How to Write a Retail Resume – Classic Format & Examples
This Career Center article is intended for job seekers applying for entry-level sales positions in the retail industry using a retail resume, such as sales representative, sales associate, customer service representative, and cashier.
If you want to apply for a retail job, learning how to write a retail resume using retail resume examples is exactly what you need to score your next sales gig. We’re going to show you some tricks of the trade to make sure you land that retail job!
It’s best to adopt the classic resume formatting and follow good example resumes. Recruiters, hiring managers, and ATS systems are all trained on how to scan a classically formatted resume.
What is a classic resume format? To help get you started, we’ve selected two different classically-formatted retail resume examples you can follow and we’ll guide you through exactly what you need to write to get hired.
Figuring out the best way to represent your most hireable skills, abilities, experiences, and qualifications for a retail job can be intimidating. However, the more examples you see and the more you learn about resume writing, the easier writing your retail resume becomes.
Make sure you read this article covering the classically formated retail resume samples, frequently asked questions, and tips on how to optimize a retail resume to make sure you get hired for a good sales job, fast.
1. Summary: How to Write a Resume Summary For Retail
Writing a resume summary (or resume objective) for retail can be intimidating, but all you need to do is remember that a retail resume objective is just a short way of telling the hiring manager why you’d be a great candidate to hire for their open retail or sales position.
Generally, hiring managers expect that your retail resume summary will quickly list your best skills and experiences that would be beneficial in a retail or sales environment. Resume summaries are usually shorter in length and typically not longer than three to five sentences.
Examples for a retail resume summary include:
Experience: How many years of experience you have working in retail, sales, or customer service. If you have no experience, write down your related work or volunteer experience.
Training: Any training that you have that would help in retail, sales, or customer service
Soft skills: Personality traits, like being a great problem solver or a good multitasker, as well as a short story of how that characteristic was useful in a work or volunteer setting
Hard Skills: Familiarity dealing with cash exchanges, Interac machines, or POS (Point of Sales) systems
Successes: Sales numbers, statistics or metrics related to sales, customers, or improvements to previous employers’ businesses that you made
Leadership Skills: Former leadership or standout support positions that you held that would be useful to have in a team environment
2. Best Words to Use in a Resume for Retail
Retail Keywords and Jargon
You may be thinking, “What do keywords have to do with my resume?” But, in 2018, keywords and jargon are more important than ever on a resume! And here’s why –
These systems are used to search and rank your resume based the keywords and jargon (industry specific language) you have in your resume. This can impact how likely you are to get an interview for the retail or sales job.
Basically, the popularity of search algorithms means that you should be including retail keywords and retail jargon in the job posting in your retail resume – especially in the work experience section.
In fact, even if the hiring manager doesn’t use an online job board or ATS system to hire employees, it’s still a good idea to include retail industry keywords and retail jargon in your retail resume. Taking the time to include keywords and jargon shows that you read the job posting and understand the retail industry and language.
You can locate retail keywords and jargon by scanning retail job postings, especially the job posting you’re applying for!
And if you want to truly put yourself in the employer’s shoes, you could get an employer account on a job board and start searching for keywords that are related to the job, this way you’re getting in the mindset of the hiring manager. The systems used at Resume.com and Linkedin will auto-suggest terms for employers to use — and these make great keywords to write in your resume to maximize results. That’s how we built the following lists of retail keywords and jargon to put on your retail resume:
Retail Job Titles For Your Resume
List of Job Skills for a Retail Resume
However, you should be careful when using retail keywords and retail jargon in your resume. Make sure that the words you’re using make sense and that they aren’t forced. The keywords and jargon should sound like they naturally fit in the sentence you’re writing.
Jamming unnecessary keywords and jargon in an unnatural way may make your resume appear like it was written by a robot — and could lead to your resume being deleted!
3. Action Verbs on a Retail Resume
An action verb on a resume is a verb that represents an action that achieves something. On a resume, action verbs are usually used to demonstrate instances where you have accomplished or achieved something significant in a work-related context. It’s important you make an effort to use actions verbs, so take note of the following examples:
Strong Action Verbs for a Retail Resume
Popular action verbs used in retail resumes include words like:
4. Quantifiable Examples on a Retail Resume
When you’re writing about your past achievements in your retail resume, do your best to include quantifiable examples. What do we mean by quantifiable? We mean numbers, metrics, and amounts, which is powerful evidence that demonstrates your skills, abilities, and successes!
Hiring managers love seeing real life evidence in retail resumes, so have a look at what type of experience you should include on your resume:
Retail Experience for Your Resume
5. Hobbies and Interests For Retail Resumes
Taking the time to include your hobbies and interests in your retail resume can help show the hiring manager that you’re a well-rounded individual. Hobbies and interests are especially helpful for entry-level candidates who can suffer from having an empty looking retail resume!
Here are three main reasons to include hobbies and interests on a retail resume:
Your hobbies or interests back up the skills or abilities that you mentioned earlier in your resume, making you look like a consistent and interesting person.
Your hobbies or interests may be related to the retail industry that you’re applying for, which demonstrates that you would be a good fit for the company culture or business brand.
Your hobbies or interests may spark the interest of the hiring manager reading your resume or make them want to meet you in person for an interview!
When you’re writing about your hobbies and interests, always be honest, but also try to phrase them in a way that would grab the hiring manager’s attention and tell them something about you.
For example, imagine that Ali is a student who enjoys writing horror stories. She self-publishes a monthly horror anthology at her community college with the help of her creative writing professor. She wants to work for a Halloween pop-up boutique, but she’s worried that she won’t get an interview with no retail work experience.
Ali could choose not to include her hobby on her resume, but her hobby is relevant, special, and a great fit for the business she wants to work for. She should definitely include three short sentences about why her spooky passion would make her a great fit for the team and culture of the costume store. By showing off why she’s different, she would be much more likely to get the job!
Retail Resume FAQ
Do I Need a Resume For a Retail Job?
Almost all retail jobs require an applicant to submit a resume in order to be considered as a candidate by the hiring manager. The employer will expect that you will give them one, even if providing a resume isn’t explicitly mentioned in the job posting or job application process.
Don’t worry, writing a retail resume is straightforward, especially if you use an online resume maker. All you need to do is choose a resume template and fill in the blanks!
How Do I Write a Retail Resume With Little or No Experience?
If you’re worried about having little or no work experience to include on your retail resume, you can relax. Having a limited amount of previous work experience is one of the most common challenges job seekers have when they’re applying for a job in sales.
When you’re short on work experience, there are a few easy things you can do to make your retail resume look a little fuller. Give the hiring manager good reasons why you would be such a great employee for their store. For example, you can write a compelling summary, share your skills and interests, and don’t forget to include any unpaid or volunteer experience.