Resume Template: Retail Sales Associate

by | Resume Templates, Resume Templates: Customer Service & Retail

Working retail requires diligence and patience. So does selling yourself in your retail sales associate resume.

You are selling products to the world, and that means working with the public, standing on your feet for long hours, and pushing whatever deals corporate wants you to push that week.

If someone has a complaint, you are responsible for smoothing things over.

If your store is out of an item, you’re the one who needs to find a solution.

Some people find working in retail to be a thankless job. However, there are also many perks.

If you enjoy working with people and don’t want to be stuck at a desk, this could be the perfect job for you.

If you have a knack for cleaning and sorting, there is typically plenty to go around — depending on where you work.

And, if you land a job at a store you love, sometimes the employee discount is the cherry on top to seal the deal.

The only thing standing in your way is the line of other candidates waiting to work for the same company you want to.

So if you’re looking to land a job at your favorite store or just a company that suits your needs, it’s time to write a resume that will set you apart from the crowd.

Let’s get started.

Summary

  1. Resume Template
  2. Formatting
  3. Writing Your Resume Summary
  4. Areas of Expertise
  5. Writing Your Work Experience
  6. Writing Your Education Section
  7. Additional Sections
  8. Resume Points to Remember
  9. Resume “Don’ts” to Remember
  10. Some Helpful Tools

Let’s begin with a sample retail sales associate resume to demonstrate how all the resume pieces fit together. Then we will break each section down to really drill into how to write the best retail sales associate resume you possibly can.

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Retail Sales Associate (Text Version)

Contact Info:

Nicole Hanson
nhanson@email.com
(404) 982-8650
Atlanta, GA 30311
linkedin.com/nhanson

Summary Statement:

Retail Sales Associate: Collaborative, creative, and sales-driven professional with over 7 years of experience. Delivers high quality and consistent customer service while multitasking in fast-paced work environments. Skilled in marketing store products to increase overall company revenue. Communicates effectively with team members, management, and customers.

Key Accomplishments/Areas of Expertise

  • Customer Service
  • Sales & Negotiation Strategy
  • Creative Thinking
  • Effective Communication
  • Cash Transactions
  • Detail-oriented
  • Product Knowledge
  • Dependability
  • POS System
  • CRM
  • Basic Math
  • Collaboration
  • Friendly
  • Fluent in English/Spanish
  • Punctual

Professional Experience:

Forever 21
Sales Associate | Atlanta, GA | July 2016–Present

  • Assist over 40 customers a day in selecting clothing items and answer any questions regarding products
  • Manage inventory process by stocking and organizing products in a thorough and efficient manner 15% faster than store average
  • Build merchandise displays to grab buyers’ attention and create opportunities for higher sales to increase weekly revenue by 10%
  • Exceed sales goals by 20% through effective and strategic marketing efforts to customers

JcPenney
Sales Associate | Atlanta, GA | June 2013–July 2016

  • Provided exceptional customer service to all shoppers by providing recommendations and assisting in product selection
  • Utilized negotiation strategy to encourage customers to sign up for credit card promotions
  • Conducted cash transactions and processed customer returns in a timely manner

Belk
Sales Associate | Atlanta, GA | January 2012–May 2013

  • Collaborated with store manager to successfully fulfill open and closing store operations
  • Achieved all monthly sales goals and consistently recognized as a top performer among team members
  • Shared recommendations with upper management to improve shopping experience for customers

Education

Clarke County High School
Atlanta, GA, WI
December 2011

Formatting

While it might be your initial instinct to start a resume by considering what you are going to say and what details are the most important to include, it is time to take a step back and consider the resume format first, instead.

Hiring managers, on average, only spend six seconds looking over the resumes that come across their desks.

The format you select for your retail sales associate resume should appear professional and visually prioritize essential information over the rest.

To accomplish this look, it is essential to pay attention to proper spacing when you write your retail sales associate resume so that each bullet point and section is separated evenly from the rest.

Always select a legible font that won’t distract from the meaning of your words.

These two visual aspects will create a resume that appears neat and guides your reader’s eyes down the page.

Aside from a “clean” appearance, your resume needs to have substance.

Select what bullet points should go first based on impressiveness and relevance to the job you are applying to.

It is smart always to assume your resume will not be read completely, so never save the best for last — say it first.

Often, listing information in reverse chronological order allows for your most recent and remarkable accomplishments to come first.

While there are many proper formats to choose from, make sure always to follow these basics, and your resume will be off to a great start.

Start With Your Resume Summary

Regardless of what format you select, the summary of your retail sales associate resume is always the section that comes first.

Resume summaries are almost like introductions; they sum up in two to three sentences who you are as a retail sales associate.

While resumes used to include an “objective” as their first section, the resume objective has become outdated due to its lack of compelling information.

A resume summary, instead, explains your most significant key attributes and competencies as a retail associate.

