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5 Retail Resume Examples Built For 2021

Author: Stephen Greet, Co-founder
Published on: September 15, 2021

Never has the importance of retail workers been more obvious than during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As a successful retail worker you need to be organized, collaborative, and be a people-person.

It can be difficult to showcase all of these skills on your retail resume.

These 5 retail resumes have helped people land jobs in 2021 so they're a great place for you to get started.

Retail Resume

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Download Retail Resume (PDF)

Retail resume example

Why this resume works

  • At the end of the day, the job of a retail associate is to help customers and increase sales for the business. As such, it's important that your retail resume shows that you have done this in your past roles.
    • Did you exceed sales targets? Improve customer loyalty? Reduce return rates? Estimating the degree to which you did these things on your resume will increase your chances of getting an interview substantially.
  • Retail workers have to blend both sales and customer service. On the customer service side your resume should strive to demonstrate you have taken a customer-first approach in your past roles.
    • "Customer oriented environment", "Answered customer questions", "Directed customers" are sample phrases you can use to help show you know the value of customer service.

Retail Manager Resume

Retail Manager resume example

Why this resume works

  • Your retail manager resume should clearly state the number of employees you've managed in any past management roles you've held. You should also be clear about any hiring or training you've led.
    • Hiring is one of the most important functions for a retail manager! Including your experience in hiring will help you stand out among all the other applicants for the retail manager role you're applying to.
  • Retail managers need to manage teams to meet or exceed sales targets. If your teams have met sales targets in the past then you should 100% mention this on your retail manager resume.
    • Including these metrics (even if they're rough estimates) shows the hiring manager that you know what matters most to a retail manager.

Entry Level Retail Resume

Entry Level Retail resume example

Why this resume works

  • Getting your first job as an entry level retail associate can be difficult. How can you get into retail without prior retail experience? The good news is that retail workers first and foremost are in customer service. As such, any experience you've had working with people is relevant and should be included on your entry level retail resume.
  • A resume objective (the first two sentences at the top of this resume) is entirely optional but can be useful when you're looking for your first retail role to quickly state why you're qualified and deserve to get an interview.
  • Volunteer experience is absolutely worth including on your resume. Volunteer experience showcases you're hard working and that you are fundamentally interested in helping others. These are both qualities retail hiring managers are looking for.

Retail Sales Associate Resume

Retail Sales Associate resume example

Why this resume works

  • Most retail sales associates, especially for large retail chains, are given sales targets each month that they need to hit. If you have experience in retail sales then you should mention how you performed against these sales targets on your retail sales associate resume.
    • This not only shows that you're a strong performer, it also shows the hiring manager you know which metrics matter most in your role.
  • The skills on your resume should be tailored to the job you're applying to.
    • For example, if the job description repeatedly mentions they want a retail sales associate who is accountable, then this is a strong indicator that you should include that as a skill on your resume.

Retail Customer Service Resume

Retail Customer Service resume example

Why this resume works

  • Retail hiring managers want to hire retail customer service associates who not only exceed their targets, but who also work collaboratively to keep the customer at the center of the team's focus.
    • Was there an instance where you went above and beyond to help a teammate in one of your past roles? Be sure to include that on your resume!
  • It can be tough to determine whether your retail customer service resume has all of the sections and information it should. After all, you're not an expert in resume writing!
    • If you want to get detailed feedback on your resume you can use a resume checker.

How to format your retail resume

Writing the perfect retail resume is the exact skill you need to earn a job as a sales representative, customer service representative, sales associate, or cashier. While the content of your resume is of the utmost importance, it's also essential that you properly format your resume to ensure that your retail resume is readable, logical, and complete. To that end, there are three formatting components you should be aware of, which include:

  • Reverse-Chronological Format, Functional Format, and Combination/Hybrid Format
  • Contact Info and Header
  • ATS and Readability

Retail resume format types

The reverse-chronological format, functional format, and combination/hybrid format are the most popular formats for retail resumes in 2021. 

