1. Resume Examples
  2. Retail Manager
Written by Susan ShorSusan Shor

Retail Manager Resume Example & Writing Guide

To qualify for a new retail management position you likely have sales skills and experience. This can help you create a resume that’s persuasive enough to win the job. Our writing advice in this step-by-step guide refers to a retail manager resume example you can adapt to your situation.
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Retail management requires more than the ability to sell, but that talent will serve you well in your search for a new position with an exceptional retail manager resume. Whether you are looking to move up from a sales associate’s job or put your years of experience to work at a larger retail store, the first step is to use your sales finesse to convince hiring managers to take a chance on you!

Resume.io’s job search resources are designed to do just that, no matter what field you’re in. They include more than 350 occupation-specific resume examples paired with writing guides.

Here, we’ll provide specific writing advice corresponding to an adaptable retail manager resume example. Topics we’ll cover:

  • The retail manager’s role and job outlook
  • How to write a retail manager resume, starting with the proper structure and best format
  • Making each resume section persuasive: header, profile, employment history, skills and education
  • Layout and design tips for a resume that lives up to your professional image

What does a retail manager do?

Retail managers are responsible for overseeing all functions and procedures in a store. They recruit, train and supervise store employees and work to improve the overall performance of a store. Retail managers are adept at managing budgets and stock while overseeing day-to-day tasks. They also handle customer queries, concerns and complaints.

Excellent customer service and increased financial performance are the two biggest concerns of a retail manager. As a retail manager, you should have great leadership and communication skills, which aid in leading teams of people. An ideal candidate holds a minimum of a high school diploma or an equivalent diploma.As a retail manager, you have the chance to focus your talent on products you enjoy and have knowledge of. You can set your sights on anything from clothing to hardware and anything in between. That means you can investigate which areas of the economy are growing and choose a growth product or one that remains stable.

Depending on the size of the company, you may be called on to perform all or some of the following duties:

  • Merchandising, or the placement of products
  • Choose what to buy and stock in your store
  • Deciding how to price items
  • Training new sales associates
  • Marketing the store and its products
  • Hiring and managing personnel
  • Customer service
  • Budgeting for the department.
Statistical insight

According to Statistica, more than 50 percent of Internet users said they prefer to buy these items in a store:

  • Haircare products (73%)
  • Skincare products (65%)
  • Makeup, cosmetics, fragrances (61%)
  • Clothing (53%)

Innovations in retail have made local shops more desirable and profitable, so you may find yourself working closely with a community and tailoring your products to local needs. Your knowledge of technology, safety procedures, and the demographics of the community will all be factors in your success.

The first step in your job hunt is creating the best resume possible. Check out our comprehensive resume writing guide, which will teach you how to:

  • Put your professional personality in the forefront
  • Make the most of your years of experience
  • Follow our guidelines for a great design
  • Choose your most impressive skills to highlight.

Let’s take a look at the market for retail managers before we dive into the sections of your resume.

Customer experience may be the key to future retail growth

Customers need a reason to make the trip to a brick-and-mortar store, and retail managers will have to understand how to accomplish that.

You know that retail stores and malls are not the draws they once were. The convenience of online shopping and free delivery has made its mark (and the pandemic certainly did not help). But there are bright spots.

Before the slowdown in the economy, many ecommerce sites had begun to open brick-and-mortar stores. In 2019, commercial real estate firm JLL predicted that these digitally-based companies would open 850 stores by 2024. That trend may have been put on hold, but many retail analysts are predicting that trend will pick up again.

