A noteworthy retail resume does what a great retail display does: It creates an eye-catching design to attract attention and then sells the product. That’s exactly your goal as you compile your retail resume.
How do you accomplish that?
Start with Resume.io, a powerful tool for job seekers,with resume guides and resume examples for 300+ professions and an easy-to-use resume builder. With our tools and your sales and customer service know-how, you will be on you way to a resume that resonates with hiring managers.
This resume guide, along with the corresponding resume example will cover the following topics:
- What does a retail professional do?
- How to write a retail resume (tips and tricks)
- The best format for a retail resume
- Advice on each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
- Professional resume layout and design hints.
What does a retail professional do?
The retail profession is founded on selling to consumers. A retail professional’s duties vary depending on the type of product or service and the environment in which they work.
Here are a few goals of retail professionals:
- Maintain and increase customer satisfaction
- Anticipate customer demand
- Provide excellent service
- Create an attractive space with displays that help sell merchandise
Retail professionals may specialize in any number of roles. Here are the top 10, according to Fit Small Business:
|retail assistant manager
Retail environments range from high-end boutiques to discount and used item sales. Some stores specialize in one type of product, such as housewares, while others are one-stop shops that provide the convenience of everything under one roof.
Retail job market and outlook
The pandemic and the shutdowns it led to were disastrous for the retail industry, but the market for retail professionals is looking up. If you’re looking to start a career in retail, you have a great opportunity. Many workers either have not come back since pandemic layoffs, and about 649,000 retail professionals gave notice in April alone, the Washington Post reported.
Along with that good news, retailers are raising hourly rates to attract new workers to the more than 1 million open positions. Within the past year, Target, Best Buy, Under Armour and Kay Jewelers all increased minimums to $15 an hour, while Amazon is offering signing bonuses of up to $1,000, the Post said.
How to write a retail resume
Before you begin your resume, you need to understand what goes into it. Your CV must contain the following elements:
- The resume header
- The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The resume skills section
- The education section
Each retailer offers something a little different, and your CV should do the same. To craft the best retail resume possible, you need to research your prospective employer. Learn about the establishment’s philosophy, work style and get to know its range of products. The more tailored you can get, the better chances you will have of landing that interview.
If you can, find out the name of the hiring manager and/or the store manager and direct your message directly to them. You may even find a connection that you can mention within your application. Often, a connection can make all the difference.
Choosing the best resume format for a retail professional
We recommend using the reverse chronological order resume format in most cases. This format is favored by recruiters and the ATS your resume will have to get past in order to reach the hands of a person.
Although other formats exist, you should use them only in special circumstances. Since retail jobs are often an entry point into the job market, this may apply to you. If it is your first job, check out the resume formats we suggest as chronological alternatives or hybrids.
Personalize to beat the ATS
Most retailers use an Applicant Tracking System. (They definitely are if you are applying online). This software is programmed to search for the keywords and phrases an employer believes are most important for the advertised job. Then, the ATS ranks your resume against all the resumes for the position.
To get past this phase, match the keywords and phrases in the job listing to your resume. Use the exact wording, but don’t “stuff” your resume. Hiring managers are aware of these “tricks.” Simply make sure you are telling your prospective employer that you have the skills they want.
Resume summary example: sell with confidence
Much of retail is about creating a connection with others; the summary section of your retail resume is the place to make that connection with the hiring manager. There’s a reason this is also called a profile. It is here that you can use your personal style and tone to let recruiters know who you are and sell your sales skills by selling your professional personality.
You have about 3-4 lines to answer the big question: “Why should I hire you?” Exude passion and confidence as you highlight your biggest achievement, whether it be a sale, a product you chose that flew off the shelves or a reorganization that created efficiencies and extra floor space.
If you want to take a look at more pointed retail resume samples, you can click over to our shop assistant resume example. If you’re looking for ideas for higher level positions, try our s tore manager resume example or if you have a specific establishment in mind, try our Mercadona or Ikea resume example.
