There are no strict educational qualifications for a retail position, though most employers prefer applicants with a high school diploma or the equivalent. Some stores will also hire students currently enrolled in high school for part-time or seasonal work. Many retail companies look for employees with a college degree to fill management positions.
Customer service and communications skills are essential qualifications for anyone looking to work in retail. Most stores only hire employees who are fluent in English and can converse clearly and effectively with customers. Successful retail workers generally enjoy working with people. Employers will seek individuals with a pleasant personality who will treat customers with patience and respect even when things get busy and hectic. For most retail positions, applicants will be expected to maintain a neat, clean, and professional appearance. Your appearance and demeanor have a direct reflection on your company's image with potential customers.
Most retail employers seek applicants with some degree of customer service experience, though prior experience is not always required among their job qualifications. Customer service experience can come from a wide variety of experiences such as answering phones, restaurant work, or even people-oriented volunteer positions. As you gain retail experience, you may become qualified for promotion to a management position even if you haven't completed a college degree.
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