How do you get a part-time job in retail if all your work experience is working in your creative specialism and nothing else?

I've worked in marketing and advertising, but in heavily specialist roles like animating and motion graphics. I've spent most of my career dealing with machines more than people, mainly in freelance positions. I want to work in retail because it might sound silly, but I've always wanted to be a bookseller and Waterstones rejected me once. Never knew what to do about it. Apple Retail is hiring Creatives right now, and maybe Technology retail is more suited to me - but what do retail CVs actually need? What do I put there if I've never been in a customer-facing role?


  • Hi Pracheta, great question! I had your same issue, but in reverse: from cosmetic retail to creative roles. Don’t be fooled by not having some previous retail experience, what’s important is how you “sell” yourself and tour skills. In retail a lot is about social skills. For example, you mentioned you worked a lot as a freelancer. That means you had a lot to do with people and managing relationships with them. It requires listening to their needs, understanding them and in the end, create a pleasant environment to work in. This is essential in retail :) talk about what being a freelancer taught you in terms of social skills and how to handle clients’ relationships. Add it to your cover letter i am sure it will help you get to at least an interview stage! Hope this helps :) cheers!
  • Maybe employers think you're looking for a retail job as a means to an end? Just to plug the gap?

    I would add an introduction to your CV explaining why you're looking for work in retail. Or, even better, add a covering letter. Then, you can showcase why you're passionate, and why you want to work with them.

    This will help you stand-out from the crowd!

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