You can find a resume example for your summary section below.
Motivated and hardworking Retail Store Associate with a love for fashion and design. Adept in working as a productive team member to meet the needs of customers and help to achieve sales goals.
Employment history resume sample: your career in action
How do you create a compelling employment history for your retail resume? First, you think about results and achievements instead of tasks. Next, you start each bullet item with a strong action word and follow it with data and details, just as our resume sample text below does.
Recruiters want to know how you perform at your appointed tasks, not simply that you did them. Thus: “Boosted sales of silk blouses by 20% by pairing them with complementary cashmere sweaters” beats “Sold high-end women’s clothing.”
If this is your first job, consider bumping this section down. Remember that volunteer, extracurricular activities and school projects can all illustrate skills such as organization, communication and collaboration.
Below you will find an adaptable employment history resume example.
Retail Associate, Hen & Henrietta, Santa Fe
July 2018 - July 2021
- Greeted customers and worked to determine their needs in a professional and enthusiastic manner.
- Remained up-to-date on the latest store offerings, promotions, and sales.
- Collaborated with team members to ensure day-to-day tasks were met with precision in a timely manner.
- Utilized proper selling techniques and product knowledge to provide the best customer service possible.
- Worked to keep the floor neat, organized, and well stocked.
- Followed all store protocols and safety regulations.
Retail Associate, Maxwell's, Santa Fe
April 2015 - May 2018
- Greeted customers promptly and with a friendly and engaging attitude.
- Assisted customers in building great wardrobes by providing helpful service and advice.
- Remained up-to-date on product features: colors, fabrics, fit, styles, care, etc.
- Handled check-out transactions and returns with accuracy and speed.
- Complied with company policies and procedures and worked to ensure a safe and happy environment.
- Initiated and assisted in store recovery as needed throughout the day.
- Performed miscellaneous duties as assigned.
Retail CV skills example: your best attributes
The importance of your skills section can’t be undersold. You are curating your best skills, but also the ones that you believe are most important for your targeted position. With space at a premium in your one-page document, you need to show recruiters that you have what they need to get the job done well.
Here are the top 8 skills Harver, a provider of ATS software, advises that retailers look for in employees:
- Stress and conflict management
- Customer service
- Calm under pressure
- Good response to leadership
Choose several of these soft skills and add hard skills such as knowledge of retail software or merchandising to present a well-rounded picture of your professional attributes.
Below you will find a skills section resume example.
- Time Management
- Communication Skills
- Ability to Multitask
- Customer Service
- Fashion Styling
- Marketing and Sales
- Mathematical Skills
Retail education resume example
You may have learned all your skills on the job or you may have a degree in marketing, merchandising or a related business area. Whatever the case, you should list all your academic degrees here. If you have earned any awards or accolades related to your career, you any also list those.
For first-time workers, feel free to list specific classes that show you have the skills necessary for the job.
Below you will find an education section resume example as a formatting guide.
- Associate of Business Administration, Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe
Sep 2020 - Present
Resume layout and design: display your professionalism
As a retail professional, you know the look of your store matters. So does the look of your resume. What visual message are you trying to convey? To some degree, you can match this to the style of the employer you have targeted, but err on the side of conservatism when it comes to design.
Your true goal is legibility. To that end, follow these tips for a layout that wows while remaining easy to read:
- Keep your margins at least ¾-inches wide. Save the extra words for your interview.
- Choose standard fonts; they are easier to read. Try a sans serif for the text and a serif font for your contact information or vice versa.
- Leave off the graphs and charts and limit color to one subtle splash.
- Consider using one of our resume templates to guide you and to take care of the mundane formatting details.
Key takeaways for a retail resume
- This is a great time to start on a retail career as employers recognize they need to increase wages to attract workers.
- Use your sales skills to sell your retail abilities in your resume.
- Personalize for each position to give yourself the best chance to rank high with the ATS>
- Take advantage of our online resume builder to transform your text and get your job hunt moving!