Your Career As a Mystery Shopper

Article Title: Your Career As a Mystery Shopper
Author Byline: Jessica Miller-Merrell is a recruiter and human resource professional that helps companies leverage social media as a business growth strategy.
Author Website:

Mystery shopping or secret shopping is a great way to secure outside income and enhance your resume. A mystery shopper is someone who provides normally a retail, restaurant, grocery store, or convenience store establishment an impartial evaluation on their location’s performance regarding customer service, in-stock product, cleanliness, and the customer experience. Sometimes shoppers are asked to visit a location to take pictures of a display or a new grocery freezer for the competition.

Companies who recruit and provide mystery shop services to these retail companies have come under fire because of work at home and get rich quick scams that prey on people who are looking for a quick way to make a buck or are lured into signing up for a program by paying a fee. Reputable mystery shop companies never require a fee. They pay you after you complete a shop. There are a number of resources on the internet that provide how to’s and guidelines for shoppers that are interested in getting paid to shop. The Mystery Shoppers Manual is one such resource. Cathy Stucker’s website provides an online directory of legitimate mystery shopping companies as well as tips and guidelines on how to write shopper reviews and how to actually apply to companies online.

When adding your experience as a mystery shopper to your resume consider doing the following:

* Refrain from using the words Mystery or Secret Shopper. Since people often associate scams with mystery shopping, consider using the title of Service Evaluator, Customer Service Consultant, Marketing Researcher and others.
* Refrain from listing each individual company and shop you completed. Consider choosing a name for your Customer Service Evaluation Company such as “Retail Expressions” or “JMM Consulting.” As a mystery shopper, you will be paid as an independent contractor for the mystery shop company you work for. I recommend listing it on your resume as something like this.

Retail Expressions. Atlanta, GA. Dec 2008-present. Marketing Researcher.

* Have your pitch ready. Be prepared to provide an explanation and articulate your skills as a Marketing Researcher. What did you do, the scope of your projects, and what type of research was involved? A great mystery shopper isn’t just a mystery shopper, they are an important part of the research, marketing, and evaluation process a company goes through when evaluating the level of service a company provides.
* Highlight your writing & evaluation skills. Mystery shoppers have to write detailed evaluations of their visit to the location they were required to shop. Keep examples of your work and be prepared to present them as a writing example to future employers and add to your career portfolio.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.


About Mary Sherwood Sevinsky

Masters-prepared Certified Disability Management Specialist. Over eighteen years experience in vocational assessment, counseling, and testimony, primarily in rehabilitation services.
This entry was posted in advice, career change and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Your Career As a Mystery Shopper

  1. PiterJankovich says:

    My name is Piter Jankovich. oOnly want to tell, that your blog is really cool
    And want to ask you: is this blog your hobby?
    P.S. Sorry for my bad english

    • marysevinsky says:

      Piter, thanks for writing! Yes, I guess you could call it a hobby in the sense that I do not make money directly from it. I enjoy writing and reading and am using the blog mainly to “brand” myself right now. I hope to parlay it into a “retirement” job at some point in the future (or at least a stream of income that will allow me to retire someday!:-). Thanks, again, for visiting – be sure to subscribe so that you are notified when I add new content! Take care.

  2. Zane Mcatee says:

    I need some advice for my blog….I like your layout. Can you help me? 5 6 4

  3. This post is beyond awesome. I am always wondering what to do and what not to do so I will follow some of these tips.

  4. Do you plan to keep this site updated? I sure hope so… its great!

  5. Did you create your own blog or did a program do it? Could you please respond? 35

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