As a retail manager, you may find your priorities somewhat shifted. The customer still comes first, but what the customer wants has changed. Here are some forecasts for what you will be changed with managing:

  • Omnichannel shopping. Some customers will want to buy online and pick up at the store. Others will want personalized suggestions or to see your inventory before they enter the store for final selections.
  • The store as a destination. Why should customers come to your store? You have to make it more than a place to pick up a new shirt.
  • Customer experience that goes beyond shopping. Many shoppers want to feel they are part of a community who all see your brand as part of their identity.
  • High expectations. Consumers have a lot of research at their fingertips. They want high quality, quickly, at good prices. Many also take the issues they care about into account and want to patronize a company that aligns with their beliefs. Social media branding plays a big role here.
  • Curated selections. More is not always better. Consumers want to know they will find items they like at your store.
Statistical insight

Sales associates are still a big draw! A survey by Raydiant, a retail management software firm, found that the helpfulness of staff was the third most important influence on in-store experiences.

Changing expectations and requirements within the retail world means you need to be up on all the latest to ensure your job hunt will be a success. Of course, you also need a great retail store manager resume.

How to write a retail manager resume

No matter what kind of retail operations you manage, and how employees fulfill their roles, it’s imperative to ensure all premises and functions are well-organized and orderly. The same applies to your retail manager resume. In fact, conforming to the same basic structure that all resumes have in common — regardless of occupation — can simplify the writing task so getting started seems less overwhelming. These are the essential components:

  • Header
  • Profile
  • Employment history
  • Skills
  • Education

We’ll take a closer look at each of these sections shortly. But first, we have some important advice to give your retail manager resume a better chance of being seen by a human.

Getting past the applicant tracking system

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) allow human resources departments to easily input your information into their electronic systems. Then, they can scan your online job application to see if you match the job for which you have applied or any other available positions.

The operative word here is scan. Your resume won’t get seen by a person unless you rank high enough in the ATS initial scan. The ATS takes into account keywords, phrases and other information pegged to the job. Then, it prioritizes resumes that rank highest. Your first job is to rank high.

How do you do that?

You carefully analyze the job ad for the skills and attributes listed as requirements. Next, you carefully analyze your resume to see how well it matches. Finally, swap out any skill or attribute you have that isn’t already in your resume for one that your prospective employer has not mentioned. 

Here’s a word of advice, though: Don’t try to “stuff” your resume full of keywords and phrases. Even if you get past the ATS, recruiters are well aware of that trick. Try to place those important words and phrases as naturally as possible.

Expert tip

Many businesses indicate the specific ATS they use on their website. A little extra research may help you learn specific tips for that particular software.

Choosing the best resume format for a retail manager

If you’ve been on a consistent retail career track working in employee positions, the most common chronological resume format is the best choice. It gives hiring managers a straightforward overview of your progressive growth and development in store positions over time. The focus is on your employment history, highlighted in bullet points describing your most relevant and impressive contributions in each role. These are organized in reverse chronological order, from most recent to earliest positions.

The functional resume format, centered around transferable skills instead of past employers, is best suited to workforce newcomers or anyone lacking directly relevant experience. The hybrid format is another versatile option, giving some weight to both skills and work history.

Now it’s time to look at how the writing process for your retail manager resume, step by step. We’ll start with the header.

Resume header

Your resume header is more than just a layout and design consideration, which we'll be covering later on. An eye-pleasing header serves an important practical purpose, while also making your resume document look more inviting to read. Most important, your identifying information is prominently displayed so it’s noticed first and easy to find later when the employer wants to get in touch. Besides including your name, occupation or job title, phone number and email, be sure to add your LinkedIn profile URL. 

Expert tip

Now is the time to create a professional email address dedicated to job-related messages if you don’t already have one. A personal address that's obviously shared with someone else, or one with a nickname or catchy reference to a hobby, can be a turn-off to hiring managers. Creating a separate gmail account is an easy solution, with an address such as: [email protected].

Retail manager profile example: show employers what's in store if they hire you

Personality plays a big role in your job as a retail manager. You need enthusiasm, confidence, and the ability to work with a variety of sales associates, other managers, and customers. In your profile —also known as the summary or personal statement — you must showcase your biggest achievements, but you must also give recruiters a chance to get to know you.

