By JASON MOTA
Students hoping to work this Christmas season had better start sending out their resumes, as many retail stores have started hiring already.
Timeliness is just one of many skills to make use of when looking for employment, since the retail job market is as competitive as ever, and a single mistake can often mean the difference between landing a job and losing it.
“If you bring your resume in with a friend, right away, that’s it for us,” said Ryan Goetz, a manager at Zumiez, a skateboard-clothing store at Fairview Park Mall. “Also, I would say negativity. People are pretty easy to read usually, and if you get that negative vibe right away, that’s a deal-breaker for sure.”
According to Goetz, the best way to improve your chances of getting a job is to avoid showing any unprofessionalism – dress appropriately, show up on time to all appointments and appeal to the place you apply to – don’t make it seem like an impersonal, rehearsed application made for the sake of getting any possible job.
“Make your face known, show us that you want to be here, and not necessarily that you’re just looking for a job,” said Goetz. “Christmas is a crazy time but it’s a really good time to get into retail.”
These tips and sentiments are the same for many retailers looking for seasonal part-timers – they don’t just apply to one or two places. Loyda Rodriguez, a manager at Bluenotes, a youth clothing store widely popular for its jeans, looks for many of the same things in applicants.
“We’re looking for somebody with confidence, with really good demeanour walking in,” said Rodriguez. “Make sure your resume is clean, make sure it’s to the point, ask for the manager on duty, and specify whether you’re looking for a part-time job or full-time job, and what your availability is.”
Handing in an application without friends or family tagging along is also something that Rodriguez urges, because of how unprofessional it looks.
“Just yesterday I had a young boy come in (and apply for a job). He had his resume, everything was good, but then his mom kind of popped over his shoulder and said, ‘He needs a part-time job!’ and that was an instant deal-breaker right there.”