Retail resume format choices:

  1. Reverse-chronological format: Start with the most recent employment history and work backwards. Dates, educational institutions, and previous employers should be displayed.
  2. Functional format: This type of resume is centered around highlighting the strengths and skills that you believe are important to an employer. On the other hand, names, places, and dates aren’t nearly as clear. If you have a spotty work history, this format de-emphasizes this history.
  3. Combination/hybrid format: This is designed to combine the reverse-chronological and functional formats to incorporate the strengths of both. Make sure to mention skills you've acquired in the past that will help you with the specific job you're applying for.

While each retail resume format has its own set of advantages and disadvantages that you should be aware of, the reverse-chronological choice is ultimately the best option for retail. In fact, many employers outright dislike the functional format for retail positions. The reverse-chronological format is ideal for retail resumes because it allows you to show prospective employers your most recent work history, which will automatically allow these employers to determine if you have the experience necessary for the job.

Let's say you've worked as a cashier and store assistant for a total of eight years before becoming a supervisor or store manager for another 5-10 years. At this point, you may be ready for another promotion to regional manager or even a corporate position. If you've had any experience in the retail industry, the reverse-chronological format is effective at showing a pattern of lateral or upward mobility. The primary benefits of using the reverse-chronological format for retail include:

  • This format is easily the most popular option among recruiters and employers within the retail industry
  • The resume automatically positions you as searching for the next upward step in your career
  • Employment dates are linked, which emphasize continuity and place more weight on your experience

Including a contact header on your retail resume 

When you're getting started with your resume, it's essential that you position your contact info and the resume header in the correct locations. Your name should always be included at the very top of the resume and can be positioned in the center or left side of the page. Consider placing your prospective job title in the line below your name, which ensures that these two pieces of information are seen first by potential employers.

Before you start typing your header, it's important that you select the right font, color, alignment, and font size that potential employers expect from a retail resume. In most cases, classic fonts like Times New Roman and Arial are preferable. A resume should be formatted with simplicity in mind as opposed to style and flourish.

As for the font size, standard text should have a font size of 11-12 points. On the other hand, headers should have font sizes that range from 14-16 points, and your name can be largest. Most of your text should be black, but a touch of color in your headers or name is appropriate, which adds some nice contrast that will make the information on your resume stand out. Like most professional documents, resumes should be left-aligned, which makes the resume easier to read. However, your contact information and name can be center-aligned if you choose. The types of info that should be placed in your retail resume header include:

  • Full name
  • Job title
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • City and State
  • An optional LinkedIn or other professional URL

This example is clear, logical, and includes a small bit of color, attracting the eye:

Retail resume example with contact information

Is your retail resume ATS-friendly?

If you want to be certain your resume is properly formatted and readable, make sure you think about ATS, which stands for applicant tracking system. This is a kind of human resources software that provides employers with the opportunity to organize sizable numbers of resumes in an efficient manner.

In order to make an ATS-friendly resume, you'll want to pay attention to:

  • Margins: Margins should never be less than 0.5 inches. The ideal margin is one inch on all sides.
  • Fonts: Any font you use should be easy to read. If your resume font isn't clear, both the ATS and hiring manager may find it too difficult to read.
  • Font sizes: The font must be large enough to read, which makes anything between 10-14 points acceptable.
  • Header names: Use capitalization, and don’t get overly creative in determining how to label your headers as you don’t want to trick or confuse ATS software. 
  • Skills: Optimize your resume with keywords, which are your soft skills and hard skills. Only include relevant information pertaining to your skills. Any filler should be eliminated if you want to provide prospective employers with a succinct and effective resume.
  • Logical order: Sticking to the reverse-chronological format will allow you to make an ATS-friendly resume. Start with your name and contact information before detailing your work experience, education, and skills.
  • One page: The ideal length for any retail resume is one page.

We know it’s a lot to keep in mind, but our resume maker will ensure that you're formatting for success without you having to remember it all.

How to write your best retail resume

Writing an effective resume seems like a daunting task to most people. However, you can avoid this frustration by taking the process one step at a time. Not only does our resume tool ensure you don’t have to worry about format, it will help you include the right details in your document. 

