Translating retail experience?

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lucrezaborgia
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Translating retail experience?

Postby lucrezaborgia » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:42 pm UTC

Weird title sorry! I didn't know what else to put. Here is the deal...I'm a non-traditional student with a ton of retail and other service industry experience. I'd like to get a masters in Library and Information Science with a focus on archival work. Currently, I'm a junior and am starting to look for internships relating to either library or archival work. A lot of these internships are asking for resumes and cover letters and I'm just baffled as to how to tailor my work experience to these applications!

Jobs I have had:

After-school care via the B&G Club as well as a city park
Clothing retail - both sales and back of house operations such as stockrooms and best known for turning cluterfuck stockrooms into pristine closets organized by size, color, brand, style, etc.
Relay operator
Florist
Produce clerk
Cashier

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big boss
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Re: Translating retail experience?

Postby big boss » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:13 am UTC

Usually previous work doesn't matter that much at the job level your looking at, afterall everyone starts off with little experience. You just need to figure out what skills the internships your looking at require and then figure out how your previous jobs helped you develop those skills. What matters more is if you have a solid GPA and have good interviewing skills over previous job experience, at least from what I gather from what you posted.
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KestrelLowing
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Re: Translating retail experience?

Postby KestrelLowing » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:38 pm UTC

I'd talk to your career center/adviser. They'll have a better idea of how to make all your experience actually relate to the types of internships you're attempting to get.

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Re: Translating retail experience?

Postby Bakemaster » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:30 am UTC

I agree with KestrelLowing. Your school almost certainly employs people whose sole job it is to advise students in this area. Use these people, they have seen an incredible number of resumes and their knowledge is invaluable.

The other thing you can do is when you talk with someone about applying for an internship at their company, or when you have an interview that doesn't pan out, first make sure you got their contact info to begin with and then afterward send them an email or make a phone call and just politely ask if they have any feedback about how you represented yourself in your resume. I have done this exact thing and each time got very specific and useful comments, and not always the same ones. Different industries want different things; even different HR offices and people within an office.
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Re: Translating retail experience?

Postby Aceo » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:42 am UTC

lucrezaborgia wrote:After-school care via the B&G Club as well as a city park
Clothing retail - both sales and back of house operations such as stockrooms and best known for turning cluterfuck stockrooms into pristine closets organized by size, color, brand, style, etc.
Relay operator
Florist
Produce clerk
Cashier


At a glance the main marketable, at any level, skills you could have gotten from these in my opinion are:
Patience (caring)
Time management (Clothing retail and florist)
Communication skills (operator)
Organisational

However, as has been said, the best you can do is find people who know more in depth information. For interviews at internship level it can always be useful to have examples ready of the above as well as times when you have shown creativity/problem solving, initiative and leadership/team roles.
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Hofstadter'sLaw
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Re: Translating retail experience?

Postby Hofstadter'sLaw » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:16 am UTC

lucrezaborgia wrote:Weird title sorry! I didn't know what else to put. Here is the deal...I'm a non-traditional student with a ton of retail and other service industry experience. I'd like to get a masters in Library and Information Science with a focus on archival work. Currently, I'm a junior and am starting to look for internships relating to either library or archival work. A lot of these internships are asking for resumes and cover letters and I'm just baffled as to how to tailor my work experience to these applications!

Jobs I have had:

After-school care via the B&G Club as well as a city park
Clothing retail - both sales and back of house operations such as stockrooms and best known for turning cluterfuck stockrooms into pristine closets organized by size, color, brand, style, etc.
Relay operator
Florist
Produce clerk
Cashier


I'm a first year grad student studying Library and Info Science with a focus in archives. Good to know I'm not the only one interested in that field. Seems like every single one of my classmates wants to be a librarian.

Anyway, one archivist-relevant skill you've used with those jobs was organization. (I just took a class that centered around organizing information in a way that makes it easiest to retrieve.) Maybe you could describe how you organized the clutterfuck stockrooms in a way that made all the supplies easier to find. If you had to make some sort of database or new system for organizing the supplies so that they would stay organized, that would be great to mention too.

I assume the internships that are asking for resumes are paying ones? If you don't think your resume will be competitive enough, focus on finding a museum or archive (does your school have one?) where you can volunteer for a term or two to beef up your resume with relevant experience. Then go back to applying for paid ones.

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lucrezaborgia
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Re: Translating retail experience?

Postby lucrezaborgia » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:21 pm UTC

I'm a first year grad student studying Library and Info Science with a focus in archives. Good to know I'm not the only one interested in that field. Seems like every single one of my classmates wants to be a librarian.


Awesome! I'm interested in the program at UW-Madison, especially since I can start it online. Right now I'm a history major with an art history/arts management minor. I'd love to spend the rest of my life in a museum or an archive or a library. Are there any classes that you recommend that I take in my undergrad that would help later on?

I assume the internships that are asking for resumes are paying ones?


No...unpaid and I've only applied to one so far. I kind of have an in with this place in that they have dealt with my fiance personally for certain events. He does Polish history reenacting and dresses up as a Hussar and talks to kids and stuff.

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Hofstadter'sLaw
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Re: Translating retail experience?

Postby Hofstadter'sLaw » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:24 am UTC

lucrezaborgia wrote:Awesome! I'm interested in the program at UW-Madison, especially since I can start it online. Right now I'm a history major with an art history/arts management minor. I'd love to spend the rest of my life in a museum or an archive or a library. Are there any classes that you recommend that I take in my undergrad that would help later on?


I'm doing my degree online too. It's great to not have a long commute and to be able to "attend class" (i.e. view recorded/live lectures, read lectures, etc.) whenever I want. The only annoying thing is people assume your classes are easier because you're taking them online--but they're the same exact work as the campus classes, except you view/read lectures at home instead of in a classroom and you have discussions online (which actually takes more time!).

I honestly don't know what specific classes to suggest. (My undergrad degree isn't related to LIS and I have no background in art.) Perhaps look through the required/elective classes that are offered at UW-Madison and see if there are any undergrad classes available to you that would lay good foundations for them? I imagine that anything related to organizing, managing, research (online catalogs and databases), copyright/fair use/ethics, and digitalization (or digital collections) might be helpful.

I'm sure art history/arts management will be an excellent background to have. You probably really don't need to worry about preparing for the LIS degree. I've taken two classes so far (and started two new ones today), and I haven't felt lost at all despite not having taken any related undergrad classes. The classes are a lot of work, but the material itself isn't difficult to grasp.

No...unpaid and I've only applied to one so far. I kind of have an in with this place in that they have dealt with my fiance personally for certain events. He does Polish history reenacting and dresses up as a Hussar and talks to kids and stuff.

Interesting. The only ones I've seen that asked for resumes were paying ones, but I haven't been looking at art museums/archives. Maybe a lot of people are interested in art internships so there's more competition? Good luck with your fiance's place! =]


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