How to Apply for a Second Job in Retail
by Stephanie Barna
You already have a full-time job, but adding the income from a part-time retail job would help make things a bit more comfortable. Here’s how to leverage your experience from previous jobs and write a resume to land that part-time position in retail.
According to the National Retail Federation, 21 percent of former part-time employees said retail helped them through a time when they needed extra income. The retail industry is an excellent source for part-time positions, with 29 percent working less than a 35-hour workweek. Jobs are also growing at a projected rate of 1.7 percent by the year 2020. (Curious about the future for retail jobs? Check out our outlook for the retail job sector.)
The benefits of part-time retail work are flexibility in staffing shifts and being able to pick up work during the busy holiday season. In fact, looking for a part-time job is easiest when retailers are staffing up for seasonal workers, usually at the beginning of fall. They want new employees trained and ready to face the onslaught of Black Friday shoppers and the subsequent holiday shopping season.
Part-time jobs can be found with big chains and with smaller, locally owned businesses. The difference is scale — a small retail owner might not be able to offer benefits or a lot of flexibility, while a chain store has more resources, more flexible shifts, and possible benefits.
Eight chains that offer benefits for part-time positions:
- REI: health insurance after 12 months, public transit subsidy, 50 percent discount
- Costco: eligible for full benefits after 600 hours or 120 days
- Lowe’s Home Improvement: full benefits
- Staples: insurance and 401(k)
- Starbucks: health insurance, free coffee or tea, commuter benefit, more
- Chipotle: health insurance, tuition assistance, free food
- Whole Foods: health insurance
- AT&T: insurance, retirement, discounts
Another consideration for your part-time retail job is finding a position that pays a better wage. The federal minimum is $7.25 per hour, but a majority of states offer a higher minimum wage, with the highest being $12 per hour in California, Washington and Massachusetts.
A job with a base wage plus commission might be a way to make more money. But be aware that it may be hard to for a part-time sales associate to hit high sales goals, especially if you’re working only 20 hours per week.
How to apply for a part-time job
Now that you have an idea of where to apply and what skills you need to highlight on your resume, let’s look at what you need to do to land that part-time job. A part-time job application should be taken as seriously as any full-time job application. That means even if the employer want you to fill out a standard application, you should take the time to create a unique and targeted resume and cover letter.
The key to a successful application is making sure you convey the skills required for a retail salesperson — like being responsible and adaptable — in your cover letter and resume. Another key to a successful application? Making sure you map your skills, accomplishments and experience to the needs and requirements profiled in the job advertisement.
Tips for writing a cover letter for your second job
In your cover letter, you should address why you are looking for a part-time job (without going into too much detail) and include the following:
- The skills you have that apply to the job, like communication and reliability
- Why you’d be a good team player
- Why you want to work for this company
- How you would manage a second job
- Why it’s important to have a second job (keep this positive)
Tips for translating skills in your second job resume
Because you already have a full-time job, you can consider using a hybrid resume format to highlight the skills you have at the top of the page while still showing your work history. Also, pay close attention to the job listing for potential keywords. Many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to sort resumes, and including the right keywords can help you get noticed by the hiring manager.
Ready to get started on crafting application materials for your second job in retail? When you put our Resume Templates and Cover Letter Examples to use, a lot of the writing and organization on both documents gets done upfront, which can help you apply for jobs even faster.