Creating the perfect merchandiser resume is all about selling yourself. In the same way that you select the ideal products for stores, you have to cherry-pick your best attributes for this document. Get this right and you supercharge your chances of career success.
Chances are, you already have an eye for what sells and what doesn’t. Use that knack to craft a compelling resume that will pique recruiters' interests. While you have a whole host of information from which to pick, you need to be selective in the parts you highlight. You only have a matter of seconds to make the right first impression — make them count.
Here at Resume.io, we offer awesome resources to empower your job search. We’ve got everything you need including expert-backed resume guides, resume examples for 350+ professions, and an easy-to-use resume builder. Within this resume guide and the corresponding resume example, we will cover the following topics:
- What does a merchandiser professional do?
- How to write a merchandiser resume
- The best format for a merchandiser resume (plus a resume sample)
- Advice on each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
- Expert-backed resume layout and design hints.
What does a merchandiser do?
First up, let’s talk about what a merchandiser does. Working directly with retailers, these professionals are responsible for everything that happens to each product. That includes showcasing new items, offering promotions, creating shelf displays, and organizing the store. The aim of the game is to increase sales.
The specifics of each merchandiser role will depend on the retailer and sector. Working in the sportswear sector may look slightly different than a position in luxury cosmetics. Despite this fact, there will always be some overlap. Your core responsibilities may include:
- Working closely with the management team, suppliers, and manufacturers
- Analyzing the incoming sales reports and statistics
- Creating sales forecasts for the next quarter to identify areas of growth
- Deciding on upcoming advertising and promotional activities
- Gathering data surrounding the latest market trends and utilizing it
- Determining in-store promotions or special offers that will increase sales
How much do merchandisers earn?
Before you start applying for jobs, you’re going to want to know how much cash you can expect. The average salary for a merchandiser in the United States is $60,270. However, if you have worked in the field for a number of years and gathered experience, you could see your paycheck soar to a healthy $75,368.
Of course, there are many factors that will determine your pay grade. These include your education level, how many years you’ve been practicing, the sector in which you work, and your reputation. Establishing yourself as a professional merchandiser and having a proven track record of success will allow you to demand a higher salary.
Looking to increase your chances of success? Working within a particular niche may be the answer. The more trusted you become in your own field, the more likely you are to be referred to new, high-level positions. For that reason, it’s worth considering which type of retail appeals to you and working hard to build a long-lasting reputation in that market.
How to write a merchandiser resume
First things first, you should understand what your merchandiser CV needs to include. This important document tells recruiters everything about you as a professional. You don’t want to miss anything vital out. For the best results, your CV should contain the following things:
- Resume header
- Resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- Employment history section
- Resume skills section
- Education section
Your merchandiser resume is where you sell yourself on a professional level. Each piece of information you include needs to add to the central message: that you are a confident and seasoned merchandiser. Stay on topic and cut out the parts that don’t add any value.
Before you start creating your resume, it’s important to do some research. As we have already mentioned, the job you take on will hugely depend on the retail sector. Take the time to delve deep into the company for which you’re applying. You should understand their current sales figures, the company mission, and their values. The more you know about the business at hand, the better you can tailor your resume to fit its needs.
Recruiters expect merchandisers to have a high level of professionalism. On the same day, you might be talking to the sales team about a new promotion and then liaising with merchandisers. Put simply, you need to be able to talk the talk. Showcase this ability by using a professional yet clear tone in your resume. That means avoiding complex language or jargon while keeping the style formal.
Optimize for the ATS
The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a type of software recruiters use to filter resumes. Before your application is seen by the hiring manager, it has to pass through this gate. The software looks for keywords and ranks each resume based on how closely it meets the job specification. If your resume doesn’t slide into the top percentile, it could end up in the ‘junk’ folder fast. Luckily, there’s a way around this conundrum.
Take a close look at the original job advert and pick out relevant keywords. Sprinkling these words or phrases throughout your application may help you to get past the ATS. Ideally, you should adapt your resume accordingly each time you apply for a new role.
Choosing the best resume format for a merchandiser
Formatting your resume is hardly rocket science. Use a reverse chronological order. That means your most recent accolades come at the top of the page and you work your way backward. You can use this approach for both your education and employment sections.
The resume format you use needs to be simple and easy to understand. Hiring managers spend between six and seven seconds looking at each resume. That’s not a lot of time to make an impression. Consider how you would place the most attractive products right by the cashier in a store to encourage more sales. That’s the same approach you need to take when formatting your resume. Put the most important information front and center.
