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Written by Charlotte GraingerCharlotte Grainger

Shop Assistant CV Examples & UK Templates

Whether you’re looking for full or part-time work, a well-written shop assistant CV is the way to go. In the following guide, we will take you through the steps to help you create an interview-winning application.
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Shop Assistant CV Examples & UK Templates
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Shop assistants are the face of the world’s biggest retail brands. The moment a customer walks through the door, you are the first person that they see. How you greet and serve them plays a major role in their shopping experience. In short, you’re kind of a big deal.

Whether you’re looking for some extra cash on the side or want a fully-blown career in customer service, there are plenty of sales roles available. To get your foot in the door, you will need a well-written shop assistant CV that showcases your skills and experience. 

Luckily, we’re here to help. Resume.io is a powerful resource boasting 65+ CV examples and accompanying writing guides to help you get things just right. If you want to start applying for your next job, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, and the associated shop assistant CV, we will cover:

  • What a sales assistant does on a day-to-day basis
  • The market outlook for the UK retail sector
  • How to write an excellent shop assistant CV (plus a CV sample)
  • Advice on how to fill out each section of your CV
  • Expert-backed layout and design tips you can use

What does a shop assistant do?

Shop assistants serve customers when they are buying products. However, the job doesn’t start and end there. When you take on this customer-facing role, you will have to tackle a whole range of tasks on shift. Your daily activities may include any of the following: 

  • Serving customers and taking payments
  • Helping customers find what they need
  • Dealing with complaints and returns
  • Overseeing stock takes on a regular basis
  • Labelling products and marking them down
  • Organising products and merchandise
  • Cleaning the shop and closing down
Statistical insight

Quick facts about the world of retail

Ready to land your next shop assistant job? Before you start sprucing up your CV, you might want to know more about the UK retail sector. Here are some interesting facts and statistics from Retail Economics, published in 2022: 

  • Three million people currently work in retail
  • There are 317,005 retailers in the country
  • 27% of all retail sales are now made online
  • The total value of retail sales in 2022 was £441 billion

Needless to say, the exact duties you take on will depend on the retailer you work for. Working at Sainsbury’s may look slightly different than working at John Lewis, for example. When you are applying for sales assistant jobs, take a close look at the description first.

Statistical insight

Retail jobs are seeing a slow decline

Take a look at any high street in the United Kingdom, and you will notice one thing: closures. Yes, thanks to the rise of online shopping, brick-and-mortar retail has seen a steady decline in recent years — and it shows. 

According to a report from the British Retail Consortium, the proportion of retail jobs out of UK jobs has gone from 10% in 2008 down to 8.5% in 2022. That trend is likely to continue as we see further closures of high street shops and retailers in the future.

How to write a shop assistant CV

If you’re new to writing CVs, you’re going to need to know what the process is. Luckily, we have a simple formula that you can use. Here’s what to include on your next CV:

  • The CV header
  • The CV summary (aka profile or personal statement)
  • The employment history section
  • The CV skills section
  • The education section

Using that structure means that your CV will “flow” well. When the hiring manager takes a look at your application, they will easily find the most important information. Make sure that you lay out the document clearly so that it is straightforward. Later in this guide, we will take a look at what you should include in each section. You can also check out our full guide on how to write a CV if you fancy taking a deeper dive into the subject.

Be sure to tailor your CV to the job for which you are applying. The hiring manager is unlikely to be impressed with a “one size fits all” approach. Take the time to read up about the retailer, their unique approach to customer service, and their values. That way, you can align your application with the requirements of the shop assistant position at hand. 

Choosing the best CV format for a shop assistant 

Next up, you need to figure out which format to use for your application. As a general rule, we recommend using a reverse chronological CV format. Start with your most recent experience and qualifications at the top of the page and work your way back in time. Read more about how to get this part of the process right in our CV formatting guide here.

