Note: This post includes both the job advert and the full position description. Read on!
We are looking for a vibrant bookseller to join our team.
The successful applicant will be an avid reader and stellar communicator. They will have a genuine belief in the power of books to educate and enrich, and the ability to translate that belief into well-crafted recommendations. Our new team member will be passionate about bookselling as a career: we are looking for someone keen to make a commitment and help us grow. As a small, independent bookshop, we invest in the reading lives of our customers and trade on our reputation for exemplary customer service, which means retail and customer service experience are essential and bookselling experience preferred.
In addition to the above, the successful applicant will:
- Have a positive, ‘can do’ attitude across all areas of the business. This role encompasses everything from handselling to processing stock to creating attractive window displays and would be best suited to an applicant with a broad set of skills.
- Have a warm and level-headed temperament with the ability to build rapport with customers.
- Be computer savvy and able to operate POS systems efficiently. Attention to detail is key.
- Possess good recall and a knack for remembering names and faces. We are known for providing a personalised service to our customers, which involves remembering regulars and their tastes and interests.
- Be comfortable and confident to work autonomously in the shop when required.
- Have an interest in book marketing and the inner workings of a small business.
The position will begin as casual and move to permanent part-time after a successful three-month trial period. Shifts will include Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday so availability on these days is imperative. Flexibility outside core shifts to cover illness or staff holidays is also highly desirable. Additional availability during our peak trading period (October to January) is essential.
This is a dynamic role in a thriving and evolving business. We are seeking to build longevity within our team so will only be considering applicants seeking long-term employment. This position has huge scope for growth and is immensely rewarding for the right candidate.
In addition to the skills and qualities outlined in our job advert, this PD elaborates on the duties and responsibilities of the position of Bookseller at The Book Bird. It is intended to give you a clearer picture of what we’re looking for and what the job entails.
Definition of a Bookseller:
To us, a bookseller is not someone who only processes sales. A bookseller is like a literary matchmaker, pairing people with the right books, confident in the power of books to transform and transport their readers. It takes enormous skill to be a good bookseller: you need to read widely, retain knowledge, and be able to selectively guide customers to titles that will excite and inspire them. We have a regular customer base who trust us to help them discover books they wouldn’t otherwise find. This means our knowledge extends from the books we stock to the community we serve: knowing people by name and creating a place of comfort and connection is at the heart of what we do.
This definition of a bookseller outlines some of the attributes and skills we’re looking for, but it also implies something else: time. It takes time to get familiar with all the books we stock; it takes time to learn customers’ names and faces and tastes; and it also takes time for us to provide comprehensive training. For this reason, we wish to be upfront about seeking applicants who consider bookselling a career, not a stepping-stone job.
A Day in the Life:
While providing well-crafted recommendations to our customers constitutes a major part of our business, there is a lot that goes on behind-the-scenes that makes up a regular day. Booksellers will be expected to receive and process stock; handle customer orders and enquiries; fulfil orders from our online shop; change displays; write review cards for the shelves; write content for our blog; cleaning; banking; cash up.
A Note on Processes and Procedures:
The Book Bird prides itself on efficiency and accuracy, and there are procedures in place that ensure the smooth running of the business. We handle a high volume of individual products; there is an enormous amount of data that flows through our inventory management system (Circlesoft), which interfaces with our online shop. The sheer amount of information that we handle is different to other retail outlets that often deal with discrete, rotating collections (in a clothing store, for instance). Applicants who do not have bookselling experience must be confident in their abilities to learn and follow detailed processes. Applicants must also be computer literate and confident learning and navigating new point-of-sale and back-office systems.
A Note on Customer Service:
We have multiple channels of communication with our customers: face-to-face, on the phone, via email, and on social media. Booksellers must have exemplary verbal and written communication skills.
All this is simply to say that we take pride in what we do and find our careers as booksellers incredibly rewarding. We are looking for a new Book Bird to share in our passions, work hard, and have fun doing so. If this sounds like you, email your application—consisting of a cover letter and resume—to our owner, Anna Tweed.
Applications close Sunday 13 June, 5pm.