How do I Become a Grocery Clerk?

D. Jeffress

Grocery clerks perform many important duties in supermarkets and grocery stores. Among many other tasks, they are responsible for pricing and packaging items, stocking shelves, setting up displays, and assisting customers. Since most businesses will hire clerks with little or no previous experience, it is a popular job among young people and individuals who are returning to work after a long break or retirement. Competition for jobs can be very strong, and employers are likely to hire applicants who can demonstrate strong math, communication, and organizational skills. A person who wants to become a grocery clerk can improve his or her chances of finding work by creating an attractive resume and making a strong impression during an interview.

At some large supermarkets, a grocery clerk is expected to assist customers on the sales floor and to be prepared to answer any questions.
At some large supermarkets, a grocery clerk is expected to assist customers on the sales floor and to be prepared to answer any questions.

An individual who wants to become a grocery clerk can develop important job skills in high school courses and private studies. Basic math skills generally are needed to accurately take inventory, price goods, and apply discounts. Many clerks also act as cashiers, so they may need to understand how to accurately calculate purchase totals and make change. A person who wants to become a grocery clerk can also develop written and verbal communication skills so that he or she will be prepared to deal with managers and customers.

Grocery clerks are often responsible for running the register and stocking items.
Grocery clerks are often responsible for running the register and stocking items.

Job openings often can be found in newspaper ads and online job search Web sites. A person who wants to become a grocery clerk should visit several different sites, view listings, and identify the criteria for employment. Some grocery stores require that applicants have previous work experience, though most jobs are open to anyone who can meet the physical demands of the position. Listings may request that people visit stores in person to fill out applications or submit information via e-mail.

At most supermarkets, entry-level grocery clerks help set up and arrange food displays.
At most supermarkets, entry-level grocery clerks help set up and arrange food displays.

A person can supplement applications with a resume created on a computer. Many online sites and word processing software packages feature resume templates that help a person design an attractive, properly formatted document. The resume should highlight previous work and volunteer experience, educational achievements, and personal traits. A thorough, honest resume may make the difference between receiving a call for an interview and being passed over in the selection process. If a person does land an interview, he or she should dress nicely, speak confidently, and be willing to demonstrate skills if requested.

Once a person is able to become a grocery clerk, he or she usually spends several days training with experienced clerks or managers to learn job-specific duties and procedures. A clerk who consistently comes in on time, works hard, and demonstrates excellent interpersonal skills may have the opportunity for advancement within a company. Many clerks work their way up to supervisory, salaried positions with years of experience and proven abilities.

A grocery clerk needs at least basic math skills for the job.
A grocery clerk needs at least basic math skills for the job.

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