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10 Retail Resume Examples - Here's What Works In 2023

Now that we’ve seen how essential the retail industry is, retail workers have never been so in demand. if you’re new to retail or looking for your next position, this guide has you covered with everything you need to know to write an effective resume, including sample templates for you to use..

Hiring Manager for Retail Roles

Retail is a demanding and fast-paced industry. If you’re starting out in retail — or looking to move up the chain — you’ll need communication skills, great customer service, and the ability to solve problems on the fly. For those serious about the business, employers are also looking for people with business acumen, cultural awareness, and strong numeracy skills. While many retail jobs are part-time, there’s also an ongoing need for professional, full-time retail workers. You don’t need a specific background or experience to work in retail — soft skills, a good work ethic, and a professional, can-do attitude will get you a long way, especially in entry-level positions. In 2023 and beyond, look out for a growing shift toward online retail and eCommerce as well as emerging trends like machine learning, personalized shopping experiences, and influencer marketing. Technical skills, sales, marketing, and social media savvy will all land you ahead of the curve when it comes to retail positions in the near future.

Retail Resume Templates

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Template 1 of 10: Retail Associate Resume Example

Retail associates work in a variety of industries and environments. Typically, they are responsible for the management, sales, and day-to-day operations of a retail store. The retail associate has many tasks they will be responsible for on the average day, including interacting with customers, processing sales, organizing and cataloging inventory, cash and transaction management, upselling, store KPI monitoring and reporting, and more. A retail associate is a great entry-level opportunity for someone with the right skills. To be considered for this role, typically a high school diploma is required, but an associates degree can help you land this role with more ease. Hiring managers will look for someone with previous customer-facing experience, such as prior roles held as a clerk, store officer, or customer support representative. Ideal candidates for this role have superb customer service skills, strong organizational skills, and no issue multi-tasking.

A resume for a retail associate with a degree in business administration and experience as a cashier.

Tips to help you write your Retail Associate resume in 2023

   highlight your ability to connect with customers.

The retail associate is the face of the store and brand. For this reason, it’s important to show what a positive impact you can make on the store’s image. Your resume should highlight any experience you have creating a valuable customer experience, or any customer satisfaction ratings you personally helped improve at prior jobs.

Highlight your ability to connect with customers - Retail Associate Resume

   Showcase your experience using POS software and systems

Most retail stores use point of sale (POS) systems to complete sales and track revenue. It’s important that you understand how to operate a POS system to land this job. Any specific retail software or POS system(s) you are proficient in should be clearly outlined on your resume in the skills section.

Showcase your experience using POS software and systems - Retail Associate Resume

Skills you can include on your Retail Associate resume

Template 2 of 10: retail associate resume example.

Retail associates are front-line sales assistants and the face of any retail store. As a retail associate, you’ll be working with customers as well as processing payments, cleaning, and handling stock. In many stores, you may be responsible for upselling and meeting sales goals, so make sure your resume highlights your soft skills as well as any previous sales or customer service experience.

Retail sales associate resume example template using a resume title and relevant keywords

   Title of resume contains retail keywords

Using the exact title of the job you’re applying for is an easy way to tailor your resume and get past ATS — particularly if you don’t have a lot of experience in a similar role. You can often find similar roles listed under different titles, like Retail Associate, Sales Associate, and Cashier, so make sure to include those keywords somewhere on your resume.

Title of resume contains retail keywords - Retail Associate Resume

   Other projects and qualifications

Listing volunteer work, projects, and short courses is a great way to bulk up your resume — as long as they’re relevant! This is especially true for students and recent graduates, who might not otherwise have a lot of traditional work experience. But don’t just stuff your resume — stick to particularly prestigious awards and qualifications you’re likely to need on the job.

Other projects and qualifications - Retail Associate Resume

Template 3 of 10: Retail Manager Resume Example

As a retail manager, you’ll be responsible for the day-to-day running of a store — think balancing a budget, scheduling shifts, setting sales targets, and motivating a team. There are multiple routes to becoming a retail manager, including working your way up the ladder as a sales associate, transitioning from a management role in a different sector, or pursuing a degree in business or another field relevant to your industry.

Retail manager resume example template showing career growth through job titles and strong action verbs

Tips to help you write your Retail Manager resume in 2023

   shows growth in promotions through retail positions.

When hiring for a management position, recruiters want to see leadership and ambition, which often means steady career progression. If you’ve been promoted to a higher position, simply list both titles under the same company heading. Even without a title bump, you can show growth by listing increased responsibilities in your bullet point achievements.

