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How to Get a Retail Job

Step By Step Guide to Getting a Job Working in Retail


This step-by-step guide on how to get a retail job includes information on finding and applying for retail job listings, writing resumes and cover letters, taking tests that many retailers require as part of the application process, what to wear to a retail interview, sample interview questions, plus tips for acing a retail interview.

Search for Retail Jobs

Copyright Zsolt Nyulaszi
If you know where you want to work you can apply for a retail job right on the company's website. All the major retailers have job applications you can complete online. Simply click on "Careers" on the company website or Google the company's name plus jobs. For example, search Google for "Macy's Jobs" and you'll find the link to Macy's jobs page.


If you're flexible as to where you would like to work, the job search engine sites allow users to search the major job sites, company sites, associations and other online job sites. You can search using "retail" as a keyword and your location.

Apply for Retail Jobs

Copyright Karen Roach
Most major retailers, including big box stores, department stores, and chain stores, have an online application process. Depending on the store, you also may be able to apply with a paper job application or at a hiring kiosk inside the store.

Smaller independent stores typically still accept in-person applications.

Here's information on how to apply for jobs online and in-person.

Retail Pre-Employment Tests

Copyright: Anatoly Vartanov
Some companies test applicants for employment to determine if the candidate is a good match for the jobs they are hiring for. Companies who conduct pre-employment tests are seeking applicants that match their hiring criteria.

Many retail stores, including WalMart, have pre-employment test as part of the application process.

In most cases, you'll take the test online from your home computer. Here's more on pre-employment tests.

Retail Resume Examples

Copyright Heidi Kristensen
Your resume will be the initial way a potential employer gets to know you, so take time to make sure it properly displays your best qualities, including past experience and retail successes, as well.

Here are retail examples to review, plus templates you can use to create your own resume.

Retail Cover Letter Examples

Copyright Alison Doyle
When you are writing a cover letter for a retail position take the time to make sure your letter properly displays your best qualities, including past experience and achievements.

Review these cover letter samples to get ideas for your own cover letters.

Retail Interview Questions and Answers

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Review many of the interview questions that you may be asked on a retail job interview, along with advice on how to answer, before you go to your job interview. This way, you'll be prepared to answer questions on advance.

Have Interview Questions Ready to Ask

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One of the questions you may be asked during a job interview for a retail position is "Do you have any questions for me?"

Have a list of questions ready to ask that will clarify the job requirements, your schedule, the flexiblity of the position, and anything else that would help you decide whether you would want the job if it were offered to you.

What to Wear to a Retail Job Interview

Image Copyright Getty Images Donna Day
The interview dress code will vary depending on the type of store, so be sure you are dressed appropriately for your interview.

Review these guidelines so you know what to wear for a retail job interview including interviews at designer stores, department stores, company stores, and large retailers.

Follow Up After the Interview

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Take the time to follow up with everyone you met with when you interviewed. Sending a thank you note - via mail or email - is great way to reiterate your interest in the job.

Review tips on the best way to follow-up after a job interview.

What to Wear to Work

Copyright Getty Images Andersen Ross
You're hired! You've aced the interview and you have received a job offer. The next step is to decide what to wear to work.

Here's information on what to wear to work at a retail job based on the type of store you will be working at.

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