Top tips for finding retail jobs as a student….and some reasons to be positive:

I recently rang several retailers based in Golden Square (shopping centre in the centre of Warrington) to source part-time student vacancies on behalf of Careers and Employability.

In the current climate I assumed it would be difficult to find even one vacancy. However, I was delighted to find five part-time vacancies after only a few calls to stores, restaurants and coffee shops. These vacancies have now been uploaded onto Careers and Employability’s vacancy portal www.chester.ac.uk/careers/vacancies.

After talking to the store managers based in Golden Square, here are my top tips for finding part-time retail vacancies:

1. Before you visit or phone, check each retailer’s website for relevant vacancies, note any vacancies you spot and then contact the store and ask whether the vacancies you’ve seen are still available – shows you’re motivated and have done your research!

2. Ask to speak to the manager when you ring or call into stores: they’re the ones who will be most likely to be aware of any current vacancies and relevant details.

3. Create a retail-focused CV and take a copy into each store and make sure you give it to the manager. Or if you’re phoning, ask how they would like to receive your CV (in store/by email).

4. You could write a short covering letter to accompany your CV. Tailor the covering letter specifically for the store/position that you are interested in and explain why you would like to work there and why you would be suitable for that store. Try to address this letter to the store manager (phone up beforehand to ask their name)

5. If there are no jobs available, ask if there might be any in the near future and see if the manager will keep your CV on file– then call back after a few weeks to check whether any new vacancies have emerged.

6. Look appropriate (not scruffy!) when visiting a store – help the manager visualise you working there.

7. Start out expecting to contact loads of stores – if you contact a large number of retailers, at least one of them will have a vacancy!

8. Register for part-time vacancy alerts on www.chester.ac.uk/careers/vacancies – you can then find out about vacancies as they are added to the portal by Careers and Employability

Georgina Sullivan, UniJob employee/2nd year student -Radio Production and Journalism, University of Chester

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