CV example sales assistant
As a sales assistant, your job is to sell a company's products and services to customers in a retail environment. In addition, you could also be labelling products, restocking shelves, cashing up, processing refunds, handling customer queries on the phone or arrange displays to promote products.
Depending on where you work, whether in a department store or a small shop, your tasks and responsibilities could vary greatly.
How can you make sure that you land the right job for your skills and experience? By tailoring your CV to your potential employer's needs. We’ll show you how with our writing tips and our sales assistant CV example.
Personal statement or profile
In sales, first impressions count. If a customer doesn’t like the look of the product you’re trying to sell, they won’t want to hear your presentation.
The same applies for your personal statement or profile, which need to convince recruiters and hiring managers that the rest of your CV is worth reading.
Consider this your sales pitch. What makes you stand out from other candidates? Have you maintained a 95% - 100% customer satisfaction rate? Have you consistently sold more than your colleagues? Perhaps, you have expertise in specific sales systems or within a specific sector?
I am a customer-focused and target-oriented sales assistant with 9 years’ experience. My key achievements include generating £1,000 in additional monthly revenue and being named the best sales assistant in the first month at Bodyshop. I excel in delivering exactly what customers need, by asking the right questions and forming trusting relationships with them.
Generally, no prior experience is required for entry-level sales assistant roles; however, most employers will be looking for customer service experience.
For the more senior roles, employers will want to know:
- Whether you consistently met targets
- How you handled complaints
- Which POS (Point of Sale) systems you used
- How much money you handled on a daily basis
- Whether you managed any promotions
As sales is a numbers game, try to quantify your achievements rather than simply listing your roles and responsibilities:
Sep 2018 - present Sales Assistant, Debenhams, Oxford
- Consistently reaching £2,000 daily sales target of beauty and cosmetic treatments.
- Train new members of staff, ensuring they understand the company policy and expected levels of service.
- Implementing a new stock management system to increase efficiency by 25%.
- Processed cash and card payments via the Lightspeed POS system.
Feb 2016 - Aug 2018 Sales Assistant, Superdrug, Oxford
- Regularly exceeded sales targets by 20%.
- Arranging displays attractively to promote products.
- Took receipt of deliveries, storing stock appropriately within the warehouse.
- Advised customers on skincare regimes.
Mar 2012 - Jan 2015 Sales Assistant, Bodyshop, Oxford
- Named the best sales assistant in my first month for generating £1,000 in revenue.
- Received a 98% rating on customer satisfaction surveys.
- Processed transactions, using the Vend POS systems.
- Assisted in setting up store promotions and displays.
While there are no minimum qualifications to work as a sales assistant, employers generally prefer a high level of education and good literacy and numeracy levels as you’ll be interacting with the public and handling cash all day.
Additional qualifications such as NVQs could help boost your application as they demonstrate an interest in the industry and dedication to self-improvement:
Aug 2011 - Sep 2011 Level 2 Certificate in Retail Skills, City & Guilds, London
- Displaying stock to promote products.
- Keeping stock on sale at required levels.
- Demonstrating products in a retail environment.
- Helping customers to choose products.
- Carrying out promotional campaigns.
Sep 2009 - Jul 2011 A-Levels in English, Maths and History: A, B, C, Falmer High School, Brighton
As a sales assistant, you’ll need a multitude of skills to carry out the various tasks associated with the role: engaging with customers, highlighting promotions, responding to customer inquiries, arranging merchandise displays, processing transactions, and guiding customers through the buying process.
Communication: Building relationships with customers to facilitate sales.
Software: Experience with POS Systems Lightspeed and Vend.
Product knowledge: Developed comprehensive product knowledge of health and beauty products, contributing to an increase of £1,000 in monthly sales.
Leadership: Train new members of staff, ensuring they understand the company policy and expected levels of service.
Accounting: Processing £2,000 daily in transactions.
Customer service: Received a 98% satisfaction rating from customer surveys.
Visual merchandising: Arranging displays attractively to promote products.
As with any customer-facing role, the ability to interact with customers in their own language can ease interactions and lead to sales.
You don't need to be fluent in a language to put it on your CV. Depending on the needs of the company where you will be working, just being able to greet the customer and exchange a few words may be enough. On the other hand, if you’re applying for a role where you’ll be negotiating deals with clients, then more advanced language skills will be required:
English - native
German - fluent
French - intermediate
While it may be tempting, never exaggerate your ability to speak a foreign language (or to do anything else on your CV for that matter!). It’s all too easy for employers to test your language skills, whether in an interview or even long after you’ve landed the job. If you’re only able to speak a language conversationally or only know a few words of the language, be honest, so employers know what to expect.
Volunteering can be a great way to see whether a career in retail is for you, while giving something back to the community. Typical tasks as a volunteer include skills that you would also be expected to demonstrate as a sales assistant: arranging displays, promoting products, running campaigns, assisting customers, etc.
Where there is strong competition for a job, your volunteer experience could help sway the hiring manager’s decision. According to research conducted by the professional service network Deloitte, 85% of hiring managers are willing to overlook other CV flaws when a candidate includes volunteer work:
Oct 2011 - Feb 2012 Volunteer Charity Shop Assistant, Barnado’s Hospice, London
- Tripled the number of donations through charity events (coffee mornings, quizzes and raffles).
- Assisted the charity shop manager with the preparation of stock, including sorting, steaming and pricing.
- Processed sales and returns, while ensuring customer satisfaction.
Format and layout
If you have a lot of experience, listing your work experience and education in reverse chronological order allows recruiters to quickly piece together your career history. This means listing your most recent job or degree as close at the top of the corresponding section and subsequent ones underneath in descending order.
On the other hand, if you lack experience, you want to emphasise skills and other experience that demonstrate that you would make a good sales assistant (e.g. customer service skills, the ability to persuade people, etc.). In this case, you can use a functional or skills-based CV, where you list five or six key skills from the job description and prove examples of situations in which you have used or developed these skills.
Layout and design
Sales assistants represent the brand of a company and need to maintain a professional image at all times. To be on the safe side, choose a discreet and classic design that corresponds to the different companies recruiting sales assistants. Stick to two or three colours at the most to avoid your CV looking too garish.
If appropriate, you could also use the colour code of the company you’re applying to; however, proceed with caution here, as very few employers want to see yellows and pinks on a CV.
Keep to a font size of 10 to 12 for normal text and up to 16 headings, so that recruiters can quickly find the information they’re looking for. The key word here is legibility.
Hopefully, you now have everything you need to create your own sales assistant CV.