Retail woman worker

How to write a winning retail resume

Colleen Clarke|

Once upon a time, you landed a job in retail just by showing up at the store and filling out an application. More and more of these roles now require a resume. Here’s what to include and highlight in the one you write for a retail gig.

It was a few years ago now, but I remember walking down a busy retail street in Toronto and there in the window was a sign. It isn’t strange to see a sign in a retail window, but this one was a first for me. It said, “Help Wanted, Resume required.” I had always thought of retail positions as jobs that you got through filling out an application, not jobs that needed a resume. Not so. In 2012, almost every job you apply for in service, trade or corporate environments requires a resume.

There are two major skill sets that align themselves to the retail profession: customer service and sales. If you are going to work in retail you must possess both – be a people person, or at least know how to pretend to be, and know how to help people make a buying decision.  That’s what sales is.

 

A retail resume follows the same format as all other resumes, both chronological or functional. You should include as much of the following types of information as possible:

  • Your number of years experience and your areas of expertise and knowledge
  • Sales statistics. Retail resume readers want to know how you did sales-wise compared to your colleagues
  • Type of environment – up scale, trendy, big box, intimate, chain
  • Products sold and their price point – clothing, electronics, pet, sporting goods, food
  • Product knowledge – include training courses and even self-taught information that is relevant to the brand or its products
  • Your communication skills – friendly, outgoing, good command of the  English language (and – bonus- any other languages you speak), the ability to listen to the customers needs
  • Your interpersonal skills- experience with diversified demographics, age levels, genders; examples of activities where you have had to interact with different people and the outcomes
  • What you can do for them, why they should hire you and not the other applicants. This may best be illustrated in a cover letter.
  • Education and related customer service, sales or communication courses
  • Interests including clubs, teams, associations you belong or recently belonged to, except for those which are religious or politically based
  • Use  volunteer work or course study to validate your skills
  • Exude some passion, enthusiasm and clearly interest in the retail industry

Attach a cover letter that does not regurgitate your resume but talks about what you will bring to the position.

Check your Facebook page to ensure you are portrayed as a reliable, responsible individual that a future employer would be proud to hire. If you’re applying for a retail clothing job and you want to go the extra mile: wear that company’s clothes in your profile pic.

If handing the resume in in person, be well-dressed, polite, friendly and kind to everyone within a one mile radius of the store. Your future manager could be the person on the bike you’re yelling at for cutting you off on the sidewalk. You never know.

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Colleen Clarke, Career Specialist & Corporate Trainer

www.colleenclarke.com

Author of Networking How to Build Relationships That Count, How to Get a Job and Keep It Co-author of The Power of Mentorship; The Mastermind Group

 


Category: Resumes, Student,