CV summary example 

Your CV summary is the most creative part of your application. This snappy blurb sits at the top of the document. It’s a snapshot of you as a professional. Lead with your most impressive experience or skills. Consider what nugget of information will wow the reader. You only have a few sentences to play with here so make them count. Avoid including any unnecessary words or flowery language. Take a look at our CV example, if in doubt.

See our CV sample:

Adaptable summary CV sample

Detail-oriented, accurate and thorough Shop Assistant offering 10 years' experience in retail environments. Excellent customer relations skills, with congenial and helpful nature. Adept with various POS systems, along with ability to adapt to new environments.

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Employment history sample

Your employment history section is where you can shout about your work experience. If this is your first job, you can list any voluntary experience you have here. Use the reverse chronological approach. Kick things off with your most recent experience. You should include the name of your employer, the dates of employment, and your role. Below that, you can bullet-point the tasks that the job included and any special achievements too.

Adaptable employment history CV example

Shop Assistant, Natoora, London, UK 
May 2019 - Present

  • Provide exceptional customer service to customers of high-end supermarket.
  • Handle cash and credit payments and took payments via a variety of digital means.
  • Exhibit an engaging, friendly and informative demeanour in assisting customers with identifying and locating standard and unconventional produce.

 

Shop Assistant, Upholstery Village, London, UK 
August 2015 - May 2019

  • Supported customers of retail operation providing complete bespoke and reupholstery services.
  • Interfaced regularly and communicate clearly and professionally with customers and colleagues.
  • Handled a wide range of customer queries and complaints with tact and poise, both in-person and via multi-line phone system.
  • Took cash and credit payments and made change.

 

Chip Shop Assistant, Haven, Weymouth, UK 
May 2013 - July 2015

  • Served customers at Fish & Chips shop of popular seaside holiday destination.
  • Consistently kept pace and provided swift, accurate service within fast-paced environment.
  • Handled POS systems and took credit and other forms of payment.
  • Supported kitchen staff in prepping and ensuring appealing presentation of food plates.
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CV skills example

Working in customer service requires a diverse skill set. You should include a mixture of both hard and soft skills. Hard skills may include things like “stock-taking” and “product organisation,” while soft skills include “communication” and “customer service”. Consider what talents make you a stellar shop assistant and highlight them in this section.

See our CV sample:

Adaptable skills section CV example
  • Customer Service
  • POS Systems
  • Multi-line Phone Systems
  • Shop Counter Support
  • Problem Solving
  • MS Office
  • Food Handline
  • Produce Stocking
  • Inventory Control
  • Fast-paced Environments
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Shop assistant CV education example

Your education section is simple to complete. If you have been to university, you don’t need to put your school or college qualifications. Simply put the title of your qualification, the institute, and the dates that you completed it. You don’t need to add any more details. 

Adaptable education CV example

Associate Degree in Business Management, Southall Community College, London, UK
September 2011 - May 2013

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CV layout and design 

The final thing you have to consider when making your shop assistant CV is the layout. Chances you’re not a design whiz. However, there are some simple rules you can stick to that will help you along the way. Here’s what you should keep in mind: 

  • Don’t cram in too much info. Your CV should be one page long. Avoid trying to squeeze too much information onto the page here.
  • Avoid including any imagery. Don’t put a picture of yourself — or anything else for that matter. There is simply no need to do that and it may put recruiters off.
  • Keep things simple. Choosing an overly chaotic design will not score you any points. Make sure you use a minimal style that is easy to read.
  • Use one or two fonts. Avoid the temptation to use a whole array of font styles. That won’t do you any favours. You should choose one or two fonts for your CV.

Key takeaways shop assistant CV

  1. While the UK retail sector is seeing a steady decline, there are still plenty of shop assistant vacancies.
  2. Before you start applying for your next full or part-time role, you need to make sure you have a stellar CV. It’s time to spruce it up!
  3. Follow a solid CV format when you are structuring your application. It’s much easier for a hiring manager to understand.

If you want to take the hassle out of designing your application, use one of our field-tested CV templates. It couldn’t be more straightforward.

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