The bulk of your resume is made up of uniformly structured bullet point sections, but your profile gives you a bit more freedom to get creative. This is not the spot to detail your years of experience. Instead, describe one or two of your most impressive and relevant career highlights. Use data or details to back up your assertion. For instance:

  • Exceeded sales targets and increased profits by 15% quarter-over-quarter by revamping inventory.
  • Successfully reached sales goals and bought inventory for the women’s department.to two highlights of your career and describe them. Use data or details to back up your assertion.
Do

Exceeded sales targets and increased profits by 15% quarter-over-quarter by revamping inventory.

Don't

Successfully reached sales goals and bought inventory for women’s department.

You have three to five sentences to convince hiring managers that you are the right fit for their store, so make sure you use adjectives that tell who you are. Are you no-nonsense? A sympathetic listener? A problem-solver? A fashionista? Conscientious? Ask friends and colleagues what three words they would use to describe you and consider using them in your profile.

Take one or two sentences for each career success, and then add one to talk about your retail philosophy. Remember, store management is more than simply buying, displaying, and creating schedules for retail associates.

There is one other place where you can inject some personality: your cover letter. Take a look at our retail cover letter examples and writing guides to guide you.

Expert tip

If you have retail niche market expertise, make that clear in your resume profile. Recruiters will be trying to decide whether you are a good fit for the skills they seek, but also whether your style will work within the company. That means you should put a little zip in this section.

Use the retail manager resume example below to create your profile section.

Adaptable summary resume sample

Innovative, sales-driven Retail Manager with 15+  years of diverse experience in flagship stores. A role model for motivating employees and promoting optimal customer service across all staff teams. Demonstrated strengths in inventory organization and visual merchandising. Led efforts to exceed annual sales forecasts by 12% and customer satisfaction improvements averaging 24%. Eager to develop and inspire ABC’s retail team to surpass company goals on both counts.

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Employment history sample: a path filled with achievement

You may think you’ve come to the easy part of your resume. All you have to do here is write a bullet-point list of the responsibilities you’ve had at each job, right? Wrong! For a perfect resume, you need to craft a story of success and professional growth.

So where do you start? First, make sure you know the dates of all your previous jobs and organize them in reverse chronological order because that is the way you will list them in your work experience section. Then think about the skills you honed in each position and data or details you can use to illustrate those skills. Use strong action verbs to illustrate that you are a go-getter. Each item should add to the case you are making to hiring managers that you are a great retail manager!

This is a good time to mention that a resume is an ever-changing document: You should be tailoring it to each position for which you apply. To do that, carefully examine the job description and match your bullet points to the skills and attributes your prospective employer lists. If you have been responsible for merchandising and the job listing calls that a requirement, make sure you get merchandising into your resume, maybe even more than once.

Since you are seeking a position as a retail manager, make sure you clearly list your managerial work experience, even if it was not in the retail industry. Any job that has transferable skills adds to your desirability as a candidate. 

Use the text below from our retail manager resume example to guide you in writing your employment history section.

Adaptable employment history resume example

Senior Store Manager at Apple Store, Louisville
April 2014 - Present

  • Hired, trained, and developed employees for various sales and customer service roles throughout the store.
  • Created and administered semi-annual performance reviews to 85 store employees.
  • Prepared, organized, and delivered new multi-media resources to keep all staff up to date in product knowledge and store regulations.
  • Led and executed biennial inventory overhauls for five years.
  • Oversaw merchandising standards during new product launches.

 

Assistant Manager at Bose Factory Store, Louisville
October 2012 - April 2014

  • Supervised and trained team of four part-time and three full-time employees in sales, merchandising, and inventory control
  • Implemented and maintained visual merchandising specific to Bose Corporate standards.
  • Developed weekly schedules per payroll guidelines while accounting for employee and store needs.

