If you’re looking for a job in the retail sector, it’s important that your résumé is well-presented and highlights the experience and skills recruiters want. Retail recruiters actively search through online CV databases in their hunt for suitable candidates, so it’s vital that your résumé catches their eye.
Here’s how to create a résumé for a retail position.
Style and layout
Your aim is to create a résumé that lands in the ‘in’ pile rather than the ‘Dear John’ heap. Keep the presentation clear and concise so that it can be easily read onscreen as well as in hard copy. If you want to use a small amount of bold to highlight headings, that’s fine, but avoid using fancy fonts and colours, and don’t write more than two sides of A4.
Always double check the job advertisement for instructions on application submissions. Most recruiters only accept cover letters and résumés as PDFs or Word documents to make it easier for them to share the information with colleagues.
Information to include
Put your full name, address and contact telephone number at the top of the résumé. You should also state your nationality as retail employers will want to be confident that you are eligible to work for them. You don’t need to give your date of birth, and a photo is not required unless the advert specifically asks for one.
If you’re seeking your first job, put your education before your work experience. Include any notable academic qualifications, especially anything relevant to the retail sector. If you achieved particularly high grades, include them in your résumé.
More experienced retail workers should keep this section to a minimum and put it after the work experience information. Mention notable qualifications like ‘A’ levels or a degree, for example, and always highlight any professional or skills training. Recruiters like to see that you are keen to develop your retail industry skills and that you take your personal development seriously.
List your work experience in reverse order showing your most recent or current job first. Give a brief description of your duties and highlight anything notable that you have achieved. Make sure your résumé emphasises how you added value to the role and, if possible, place a monetary value on your contribution. For example, perhaps you came up with an initiative that drew more customers into your employer’s store and consequently increased sales.
If you have no retail experience, think about what transferable skills you have to offer. Think along the lines of customer care, teamwork or communication skills – all these attributes are applicable in the retail industry and are the sort of things that recruiters look for.
Using keywords in your résumé
Retail recruiters often use online résumé databases to search for suitable candidates and they use keywords to do so. Retail keywords could be skills like teamwork, customer service, and communication, or industry specifics like fashion, homeware, electrical retail, etc. You can make sure you have the right keywords in your résumé by looking through job adverts in your chosen area and making a note of what keywords are included.
Tailoring your résumé
Nothing turns a recruiter off more than receiving a generic ‘catch-all’ résumé. This tells them that you couldn’t be bothered tailoring your application to their specific vacancy and makes it appear that you’re not really that bothered about the role they’re advertising.
The framework of your résumé will remain the same so your personal details and qualifications won’t need changing, but you should align your keywords, experience, and skillset description to fit with what the recruiter is looking for in each position you apply for.
The retail job market is extremely active and there are always plenty of opportunities out there. Do your research into each role you apply for, take the time to put together a tailored and impressive résumé, and you’re halfway to success!