October 31, 2007

Looking for a job right now? Then check out retail!

Right now has got to be one of the best times to get a job in retail - a sector that students and youth traditionally gravitate towards. Since many stores see an increase in business during the holiday season, they need to hire more staff.

And so with a demand for employees, you'll notice that finding a store with openings isn't that hard. In fact, my first job was in retail during the holiday season. Although the pay might suck (compared to other jobs) you'll gain some great experience and might get asked to stay on as part-time staff. Plus, retail is always good because you get awesome discounts and since stores need staff all the time, it's great if you need flexibility.

So what should you keep in mind when searching for a job right now? Here's a quick list:

1) It's not too late. Many stores do the bulk of their hiring in November once budgets have been established. Some stores even hire in December if business is doing better than expected - in fact, one store I used to work at hired people one week before Christmas to deal with the huge crowds.

2) Make a list of stores you want to work at. Don't just sent out your resume to every store in the mall. Know where you want to work. I've always found that picking up a mall brochure and highlighting the stores you want to work at is a great way to keep organized.

3) Make sure you've got an awesome resume and cover letter. Check out my postings on resume and cover letter templates if you're unsure of how to make one. Or visit www.youth.gc.ca and you can make one online.

4) Visit the store during off-peak hours to hand in your application. I can't stress this enough - too many applicants walk in during the busiest times in the store and expect to speak to the manager. If you go in when it's quieter, you stand a better chance of getting "face time" with the manager.

5) Always stay positive - even in the face of rejection. Know that some stores are looking for particular candidates (e.g. ones with experience) because the training opportunities are limited. Politely thank the manager for their time and try applying in a store that belong to a chain (e.g. Gap, Wal-Mart, The Bay, etc.) as they are more likely to have group training sessions.

These are just some basic things to keep in mind - by following these tips you can maximize your chance of finding a job in a store you like. And remember, retail (even though the pay might be low) is all about having fun, gaining experience, and meeting new people. It's the type of job that's never the same each day!

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