Shows growth in promotions through retail positions - Retail Manager Resume

   Bullet points feature strong action verbs which stress leadership skills

Leadership is a soft skill, which means you can’t simply list it in your skills section and move on. Instead, demonstrate it by leading with strong action verbs like “managed,” “directed,” and “oversaw.” Including clear metrics, like the size of the team you led, makes your achievements easy for a hiring manager to understand at a glance.

Bullet points feature strong action verbs which stress leadership skills - Retail Manager Resume

Skills you can include on your Retail Manager resume

Template 4 of 10: retail salesperson / retail salesman resume example.

Retail salespeople need a big dose of people skills alongside an awareness of sales and marketing strategies, business trends, and basic software and point of sale (POS) hardware. Retail salespeople need to demonstrate their ability to make a sale and may even work on commission, so make sure to emphasize the times you exceeded sales goals or provided excellent customer service.

Retail salesperson resume example template showcasing relevant skills and metrics

Tips to help you write your Retail Salesperson / Retail Salesman resume in 2023

   numbers and metrics relevant to the retail job title.

When it comes to sales, numbers are key. In other words, quantify your achievements! “Exceeded sales goals” sounds okay, but “exceeded commission goals each week by at least 15%” makes the scope of your accomplishment much clearer. If you have numbers for the amount of revenue you generated, sales you processed, or promotions you upsold — use them.

Numbers and metrics relevant to the retail job title - Retail Salesperson / Retail Salesman Resume

   Good use of skills section to stress retail and client-facing skills

A longer list of skills isn’t always more impressive. Keep your skills section easy for hiring managers to digest by listing only the most relevant hard skills you possess. For retail sales, this means things like POS and operating systems and data entry software. Soft skills, like communication and customer service, should go in your bullet points where you can quantify them.

Good use of skills section to stress retail and client-facing skills - Retail Salesperson / Retail Salesman Resume

Skills you can include on your Retail Salesperson / Retail Salesman resume

Template 5 of 10: retail sales manager resume example.

A retail sales manager is someone who oversees the sales processes and operations for a retail store. Depending on the company, the retail sales manager may oversee just one location or several stores within a region. As a retail sales manager, you will be responsible for overseeing sales within the store, conducting loss prevention strategies, tracking key KPIs, training retail sales associates, and more. To become a retail sales manager, you’ll need a combination of relevant experience and skills. Typically, hiring managers will look for someone with a minimum of an associate’s degree, although adequate experience may substitute for a college education in some cases. It’s extremely important that candidates for this role have considerable client-facing, customer service, and sales experience. Prior roles held as a customer care representative or inside sales representative are preferable.

A resume for a retail sales manager with a bachelor's degree and prior experience as a sales support manager.

Tips to help you write your Retail Sales Manager resume in 2023

   showcase your prior experience training and managing junior employees.

To become a retail sales manager, it’s important to show hiring managers that you have leadership skills. The retail sales manager will be primarily responsible for leading employee training, development, and conflict resolution. As such, it’s important to highlight times where you have successfully managed or trained employees in the past.

Showcase your prior experience training and managing junior employees - Retail Sales Manager Resume

   Highlight any experience you have interpreting sales data

Often, retail sales managers will be asked to track and interpret data about their store’s sales and customer activity. Highlight skills such as sales management, sales forecasting, and data entry on your resume will help you stand out for this role.

Highlight any experience you have interpreting sales data - Retail Sales Manager Resume

Skills you can include on your Retail Sales Manager resume

Template 6 of 10: retail sales manager resume example.

If you have experience in sales and customer service, and great organizational abilities, a role as a retail sales manager might be right for you. The retail sales manager oversees the daily operations of a retail store’s sales department. They typically manage the sales staff, set sales goals, monitor revenue, develop and maintain store budgets, track inventory levels, and train new sales staff. There are many ways to become a retail sales manager. A combination of education and relevant knowledge is ideal. A bachelor's degree in business is preferable for this role, though some organizations may overlook lacking education if the candidate has significant retail sales experience. It’s important that candidates for the role have previous sales experiences, such as prior roles held as retail sales specialists or business development representative. It’s also important that candidates demonstrate the desired skills, such as sales planning, budget planning, inventory management, and people management skills.

A resume for a retail sales manager with a bachelor's degree in business management and prior experience as a general manager of sales.

   Detail any prior experience improving a sales team’s productivity or morale

Retail sales jobs are often transient because they are popular roles among young people. Managing young salespeople is no easy task. The retail sales manager must be knowledgeable in creative techniques to engage and retain their staff - as such, it’s important to highlight the experience you have improving staff morale on your resume.

