This summer I took on the challenge of working in retail, as most of us lovers of fashion and style chose to do at one point or another. Not far into the season, I came to the realization that this was my first college summer and I should be making the most of it. To get more than a paycheck out of my summer gig, I found a few small ways to broaden my horizons and add some sparkles to my resume.
Disclaimer: I worked at a small boutique. Some of these tips may be less applicable if you are working for a large chain retailer.
Build a social media presence. The job I worked was at a locally-owned specialty store in a beach town. I noticed that the owners had created an online sales presence and a popular Facebook page, but were not utilizing any other social media channels. I asked permission to take over a forgotten store Instagram account for the summer. Using my coworkers as models, and the scenery around the store as a set, I photographed new merchandise and advertised sale items to a growing number of followers. This experience not only made my job more exciting, ut also allowed me to add several new skills to my resume.
Design a display. Visual merchandising is an important part of marketing. Displays draw customers in and show off new products in their best light. I had the opportunity to use my creativity and design knowledge to put together complete looks for mannequins and arrange products on tabletop displays.
Become an expert. Many brands offer online training videos that teach sales associates how to pitch their product to a customer. The more you learn about a product, the more you will be able to talk to customers about it, and the more likely they will be to buy it. Some brands even offer a rewards program and if you sell a certain number of their products, you might get something free. This is a terrific way to strengthen your marketing skills and possibly score some freebies.
Share your ideas. If you think those cute new skirts should be up front where customers can admire them more easily, tell someone! If you think there is a more efficient way to put price tags on a new shipment, let yourself be heard! Keep a stylish notebook on hand to jot down your thoughts. If you think every business has it all figured out, you’re wrong. Your idea could create positive changes that are needed for a business to grow. Tell your boss about a new brand you found that you believe would do well in your store. Brief your coworkers on the best questions to ask customers in order to figure out what they’re looking for. The possibilities are endless.
These ideas helped me get through some rather dull days on the sales floor. If you have any other tips please share them in the comments below!