Before you give a second thought on putting your brief part-time retail experience on your resume, think about the experiences and transferable skills you’ve learnt from your time in retail.
Excellent Interpersonal skills
You can’t possibly fold clothes all day and not have to speak to the shoppers who mess up your sweater section that you’ve folded at least 18 times today. You’ll learn ways on how to suppress anger and channel it in a more composed and poised manner. Both verbally and physically. Having to maintain composure is vital in the concrete jungle where office politics breed.
Ability to stay calm in stressful circumstances
We can learn a thing or two from that experience you’ve charged full price on a sweater that’s 20% off because it’s so last season. Hats off if they’ve walked out of the store swiping their card blindly. But there are occasions they return waving their receipts in your face and demanding to see your manager. Remember how you handle such circumstances, they’ll come handy in job interviews or important decision making tasks.
You may survive school presentations by “winging it” but knowing a product is vital in being a good sales person. The more knowledge you know about it, the easier it is to sell. Less “mm, it would look nice”, “it’s one of the best sellers this month” and all the empty white lies. Commission based salary? No problem! Product knowledge is a highly transferable skill if you plan to sell insurance as your next career. In fact, all kinds of jobs would require you to sell indirectly.
Attention to detail
It’s the visual merchandiser’s job but when they’re not around, there’s bound to be that shopper with kids that enjoy resetting your displays or stick out an inappropriate finger using the mannequin. Attention to detail is highly valued in every kind of industry. In finance, adding an extra zero matters. While in events, mixing AM and PM could just cause you your job.
Experience in handling transactions
Learning how to work the cash/credit system is one of the most useful knowledge. Not just for a job but in life. There are cheeky ways on earning several bucks off careless shoppers if you do not know how the system works. They could charge you in a higher currency. They could also “void” an item that you did not buy on your receipt. It’s no surprise if you’re checking your receipts and credit summary after reading this.
Just apply for a retail job!