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Skills That Make You More Marketable in Retail

Skills That Make You More Marketable in Retail
By: Karin Eldor
Monster Contributing Writer
In today’s competitive job market, it’s a good idea to stand out from the crowd. By diversifying your skillset, you are branding yourself in a positive light to potential employers and continuously marketing yourself to your supervisors while on the job.
When it comes to scoring a career in the retail industry, there are some ways you can help shine the light on you, and some skills that do wonders for you, as a brand. Find out which skills can help you market yourself as an offer that no company – especially one in retail -- can refuse.
1)    Learn a new language
Being able to flaunt that you’re bilingual in a country like Canada is key to potential employers. And when it comes to the retail industry, there is a huge advantage to proficiency in English and French whether you are dealing with customers first hand in the customer service department at the head office, or even in the day-to-day interactions at a company’s headquarters.
While being fluent in French and English are big bonuses in Canada, tackling another international language like Spanish and Mandarin can also serve you well, especially if you are dealing with the United States or South America, or are working in the imports and logistics departments.
2)    Master a computer program
When it comes to being computer savvy in the corporate world, today’s standards seem to be proficiency in programs such as Excel, Word and PowerPoint (or their equivalents). Stating on your resume that you are a pro at Internet Explorer 9 won’t make you seem like a star!
Depending on the career path you are looking to take in retail, it’s a wise move to learn a program that’s commonly used in your field. For example, if you are looking to work in marketing, it helps to have some working knowledge of design programs like Adobe InDesign or Photoshop. If you’re looking for a job with a more number-based focus, there may be other programs that are commonly used – being familiar with these is an impressive first step. Many programs can even be self-taught with practice, so inquire and go for it!
3)    Complete a certificate
Whether you’ve been out of school for a while or are looking to get into a specific trade, try signing up for a certificate. These can usually be completed on a part-time basis, making it possible whether you’re looking for a career change or juggling a part-time job in the meantime. Looking to apply for a job at a company’s public relations or programming department? Both careers likely have certificate programs at your local trade school or college.
4)    Intern or volunteer 
The power of networking comes in really handy here. Volunteering or interning in an industry that interests you is a great way to expand your network and build up your resume.

Although this might be better suited to a recent college graduate, it can be a great way to give you first-hand experience if you are looking for a career change.
5)    Read up on the latest industry news
Subscribe to any online and/or print trade magazines related to the retail industry. There are a slew of high-quality online magazines and trade publications for you to surf regularly and better yet, sign up to their newsletters. And make it a point to read the Business section of your local and even national paper. It’s important to stay in the loop when it comes to the latest industry trends and news.
No matter the job you are hoping to land, working on building your skillset is a great way to foster personal growth and invest in yourself!