The retail resume guide
Last updated: February 5, 2023
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The retail resume guide
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In the U.S., 15.16 million people work in the retail industry.

If you've got good communication skills, and enjoy working with people, a job in retail could be right for you.

If you're interested in getting a retail job, we're here to help.

In the following guide, we'll explain what a retail worker is and the skills you need for the job.

And to help you land a position, we've put together our top retail resume tips.

We'll give you two resume samples and a resume template. Plus, we'll show you where to start your job search.

What is a retail worker?

A retail worker is someone who works in the retail industry. There are different positions to choose from, such as cashiers, retail sales associates, retail sales managers, and retail merchandisers.

Retail workers interact with customers. Depending on their role, they may use cash registers and point of sale (POS) systems, enter data into inventory management software, and answer customer questions.

They may also be responsible for merchandising. For example, a retail worker may display products in the retail store and plan sales or promotions.

Large retailers often have entry-level retail jobs with opportunities for career growth. Once a team member has enough experience, they may be able to apply for a management position.

Retail workers work full-time, part-time, and seasonally.

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What skills do you need to work in retail?

If you want to work in retail, you'll need excellent communication skills. You'll need good listening skills, customer service skills, problem-solving skills, and time management.

For entry-level positions, you'll usually get on-the-job training. But, most employers ask for a high school diploma or equivalent.

To be successful as a retail worker, you'll need product knowledge, math skills, and the motivation to meet any sales goals.

Computer skills such as experience with MS Word and Excel can be beneficial.

If you want to apply for a leadership position such as store manager, you may need a degree in management or finance.

Retail can be fast-paced, and you may spend long hours on your feet. It’s possible that you’d be needed to work on weekends and evenings as well.

Tips for writing a retail worker resume

Before you apply for a job, read our top retail resume writing tips.

1. Keep it short

Your retail resume should fit neatly onto one page. Only include relevant information that will help you get the position.

For example, you should include any retail experience and a summary of your skills. You don't need to talk about your personal life or your favorite hobbies.

If you’ve got limited work experience, you can focus on your academic achievements, volunteer work, and extracurricular activities.

2. Highlight your interpersonal skills

Your interpersonal skills could help you get a job, especially if you have no previous work experience. You can use bullet points for the skills section.

Think about what you're good at. Do you have good communication skills, great attention to detail, and patience? Are you reliable, punctual, and a good team player?

You may also have relevant technical skills and math skills.

3. Include relevant experience

Remember, you only have limited space, so make it count. At the start of your resume, you can include a short summary. And in your cover letter, you can share specific examples.

Your work history should be in chronological order, with the most recent job first. Your retail resume shouldn’t go back any further than 10 to 15 years.

Include the company name, job title, and dates worked for each position. You should also include any relevant experience using bullet points. For example, you may have experience in cash handling, customer service, and managing complaints.

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4. Read the job description

Always read the job description before completing your job application.

You should customize your cover letter and address it to the hiring manager. Look at the key criteria in the advertisement, and use these in your examples.

These days, hiring managers may use an ATS (applicant tracking system) to filter candidates. These computer systems scan your resume and look for keywords that match the job description.

Your resume should be both ATS-friendly and appealing to the recruiter. Want to know more? Read our ATS resume tips.

5. Check your resume

Before you submit your resume, make sure there are no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. You can read it out loud and ask someone you trust to double-check it for you.

Make sure your contact details are up to date. Check your phone number and email address.

Your email address should be professional, without slang or humor.

For example:

RIGHT: [email protected]

WRONG: [email protected]

You may also want to include your LinkedIn profile.

Retail resume examples

Not sure how to put it all together?

We’ve created two retail resume samples for retail associate and sales manager positions.

1. Resume example for a retail associate

If you want to apply for a retail associate job and have limited experience, here’s a resume sample:

Leonie Forrester

New York NY

(234) 232-2323

[email protected]

A high school graduate with a National Merit Award. Enthusiastic, with a strong work ethic and excellent interpersonal skills. Experience working in a fast-paced workplace. Looking for an opportunity to use these skills in a retail sales environment.