Detail any prior experience improving a sales team’s productivity or morale - Retail Sales Manager Resume

   Demonstrate your ability to implement sales strategies and incentives

As a retail sales manager, you will be tasked with implementing new strategies to boost sales and revenue. As such, it’s important to detail any experience you have creating and effectively executing new sales strategies or incentives on your resume.

Demonstrate your ability to implement sales strategies and incentives - Retail Sales Manager Resume

Template 7 of 10: Retail Sales Manager Resume Example

Retail sales managers are on the front lines of sales, meaning they will be having more customer interactions than sales managers in other positions. This applicant shows that they have the ability to work with both customers and employees in a way that supports business sustainability.

Retail sales managers should aim to show their ability to meet the needs of both customers and their employees, along with providing basic sales management accomplishments such as improving sales or reducing shrinkage.

   Emphasis on customer relationships

Businesses that are looking for retail sales managers are primarily looking for competent, friendly faces that will be able to handle any situation that arises for customers on the sales floor (or off of it). This applicant does that by referencing their focus on fostering “a positive customer experience”, attaining over 96 percent customer satisfaction with their team, and expanding the customer account base by 35 percent, to highlight a few instances. To demonstrate that you have an affinity for building and maintaining constructive customer relationships, you should aim to emphasize customer- or client-centered accomplishments at your past positions.

Emphasis on customer relationships - Retail Sales Manager Resume

   Interpersonal skills are indicated through achievements

While all sales managers can be expected to have a degree of interpersonal skills, retail sales managers generally need to have the ability to keep both their customers and their employees happy. In this resume, the applicant includes several accomplishments that give the impression that they have a solid ability to work with others. As examples, they list how they were among the few who received a teaching fellowship at their university, as well as their work to develop a project that led to 85 percent employee retention. If you want to show hiring managers that you care for others in a way that elevates their performance, provide data points that support it.

Interpersonal skills are indicated through achievements - Retail Sales Manager Resume

Template 8 of 10: Retail Sales Manager Resume Example

Retail sales managers should aim to show their ability to meet the needs of both customers and their employees, along with providing basic sales management accomplishments such as improving sales or reducing shrinkage.

Template 9 of 10: Retail Pharmacist Resume Example

A retail pharmacist is someone who approves, fills, and manages prescriptions. They may work at a privately owned pharmacy or for a corporate chain pharmacy. These professionals are responsible for receiving incoming scripts, filling them, ensuring medication is up to code, educating patients on their medication, and more. To land this role, you will need a relevant educational background. A degree in pharmacology or biology is most desirable. Moreover, you will need adequate internship experience and/or certifications to become a retail pharmacist. Apart from looking for the right education and technical skills, hiring managers will also be looking for someone who has customer-facing experience and strong organizational skills.

A resume for a retail pharmacist with a degree in pharmacy and experience as a drug safety associate.

Tips to help you write your Retail Pharmacist resume in 2023

   research the qualifications needed to become a retail pharmacist in your region.

Different states will have differing requirements to become a retail pharmacist. Some states may require a high education degree or particular licensing. It’s important to research your state's educational requirements to become a retail pharmacist and ensure you meet the necessary qualifications.

Research the qualifications needed to become a retail pharmacist in your region - Retail Pharmacist Resume

   Highlight your knowledge of drug safety

Retail pharmacists have the important responsibility of informing the public about the drugs they are prescribed. On your resume, you should highlight your ability to identify drugs with potential for abuse or misuse and highlight any experience you have effectively explaining complex pharmaceutical topics to an array of audiences.

Highlight your knowledge of drug safety - Retail Pharmacist Resume

Skills you can include on your Retail Pharmacist resume

Template 10 of 10: retail pharmacist resume example.

Retail pharmacists work in a retail environment, rather than in a hospital or healthcare setting. As a retail pharmacist, you’ll be responsible for dispensing prescriptions, counselling patients and providing advice on health and medication, and managing your store. This might include managing other staff, monitoring inventory, and ensuring compliance with safety regulations, which means your resume needs to emphasize both hard and soft skills.

Retail pharmacist resume example template using a resume summary to highlight accomplishments

   Focused on retail pharmacy

When applying for a specialized position like pharmacy, it’s best to include only your most relevant experience on your resume. If you don’t have a long work history, it’s okay to include more general retail experience, but ideally, you should focus on your experience as a pharmacist or pharmacy technician. If your degree is more relevant than your experience, list your education first.

