Before you begin writing your retail resume, make sure that you really want to do this on your own. There are many professional resume writers and resume services you may want to hire to help you. Sometimes their expertise makes all the difference between getting and not getting that first interview.
If you decide to write your own resume, the best place to start is to analyze resume examples that utilize common resume formats. This will give you a good idea of the resume templates being used successfully today to land retail jobs.
Next, look at retail-related web sites and publications to help you choose the key words you need to emphasize in your resume so that scanning software used to identify strong job candidates won’t pass you by.
Performance is the key to a successful career in the business world, in general and the Retail world, in particular. A person could have been the manager, salesperson, merchandiser, cashier, clerk, HR professional or have performed many other retail jobs. The most important thing while searching for a job in the retail business is that your résumé needs to demonstrate how you have contributed to the company's success.
Display a Clear Career Goal and Highlight Your Achievements:
Be sure to include a Career Summary section which will grab the employer’s attention immediately by highlighting your most important attributes. Avoid listing vague skills or clichés like "excellent communication and interpersonal skills". Instead, provide hard facts about your work history or training that would prompt the hiring manager to call you for an interview.
Areas of Skills and Expertise to include:
Include an Area of Expertise section to display your qualifications and competency for the job. Organize your expertise in a simple methodical list. Here’s an example:
- Strategic Planning
- P&L Management
- Retail Distribution
- Budget Planning
- Merchandise Displays
- Sales and Marketing
- Inventory Control
- Systems Management
- Incentive Structures
- Performance Standards
- Safety and Compliance
- Team Leadership and Mentoring
Try to energize your job descriptions by describing how you went above and beyond your job duties. Think about how you performed in each of your positions to develop accomplishment statements that will create a significant impact on the potential employer. Include factors like what was expected of you and how well met those expectations; the methods you used to generate strong results; awards won if any; and overcoming obstacles that resulted in a positive outcome.
Include Specific Skills that Will Get You Noticed
Keep in mind to include the various skills that will make the potential employer take notice your resume. Listed here are some of the important skills related to Retail:
- administrative functions
- customer service
- information technology skills
- public relations
- stock work
- store management
Your skills should evolve in accordance with the ever-growing world of retail. Always remember to include your continuing education, in-service training, outside seminars, courses, certifications, or any other experience that displays dedication to your profession.
PAR (Problem-Action-Results) Statements:
According to Yana Parker, author of The Damn Good Résumé Guide, "Remove everything that starts with 'responsibilities included' in your résumé. Replace that with on-the-job accomplishments”. You can do this by filling your resume with PAR statements. For instance, state the problem that existed in your workplace, describe what you did about it and specify the beneficial results.
A good example of a PAR statement would be: 'Increased lagging department sales 17 percent to 23 percent each quarter in one year by redesigning displays, improving advertising, and enhancing customer service.'
Keywords to Include:
Your Retail Resume should include specific job titles like: retail manager, store manager, retail store manager, retail sales, sales representative, cashier, assistant manager, merchandiser, buyer; and required job skills: P&L management, purchasing, procurement, retail operations management. Other keywords that might be used include technology such as specific computer programs, degrees such as BA or MBA and positive personal qualities.
In addition to these important guidelines for constructing your resume, there are many resume tips plus simple resume formats to follow that will help you compose a great resume. Some of the more important rules are as follows:
- Never write more than two pages.
- Use a format that makes the resume inviting and easy-to-read.
- Think about your accomplishments and make them the focus of the resume
- Tell the truth.
- Use buzzwords and keywords.
- If possible, tailor your resume for a specific job, not just a specific industry.
- Include computer proficiency levels for almost all jobs.
- Ensure all dates link up and leave no suspicious gaps if you are using a chronological format.
- If there are gaps in your work history, use a functional resume format.
- Make sure your cover letter is as good as your resume.
- Practice your job interview skills.
- Don’t forget to follow-up with a thank-you note.
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