Part-time work in retail gives you valuable, transferable skills you can big up on your CV. So, embrace that shop work while you’re studying or in between jobs: it’s a great stepping stone
This is vital for business as it creates customer loyalty, which is why all companies prefer you to have strong interpersonal and communication skills. Working in a shop is a great way of building these up. We’ve all experienced both good and bad customer service and, put simply, most of us will go back to a shop if we are treated in the right way. On the other hand, a bad experience will mean you, as a customer, are unlikely to set foot back in that store ever again. If you can demonstrate customer service experience and skills, you will be a step ahead of those who have never worked in a shop. Some blue chip companies value this so much they state that you have to have at least two months’ customer service experience before they will even consider you. So, remember to highlight this skill on your CV.
Working in a shop gives you a valuable insight into how a business operates and how commercial decisions are made. It also gives you the chance to show you have some top business acumen, if you come up with any commercially savvy ideas, that help to boost profit margins while you are there. Were the ideas taken on and did they make a difference? If you can show that you were thinking in a commercially aware way, then this will prove your burgeoning business skills to any potential employer.
Working under pressure
Staying calm and focussed while you have a queue of people waiting and an irate customer shouting about a shoddy item is all great experience of being able to work under pressure. Give an example on your CV of how you dealt with the situation and how you managed to prioritise without losing your cool. Being able to multi-task when deadlines are looming is a business staple, so proving you can demonstrate these skills will make you a strong candidate. Remember the most challenging circumstances you’ve faced in your retail career and how you overcame them, as they’ll no doubt come in handy during a job interview one day.
Showing that you are punctual by turning up to work on time, that you dress appropriately and that you are reliable, are all good indicators that you would be a worthy employee. Also being able to juggle studies and part-time work successfully shows that you can time-manage effectively and prioritise well. A glowing reference from your retail employee stating your reliability and enthusiasm will put you in very good stead to gain employment from a future employee.
Handling money shows you are numerate and that you are trustworthy – both of which are valuable assets. You will pick up skills working in a shop including being able to give the correct change and stock taking, which show an aptitude for numeracy – vital for working in business.