The shutdown of businesses from every sector amid the coronavirus outbreak has put a shocking 36.4 million people out of work in the U.S. as of May 9, a number experts expect to double by July.
Necessary social distancing measures are impacting some industries more than others, with the retail industry being one of the first — and hardest — hit. In March alone, 46,000 retail workers lost their jobs according to the latest report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Still, there is hope for you if you are among those who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. Many companies are hiring vigorously and need your skills right now. Afterall, your experience has given you a skillset that translates to other industries. In this article, we will show you how to use those skills to find work fast so you can get back on your feet.
Transferable skills to emphasize on your resume
Whether you are a cashier, sales associate, merchandiser, assistant manager or manager, you have acquired valuable skills that you can transfer to other jobs in a variety of industries.
Emphasizing these transferable skills on your resume will help you stand out from the competition.
Below is a breakdown of the hard, technical and soft skills you may have mastered as a worker in the retail industry that you should consider adding to your next resume:
Hard skills: Sales, problem-solving, handling money, mathematical aptitude, understanding business operations, marketing, bookkeeping, shipping/receiving, administrative
Technical skills: Point-of-Sale (POS) systems, computers, cash registers
Soft skills: Communication, customer service, team work, team building, negotiation, persuasion, multitasking, organizational skills, flexibility
Certifications and training: Retail Industry Fundamentals Specialist, Customer Service & Sales Certified Specialist, Business of Retail Certified Specialist, Retail Management Certificate, eMarketing Certificate, Business Management Certificate, Retail Merchandising Certificate
These industries are hiring people with your skills
If you were a stocker or inventory control specialist, you might be qualified for these other positions:
- Stocker (for example, at a grocery store such as Trader Joe's)
- Warehouse associate (for example, for an online retailer such as Walmart)
- Package handler (for example, for a courier service such as UPS)
- Driver (for example, for a courier company such as FedEX)
If you were a cashier, you might be qualified for these other positions:
- Cashier (for example, at a convenience store such as 7-Eleven)
- Delivery driver (for example, for a grocery service such as Instacart)
- Bank teller (for example at a bank such as Bank of America)
- Sales associate (for example, at a drugstore such as Walgreens)
If you were a sales associate, you might be qualified for these other positions:
- Sales associate (for example, for an essential retailer such as Kmart)
- Delivery driver (for example, for a pizza restaurant such as Domino's)
- Stocker (for example, for a drugstore such as Duane Reade)
If you were a merchandiser or buyer, you might be qualified for these other positions:
- Merchandiser (for example, for an essential retail store such as Target)
- Sales associate (for example, for an essential retailer such as Dollar General)
- Stocker (for example, for a grocery store such as Trader Joe's)
- Delivery driver (for example, for a meal delivery company such as DoorDash)
- Warehouse associate (for example, for an online retailer such as Amazon)
If you were an assistant manager or a manager, you might be qualified for these other positions:
- Warehouse supervisor (for example, for an essential retailer such as PepsiCo)
- Cashier (for example, at a drug store such as RiteAide )
- Bank teller (for example at a bank such as Citi)
- Sales associate (for example, at a necessary retailer such as Home Depot)
How to apply for these roles and what you'll need
- A current email address and phone number
- A resume
- Identification, such as a driver's license or passport
- A current email address and phone number
- A resume
- A brief cover letter
How to find these jobs in your community
Do I need a resume during the COVID crisis?
While it's true that some businesses are no longer requiring current resumes during the coronavirus outbreak, others require candidates to have them. It's wise to give yourself a leg up with an updated resume before you begin applying for work.
Some businesses might also require a cover letter, so again, it's best to be prepared. Required or not, a cover letter will help you stand out from the competition. All you will need are two or three short paragraphs to introduce yourself and describe what you bring to the table.
Below, we've provided a sample resume to help you as you update yours for your new position.
Text resume example: A store manager applying for a bank teller role
Name: Duncan Bernier
Address: Bakersfield, CA 93305z
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone number: 555-555-5555
Multi-faceted retail manager with five years of experience and a comprehensive background in all aspects of retail operations (e.g., cash flow and management, sales execution, promotions, customer service, leadership and payroll management) seeks role as bank teller for a large financial institution. Detail-oriented and adept at customer retention and brand loyalty. Bilingual in Spanish.
Summary of Skills:
- Results-driven with ability analyze profit and loss data to with goal to improve cash flow
- Able to effectively address customer needs to ensure satisfaction and retention
- Team-oriented leader
- Multitasker with ability to manage several tasks at once
- Highly organized and efficient
- Improved displays and developed new promotional strategy that increased sales by 20 percent in first 3 months
- Managed a staff of 7 sales associates and 6 cashiers
- Completed sales transactions and customer returns, authorized gift cards and vouchers
- Managed customer complaints
- Hired and trained full and part-time employees on inventory process, POS systems, customer service and products; led staff meetings before each shift
- Managed and balanced cash drawers; made cash pickups and deposits
- Awarded Service Excellence Award 2019 (#1 in customer satisfaction in region)
- Sourced new products to diversify offerings
- Optimized inventory process, lowering costs by 30 percent
- Managed a team of 15 cashiers and 10 sales associates; hired and trained all new employees sales, merchandising and POS system
- Managed and balanced cash drawers, handled cash deposits in high-volume store
- Handled payroll and bookkeeping functions; created and managed team schedules
- Launched successful new loss prevention program
- Awarded NRF Loss Prevention Award 2017 and 2018
- Supported store manager with transactions, promotions, merchandising, inventory, stocking, open and closing and managing account books
- Trained new team members on inventory process, product knowledge, security protocol and POS system
- Answered customer product queries
Education & Certifications
Associate in Applied Science in Retail Management
Certificate of Completion in Retail Management