Focused on retail pharmacy - Retail Pharmacist Resume

   Use a resume summary if appropriate

A resume summary isn’t just helpful for career changers — it can quickly contextualize your experience and highlight your top achievements. In your resume summary, include one or two of your most impressive accomplishments as well as a quick overview of the size of any teams you’ve led or the environments in which you’ve previously worked.

Use a resume summary if appropriate - Retail Pharmacist Resume

Action Verbs for Retail Resumes

Skills for retail resumes.

The skills you’ll want to list on your resume will depend on what type of retail you’re applying for — an experienced retail manager, for example, will need a very different skill set from an entry-level retail associate. In general, though, most retail jobs will call for a lot of soft skills — things like communication, problem solving, and customer service — that don’t belong on a skills list. Instead, highlight these skills through your bullet points, including metrics where you can to make the achievement more objective. You can list hard skills in the same way, or in a separate skills section. When it comes to hard skills, you’ll want to figure out which ones hiring managers are likely to be scanning for. Our list of top resume skills and keywords has analyzed over one million job descriptions to pull out the most relevant keywords recruiters and ATS are looking for.

Customer Service

Skills Word Cloud For Retail Resumes

This word cloud highlights the important keywords that appear on Retail job descriptions and resumes. The bigger the word, the more frequently it appears on job postings, and the more 'important' it is.

Top Retail Skills and Keywords to Include On Your Resume

How to use these skills?

Action verbs for retail resumes.

Every retail position is public-facing to some degree, which means you should emphasize your ability to communicate, influence, and work as part of a team. If you want to highlight your business finesse, choose action verbs like Influenced, Promoted, and Recommended. If you’re aiming for a leadership position, action verbs like Motivated and Trained are ideal. For more ideas, check out our comprehensive list of resume action verbs . Leading with action verbs means your resume is focused on accomplishments, not duties — hiring managers are far more interested in knowing how many customers you successfully upsold than what areas of the store you cleaned. Remember that, at its core, retail is sales-oriented, which means that numbers are your friend. The more detailed you can be when listing your achievements, the more likely it is that your resume will wind up on the “yes” pile.

For more related action verbs, visit Sales Action Verbs .

For a full list of effective resume action verbs, visit Resume Action Verbs .

How To Write a Resume Summary for a Retail Resume

If you're a senior-level employee, or you're changing careers to become a Retail, it's useful to add a paragraph at the top of your resume highlighting your most impressive accomplishments. This is called a resume summary. Here's an example of a summary that can be used on a Retail resume.
A resume summary is a totally optional section, and in most cases, it's better to leave it out of your resume than include it. For example, if you're a student or mid-level hire, you should not include a summary, and instead use the space to add to your work experience.

How to write a resume summary if you are applying for a Retail resume

To learn how to write an effective resume summary for your Retail resume, or figure out if you need one, please read Resume Summary Examples for Job Seekers: When To Include One .

Other Sales Resumes

A category manager resume sample that highlights the candidate’s quantifiable success and specializations.

Sales Manager

A resume for a automobile/car sales manager with a degree in business and prior experience as a car sales representative.

Retail Resume Guide

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Resume Worded

5 Retail Resume Examples Built for 2023

Stephen Greet

Retail Resume

Retail manager resume.

Retail Associate Resume

Retail customer service resume.

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

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

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

These five retail resume examples have helped people land jobs in 2023 , so they’re a great place for you to get started.

or download as PDF

Retail resume example with 3 years of experience

Why this resume works

Retail manager resume example with 6 years of experience

Entry-Level Retail Resume Example

Entry-level retail resume example with 5 years of experience

Retail associate resume example with 8 years of experience

Retail customer service resume example with 3 years of experience

Related resume guides

How to Format Your Retail Resume

A woman stands in front of a whiteboard with a layout diagram displayed behind her, holding a pen in hand, while a curious-looking man stands beside her, asking a question.

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 it’s readable, logical, and complete. To that end, there are three formatting components you should be aware of, which include

first job resume retail

Retail resume format types

The reverse-chronological format, functional format, and combination/hybrid format are the most popular formats for retail resumes in 2023.

Retail resume format choices:

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. 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 automatically, allowing them to determine if you have the experience necessary for the job.

Let’s say you’ve worked as a cashier and store assistant for eight years before becoming a supervisor or store manager for another five to ten years. 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 effectively shows a pattern of lateral or upward mobility. The primary benefits of using the reverse-chronological format for retail include:

first job resume retail

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 set in the center or left side of the page. Consider placing your prospective job title in the line below your name, ensuring 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. Classic fonts like Times New Roman and Arial are preferable in most cases. A resume should be formatted with simplicity in mind instead of style and flare.

