong person is needed. The security guard is responsible for protecting property and personnel, observing and resolving disturbances inside the premises, preventing theft, and monitoring and maintaining the alarm systems and video cameras. A security guard is an important position in any store and requires stamina and physical strength. On average, such a specialist earns about $13 per hour.
  9. Stocker
    If you are looking at how to apply for a retail job with no experience, consider the stocker position. They are responsible for ensuring that boxes, showcases, shelves, aisles are fully assembled so customers can purchase the goods they need. For this position, it is enough to have a high school diploma and good stamina. Quite often, stockers unload and unpack boxes and place goods. On average, they make approx $10 per hour.
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  11. Retail Warehouse Worker
    The retail warehouse worker’s goal is to increase the efficiency and profitability of the company through the correct and timely execution of warehouse orders. They monitor stock to maintain a high level of quality, prepare delivery, take inventory, control products in the warehouse, and maintain a clean and safe working environment. They must have a high school degree and good organizational skills. The retail warehouse worker's hourly rate is about $13.
  12. Customer Service Representative
    Many shops and online sales platforms have their own support service. Specialists answer calls and help clients solve any problems related to products or services. In this role, you will achieve sales goals, help a client resolve their issues, provide accurate and reliable information about a product or service, deal with customer complaints, and so on. Customer service representatives make about $14 per hour.

Best Skills to Make a Career in Retail

Due to the lack of proper experience, the employer will first consider the candidate's soft skills. So what are they? Soft skills show how well a candidate can manage their responsibilities and interact with other employees. These skills greatly simplify many team processes and increase productivity. In fact, we all use soft skills every day at work, and sometimes they are more valuable than experience. Below we have prepared for you a list of abilities that are worth developing to get your first job in the retail industry and move forward on the career ladder:

  • Creative thinking
  • Result orientation
  • Teamwork
  • Ability to communicate with people from different walks of life
  • Attention to details
  • Analytical thinking
  • Ability to cope with stressful situations
  • Communicability
  • Active listening
  • Good nature
  • Ability to prioritize
  • Manage time
  • Responsibility
  • Ability to work under pressure


To Sum Up

Paying attention to the level of remuneration, you may notice that entry-level specialists receive the minimum compensation. But, with the development of your skills, your salary will increase as well. After all, good salespeople are worth their weight in gold and are required in every company. So, do not stop your personal growth, and do not be discouraged by failure. Find work that pleases you.

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