CV Example Retail
Retail is the selling of goods or services to consumers, either in person, over the telephone or on e-commerce sites. As careers in retail can encompass a wide range of jobs from customer service and cashier duties to merchandising and store management, professionals of all backgrounds are generally welcomed.
Depending on the setting (department store, specialist store, convenience store, pharmacy store, supermarket, e-commerce site), you could work in any of the following roles:
- Customer service representative: in an office to assist customers over the phone or via live chat
- Cashier: in a retail store, greeting customers processing transactions, checking product pricing and assisting customers with stock queries
- Sales assistant: responsible for greeting customers, helping them find products and giving sales pitches at retail store locations
- Retail store manager: responsible for hiring and training store staff members, setting sales quotas and work schedules and assisting customers when necessary.
- Virtual merchandiser: creates appealing product displays to showcase products to attract business
Whether you’re already working in retail and want to further your career at your next company or you’re looking to make the leap, we’ve got you covered with our writing guide and example retail CV.
Personal statement or profile
As a retail employee, you’re the first point of contact for customers. If they don’t have a good experience, they’re unlikely to return to the store again.
In the same way, your personal statement or profile is the first thing that recruiters and hiring managers will read. Here is the opportunity to highlight the skills, experience and achievements that make you stand out as a candidate:
I am a customer-focused sales assistant with 4 years of retail experience. I am to rapidly acquire product knowledge to offer advice tailored to customers’ needs. Through upselling accessories at a fashion outlet, I have been able consistently generate over £500 in additional daily revenue. I am currently seeking a role at a fashion retailer to further deliver excellent service.
The retail industry is driven by metrics: revenue generated, conversion rates, average transaction value, etc. This means demonstrating the value you brought in each of your roles can make you a more favourable candidate than someone who just states that they ‘assisted customers’.
For example, if you work in the technology section of a store and often provide advice on particular devices, you can say that ‘provided specialist advice on laptops, resulting in 3-4 daily sales totalling £2000.’
Jan 2019 – present Fashion Sales Assistant, Topshop, London
- Recipient of Sales Associate of the Year through successfully selling over £30k in fashion accessories.
- Developing knowledge of current sales promotions and events to inform customers at the entrance.
- Stocking shelves and displaying products according to merchandising department layout.
- Providing advice to customers on outfits for specific occasions.
Aug 2017 - Dec 2019 Sales Associate, PC World, London
- Offered customers assistance with their purchases and provided specialist advice on laptops, resulting in 3-4 daily sales totalling £2000.
- Served and assisted customers on checkouts.
- Answered the phone and helped with queries/complaints, remaining professional at all times.
Even if you are only applying for a cashier position that does not mention any other duties, don’t hesitate to indicate those you may have performed previously. Of course, cashier duties should be listed first to show your suitability for the position. However, if you have already carried out inventory or restocking, for example, this can be an advantage for your application because you will show that you can help with other tasks in the store that will employ you.
While you don’t need a degree or a specific qualification to get a job in retail, as the sector grows and the demand for more highly-skilled employees increases, a degree in any discipline can give you an edge over other candidates.
For instance, business studies and retail management qualifications can be useful if you’re trying to get into store manager roles, while a degree in finance, business, economics or mathematics will be beneficial for careers in retail merchandising.
Sep 2016 - Jul 2017 BTEC Level 3 Certificate in Retail Knowledge, Hither Green College, London
- Understanding the management of stock, security and loss prevention in a retail business, and how the effectiveness of store operations can be improved.
Sep 2014 - Jul 2016 A-Levels in Economics, General Studies and English Languages, Hayfield High School, London
- Achieved 3 A grades
Working in retail goes beyond greeting and serving customers. You’ll also need to know how to manage customer complaints, practice empathy and patience and above all, be a good communicator.
Here are some skills and qualities you can include in your CV:
- Communication: Explaining products to customers, responding to complaints effectively and handling queries via the phone, email or live chat.
- Attention to detail: Processing transactions correctly and monitoring stock levels accurately.
- Mathematical: Managing cash, handling large amounts of money and approving credit.
- Sales: Upselling accessories to generate £500 in additional daily revenue.
- Technical: Operating electronic cash registers, credit card processors and Shopify.
In a retail environment, you will be in contact with customers from diverse backgrounds and countries. This is where even basic language skills can be helpful. Simply by greeting a customer in their language can put them at their ease:
English - native
French - basic
Sep 2015 - Aug 2016, Volunteer Retail Assistant, Barnado’s
- Processing transactions.
- Providing advice to customers.
- Sorting out donations.
- Tagging stock and categorising items.
- Keeping the shop tidy.
Format and layout
Depending on the role, experience can be important, therefore a chronological CV format is often the best choice. This is because it allows recruiters to quickly see how you have put your knowledge and skills into practice in the different positions you have held.
Layout and design
In a retail environment, you are the face of the business. If you don’t make a good impression with customers, they won’t return to the store, whether online or in person.
When you’re applying for a retail role, it’s equally important to create a good impression with your CV. This means sufficiently spaced headings, bulleted lists, highlighted titles and neutral colours (black, white, pale blue, grey and green).
With regards to fonts, stick to 12pt for standard text for readability and go 2-4pts higher to emphasise section headings. Make good use of white space to avoid your CV looking cluttered.
Hopefully, you now have everything you need to create your own retail CV.