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Retail is a great place to start your career. These great tips from the Careers in Eyecare experts can help you get the retail jobs you apply for!

Retail is a great place to start your career – there are so many different shops you can work in you’re sure to find one that appeals. But if you have an eye on your dream job, what will you need to make sure that you are picked for the role when you apply? Read on to find the key qualities that will help you get ahead in retail.


Before you apply for a retail role, look at the staff who are working in the business already. It’s easy to stroll into the shop and check it out. Make sure you take a good look at what the staff are wearing. Every retail outlet will have a different code of dress. Some may provide you with a uniform, while others may give you an allowance for clothes from their range of stock. Whatever you are asked to wear, you will need to be presentable.

If you are interviewed for a retail role check that your look is aligned to that of the existing staff – if you want a job in a skateboard shop what you wear will be very different to working in an opticians, for example.


Don’t be late! When you work in retail, punctuality is important, as shops have set opening hours. In your job application you may want to mention examples that show you are punctual – have you reliably turned up on time for a volunteer position or for work experience, for example. Think about the difficulties the shop might be in if all the staff were late! And make sure you arrive a little early for your job interview.

Polite and professional

Imagine being asked the same questions all day! Sometimes in a retail role you will be faced by customers who want to know things that seem obvious to you. This is when politeness comes into play. You will need to respond politely and cheerfully to every customer, from the first person you speak to in the morning to the browser who needs to be encouraged to leave at the end of the day. You may also need to give answers which represent your employer’s views rather than your own – that’s part of being professional.

Positive and passionate

If you can find a job you love, you’re onto a good thing. Having a positive attitude from the start can help you find the good things in even the most routine role. You might love chatting to customers and make good friends with the people you work with. You may have a passion for the products that the retailer sells, for example fashion clothing, gaming, sports.

The more you learn about your role in retail, the more passionate you will become. The best retail workers have a real passion for what they sell and share this with customers. And as your passion grows you can develop your career. Someone who works in an opticians, for example, could move from a role as an optical assistant to become a dispensing optician or practice manager, gaining professional or management qualifications while they work.

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