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4 Ways Retail Job Seekers Can Increase Their Odds of Getting Hired

“It's best if you genuinely have a passion for the products or brand; it will come through when you speak”

4 Ways Retail Job Seekers Can Increase Their Odds of Getting Hired

You've updated your resume, now it's time to click submit. And there it goes... your resume and 100 other resumes for the same retail job posting.

Turns out only 22 of you will actually get an interview, according to recent data. How can you change your odds? Is there a way to avoid sending your resume into what may seem like a black hole? If you get the interview, what then?

Here are four ways to increase your odds of getting hired at a retailer.

Highlight Diverse Skills

Retailers may be scanning resumes for keywords. If you're applying for a retail sales associate position, make sure your resume has the word "sales." Same goes for any managerial positions; having "manager" on your resume is a must. However, there's more you can do to boost your odds. If you have diverse skills, including but not limited to, business focus, personal effectiveness, relationship management and critical thinking, you want to expand on these skill sets in both your resume and interview. For example, if it applies, add "excellent communication and interpersonal skills" or "effective influencing and negotiation skills," as stated in a previous Monster article. 

Know Your Target

Don’t try to get a job with a retailer without knowing what it sells, says Kelly Donovan, principal at Kelly Donovan & Associates. “It's best if you genuinely have a passion for the products or brand; it will come through when you speak,” she says. “Never go into a store as a candidate without having an idea what it sells. Retail managers want to hire employees who are truly interested in working there — not folks who just want the first job they can find.”

Highlight Your Passion

If you have comparable work experience at a solid, well known brand, that’s ideal, says Jena R. Jensen, general manager at a well-known retailer in New York City. Many candidates don’t, so she says she looks for other qualities: passion, customer experience and drive. In addition, if you don’t have a lot of experience, expect to be asked about your motivations and values: “In the interview, my favorite questions are the unexpected ones,” she says.

One example: What is the screensaver on your phone? “I learn a lot about what is important to the candidate, from a vacation to a favorite artist,” she says. “The answers are often accompanied by a great story.”

Build Your Own Brand

If you’re looking to stand out in a managerial position, work to establish your personal brand. It can help you stand out to recruiters, says Lisa Ritchie, vice president of human resources of Match Marketing Group. She says establishing a personal brand with consistent messaging across all social platforms can help highlight your qualifications and quickly give recruiters an idea about who you are. With retailers focusing on brand as part of their work, showing you understand branding can help you stand out.

Monster Wants to Know: What have you done to separate yourself ― on your resume or in person ― from other job seekers? Share with us in the comment section.

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