Skills

  • Customer service skills

  • Cash handling skills

  • Math skills

  • Responsible

  • Punctual

Work Experience

McDonald’s

Crew Member

2019 - Present

  • Provided excellent customer service

  • Food preparation

  • Accepted payments

  • Used the POS system

  • Maintained the restaurant

Leonie’s Babysitting

Babysitter

2017–Present

  • Cared for children

  • Meal preparation

  • Accepted payments

  • Gained a client base

Volunteer Work

The Soup Kitchen

Volunteer (2020)

Certificates

  • Senior First Aid Certificate (2020)

2. Resume example for a retail sales manager:

If you have experience and want to apply for a job as a sales manager, here’s a resume sample:

Penny Francis

New York NY

(384) 231-1234

[email protected]

LI: @pennyfrancis

Summary of Experience

A motivated retail manager with over five years of experience in a leadership role. Committed to customer service and brand growth. An effective manager who offers employees ongoing training and development opportunities. A retail manager that strives to create a positive work environment with customer service a top priority.

Work Experience

The Big Store

Retail Manager

2016 - Current

  • Hired and trained new employees

  • Managed over twenty-five employees

  • Ordered stock and tracked inventory

  • Implemented a customer feedback system. Performance improved by 44%.

  • Built relationships with corporate management and merchandisers.

  • Managed rosters and schedules

The Big Store

Sales Associate

2012–2016

  • Used the cash register

  • Served customers

  • Restocked shelves

  • Participated in the company’s retail management program

Education

New York College

Associate of Retail Management (2015)

Skills

  • Customer service

  • Leadership

  • Communication

  • Organization and planning

Retail resume template

Now it’s time to build your own resume. You can modify these free resume templates to fit your specific needs.

1. Retail associate resume template

(First Name) (Last Name)

(Location)

((000) 000-000)

(Email address)

(Use this section for your resume objective. It should be a summary of your work experience and achievements. Up to fifty words).

Skills

  • (Relevant skill)

  • (Relevant skill)

  • (Relevant skill)

  • (Relevant skill)

  • (Relevant skill)

Work Experience

(Company)

(Job title)

(Date) to (Date)

  • (Responsibility)

  • (Responsibility)

  • (Responsibility)

  • (Responsibility)

  • (Responsibility)

  • (Responsibility)

(Company)

(Job title)

(Date) to (Date)

  • (Responsibility)

  • (Responsibility)

  • (Responsibility)

  • (Responsibility)

(Volunteer Work OR Extracurricular Activities)

(Company Name)

(Activity) (Date)

Certificates

  • (Certificate Name) (Year)

  • (Certificate Name) (Year)

2. Retail store manager resume template

(First Name) (Last Name)

(Location)

((000) 000-000)

(Email address)

(LinkedIn)

Summary of Experience

(Use this section for your resume objective. It should be a summary of your work experience and achievements. Up to fifty words).

Work Experience

(Company)

(Job title)

(Date) to (Date)

  • (Responsibility)

  • (Responsibility)

  • (Responsibility)

  • (Responsibility)

  • (Responsibility)

  • (Responsibility)

(Company)

(Job title)

(Date) to (Date)

  • (Responsibility)

  • (Responsibility)

  • (Responsibility)

  • (Responsibility)

Education (if this section is irrelevant, you can leave it out)

(Name of school or college)

(Degree name) (Year of completion)

Skills

  • (Relevant skill)

  • (Relevant skill)

  • (Relevant skill)

  • (Relevant skill)

  • (Relevant skill)

  • (Relevant skill)

You can also check out the Jobcase resume builder.

Where to look for retail jobs

When you’re ready, you can start your job search. You can browse all retail positions in your local area or search by job type.

Here are a few popular options:

Applying for a retail job

If you're ready to look for a job in retail, it's time to write the perfect resume. This article told you what a retail worker is and the skills you’ll need for the industry.

We also gave you our top resume writing tips. We explained why you should keep it short, how to highlight your interpersonal skills, and why you should include relevant experience.

We even reminded you to read the job description and check your resume.

To help you write your resume, we gave you two retail resume examples along with two customizable templates.

Finally, we told you where you could start your job search.

If you want more resume and interview tips, check out our resource center.

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