As you write your retail resume, you’ll want to think about the following:

  • Objective or summary
  • Work experience
  • Top retail skills
  • Education and certifications
  • Projects, interests, or hobbies
  • Tailoring your resume to the job
  • Editing and proofreading

Should you write a retail resume objective or summary?

When creating your retail resume, you could include a resume objective or summary. An objective statement is a concise and position-focused statement where you describe how you can add value to the employer and the company needs that you can fulfill. The objective could include a short statement of your skills and the qualifications you have for the position in question. Professional summaries tend to be lengthier than objective statements and are meant to provide more details about your job experience, skills, and education.

Objective or summary for your retail resume? 

 Consider writing an objective statement when:

  • You want hiring managers to know you're a good fit for a specific position
  • You're an entry level employee who has very little experience
  • You are making a career change
  • You've just moved to a new city or town

You might want to opt for writing a summary when:

  • You have years of experience and want to tie this experience together
  • You want to hone in on key transferable skills
  • You believe that an objective statement isn't enough to show your value to the employer
  • You want to clearly emphasize your selling points

Even though objective statements and summaries can help you get your point across to hiring managers, not everyone should use one. If you don't have years of experience or your career path is streamlined and straightforward, a lengthy summary is unnecessary.

As for objective statements, they aren't always the right fit for retail resumes. Your employer may believe that the objective statement you write is essentially all that you offer as an employee. If the statement is too short or not descriptive enough, it may have a negative effect on your chances. To better understand what a well-written objective or summary looks like, let’s take a look at a couple of poor examples:

"Objective: To be a sales associate in a retail store."

"Summary: Experienced sales associate who is kind and helpful. Knows how to solve problems as they arise."

The objective statement is far too vague and isn't centered around the position you're applying for. In fact, it doesn't tell your employer anything other than the fact that you're looking for a job. As for the summary, it says that you have experience and a couple of soft skills but doesn't sell this information at all. Employers won't believe what you're saying in the summary. Here’s an improved objective statement and summary:

"Objective: Eager to motivate and lead teams to 10% or greater sales through mentorship and accountability. Looking to improve my team-managing and problem-solving skills as a store manager with potential for career growth at ABC Company."

"Summary: Dedicated cashier with more than 5 years of retail experience. Eager to provide attention-to-detail and organizational skills at XYZ, Inc. Received Employee of the Month three months in a row for efficiency and reliability during ownership changes. Achieved a streak of 530 days with no sick leave."

These examples succeed because they discuss specific details rather than general ideas, telling employers something about you and the work you've done.

Retail work experience

Try to include 2-4 job experiences for your resume. However, it's not necessary to include every job you've had since your first. If you have ample amounts of experience, include the work experience that's most relevant to the job you're applying for. While writing down your work experience may appear to be simple and straightforward, it's easy to make mistakes in this section.

Writing your retail job descriptions 

The most important thing to avoid when writing an effective work experience section is to create a wall of text. If a prospective employer decides to skim through your resume, it's important that they read the most relevant aspects of your past work experience. As such, this experience should be displayed via concise bullet points. Always use active verbs and language in these bullet points. Examples of active verbs for a retail resume include:

  • Strategize
  • Analyze
  • Increase
  • Enhance
  • Resolve
  • Generate

These verbs should prove useful when you're trying to condense your work experience. Always avoid using personal pronouns like "me" and "I," which take away from the professionalism of your resume. Make sure you use the past tense when writing about your past experience.

Three bullet points should be far, far away from your retail resume:

  • Handled transactions for customers
  • Responsible for handling customer interactions calmly
  • Tasked with resolving customer issues

These are examples of passive work responsibilities that are too vague to satisfy potential employers. Always go into detail about your accomplishments and past responsibilities with action verbs and hard numbers.

Three examples, on the other hand, would serve your retail resume well:

  • Awarded Retail Associate of the Year in 2019 for incentivizing team to increase sales with monthly competitions 
  • Exceeded annual sales targets by 30% by upselling subscriptions and items based on customer interest
  • Stocked, organized, and replenished inventory, completing tasks 15% faster than other sales associates 

These are richly detailed bullet points that offer precise numbers and action verbs pertaining to past work experience.

