Retail management requires more than the ability to sell, but that talent will serve you well as you look for a new position. 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 salespersonship to convince hiring managers to take a chance on you!
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 sites 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.
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 resume templates , online resume builder, and this 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.
Writing a retail manager resume can be hard. For more ideas and inspiration, see our related retail resume samples.
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.
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 of in-store experiences.
Because of the changing expectations and requirements within the retail world, you will have to make sure you are up on all the latest if you want to ensure your job hunt will be a success. Of course, you also need a great retail store manager resume.
Now it’s time to look at how to get you there. We’ll start with your profile.
Profile CV example: show employers what they have 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 a resume summary , 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 fairly formatted sections full of bullet points, but your profile gives you a bit more freedom to get creative. This is not the spot to detail your years of experience. Instead, choose one to two highlights of your career and describe them. Use data or details to back up your assertion.
Exceeded sales targets and increased profits by 15% quarter-over-quarter by revamping inventory.
Successfully reached sales goals and bought inventory for women’s department.
You have 3-5 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. Resume.io can help there, too. See our retail cover letter layout templates and examples to guide you.
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 data to see if you match the job for which you have applied or any other available positions.
The keyword 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 listing for the skills and attributes listed. 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.
Many businesses list the ATS they use on their website. A little extra research may help you learn specific tips for that particular software.
If you have niche market expertise, make that clear in your 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 guide your profile section.
Experienced and results-oriented Retail Manager with three years of managerial experience in retail environments. Motivated professional with strengths in supervising employees and promoting optimal customer service. Adept in employee relations, inventory organization, and visual merchandising. Prepared, organized, and trained in product knowledge and store regulations. Committed to creating an environment that is conducive to achieving increased sales and customer satisfaction.
Employment history retail manager resume 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 professional resume example text below to guide you in writing your employment history section.
- Managed a successful store environment and a staff of 40+ employees while increasing employee retention by 20%.
- Created and administered semi-annual performance reviews.
- Maintained organized statistical and financial records.
- Ensured compliance with all health and safety regulations.
- Achieved increased financial performance three years in a row.
- Collaborated with sales manager to promote sales targets among staff.
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.
2001-2005 Villanova High School,High School Diploma Villanova, PA
Skills section 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 the attributes that will sell you to recruiters where they can easily find them. That’s the purpose of your skills section.
This is another perfect section to personalize for each job listing. First, make a “Master List” of all your marketable skills like leadership skills . You can break it down into soft skills, or 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 soft skills to get you started:
- Time Management
Here are some hard skills :
- Retail Sales
- Personnel Management.
Choose your top 5-10 skills from this list for each job. Try to match the requirements of each position without exaggerating. This effort will help you get past the ATS, but will also show hiring managers that you have read the job description and really want to work at their store.
Here is an example of a basic skills section for a retail manager resume.
- Excellent Communication Skills
- Leadership Skills
- Project Management Skills
- Employee Management
- Commercial Awareness
How to choose a format and template for your resume
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. Your goal in your resume formatting and design is simple: Keep it clean and legible!
Leave margins a standard width and create internal white space by varying the line lengths of your bullet points. Stick to clear headings that recruiters will recognize. Since you are in a marketing-oriented career and design is a job skill, you should check out Resume.io’s Creative category of layout templates. If one of those isn’t quite what you are looking for, see our Professional , Modern , or Simple designs. They can all be modified to add your own personal touch, but avoid fancy fonts that are difficult to read or too much color that can detract from a professional look.
Using a dedicated resume builder tool will take the guesswork out of formatting and we highly recommend that you do so. After all your hard work, you don’t want to miss an opportunity because your columns were misaligned.
Create a professional email if you don’t already have one. [email protected] is always good.
The bottom line when creating a professional resume is 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 percent of the time.
- Let your professional style shine in your profile
- Build a ladder of success into your employment history section
- Customize your 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 Resume.io, the resume builder tool , and recruiter-tested free resume templates to create an impressive, expertly-designed and field-tested resume.