Try to describe yourself in this section as thoroughly yet concisely as possible by discussing what personality traits, qualifications, and experiences you have that relate to retail.

Yes!

Collaborative, creative, and sales-driven professional with over 7 years of experience. Delivers high quality and consistent customer service while multitasking in fast-paced work environments. Skilled in marketing store products to increase overall company revenue. Communicates effectively with team members, management, and customers.

No!

Sales-driven retail professional. Gives great customer service in busy work situations. Great in selling store products and communicating with team members, management, and customers.

The first example lends details to concisely describe the candidate’s demeanor, skill sets, and workplace motivations.

The second example uses basic and repetitive speech with few keywords to describe who the candidate is and how they conduct themselves at work.

PRO TIP: It is difficult to describe yourself adequately in just two to three sentences. If you are struggling to come up with talking points or narrowing things down, try to skip this section and come back to it. Often, writing your skills and work history sections preps you to decide what is most important to discuss in this section.

Key Accomplishments/Skills & Qualifications

While the resume summary covers pertinent information in a short amount of space, it isn’t the most eye-catching section due to its paragraph format.

Including a section that lists out simply and succinctly your skills and qualifications as a retail sales associate is imperative.

Hiring managers generally want to know at a glance if you meet the job requirements for hire at their company, and most job requirements come down to a mastery of specific skills.

Job skills can typically be divided into two separate categories — hard skills and soft skills.

Hard skills are the kinds of skills that typically need to be taught and practiced in order to master them, and are generally more technical.

Soft skills are more closely related to personality traits.

While you might be able to teach someone to use POS or to count a drawer properly, you can’t always teach someone how to be friendly or deal with the stress of working with the public.

Both skill types are vital to working in retail in both a competent and courteous manner.

Make sure that your list of skills and qualifications includes both hard and soft skills.

Key Accomplishments/Areas of Expertise

  • Customer Service
  • Sales & Negotiation Strategy
  • Creative Thinking
  • Effective Communication
  • Cash Transactions
  • Detail-oriented
  • Product Knowledge
  • Dependability
  • POS System
  • CRM
  • Basic Math
  • Collaboration
  • Friendly
  • Fluent in English/Spanish
  • Punctual

PRO TIP : Check any job postings for skills and qualifications when you apply for a job. Employers will typically list what attributes and experience level they want in a candidate to be considered for hire. Make sure that you include the details that apply to you in your own retail sales associate resume to show them that you match what they want.

Writing Your Work Experience

Now, it is time for your work experience section.

This section of your retail sales associate resume typically takes up the most space because it is an opportunity to “prove” the skills and qualifications you claim to have.

If you have a wide range of work experience in retail, your job is to narrow things down to only the best.

If you don’t have work related to the field, your job is to select work experience that shares as many similarities to retail or sales as possible.

As a general rule of thumb, try to list your work experience in reverse chronological order because your most recent work is probably your most impressive.

However, always use your best judgment — if your most recent job was nannying, and you have previous experience in retail or working with the public, those jobs might make a more positive impact.

Describe each job in three to five bullet points while trying to discuss job tasks that you excelled at or impressive workplace achievements.

Always try to select the points you will discuss in your job descriptions by choosing things that will relate most to the job you are trying to get.

Yes!

Forever 21 | Sales Associate | Atlanta, GA | July 2016–Present
• Assist over 40 customers a day in selecting clothing items and answer any product questions
• Manage inventory process by stocking and organizing products in a thorough and efficient manner 15% faster than store average
• Create merchandise displays to grab buyers’ attention and creates opportunities for higher sales to increase weekly revenue by 10%
• Create merchandise displays to grab buyers’ attention and creates opportunities for higher sales to increase weekly revenue by 10%

No!

Forever 21 | Sales Associate | Atlanta, GA | July 2016–Present
• Assist customers and answer any questions regarding products
• Manage inventory process by stocking and organizing
• Create merchandise displays to grab buyers’ attention
• Exceed sales goals through marketing efforts to customers

The first section lends specific quantifying and qualifying details to increase the amount of detail and impact the bullet point will have in creating a memorable candidate.

The second example lists the same job tasks and accomplishments without the support of the quantifying and qualifying details creating a resume that is easily dismissed and forgotten by hiring staff.

PRO TIP: Start each bullet point of a job description with a new and specific power word (action verb). Power words show hiring managers that you are a responsible and capable candidate with an ability to handle a wide variety of tasks. Make sure your word selection is the most impactful and specific it can be. Don’t say “help,” say “assist.” Don’t say “make,” say “create.” Don’t say “handle,” say “manage.”

(If you lack work experience, see below for a helpful section.)

About Bots

While good word choice has always been essential for every resume, it is becoming increasingly more important in the workforce — especially for jobs at larger companies.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), or bots, are systems designed to review resumes and decide whether or not they have “good-candidate potential.”

A bot searches for keywords associated with ideal candidate potential and either flags or rejects the resume.

