Industry Spotlight: Retail Jobs for Students

posted in: Job Seekers, Students, Youth | 0

Trying to find the right job as a student can be challenging. With the pressure to maintain your grades; it can get overwhelming. Added to that, one challenge that many students who are looking for work face is a lack of previous experience.

How can you gain experience when it seems like you already need experience to get a job?

There are plenty of companies who actively seek out students to hire. So, where are these companies?

The answer is in the retail industry.

If you’re looking for help finding work in the retail industry, or any other industry, this summer, contact us today.

What is Retail?

Retail companies are everywhere. Some of the most valuable companies in the world today are companies in the retail industry. These companies specialize in selling goods such as clothing, medicine, food, fashion accessories and more to consumers.

The retail industry is an economic powerhouse. Generating billions of dollars and employing thousand of people in Ontario; retail companies hire people from all walks of life – especially students.

Benefits of Working in Retail

Flexible Schedule

One of the main reasons why a retail job is ideal for students is flexibility. Offering both full-time and part-time positions, retail jobs are a great way to earn a paycheck while staying on top of your busy school schedule. Evening shifts, night shifts, weekend shifts and more; the fluid scheduling of most retail companies can be beneficial to your school and work life balance.

Building Connections

Working in a retail store allows you to create new friendships that you can carry and build outside of your job. Since retail stores frequently hire students, you can find people that share the same interests as you or find people who have the same goals as you. This is a great way to start and grow your network and your networking skills.

Great Starter Resume

Another benefit of getting a job in the retail industry is experience. Retail experience provides students with a foundation for a great resume – especially if you have minimal to no work experience at all. From local mom-and-pop shops to big-box retail stores, having a job in retail gives you experience you need to start building your resume.

Now that you know some of the benefits of retail, take a look at the top retail jobs for students.

Retail Jobs for Students

Sales Associate

From greeting customers once they enter the store to helping them cash-out their purchases; a sales associate’s role is to help customers throughout the buying process. The retail industry contains hundreds of companies, and they all have their own variations of the ‘sales associate’ role such as Brand Ambassador, Floor Sales Associate, Retail Sales Associate or Store Associate.

The main responsibility of a sales associate is – you guessed it, sales. Armed with extensive product knowledge and great communication skills, sales associates are the driving force of sales in retail stores.

Students in the sales associate role can look forward to sharpening a wide variety of skills. Among them are their communication, empathy, confidence skills and more as they interact and help multiple customers with every retail shift.


Cashiers are the ‘end-point’ in a consumer’s retail journey. This is where you can find customers finalizing their payments of goods from a retail store. A cashier’s job is to become familiar with their store’s cash register or point-of-sales (POS) system. Sounds simple right? Well, although it is in the job title, there’s a lot more to it than just working a register.

An ideal cashier displays great customer-service skills, happily greeting their next customers and trying to solve any problems they might have encountered throughout their time in the store. Cashiers need to have patience, problem-solving, attention-to-detail and organization skills; important skills that students can improve if they find themselves in a cashier role.

Stock Merchandiser

A stock merchandiser’s duties can vary depending on the retail company, but, for the most part their main role revolves around inventory. Although their job is not frequently associated with customer interactions – their extensive product knowledge can be helpful if they find a customer in need of help.

Stock merchandisers are an important part of the retail industry, and they often work in tandem with sales associates where they are able to communicate and help solve customer concerns. As a stock merchandiser, you can easily enhance your organization, communication, multi-tasking, problem solving skills and much more.

Combined with the ability to have a flexible schedule, growing your network, and providing a great foundation for experience building, a job in the retail industry is ideal for most students. As an industry thriving economically and breaking through with innovations in e-commerce, retail jobs for students will grow, transform and evolve over time.

If you need help looking for a job this summer, find out about our Youth Job Connection and our Skills Enhancement for Youth programs or contact us today.