A career in retail can be both challenging and lucrative. The job market is also exceptionally competitive, especially if you are seeking management positions or pursuing work in high-end establishments or with employers that are known to promote from within. Even seasonal and temp jobs in retail are in high demand.
Hence, don’t treat your resume as an afterthought. Below you’ll find some essential tips for crafting an amazing resume, plus a detailed resume example for a retail career.
Use a Functional or Skills Based Resume if You’re Inexperienced
It’s common for people to seek out retail jobs as part time or entry-level positions. Don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of experience. There are many trainee jobs available. However, to make sure your resume opens with something good, consider using a functional or skills-based resume if you don’t have much work experience.
Unlike the more commonly used chronological format, this type of resume assumes listing your skills at the beginning, rather than starting with your resume or work experience. For example, you can start with hard skills such as cash handling, computer operation, etc. Then add soft skills like leadership, team work, and customer service. This will cause hiring managers to focus on what you’ve mastered.
Add Keywords That Are Relevant to Retail
Many medium and large-sized retailers use applicant tracking software (ATS) to automate the hiring process. As part of this, resumes are often scanned by this software before it is seen by a hiring manager. The tool looks for specific keywords to determine whether or not applicants are a good match. If those keywords are missing, your resume is automatically rejected.
To avoid this, mine job listings for relevant keywords. They should show that you have the minimum required years of experience, background, etc. Then, add other keywords that are commonly used in retail, want ads.
Show a Commitment to The Customer
Review your resume before you consider it. Consider the whole document, not just its individual sections. Have you shown that you are committed to customer service? People who succeed in retail prioritize this and your resume should reflect that. When you list your work experience, etc. try to frame things in terms of experience working with people, handling customer difficulties, and making sales.
Save Negative Availability Information For The Interview
Are you available on nights and weekends? Are you okay working swing shifts? Can you work overtime? By all means, add that information to your resume.
On the other hand, when it comes to negative availability, leave that to the interview. For example, do you need Wednesdays off to take a class? Don’t add that to your resume. Anything that could be interpreted as a limitation is better off being left off of your resume. Focus on the positives instead.
Prioritize Retail Experience
It’s not that non-retail experience doesn’t matter. It’s just that it isn’t as much of a priority. So, consider putting all of your relevant retail experience at the top of your work history. Then include non-retail jobs in their own section at the bottom. Just be sure to use relevant subheadings to make your intentions clear.
Make Your Resume Super Readable
It’s not unusual for retail managers to work 50 or more hours per week. Much of that is time on the sales floor. To put it bluntly, they rush through the resume screening process. They won’t stop to try and discern hard to read typeface, or to figure out where one job begins and the other ends. Instead, they’ll just ditch a hard to read resume and move on to the next applicant.
To avoid losing out on a great job, make sure your resume is easy-to-read. Use a large font without serifs. Add plenty of white space. Use headings and subheadings to make information stand out.
Retail Resume Sample (.docx version)
Resume Example for Retail (text version)
Below is an example of a resume that someone with a small amount of retail experience might submit.
4441 Mattson Street
Portland, OR 97232
Experienced Retail Sales Clerk
Sales clerk with more than two years experience in retail clothing sales seeks a full-time position at an upscale fashion boutique. Brings extensive sales floor experience, has worked in commissioned sales, and passionate about designer fashions.
- Merchandising, Cash Handling, Inventory Management, Back Office, Microsoft and Google Docs, POS.
- Team Player, Light Supervisory Experience, Leadership Skills, Customer Service, Sales, Negotiation
JT’s T-Shirt Emporium (June 2017 – Present)
Salesperson and CS Assistant
Worked as a retail sales clerk and customer service assistant. Answered customer inquiries about merchandise, ensured sales floor was clean and well maintained, assembled displays according to wholesaler instruction, informed customers about sales and special events, checked customers out, processed returns.
Awesome Clothing (March 2017-June 2017)
Part-time Junior Sales Associate
Worked as the sales floor and assisted customers with finding the right sizing and trying on items. Suggested additional upsell products (accessories, shoes) to increase the average check. Assisted with sales racks merchandising to increase the store revenue.
Brooklyn High School
Graduation Date: May, 2017
This sample retail resume and additional tips should help you create a great resume and get called in for the new job you want. Remember to focus on the areas of sales, teamwork, and customer support and add use an attractive, easy-to-skim resume layout and design to highlight your strengths. Browse our free modern resume templates to pick just the right “wrapper” for your application!