You’ve probably heard the rumors. Working in eCommerce is pretty sweet. And we’re here to confirm that it’s completely true.
Whether you’re already working an entry level eCommerce job and looking to work your way up or you’re hoping to switch fields, we’ve got key examples on how to flaunt the skills you have to match the eCommerce job skills employers want.
Ready to find out how to get a job in eCommerce? Here’s how to promote your talents and get a seat in the interview room.
Start With a Killer Cover Letter
There are a lot of guides that tell you the key to standing out is a specialized resume for the job you’re seeking. While this never hurts, the first line of defense between you and an interview is a thoughtful cover letter.
A cover letter is your opportunity to speak directly to your future employer. It’s also a way to showcase your personality and mention anything that needs a further explanation on your resume.
Here’s a real-life example. When I was trying to move from the editorial world into the copywriting world, I had to figure out how I could cater my previous skills to make them appealing. I had zero copywriting experience on my resume, but I knew that some of the short, product description editorials I had years of experience working on, along with my self-taught SEO knowledge, would need to be explained if I wanted to get my foot in the door. I made note of all this in my cover letter.
And that’s exactly how I landed my first job and made the transition into the eCommerce world. Here’s how you can too.
Tips on Making Your Cover Letter Stand Out
Turn Non-eCommerce Experience into eCommerce Experience
Have your own crazy social media following? Tell them how your Instagram prowess will help their brand directly. Were you a college athlete? Your drive to beat out competitors makes you a born paid traffic powerhouse. We get into this more below.
Show Them You Know The Business
Do your research, explain what you like and what you’d like to improve on with their company specifically. Tell them the skills you have that their company simply can’t do without. Name drop a potential competitor of theirs in your note so that they know you’ve got your thumb on the pulse of the industry.
Be Someone You’d Want to Work Next To
If you know the company culture is laid back, don’t be too buttoned up in your cover letter. And if you know they serve up Taco Tuesdays in the office, brag about your guacamole recipe (but only if it’s actually good). This is a great place to let that personality of yours shine through.
Tell a Good Story
Even if you can’t think of anything eCommerce related in your past, share a past experience on how you learned a new skill and nailed it. Everyone loves a success story. And employers want to hear them.
Be sure to address your note to the hiring manager in charge, not to a generic “Sir or Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern”.
Focus On Your Intro
Grab their attention in the very first line of your letter. We love this example from Forbes:
If I’m in a conference room and the video isn’t working, I’m not the sort to simply call IT and wait. I’ll also (gracefully) crawl under the table and check that everything is properly plugged in.
In two sentences, this future employee is conveying both personality and how she might function in an office environment. It’s a great way to instantly show a company what type of team member you’d be.
How To Apply Your Own Skills
As you work on how to get an eCommerce job, you’ll start to notice some key phrases or skill sets come up time and time again within the niche you’re applying for. If you’re hoping to be a social media manager, a term like “increase brand awareness” comes up frequently. And if you’re looking for a job in development, you’ll commonly see “user-friendly design” as a skill set. Luckily for you, most of the skills eCommerce store owners are looking for aren’t eCommerce specific!
In fact, after interviewing countless eCommerce store owners that have hired (and fired) employees the one thing most of them agreed on was that eCommerce experience is nice to have, but isn’t a necessity.
Different careers in the eCommerce industry will require different skills and varying levels of experience. If you’re curious about how you can cater yourself to be marketable to a hiring manager, check out some of our examples below.
After interviewing countless eCommerce store owners that have hired (and fired) employees the one thing most of them agreed on was that eCommerce experience is nice to have, but isn’t a necessity.
“You can teach someone how to do customer service, but you can’t teach them to be a people person.”
Jacquie Jones is the Office Manager for Frame Destination. She handles the interview process for finding top customer service reps for the company.
“A good cover letter is when you can feel their personality come through,” she says. “You want them to be able to communicate who they are, so when they deal with customers, they can feel it too.”
Skills To Highlight
It may sound obvious, but Jacquie says qualified candidates should make it obvious that they like people and would enjoy interacting with them on a daily basis.
Communication skills, patience and being a good listener top her list for key attributes of a great customer service agent.
Mark Rogers, owner of Frame Destination, says they don’t like to see that someone has worked for a call center before.