 

Geek Squad Consultation Agent at Best Buy, Louisville
February 2008 - January 2012

  • Promptly identified each customer’s technical support needs and developed successful solutions using by-the-book and novel approaches.
  • Developed expertise working with the gamut of devices and peripherals, while maintaining up-to-date industry and technical knowledge.
  • Educated and trained delighted customers to troubleshoot their own issues whenever possible to prevent unnecessary return visits.
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CV skills example: emphasize your high-level sales manager talents

What’s the point of taking up space repeating skills you mentioned in your work history section? Just as you want to put your best merchandise at eye level so it’s easy to find, you want to put your "best-selling" attributes where recruiters can easily find them. That’s the purpose of your CV skills list.

This is another perfect section you must personalize for each job listing. First, make a “master list” of all your marketable skills, such as leadership skills. You can break it down into soft skills — "people" and organizational skills that help you be a great manager — and hard skills, or those learned skills you need to do your job. 

Here are some examples of soft skills to get you started:

Here are some hard skills:

  • Budgeting
  • Scheduling
  • Merchandising
  • Retail Sales
  • Personnel management.

Choose your top five to 10 skills from your master list for each job application. Try to match the requirements of each position without exaggerating. This effort could help you get past the ATS, while also showing employers that you have read the job description and really want to work at their store. 

Here is an example of what you might list as skills in your retail manager resume.

Adaptable skills section resume example
  • Visual Merchandising
  • Payroll & Scheduling
  • Interpersonal Leadership
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Project Management
  • Time Management
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Retail manager resume education example: on the floor training 

Many retail managers learn on the job with a high school diploma, but will require at least two years of experience as a sales associate or other retail position. Other employers expect their managers to have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, merchandising or another related field. 

In any case, your education section follows a standard resume format. Simply list your school, its location, the years you attended and the degree you earned. If you received any formal on-the-job training or awards for your work, you may list them here as well. This information should be in reverse chronological order, from highest to lowest level. If you have a bachelor’s degree or higher, your high school information can be omitted.

Any formal on-the-job training or relevant courses you’ve completed should appear here as well. The same goes for professional development association memberships if they offer continued learning opportunities.

Below you'll see the education section from our retail manager resume example.

Adaptable education resume example

Bachelor of Science, Computer Information Systems, Bellarmine University, Louisville
May 2003 - August 2007

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Resume layout, design and formatting: appearance matters

Customers don’t like a cluttered store with racks and shelves crammed full of merchandise. On that same note, recruiters don’t like cluttered resumes crammed full of type. The goal of your resume layout, design and formatting decisions is simple: Keep it clean and legible!

Leave margins at the standard one-inch width and create internal white space by varying the line lengths of your bullet points. Stick to clear headings that recruiters will recognize. Avoid fancy fonts that are difficult to read or too much color that can detract from a professional look.

Using a dedicated resume template, like the ones that Resume.io offers, together with our builder tool, will take the guesswork out of design and formatting details, and we highly recommend that you do so. After all your hard work, you don’t want to miss an opportunity because your text columns were misaligned. Since you are in a marketing-oriented career where design is a job skill, you should check out the template designs in our creative style category. If one of those isn’t quite what you are looking for, see our professional, modern, and s imple designs. They can all be modified to add your own personal touch.

The bottom line when creating a professional resume: to have the hiring manager answer, “Yes” to the question: “Do I want to hire this person to manage my retail team?”

A final note: Don’t hit the send button on a job application if you haven’t had a trusted friend or colleague proofread both your resume and your cover letter! A perfect resume will win out over an error-riddled one 99% of the time.

Key takeaways for a retail manager resume

  • Let your professional style shine in your retail manager resume profile.
  • Build a ladder of success into your employment history section.
  • Customize your retail manager resume each time you apply for a different job.
  • Get a leg up on the ATS by inserting words and phrases into your resume that appear in your targeted job listings.
  • Use a recruiter-tested free resume template from Resume.io to create an impressive, expert-designed  resume.
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