In February, I attended a job fair in Bicester Village. There is a famous shopping street here, full with luxury brands at discounted prices, and this street is still expending.
So this job fair on 28th Feb was mainly for the stores of this street. I am going to share some experience of mine as a new starter in England.
How do I start?
Every job starts with a good resume, no matter where you are, what sort of jobs you are going to apply, your CV is going to help you to accomplish the first step of the job hunting. As a former HR in China, you don’t need a fancy CV with plastic cover or amazing design, because it will only take HR maximum 1 minute to go through a single CV. The key words matter. That requires you to highlight the skills and experience you have, of course, related to the job that you apply.
Cover letter is not a must, but it’s a plus. It will be more sincere if you attach the cover letter with CV, but do not just copy from the internet. Write something about yourself, and match your outstanding skills to the position you apply for. There are lots of websites for you to send your resumes, but it will be also a good choice that you directly apply on the company websites. Here are some recommended websites, and some HR will search your CV here also, so keep it updated.
There are many ways to start your hunting, job agent will be the faster one. They always have many vacancies with the job description and salary rate. For the store positions, the fastest way is internal referral and store application. Some companies have internal referral scheme, that the employees can recommend others to join, of course, you will get to know more about the details of the job and environment from the insiders. Store application is an easy and fast way to get the interview, some vacancies will be hired by the store managers, meanwhile, you will feel more and know more of their products when you are inside of the store. Don’t forget there are always job fairs in the UK, the companies which attend the fair, they will have more vacancies or urgent needed. Check out the websites below:
How do I join Bicester Village Job Fair?
The job fair I attended was held by a company “kwd solutions”, and there will be someone on behalf of Bicester Village to contact you after you register the job fair. If you don’t have the registration, you will have to do it anyway when you arrive at the fair. You may always find the new information, such as when the next job fair is, what position they are looking for, or which brands have vacancy, etc. on this website:
The registration website is here:
What do I need to prepare before an interview?
I saw some people wear casual outfit to attend the job fair, to be honest, a formal outfit is never too much, and it will make you more professional. Get yourself suit for the interview, you can easily find it in ZARA, H&M or NEXT. Please do remember to iron your shirt. Furthermore, you may ask the dress code before you attend an interview. For girls, as the professional look, try not to wear strong makeup, not to have outstanding colored nails, keep it natural, such as nude and pink, or just red. Your first impression might be 60% of the interview.
Beside your outfit, you should bring your CV and cover letters with you. You might start your interview by introducing yourself, so prepare a brief self-introduction. The introduction will include your highlight your working experience related to the position, your personal strength that makes you perfect for the position.
Get to know more information of the company, for instance, if you are going to apply for a brand, make sure you know their target customers, best sellers, icon, cultural or heritage. If you do have time, read some recent news or big events of this brand. Brand knowledge is important, since HRs or managers always ask.
The interview will normally be around 15-30minutes, for higher position probably more. Prepare some frequent question for the position, think of how you are going to answer them. Then you will feel more relax and confident when the time comes. The most important is to put yourself into their shoes, and think why they need to hire you, what benefits you are going to bring to the company.
Last but not least, prepare some questions that you are going to ask the HR or managers.
What if I don’t have any experience? No retail experience?
For international candidates like me, I was so worried that my English isn’t good enough to understand everything or express myself fully. But HR will understand and slow down for you, just be confident and well prepared. Try to practise with someone else before attending an interview.
The best thing of retail industry is you can learn really fast and you don’t even need much experience on it. Therefore, your attitude and confidence will bring you to another level. Keep positive and smile, show your need and desire to grow up with the company. Listen to them! And ask some question according to them. That will actually show them your communication skill. 😛
After the interview
Send a thank you letter to the HR or managers. If they tell you how long will you expect the result, send the E-mail again around that time, if not, send after a week. Whether you get the job or not, it’s always good to leave a nice and professional impression to people.
Good luck on your job hunting!