Sales assistant

Shop assistant, sales person, store assistant, retail assistant, retail sales assistant

Sales assistants sell products and help customers.

Salary range: £12,500 ti £25,000

The CV Writer Career Advice Guides. Helping you write a CV, guiding you to a career. Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

How to become a sales assistant

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • volunteering
  • applying directly
The CV Writer Career Advice Guides. Helping you write a CV, guiding you to a career. Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

College

You can learn some of the skills you need for this job by doing a:

  • Level 2 Certificate or Diploma in Retail Skills
  • Level 3 Diploma in Retail Skills Sales Professional

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More information

The CV Writer Career Advice Guides. Helping you write a CV, guiding you to a career. Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

Apprenticeship

You could get into this job through a retailer intermediate apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More information

The CV Writer Career Advice Guides. Helping you write a CV, guiding you to a career. Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

Work

You could apply for permanent jobs after getting some experience from:

  • a temporary job in a store at Christmas
  • a weekend job

Volunteering and experience

Getting experience volunteering in a charity shop could lead into paid work.

Direct application

You can apply directly for jobs. Employers may ask for some GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths. Retail or customer service experience will also be helpful.

More information

Career tips

It will help if you:

  • are confident about selling
  • have a positive, helpful attitude
  • can get on well with a wide range of customers

Some stores, like mobile phone or DIY shops, may expect you to have good knowledge of their products before you apply.

The CV Writer Career Advice Guides. Helping you write a CV, guiding you to a career. Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

  • be over 18 to sell alcohol and other restricted goods

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could:

  • serve and advise customers
  • unpack and sort new stock deliveries
  • arrange goods in displays and on shelves
  • rotate and replace stock
  • promote products
  • take cash and card payments and make sure the till balances
  • deal with customers wishing to return items, refund payments and log details manually or electronically
  • meet sales targets
  • keep the store clean and tidy

Working environment

You could work at a store, in a stock room, at a garden centre or at a garage.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and crowded.

You may need to wear a uniform.

The CV Writer Career Advice Guides. Helping you write a CV, guiding you to a career. Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

Career path and progression

With experience you could become a retail supervisor, manager or departmental manager.

You could specialise in customer services or buying merchandise. You could also set up and run your own independent shop or stall.