Resume summary example: sell your story
The resume summary — also known as the profile or personal statement — sits below the header. The blurb is a short paragraph that sums up you as a professional. It’s a sales game. You have three-to-four sentences to tell a recruiter what makes you special.
When you’re writing a promotion on the board in-store, you don’t have a lot of space to play with. The same goes for your resume summary. Don’t mince your words here. Drop any ‘I’ statements. Instead of saying ‘I have a proven track record’, get to the point with ‘proven track record’. The slicker your penmanship, the more attractive your resume.
If you need some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing, check out our summary writing guide. It may also be helpful to take a look at some of our related examples. For instance, the sales resume sample or the sales associate resume sample. Reading the creative summaries on these samples will help you get an idea of where to start.
Experienced and effective Merchandiser adept in successfully delivering exciting and inspiring customer experiences through the implementation of strategic visual displays. A proven track record of managing merchandising activities and sales plans to achieve sales goals.
Employment history sample: showcase your experience
Climbing the career ladder means amassing relevant experience. Your employment history section is where you show off your previous roles. Once again, you should use the reverse chronological order approach. That means that you should begin with your most recent professional position and then work backward.
Beneath each job title and the date of your employment, include your duties and achievements as a bullet point list. Wherever possible, you should aim to quantify your accomplishments. For example, rather than simply saying “‘improved sales,” you should say “improved sales x5 in the first quarter.” Be as specific as you can. See our resume sample below for more guidance.
Merchandiser at Emalee Inc., New York
June 2018 - Present
- Managed all aspects of merchandising for the three Emalee Inc. New York locations.
- Collaborated with store managers and employees, resulting in seamless operations and a 45 percent increase in sales from 2018-2021.
- Generated merchandising presentations and guided efforts and activities.
- Managed floor space plans and product placing, pricing, and promotion.
- Devised new workflows to cut costs and increase sales.
- Successfully gained an in-depth understanding of customer wants and needs, and tailored merchandising plans accordingly.
Merchandiser at James Simon New York, New York
April 2013 - March 2018
- Increased product availability and promotion on sales floors through thoughtful merchandising design and implementation.
- Planned online and offline merchandise displays.
- Designed the planograms for both new and existing sales floors.
- Worked closely with store managers to maximize product displays and rotations.
- Effectively optimized quarterly sales strategies, surpassing sales targets by upwards of 30% from 2014-2018.
CV skills example: highlight your talents
The right combination of skills can make your CV. You can use this opportunity to add in some of your researched keywords. Include skills an employer will expect you to have as standard. You should add in additional skills that set you apart from the crowd.
Your CV skills section should include both hard and soft skills. Hard skills may include report analyzing, numerical literacy, statistical management, and commercial knowledge. Soft skills, on the other hand, may include communication skills, confidence, and the ability to cope under pressure. A well-rounded candidate will have all of the above. You’ll find our adaptable resume sample below.
- Merchandise Planning and Control
- Retailing Principles and Practices
- Team Leadership
- Buying, Planning, & Allocation
- Advanced PDM Software
Merchandiser resume education example
The education section of your merchandiser resume is relatively straightforward. Use the reverse chronological order approach, starting with your most recent qualification. List the certificate, institute name, and years at the top of each one. Below these headers, you can include information, such as your grade.
Of course, you may have received additional training on the job. The wonderful world of merchandising is forever-changing. Staying on top of the latest trends is a must. Be sure to include any courses or day training you have completed in your education section.
Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Merchandising at Marist College, Poughkeepsie
September 2008 - May 2012
Resume layout and design: first impressions
Creating an eye-catching product display takes finesse. Use that skill to craft a simple and effective resume design. As you can see from our resume example, the key is to use an unfussy layout. That way, a recruiter can see what they need at a glance.
White space is your friend. Don’t make the mistake of overcrowding your resume layout with too much information. Instead, stick to the most important points and make them the centerpiece. When you’re looking at designs, select one that is clean-looking and direct. If you’re having trouble getting it right, our field-tested resume templates can help simplify the process.
Key takeaways for a merchandiser resume
- Creating an interview-winning merchandiser resume is about selling your skills, experience, and education to an employer.
- Don’t make the mistake of including too much information. Instead, stick to the point and focus on the value you will add to the company at hand.
- Tailor your resume to meet the needs of the employer. Take the time to research their current sales statistics and their company vision.
- Use our adaptable merchandiser resume sample as a starting point for your layout and design.