Due to the increased use of bots in today’s hiring process, some resume experts believe that writing job descriptions in paragraph format encourages candidates to include more keywords in their resumes.

Standard bullet point format:

JCPenney | Sales Associate | Atlanta, GA | June 2013–July 2016

  • Provided exceptional customer service to all shoppers by providing recommendations and assisting in product selection, receiving 97% positive reviews
  • Utilized negotiation strategy to encourage customers to sign up for credit card promotions 10% more than the company average
  • Conducted cash transactions and processed customer returns in a timely manner with experience in holiday, back-to-school, and store-wide sales days

Paragraph format:

JCPenney | Sales Associate | Atlanta, GA | June 2013–July 2016

Provided exceptional customer service to all shoppers by providing recommendations and assisting in product selection, receiving 97% positive reviews. Utilized negotiation strategy to encourage customers to sign up for credit card promotions 10% more than the company average. Conducted cash transactions and processed customer returns in a timely manner with experience in holiday, back-to-school, and store-wide sales days.

Paragraph format w/ bullet points:

CPenney | Sales Associate | Atlanta, GA | June 2013–July 2016
Provided exceptional customer service to all shoppers by providing recommendations and assisting in product selection. Utilized negotiation strategy to encourage customers to sign up for credit card promotions 10% more than the company average. Conducted cash transactions and processed customer returns in a timely manner with experience in holiday, back-to-school, and store-wide sales days.

  • 97% positive customer rating
  • Employee of the Month (3 times)

Here at Big Interview, we suggest writing your job descriptions in bullet point format to maintain a straightforward visual appearance for hiring managers.

If you are intentional about including keywords to impress bots, this format is still the most professional and impactful.

Writing Your Education Section

While it might not always seem relevant to your job, including your education on your retail sales associate resume is important.

Many companies still require a high school diploma or GED, and if you are pursuing further education, sometimes those details serve to impress.

List any and all degrees you have by including the full title of your degree, the school you attended, and the year you graduated.

Example:

Clarke County High School
Atlanta, GA
December 2011

If you have any additional certifications related to retail and sales, you can list them in this section as well.

Example:

Certified Client Services Professional

Possible Sections to Include

In some cases, you might have additional accomplishments and qualifications that don’t belong in the more common resume sections.

You can always add in a section to accommodate those accomplishments if necessary.

Some additional sections to consider including are:

  • Awards and honors
  • Publications
  • Noteworthy Projects
  • Social Media Influence
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Hobbies/Interests
  • Volunteer Work

What If You Have No Experience?

If you are currently looking to land your first job, you will need to make some adjustments to your retail sales associate resume to fit your needs.

Start by moving your education section just below your resume summary.

Giving your education section a more prominent location will allow it to demand more attention.

Try to expand on the information you include in this section by adding in any details pertaining to impressive academic accomplishments.

If you earned a high GPA or any honors and awards, those details can show that you are both intelligent and hard working.

If you have participated in any extracurricular activities, those details can show off your ambition as well.

Always add in any volunteer work or internships — for someone just getting started in the workforce, unpaid work still shows up as experience on a resume.

Be persistent and optimistic, and you will land a job with the right company.

Resume Points to Remember

Keep it fresh

When you write your resume, keep in mind that every bullet point should start with a strong, unique power word. Starting each bullet point with a new word creates an impression you are versatile and experienced.

Let things breathe

While it is crucial to keep your resume on one page and not go onto a second page, make sure that you aren’t cramming everything onto the first page. Allow for proper spacing and adequate font size for your words to read easily.

Review the job posting

If you are responding to a job posting, take the time to read it through while you are writing your resume. Make sure that you include any skills and qualifications from the job posting in your resume when possible. You want to show the hiring manager that you are exactly what they are looking for.

Try to Avoid

Irrelevant information

Never add in details, no matter how impressive, if they have nothing to do with the skills involved with working in retail. Make sure that you are selecting things to include in your resume based on relevance and not just looking good.

Filler wording

Bullet points are useful on resumes because they appear professional, neat, and they allow you to list important information concisely. Don’t add in too many fluff words that aren’t necessary for your bullet points. Keep things moving and get to the point.

Forgetting the basics

Remember always to include your name and contact information. They sound like silly details to forget, but it is easy to get wrapped up in the more complicated information of resume writing so much that you forget the most straightforward aspects of all.

(See below for a helpful table of some suggested power words.)

Helpful Tools:

Retail Sales Associate Resume Power Words

  • Administered
  • Founded
  • Adept
  • Formulated
  • Built
  • Implemented
  • Created
  • Improved
  • Consolidated
  • Initiated
  • Coordinated
  • Launched
  • Developed
  • Pioneered
  • Designed
  • Organized

Retail Sales Associate Resume Skills List

Hard SkillsSoft Skills
CRMDependability
Basic MathTeamwork
POS SystemFriendly
Fluent English and SpanishCustomer Service
Cash TransactionsPunctual