“Call centers are all about scripted volume,” says Mark. “We prefer to look for people who have had more complicated customer service jobs where everything can’t be scripted, where they have to solve problems and figure things out.”
For example, if you’ve worked in the medical field or in photo printing and need to deal directly with customers, your experience can easily be forayed into eCommerce.
Though the term is broadly defined, some eCommerce analysts are expected to do everything from running Facebook ads to conversion rate optimization to balancing the books. But Brian Goulet, owner of Goulet Pens, disagrees.
“When we’re hiring for a data-driven role, I look at the kind of end result I’m looking for,” he says. “For example, I want to know how many new customers we’re bringing in each week and where they first heard about us. Given my current platform and technology, that’s not easy information to find. Our Data Analyst figures out how to get that information. He does a lot of writing Excel macros and helps with automatic processes on my inventory and purchasing team.”
Individuals that are always wondering, “Is this the most efficient way we can be doing this?” are made for jobs like this. Since not all data jobs are created equal, technical areas of expertise are what store owners are looking for: statistics, business processes, analytics, programming, database management, or financial analysis.
Skills To Highlight
“It’s less about the actual data you’ve managed, and more about your process,” says Brian. “Specific computer programs you’ve used only really matter if you’re going to be using them in your new role.”
Instead, showcase that you have an inherent ability to teach yourself new skills and be able to problem solve, which Brian says is the top thing he looks for in candidates.
Be sure to mention instances where you’ve been able to crunch numbers like a champ and how you made decisions based on your findings. If you currently find yourself in a data-heavy job and want to move those skills into eCommerce, Brian suggests staying an active student.
“Try to learn as much as you can about the process by which you’re gathering data and how it is that data is being used to make decisions,” he says. “It’s one thing to crunch numbers, it’s another to understand what numbers matter and are worth your time to look at.”
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Positions
These three-letter acronyms are highly sought-after eCommerce job positions and arguably some of the best eCommerce jobs out there today. A desire to learn in both these roles is absolutely crucial, as both fields are constantly evolving in the industry.
“Out of the four employees we’re hired for these roles, only one has had previous eCommerce experience,” says Blair Budlong, owner of Decks Direct.
Blair looks for two key skills: a really great working knowledge of Excel and a former competitive background. And yes, a background as an athlete counts!
“We want that internal drive to do better and to beat the competitor. Someone with the will win to with their mind and their effort,” he says. “The rest can be trained or learned.”
Skills to Highlight
Since so much can be taught in these roles, a true desire to learn is crucial. Blair loves to see future employees that will listen to podcasts or read a relevant blog. “This role in particular needs to have the drive to be curious,” he says.
Blair uses two interviews to find the right candidate: the first one focuses a cultural fit and the second one makes sure the expectations of the role is understood. In your interview, share a skill you currently excel at that you previously had no experience in. It will be an easy way for employers like Blair to see that you’d be an excellent SEO or PPC student.
In your interview, share a skill you currently excel at that you previously had no experience in.
Executive Assistant or Admin Gigs
An administrative role in eCommerce is essentially the gatekeeper of the company. Any type of past assistant work is a really important part of stepping into this position. And most store owners will agree that being hyper organized and having the ability to thrive in often stressful situations are crucial.
“You have to be a clear communicator and a pleasant person to talk to, as my Executive Assistant talks to vendors, other team members, and people outside our company”, says Brian.
Skills to Highlight
Be a vault. When you work alongside top eCommerce execs, you need to show how trust has been an integral part of your past work experiences.
Even if you are just getting your toes wet in a position like this, one of the biggest skills you can showcase is hyper organization.
“Professional experience matters a little less to me, but someone in this role should generally have their act together in life, and have a pattern of creating structure out of chaos,” says Brian.
If you have a knack for the written word, focus on a solid cover letter to get the attention of your future boss. “Cover letters honestly can tell more about a person than their resume. Especially being in eCommerce, writing and digital communication matters a ton,” says Brian. “If you can’t put two thoughts together in a cover letter, then that that is a weed-out step in the interview for me. Especially for an EA. You’d better be able to write like a freaking champ.”
Now Go After That eCommerce Job!
That eCommerce job that feels a little out of reach shouldn’t feel that way any more. Even if you’ve yet to dabble directly in eCommerce, a winning combination of a smart cover letter, polished resume and highlighting the skills your future employer needs is a sure-fire way to get your foot in the door.
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