As for the font size, the standard text should range between 11-12 points. On the other hand, headers should have font sizes that range from 14-16 points, and your name can be the 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 pop. Like most professional documents, resumes should be left-aligned, making them 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:

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

Retail resume contact information.

Is your retail resume ATS-friendly?

If you want to ensure 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 allows employers to organize sizable numbers of resumes efficiently.

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

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

How to Write Your Best Retail Resume

An illustration of a man floating with a question mark above his head, looking confused and staring at a laptop. The laptop is open and placed on a desk in front of the man.

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, but it will also help you include the right details in your document. 

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

first job resume retail

Should you write a retail resume objective or summary?

You could include a resume objective or summary when creating your retail resume. An  objective statement  is a concise and position-focused statement describing 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 qualifications for the position in question. Professional  resume summaries  tend to be a bit lengthier than objective statements and are meant to provide more in-depth details about your job experience, skills, education, and specializations over the course of a lengthy (10+ years) career.

Objective or summary for your retail resume? 

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 you offer as an employee. If the statement is too short or not descriptive enough, it may harm 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:

The objective statement is far too vague and isn’t centered around the position to which you’re applying. 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:

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

first job resume retail

Retail work experience

Try to include two to four job experience examples for your resume. However, it’s unnecessary to include every job you’ve had since your first. If you have ample experience, include those jobs most relevant to the role for which you’re applying. While writing down your work experience may appear straightforward, it’s easy to make mistakes in this section.

first job resume retail

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:

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

Three bullet point examples that should be far, far away from your retail resume:

These are examples of passive work responsibilities, 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, that would serve your retail resume well:

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

first job resume retail

Use metrics to quantify your impact in retail

You must be able to quantify the impact you’ve had on the companies you’ve worked for in the past. To accomplish this goal, it’s recommended that you use metrics to 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:

These retail descriptions incorporate all the above:

Retail resume quantifiable job descriptions.

What are the top retail skills?

If you have ample past work experience, you likely have dozens of skills that could prove useful in the job for which you’re applying. However, you should include skills 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 perform their responsibilities effectively. These skills are 100 percent job-related. Soft skills are more difficult to measure. For retail jobs, hard skill examples include:

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

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

first job resume retail

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 3.2 and any specialization or concentration. You might also want to list certifications and licenses to set your resume apart from others.

first job resume retail

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

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

Suppose you’re currently a high school or college student or are applying for an entry position. In that case, your lack of experience gives you the perfect opportunity to add projects, hobbies, and interests to your resume.

For  interests and hobbies , you could include:

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

first job resume retail

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 to which you apply. 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 they’re looking for a strong leader who can manage numerous team members, you should focus on your leadership skills throughout your retail resume.

first job resume retail

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 our  free resume checker  to streamline this process.

Get Your Next Retail Job and Celebrate

"A cat wearing a space helmet sits inside a rocket, ready for takeoff, symbolizing the idea of launching oneself towards a new retail job and celebrating the achievement.

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

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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How to write a retail resume that gets the job [with tips and examples]

How to write a retail resume that gets the job [with tips and examples]

Ben Temple

Retail is one of the largest employment sectors in North America. Retail businesses hire lots of people, including entry-level employees, but if you want to beat the competition you need to learn how to write a retail resume that makes an impact.

There are many different roles in retail, including:

Roles like this can be found in several different types of retail businesses, like grocery stores, department stores, electrical retailers, clothing stores, and more. While retail salaries aren’t always the most competitive, retailers often hire for a large number of entry-level positions. This means you will be able to write a great retail resume with no experience.

This guide will discuss:

Using a great retail resume template will boost your chances of landing a job.

Retail hiring managers receive a lot of applications. If you want yours to stand out, your resume must be well-formatted and professional. A messy, difficult-to-read resume would be rejected by any employer.

A good resume template will have readable fonts, clear organization, and a professional design. While you can format these yourself using a word processing software, your easiest option is to use a premade resume template from a resume builder.

VisualCV offers several resume templates that would work great for a retail application. The Corporate or Elegant templates, for example, are stylish but professional, and would make your retail resume look great.

A resume template will do all the hard work for you, so you know exactly where to put your contact information, what fonts to use, and what sections to include.

On a resume, a summary is a short paragraph that features key highlights of your experiences, education, and achievements. It is located right at the top of your resume, near your contact information. This is your elevator pitch to employers, where you can convince them to keep reading the rest of your resume.

