An effective retail resume for a mid-career pro usually highlights a long list of past jobs and relevant experience. But what should you do if you're just starting out in the retail industry and you have zero work experience? You write an entry-level retail resume!
The first step is not to worry; every successful career has to start somewhere. In order to a brilliant retail resume, you'll need to begin with a blank page and limited track record.
Here, we outline the steps you need to take to learn how to write a resume when you are starting at square one. Follow this step-by-step guide, and you'll be on the path into your next job.
If you are still confused when you are finished, consider using LiveCareer's professional resume builder, which will help you create a well-written resume that is free of spelling and grammar errors in a matter of minutes.
5 Basic Sections of a Retail Resume
Retail jobseekers want to create a standout resume. The first step is learning the five basic sections that are in every well-written resume.
If you learn how to write a resume using this basic template, hiring managers will easily find the specific information they're looking for. Perhaps even more importantly, your document can be scanned by an automated applicant tracking system (ATS). Some statistics estimate the nearly 90 percent of companies are currently using some form of ATS software.
To keep things simple for your human and non-human readers, make sure your retail resume contains each of these five essential sections:
1. Heading: The top of your document should feature your name, contact information, address and website links.
2. Professional Summary: Just under your heading, include few lines explaining why you're a fit for this job. If you have no experience, concentrate on your relevant transferable skills.
3. Skills: Using bullet points, share any abilities, talents and personal traits that can assure recruiters and hiring managers that you're ready for this role.
4. Relevant experience: If you have past jobs, list them here. If you don't, discuss any school projects, volunteer work, or internships you've held that show your work ethic.
5. Education: Create an entry for each of your degrees, diplomas, certifications or training courses. Include your high school education only if it is the highest level of education you achieved. Also, never include your graduation dates, as this can be a clue as to your age.
Pro Tips for Writing an Entry-level Retail Resume
Keep your resume concise. Keep your resume to a single page, especially if you don't have much experience. Only include the most relevant information; don't ramble to fill space.
Highlight two key skills: sales and customer service. If you can stay patient, cheerful and helpful, even while dealing with grouchy customers, say so. If you can pitch products and shine a positive light on your employer, make that clear.
Dig into your past. You may not have ever work in a store but you've certainly had work-related experience. Babysitting, internships, participating in fundraisers for non-profits, planning events, and even selling candy for your Girl Scout Troop all involve elements of customer relationship management and sales. List these activities and highlight what you learned.
Emphasize your reliability. Your retail resume will need to win over the trust of the hiring manager. To do that, you'll need to demonstrate that you plan to show up on time, every day, committed to a full day of work. If you have past leadership roles or other long-term commitments, such as being a member of a sports team, add to your resume. These things can help you make your case that you are reliable.
12 Skills to Add to Your Entry-level Retail Resume
- Customer service experience
- Strong verbal communication
- Sales experience
- Basic computer skills
- Experience with point-of-sale software
- Basic math
- Product knowledge
- Attention to detail
- Team skills
- Problem-solving abilities
4 Tips for Writing an Entry-level Retail Resume
- Consider a functional resume format. For jobseekers who are new to the workforce, or who have never worked in retail before, a functional resume format can help downplay a lack of work experience. This format concentrates more on your skillset and less on your lack of direct work experience. It works especially well for recent college grads or career changers who are writing entry-level retail resumes.
- Focus on transferable skills. When writing an entry-level retail resume, some jobseekers forget about their transferable skills. Don't worry about your lack of direct experience. Instead, focus on what you have to offer. Between your educations, past jobs, internships, and volunteer work, your skills have value.
- Show off your unique skills. Are you bilingual? A stickler for organization? Or, do you have a ton of knowledge about the company? Focus on what makes you unique and hone in on it when you are applying for an entry-level retail role.
- Use a professional resume builder. If you still feel confused about how to write a resume for an entry-level retail role, consider trying a professional resume builder. LiveCareer's resume tool can help you build a well-written retail resume in a matter of minutes, regardless of your writing ability or level of experience.