Beauty Retail Career Advice from Patrick Jamieson, Roc

Patrick Jamieson is a leading retail recruitment consultant for ROC and uses 'Hair and Beauty Jobs' to advertise vacancies in the beauty retail sector.

Patrick took some time out to speak to 'Hair and Beauty Jobs' about the scope of jobs in today's beauty retail market and some handy tips for getting that job you've always wanted.

Q. What career opportunities are there to pursue in retail?

There is a massive amount of opportunities within retail. Within customer facing roles the chain starts with sales assistants and progresses on to assistant account managers, account managers, store floor managers and then area managers.

For Head Office non customer facing roles there are lots of sales and marketing roles together with management roles

Q. What types of retail environments are there?

Retail venues are almost everywhere you look these days. Within the beauty retail sector you have department stores, chemists, stand alone shops and Store concessions.

Q. What personal qualities would a beauty consultant need to have?

They should be very warm and approachable, definately not a wallflower. A friendly and open personality and someone that's not afraid to approach customers. Really a confident but not aggressive style

Q. What is the pay like?

The pay can be good and as a lot of the jobs are commission based you get back what you put in!

Q. What activities would a beauty consultant be expected to carry out?

Beauty consultants at a counter within a department store would be expected to invite customers over and give advice on their skincare and overall colour choice, giving makeovers and demonstrations on the stand to show off products.

Beauty consultants are also expected to be adept at attracting customers to their stand. Thus merchandise display is important as is coming up with eye catching and innovative ways of increasing traffic flow

Because of the importance of the visual display of their products beauty consultants also have to be up to-date with their shelf stock whilst at the same time minimising wastage

Q. What tips would you give to someone trying to get a retail job?

Impress upon your potential employer your desire and ability to sell and that you are driven. Give some examples of ideas you have come up with in the past or ones that you think would work for increasing traffic flow and product sales. They're looking for commerciality!

Good customer service and focus is really important as you'll be dealing with different types of people, temperaments and circumstances.

Creativity is important in this sector. Think of ways in which you can demonstrate your visual merchandising skills, flexibility given different situations and an ability to think outside of the box.

Retail is a very proactive environment so it's important to come across as a go getter

For management positions you would have to in addition demonstrate good management skills. A NVQ level 3 would normally be the benchmark entry qualification for management work

Q. Do retail venues differ drastically from one another?

Department stores can be more demanding and competitive because of the volume of traffic and brands competing for their attention. You have to have a strong personality in this environment to 'stand out from the crowd'.

Then there's the luxury, high end of the market that might attract a more affluent customer that requires a lot of time to one sale

Q. What is the outlook for the retail market?

The whole industry has exploded and looks very different from how it did 20 years ago. Shops are now open 7 days a week, many opening late and with the industry being advertised heavily on TV shows things are booming.

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