Hiring managers receive a lot of resumes. They don't spend much time reading each one, so a resume summary is a great way to grab their attention.

A great retail summary should highlight your:

If you are writing a resume for retail jobs with no experience, you won't have a work history to draw from. Instead, you can mention your education, volunteering positions, or anything else that could suggest that you are responsible and would make a good employee.

Retail resume example: Summary

If you’re having trouble coming up with key qualifications for your summary, try writing it last. If you’ve already written the rest of your resume, you will have a better sense of your experience and what deserves to be highlighted.

Retail resume example: Summary

Customer-focused retail assistant with 3+ years of experience. Quick learner with deep knowledge of consumer electronics specializing in TVs and mobile phones. Finished top of the department sales leaderboard in 2021 and 2022, exceeding sales targets by 20%. Seeking a position at the Apple store to continue my career development.

Your Work Experience section is the most important part of your retail resume. It's the place to showcase all your previous positions, and the skills and qualifications you developed throughout your career.

When writing your Work Experience section, begin with your current position and list previous jobs in reverse-chronological order. For each job, include:

The job description for each role is where you can highlight your best skills and achievements in each role. Think of your most impressive and relevant highlights and responsibilities in each of your past jobs and list them here. When you write each job description, try to use active language like spearheaded , led , and oversaw so it is clear that you are a responsible and reliable leader.

Where possible, you should also include facts and figures to explain your achievements. Saying that you “boosted sales by 20%” is far more impressive than simply stating that you were “responsible for making sales”.

Retail resume example: Work Experience

Work experience.

Sales Assistant Best Buy *July 2020 - Present *

Your Skills section is the part of your retail resume where you list the hard skills and soft skills you possess that make you a great employee.

If you've worked in retail for a long time, you'll have picked up a lot of different skills. Deciding which skills to include really depends on the position you are applying for.

To choose your most relevant skills, read through the job description and pick out things the employer wants. They might be looking for competence with a particular point of sale (POS) software, specific product knowledge, inventory management, scheduling, and more. See where your skill set overlaps with the job description and list your best ones.

For a simple Skills section, list your skills in a simple bulleted list. For a little more flair, VisualCV offers a Skills strength rating that showcases your competency.

Retail resume example: Skills

Retail resume example: Skills

Your education section could be crucial if you're writing a resume for retail jobs with no experience. Without any work history to show that you are competent and capable, the hiring manager will need to see other qualifications. A strong education can be what it takes to convince them that you are a good candidate.

Of course, limited work experience isn’t the only reason education is important. There are lots of specialist retail jobs that require a degree. Examples include buyers, merchandisers, or management positions.

If you want to emphasize your education, include details like GPA (if it’s high), classwork, or relevant projects. If you've been working in retail a long time, your work experience section will do most of the heavy lifting, and you only need to list your education briefly.

Retail resume example: Education

Associate’s Degree in Retail Administration New York University, New York 2016 - 2019

When you are first learning how to write a retail resume, you might be tempted to make one document and use it for all the positions you apply for. This would be a mistake. Each job is different and requires unique skills and backgrounds.

Customizing your resume for each job is important. You should always read through each job posting carefully and tailor your resume to suit.

For example, if you've been working at an electrical retailer, but you want to transition to a clothing store, there will be specific skills that transfer easily to the new environment. For example, if your ability to troubleshoot hardware may not be that useful, but your familiarity with customer service, POS software, and shift scheduling might be.

Read through the job posting and find the keywords that apply to you. These are the skills that you should emphasize in your resume.

Customizing your retail resume is also a great way to beat the applicant tracking system . An applicant tracking system, or ATS, is an automated tool that scans resumes for specific keywords. If it doesn’t find the right keywords, your resume will be rejected before the hiring manager even sees it. Taking the time to study the job posting and adjust your resume to match it will ensure that you target the right keywords.

Now that you’ve worked your way through this step-by-step guide, you should have a great resume ready for applications. But there is always more refining to do. Here are some more tips for writing a retail resume.

Make sure your contact details are correct

Using a resume template will ensure that you present your details in the right format and the right place. However, there are some other things to remember.

First, double-check that the email and phone number you list are correct. You don’t want to miss out on an interview because you gave the wrong details.

Second, ensure you use a professional email. Jokey email addresses will make you look unprofessional and you will be rejected.

If you include links to any online profiles, such as your LinkedIn account or personal website, make sure everything you post there is appropriate for work. One embarrassing picture is enough to end your candidacy.

