Job Descriptions Decoded: Macy's Seasonal Employee

Alamy (composite: Mack Gelber)

Seasonal Retail Stock Merchandise Placement Associate

If you're looking for seasonal work in the retail industry, many employers are also looking for you. Now is the time to have your eyes and ears open for these positions. There can be a lot of competition. Even though the job may be temporary, employers will want to hire people who can demonstrate they are well qualified. In other words, if you want the job, don't take your resume and application materials lightly. Make a point to clearly draw the connections between your background and experience and the job's qualifications.

While the remainder of this job description suggests this person's day-to-day work may not involve dealing directly with the public (as a sales associate would), and even indicates this person may work during off hours when the store is closed, pay attention to the fact that the description focuses on the integral role successful candidates will have in providing customers with strong service. If you have any background or experience providing service, you will want to highlight it in your resume headline and in the bullet point descriptions of your experience.

Even if your experience is specifically in stocking retail stores, and you never saw a customer on the job, incorporate some details about how you served the customer, even if it was only by doing your job well. "Customer service" should be on your resume. Ideally, you will describe how you served "customers," even if you interpret the term loosely. Don't forget, your colleagues can be considered "customers" if you were providing them service.

A strong bullet points for this job may include a description such as, "Provided excellent customer service by following directions and paying attention to details that were not obvious. Noted by supervisor as attentive, conscientious and careful."

Whether or not you're in the store with customers, you will work in a team, so remember to incorporate your excellent team work in your resume bullet points. Clearly, stocking a retail sales floor involves paying close attention to specifics, being able to physically move objects and finding the merchandise to use to stock the floor. Completing price changes is a crucial item in this description. We all know the havoc that mis-priced items on a sales floor may have on customers. Use all of this information in your resume.

If you've worked in retail, this type of bullet may apply to you:

"Collaborated with team to efficiently organize sales bins so customers could easily identify sales items. Suggested new approaches that were adapted by management to finish stocking floor in less time."
Perhaps you don't have retail experience, but think you are well qualified. Prove it:

"Demonstrated strong attention to detail by reviewing and fact checking price sheets for large office. Saved company $X by identifying errors."

If you have experience in any setting that involves cleaning or organizing, include it in your resume.

"Organized and cleared supply closet and uncovered $X worth of lost items. Known for being exceptionally focused and efficient, resulting in work spaces conducive to productive work."

If you've worked "off" hours or the night shift in the past, highlight it on your resume. For example, make a point to say, "Stocked and priced clothing and other items during night shift. Regularly worked midnight-6 a.m. shift."

If you can demonstrate your flexibility in past jobs, that will help you appear more qualified for these positions. For example,

"Demonstrated flexibility in schedule. Acted as on-call, fill-in stock person and was available to work holidays and odd hours."

If you've used technology and are comfortable with it, your resume should reflect that. Incorporate any systems you've used in the past, especially as they relate to the retail industry. Even if you haven't worked in retail, detail the fact that you are a quick learner and comfortable picking up proprietary devices and applications.

Any experience in cleaning or organizing will be an asset to your application. Think about when and where you participated in helping to maintain a neat and clean environment at work and feature it on your resume.

Communication skills are key for almost every job. Include several bullet points on your resume to indicate your background in successfully communicating with teammates and managers. It's especially helpful if you can include the positive results, or impact, your good communication had on the organization.

All of these items are important to incorporate in your resume. Did you win an award for attendance at work? Are you always on time? Push this content into your descriptions.

If you needed to read and interpret instructions in past jobs, include a bullet point about that, as well.

Suggested bullet points to cover these requirements include:

"Used strong written and verbal communication skills when interacting with clients, customers and teammates. Wrote new manual to instruct colleagues on best practices for ______."

"Independently organized file cabinets and office supply closet. Showed initiative by coming in after hours to arrange materials so staff could use them efficiently."

If you've worked in a job that has similar requirements, be sure to incorporate it. If you're on your feet at work all day, include it in your description.

If you have merchandising skills, use that term in your resume. Where have you exercised creativity and vision at work? Use those words to describe your accomplishments.
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