We are starting to interview people for positions that will be available as soon as business picks up. (That might be July, so if you need an immediate job, this is not it.) As you can tell from our current staff, we have very high standards. Frankly, a book store cannot remain in business in this economy without extremely knowledgeable booksellers and Nordstrom-style customer service. Over the years, we have learned what it takes to be a successful bookseller at our store. There are subjective, intangible things that have to do with the atmospher of the store -- what we hope to project to customers, the chemistry between booksellers, etc. But there are a lot of tangilbles, and here they are:
(1) A passion for books. "I enjoy reading" is not enough. We need someone who feels wounded every time someone sings the praises of their kindle. A Black Bear bookseller cares about covers and deckled pages and limited editions. In other words, you need to care about the book itself, not just the words inside.
(2) A wide knowledge of books. We need you to be knowledgeable in more than one genre. Also, you must have a better than passing knowledge of the classics. This is a college town and we sell a lot of literature. Our customers expect our booksellers to be well-educated in the classics of all genres.
(3) You cannot be an introvert. At least, you cannot be a quiet introvert. This job takes a lot of interacting with a very ecclectic customer base. You have to like to talk to people.
(4) You must have a strong asthetic sense. The owner (that would be me) is a fanatic about how the store looks, so you must have enough of a design sense to know when the store looks good and when it doesn't, and know how to fix it when it doesn't. You also must be able to put a display together.
(5) We prefer college students or college graduates. This job requires such a wide range of knowledge, we need well-educated booksellers. Of course, if you are self-educated and have the required range of knowledge, that's fine, too.
(6) You don't have to be beautiful, but you must be presentable. I can't believe how many people come to a job interview in clothes that look like they were pulled out of the laundry pile. We have a dress code and we are particular about how you look when representing our store.
(7) If you know computers, knitting or graphic design, please mention it. You get extra credit for those.
(8) If you have experience as a bookseller and all of the above applies to you, run don't walk.
Hope that is helpful! You can leave your resumes at the store or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a cover letter that addresses the above list.
Thanks and may the odds be ever in your favor.