Retail Ready and Able: Top tips to get a job in retail



When preparing to find employment it’s important to think about, what sort of job you would like, who can help you and how you will contact them.   

We’ve prepared a checklist to help you get started:

Fresh is best

    • An up to date and customised resume is essential for each job you are applying for;
    • Retail is about sales and your resume is about marketing you!;
    • This is not your life story – it is letting them know about your skills and attributes. Be relevant and specific to the job- no more than 2 pages;
    • Make it easy to read – use dot points – On average employers will spend 6 seconds reading a resume!;
    • Start with a basic retail resume and tailor to each job you apply for, using key words from the job ad;
    • Keep your resume fresh, know how to update it as you get new skills, and;
    • If applying online use a fresh resume and a fresh email address.

Attitude is Everything

  • Skills and knowledge can be taught but attitude comes from within – a good positive attitude is a must!;
  • A great attitude and customer service go hand-in-hand;
  • Retail is all about people – you are helping people – you need to be confident and friendly – think about great service you have had at a store and what made that great – would you say the sales assistant had a great attitude?.

Be digitally ready

  • Most jobs are advertised online – approximately 63% of employers are using internet jobs boards like, Seek, Jora and Indeed. Interestingly 7% use their own company website and another 25% use social media – which in many cases this will link through to their job ad on their website!;
  • Be ready and able to use Zoom and Teams links for video interviews. Also understand the basics of writing emails and preparing online applications;
  • Make sure you complete the online application correctly and don’t use one word answers. You can also research the company online before you apply so you know what type of people they are looking for and what the job will be like;
  • Practice for an online job interview;
  • Rostering for your shifts is usually sent via email with a link to an online portal;
  • Have your resume on your phone so you can email straight away;
  • Ensure you have a professional and sensible email address along with an appropriate voice message on your phone;
  • Answer your phone, check messages, check emails – don’t miss out!

Be flexible

  • Working hours vary a lot with retail, stores are open late nights and on weekends.  In fact, that is when most people do their shopping!  Make sure you have great availability to work shifts across different times of the day and night, and also on weekends;
  • The more hours you are available, the more likely you are to get a shift and also fill other shifts when someone can’t make it to work.

Practice makes perfect

  • Be prepared for job interviews by practicing before hand with a friend and in front of the mirror;
  • Research the business on their website, go and visit the store prior if you can.  This will stop you freezing up at the interview –  remember, the interviewer wants to get to know you.

Presentation is important

  • Dress appropriately for the retailer and make sure you are clean and tidy remember the employer is looking for someone to represent the brand –  so make sure  you put your best foot forward.

Location, location, location

  • How will you get to work? How quickly can you get there if you are offered extra shifts? Be certain you can get to work and get there regularly. Also have a back up plan! The recruiter will often ask you this;
  • Many retailers look for people who live close to the store so they can often fill in shifts at short notice if someone calls in sick.

Be a little bit early

  • Be a little bit early for job interviews and when you start work – It shows you are keen. You want to be there early, but not too early. And when going for your interview, planning to get there early gives you time if something goes wrong like the bus is late;
  • If you are too early find somewhere to wait nearby.

Ask questions

  • Active listening – ask the interviewer some questions, it shows you are interested;
  • Think about the questions you might have before the interview;
  • And when you begin work, contribute to the team, asking questions shows you are keen to learn;
  • Don’t stand around waiting to be told what to do next if you are unsure – ask!

Don’t be a job snob

  • Once you have a job it is easier to get another job after you have gained some experience;
  • Apply for lots of jobs to improve your odds! – make sure you do a great application each time – you will get better and better with practice;
  • Go to your local shopping centres, dress well and take your resume with you and go into each store and ask to speak to the manager.  Just don’t go at their busy times;
  • Casual jobs can become part-time and full-time opportunities when they see you are keen, available and are doing a great job.


Retail Voice CEO Message: 3 April 2024

I hope you and your teams have experienced a successful Easter trading period. Whilst the holiday break is expected to deliver something of a sugar hit, overall Australians continue to cut

Retail Voice CEO Message: 27 March 2024

With Easter break kicking off on Friday, we wish you and your teams a successful and enjoyable holiday period. Our full set of projections for the Easter weekend, in partnership

Retail Voice CEO Message: 20 March 2024

This week, the extension of the Paid Parental leave scheme was passed in the Senate, allowing new parents to take half a year of paid parental leave by mid-2026. This