Highlight your customer service skills

Most retail jobs are customer-facing. Good people skills are an essential part of a successful retail career. When someone comes to a store to ask questions or buy goods, they want employees to be friendly, attentive, and communicative.

There are many different ways to show that you are a people person on your resume. To highlight your customer service skills:

Demonstrate passion and interest

If you are looking for a role in a specific industry, make sure to show that you are interested in that field. For example, mention your love for fashion if you’re applying at a clothing store. If you are applying for a role in an electronics retailer, discuss your interest in modifying computers. Enthusiasm can go a long way.

Over 10 years of experience in leadership roles within complex retail operations. Experienced in supervising diverse teams and developing challenging programs and assignments. Key expertise in visualizing, designing and executing business process re-engineering and relationship marketing programs. Excellent at researching merchandizing strategies and overseeing the preparation of operational reports and schedules to ensure accuracy and efficiency. Proven multi-tasking capabilities with strong ability to plan, prioritize and manage complex projects under aggressive timelines and controlled project budgets. Strong knowledge of the retail environment.

Work experience

Store Manager Wal-Mart

Store Manager The Kroger Co.

Keyholder The Home Depot

Bachelor of Arts Washington State University

Retail resume example

Community Success Manager & CV Writing Expert

Ben is a writer, customer success manager and CV writing expert with over 5 years of experience helping job-seekers create their best careers. He believes in the importance of a great resume summary and the power of coffee.

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How to Write a First Job Resume + A Downloadable Template for 2022

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Selling yourself and your skills to an employer can be difficult, especially when you don’t have enough experience under your belt. Whether you’re writing a first job resume or struggling to find a job out of college , this guide will go over everything you need to include in your resume, even if you think you don’t have much to include at all.

Keep reading to find out what you can learn from successful people’s first job resumes and download our free first job resume template to help get yours started.

What to Include in Your First Job Resume

Keep your resume simple and easy to read while still providing the most relevant information the employer will need.

It’s advisable to keep it short and easy to understand. Since most employers receive many resumes in a day, they won’t have time to read over pages and pages of content—in fact, hiring managers spend an average of only six to eight seconds looking at each resume.

Most first job resumes should include these sections:

An illustration of an annotated resume describes what to include in each section of your first job resume.

How to Make a Resume For Your First Job: 10 Steps

Starting your first job resume can be daunting and maybe even make you feel like you don’t have any relevant experience to add to the workplace. However, you can still create a great resume by taking a step back and considering everything you have accomplished in the previous years.

Have you helped a family friend and babysat a couple of weekends during high school? Congrats! You’ve proven you can time manage your schoolwork while using your communication skills and even-temperament to calm down a five-year-old.

Or maybe you led a long school project for an after-school club. Great job! You’ve already demonstrated leadership skills.

Every experience — both inside and outside of a professional workplace — can count toward your achievements on a first job resume. Even if you’ve never had a job before, there are many ways you can present your skills and experience to impress relevant employers. To that end, here’s how to make a resume for your first job.

1. Figure Out the Best Way to Organize Your First Job Resume

The first step in writing your first job resume is to figure out the best way to organize it.

If you’re a recent graduate or still in school, you can choose to have your education information first and then your work experience. If you do have some experience to list out, it can be a good option to start with that first, since it’s more relevant for an employer.

Here are three ways you can organize your first job resume:

2. Start With Your Name and Contact Information

Once you figured out the best way to organize your resume, begin by listing out your contact information. In the header at the top of the page, include:

You can also include your current location, LinkedIn profile link, and portfolio link.

3. Research Resume Keywords

Employers receive an average of 250 applications per job post and 75 percent of them use some sort of applicant tracking software. So if you’ve received a couple of rejection emails soon after submitting your resume, there’s a chance it wasn’t correctly tailored for the position and was rejected by the software.

That being said, it’s advisable to do some keyword research before writing your first resume in order to make sure your skills and experience that you listed match the job description and increase your chances of getting an interview.

Take a look at the job descriptions for positions you want to apply for and pay extra attention to the requirements, qualifications, and responsibilities sections. Write down some of the common keywords you see and compare them to your skills and experience.

Once that’s done, you can tailor your resume accordingly and include some of the keywords if they relate to your experience.

4. Include Your Skills and Education

Now that you have your preferred way to organize your first job resume as well as your tailored keywords, it’s time to bring your resume to life by listing out your skills and education.

