10 Reasons to Stop Stereotyping Retail Workers and Hire Them

You’ve tailored you resume. You’ve searched every outlet on the internet. You’ve networked with people in your industry. You’ve had interviews.  You have a degree, and you still cannot find a job outside of retail. You may be wondering if you are being stereotyped. Are recruiters looking at your resume saying “oh he or she works for blank? They have no experience in this field.”  It is unfortunate, but there are recruiters who will overlook your experience and immediately type cast you as the typical retail worker. Working in retail is hard work. Merchants have to run a business, deal with other workers and also maintain a sense of sanity by the end of the day.  Here’s why recruiters should look past where you work and read up on your experience.

1) We can multi task like no other

We can handle helping a customer, dealing with an associate issue and holding a box of product at the same time. We understand that we have to move with a sense of urgency to assist multiple customers in a short amount of time.

2) We make deadlines

We have sales goals to meet. We have to hire a certain amount of workers within a month. We have to move product around to increase business sales daily. We only have 11 hours in a typical work day to complete many deadlines. We do not procrastinate.

3) We can handle conflict like a champ

We handle customer situations daily, and know how to make it right. We deal with associates complaining about their schedules and that their feet hurt. We know how to set the record straight.

4) We train each other

Everyone completes a training program, but we are always coaching to each other. We know how to take criticism because we have to find ways to make our business better.

5) We are business savvy

We may sell shoes, clothes or underwear, but most of us run $8 million companies or higher. We have to handle overall store operations such as payroll, scheduling, daily sales goals, product placement and more.

6) We think outside of the box

We are quick thinkers and are creative. We have to change something if it is not working for our business. This may mean making a floor move, observing different associates to find new tactics or asking the team for new ideas.

7) We are not afraid of long hours

We work Black Friday, holidays, weekends and occasionally overnight.  We will not complain and will get our job done, even if we have to work overtime.

8) We work with diverse people

We understand diversity and have to adapt to different personalities. We learn how to change our leadership styles to match the different personalities we have working for us.

9) We are strong communicators

We have to communicate goals to other managers, associates and customers. It is extremely important to make sure we always follow up with our team.

10) We are quick learners

We are quick learners and are used to face pace environments. Many of us learn something once and can figure out the rest. It will not take long to train us for any type of job.

So, the next time you notice retail experience on a candidate’s resume, please take a second to look and remember we could be a great asset to your team.

Tara Fisher is a highly experienced leader in retail management. She has over 14 years of experience in the field. 

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