How to Write Relevant Resumes for Retail

You only get one chance to make an impression—and that chance doesn’t last long. Recruiters spend an average of six seconds looking at an applicant’s resume, and you’ll need to use every second to stand out from the crowd. In the competitive world of retail recruitment, how can you make your resume the most relevant to industry insiders?

DO include specific retail-oriented accomplishments Recruiting managers probably won’t spend time reading detailed lists of job duties. Instead, concentrate on your achievements, specifically those in areas related to retail. If you have experience in the retail sector, focus on retail-specific areas such as shrink results, new product lines, and sales increases. If you don’t have directly related experience, focus on your transferable skills, such as customer service, increasing productivity, or reducing overhead.

DON’T use acronyms from a former employer Just because an acronym was common to one retailer, doesn’t mean another retailer—even one from the same industry—will recognize it. In large corporations, slang can be individual to a particular store or warehouse, so even internal resumes should avoid acronyms.

DO emphasize your certifications If you have qualifications and certifications relevant to retail—for example, if you’re qualified to operate a forklift, or you’ve had loss prevention training—showcase these in your resume. If you use a digital CV you can make your qualifications instantly visible to recruiters by uploading the actual certificates to emphasize your strengths even more.

DON’T just talk the talk…show you can walk the walk Don’t just tell employers what you can do—show them. With a digital CV you can focus on your biggest accomplishments by adding photos, qualifications, documents, and even videos. You can include samples of your most recent customer service campaign, press clips about a high-profile store opening you coordinated, or even a video of a successful marketing campaign you were responsible for. Post a photo of you accepting an industry award, summarize the industry training you’ve attended, or upload the “employee of the month” certificate you received. Backing up your resume with proof of your achievements lends credibility to your application.

Above all else, ensure your resume is tailored to the specific retailer and position you’re applying for. Adding relevant and interesting content to let the recruiter see immediately how your skills are perfect for the position helps give you an edge and demonstrates how you will add value to the organization. It might even tempt the recruiter to give your resume more than a six-second scan!

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