Having your skills and abilities included in your resume will help employers see if you’re a good fit for the position within seconds, especially if you don’t have much experience. Including your education and experience in reverse chronological order will also allow them to see what you’ve been working on for the previous years.

5. Write Your Objective

Resumes commonly feature a short summary section at the beginning, which is also known as your objective. In this section, write a couple of sentences about yourself, your relevant skills, or what you hope to accomplish in the workplace.

Although some people choose not to include this section, it can be a quick way to show what you can provide to the employer. It can also show them if you’re a good fit for the role, especially if this is your first job resume.

Here are some examples of good and bad resume objectives:

6. Highlight Soft and Hard Skills

When listing your skills on your first job resume, it’s advisable to include both soft and hard skills.

Here are some examples of soft and hard skills:

7. Feature Education and Certificates

When applying for a job , employers are interested in your education and certificates. On your resume for your first job, include the education you acquired, such as degrees, GPA (if 3.5 or higher), and relevant coursework, as well as certifications, including projects and academic achievements.

8. Add Volunteer and Extracurricular Activities

Including any volunteer and extracurricular activities on your resume is especially important when you don’t have a lot of job experience. On your first job resume, list any relevant activities and what you have acquired during them. These will show that your real-world experience has helped build your soft and hard skills.

9. Make it Quick and Easy

The format of your first resume also plays a big role in the hiring process. Keeping it short and concise will help hiring managers read through your resume with ease, and better understand the value you’re bringing — on top of showing your organizational skills.

Make sure the resume has a legible font, such as Times New Roman, Calibri, or Cambria, and that it’s a minimum of 10 pts but preferably 12 pts.

Although resume colors will depend on the field you’re applying for, keeping it simple will help with legibility. Plan to have your resume font in black with a white background, and use a third color, such as blue or green, if you want to place emphasis on a title.

You can also try bolding , italicizing , and CAPITALIZING areas that you want to bring into focus.

10. Consider a Personalized Cover Letter

Depending on the job, you may also be required to provide a cover letter. A cover letter will give you extra space to express yourself and show what you have accomplished and your objectives.

The focus of your cover letter should be on what you can provide to a specific company. Therefore, you should consider a personalized cover letter for each job you apply for. Here’s what to include in your cover letter:

First Jobs Resume Examples of Successful People

Everyone starts with a blank sheet of paper as their first resume — even the most successful and well-known people. Building experience and skills to add to your resume takes time, but with enough planning, you can create a great first job resume.

To help, let’s analyze what a few successful people’s resume sections might have looked like when they had little to no experience — remember, we all started here!

Kamala Harris

Before becoming a deputy district attorney and the Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris dedicated her life to becoming knowledgeable and seeking societal advancement. If Kamala Harris were to create her first job resume before going to law school, her work experience section might look like this:

An illustration of Kamala Harris' first job resume.

Since Kamala dedicated a lot of her time during university toward her degree and was looking to become a lawyer, it would be important for her to list out her education experience first.

The experience Kamala lists out, such as work and extracurricular activities, also translates to leadership, which she made a career of today. This is especially helpful when a job requires not only technical training but also the development of soft and hard skills.

Mark Cuban’s road to becoming a billionaire and eventual owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks didn’t start easy. He worked various gigs and ventures throughout his career before his success. If Mark Cuban was writing his first resume during college, he would likely include some of his hobbies and interests.

An illustration of Mark Cuban's first job resume.

After graduating from Indiana University, Mark Cuban moved back to Pittsburgh and took a job at Mellon Bank. Although his degree likely helped him land a job after college, he didn’t have much formal job experience.

Mark Cuban diversified his interests and hobbies to gain experience in different fields, which he eventually diversified his business portfolio as a mega-investor. Highlighting how you acquired different interests and skills can also set you apart from applicants with the same level of experience and education.

Resumes have changed a lot through the years. As an example, just look to Bill Gates’ resume from 1974 . Nowadays, we use a different format for resumes, but we can still learn a lot from the skills and experience section of Gates’ resume. This is what that section would probably look like when he was first starting out:

An illustration of Bill Gates'first job resume.

Bill Gates uses his self-taught hard skills in his favor when writing his first job resume. He taught himself so many programming languages and ultimately created his own empire. It can be a good practice to include relevant courses during school, project accomplishments, and descriptions of each.

Button to download first job resume template.

The Bottom Line

Every successful person at some point had to write their first job resume. Identifying your accomplishments and skills, along with your personality traits, can help you build a resume that could potentially lead to a great first job .

An infographic describes how to create a first job resume and includes tips from successful people's resumes.

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