Use metrics to quantify your impact in retail

It's essential that you're able to quantify the impact you've had on the companies you've worked for in the past. To accomplish this goal, it's highly recommended that you use metrics that show exactly what a company would lose if they didn't have you as an employee.

Did you exceed set sales targets or lower return rates? By putting your work experience into hard numbers, it becomes easier for potential employers to measure the kind of return they would get from hiring you. Try to include a couple of metrics for every job you list on your resume. More is always better! Some examples of ways to incorporate metrics into your bullet points include:

  • Daily number of customers you helped
  • Number of retail team members you managed
  • Sales goals that were met or exceeded
  • Loyalty program goals that were met or exceeded

These retail descriptions incorporate all the above:

Retail resume example with job descriptions

What are the top retail skills? 

If you have an ample amount of past work experience, it's likely you have dozens of skills that could prove useful in the job you're applying for. However, you should include skills that are relevant to the specific needs listed in the job ad. Before you start listing your skills, you should know the difference between hard skills and soft skills.

Hard skills refer directly to the abilities and knowledge that employees require to effectively perform their responsibilities. These skills are 100% job-related. Soft skills are more difficult to measure. For retail jobs, hard skill examples include:

  • Money handling and basic math
  • Product knowledge
  • Inventories 
  • Suggestive selling 

Some examples of soft skills that are ideal for the retail industry include:

  • Communication
  • Active listener 
  • Patient
  • Quick learner and adaptable 

Search for keywords in a job description ad that tell you the types of skills the company is seeking. You should typically list around 5 to 8 skills on a retail resume.

What education and certifications do you need on your retail resume?

Most retail positions automatically require a high school diploma, which should be listed with the name of the school you attended, the years you attended, and the school's location. Some retail jobs will require a little more education. While you may be able to obtain a position as a store manager with a high school diploma, an associate's degree in marketing and sales management may help push your resume to the top of the list.

Most regional retail managers require a bachelor's degree in business. If you attended a college or institution, include your GPA if it’s above a 3.2 as well as any specialization or concentration. You might also want to list certifications and licenses to set your resume apart from others.

Projects, interests, or hobbies: Does your retail resume need these?

In most situations, it's unnecessary to mention your interests and hobbies as well as the projects you've worked on in the past. There are, however, some scenarios where adding this information is appropriate depending on your level of experience you have and the employer you're sending a resume to.

If you are currently a high school or college student or are applying for an entry position, your lack of past experience gives you the perfect opportunity to add projects, hobbies, and interests to your resume.

For interests and hobbies, you could include:

  • Playing team sports
  • Studying foreign languages

Additionally, your retail resume could benefit from including projects like:

  • Creating a personal website with WordPress
  • Reorganizing your school's entire library of 1,600+ books

Customize your retail resume for every job application

Writing an effective resume takes more than just listing your skills and work experience. It's also important that you tailor your resume to each job you apply to. Many applicants make the mistake of sending the same resume to every job. However, most hiring managers will pick up on this.

To properly tailor your resume, add company- or organization- specific information to the objective/summary sections, the skills section, and bullet points. If the job ad you're responding to mentioned looking for a strong leader who can manage numerous team members, you should focus on your leadership skills throughout your retail resume.

Check for mistakes before submitting your retail resume to jobs

This is the simplest yet most overlooked aspect of formatting and writing a retail resume. Hiring managers and recruiters don't like grammar and punctuation mistakes. Writing the word manager as "manger" is one of the more common mistakes on retail resumes. Carefully read through your resume to look for any issues with grammar, language, consistency, and formatting. Take advantage of BeamJob's free resume checker to streamline this process.

Get your next retail job and celebrate 

Now that you've made it this far, we hope you’re feeling confident about:

  • The correct resume format to use
  • How to write a resume objective or summary
  • How to list work experience
  • What retail skills to include
  • What education and certification info should be provided
  • How to tailor your resume to each specific job

Congratulations on writing your resume and readying yourself for the next step. All that's left is for you to go get the job!

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