There are lots of retail CV examples available, but if you’ve decided on a career in retail, finding a comprehensive list of what to include can be challenging. We’ve put together a guide to help you create a winning retail CV application to help you showcase your true potential. If you’re a people person, hard working and organised then a career in retail could be right up your street.
How to write a CV for retail?
Want to break into the world of retail but wondering ‘how to write a CV for retail’ or ‘where can I find retail CV examples’ then you’ve come to the right place. Writing a CV can feel daunting, for any position, and even more so if it’s your first. But it doesn’t have to be! First think about the retail position. Is it an assistant, supervisor, merchandising or stock management role? Research the role inside out and then apply it to your CV.
A job in retail involves a lot more than just stocking shelves and folding clothes. Retail stores come in all shapes and sizes and there are lots of different opportunities available. The most popular routes for people to go down are; retail assistant and retail supervisor.
Retail assistant CV
A retail assistant is a fantastic route for you to begin your career in retail. It’s an entry-level job which enables you to gain the fundamental skills and knowledge relevant to the retail industry. Whether you’re looking for a career in a large retail chain or a small retail company, the purpose of a retail assistant doesn’t change.
You’ll be assisting customers, dealing with queries, ensuring stock availability and advising on promotional offers. Retail assistants are also known as sales assistants and in short, they generate sales, help customers and handle payments.
When writing a retail assistant CV, you might have little to no experience but that doesn’t necessarily matter. As long as you can demonstrate your strong work ethic and transferable skills.
As a retail assistant, you will normally follow instructions from your supervisor or manager. If you have previous experience or qualifications then you might want to put together a retail supervisor CV.
Retail supervisor CV
When writing a retail supervisor CV, you will typically have previous experience in the industry, especially if you’re applying to a large retail chain. Qualifications and skills will vary depending on the employer so it’s always best to check the job description and see whether you’re the right fit for the job.
Your responsibilities will also vary, some employers will delegate you the task of overseeing employees, dealing with complaints, training retail assistants and performing stock inventory, bookkeeping, cashing up at the end of the day and merchandising.
When writing a CV for a retail position, whether it be as a retail assistant or supervisor, you will need to include:
A personal statement is your chance to sell yourself. Describe who you are, what you can bring to the role and what you want to achieve in your career. Make sure it’s clear and easily understandable so the employer reads on. Make sure you include any relevant experience, even if it’s your first position and you don’t have any, you should at least cover skills related to retail.
Retail CV examples if you have work experience:
‘In my previous retail role as an assistant, I provided excellent customer service to ensure the customer had an enjoyable experience and returned, increasing customer loyalty. I have experience of working in a fast paced environment and would undertake a variety of tasks, including, replenishing stock, serving customers, handling money and arranging product displays. Given my previous experience, I feel I would make a great retail candidate and would work hard in this role.’
Retail CV examples without work experience:
‘Although I don’t have any previous retail experience, my proven track record at school shows I am hardworking. At school, I would need to communicate effectively with my teachers to ensure I worked towards deadlines and produced a high standard of work to the best of my ability. I am extremely motivated and driven, at times I would use my leadership and team working skills to complete projects set successfully with my class. Despite not having any previous retail experience, I am a quick learner who enjoys new challenges and would love the opportunity to excel in this role.’
Did you know that, the average recruiter only looks at a CV for 7 seconds? Make those seconds count! Feel like you’re not prepared for the job? You could always consider looking for a retail apprenticeship or voluntary work in a charity shop to help you stand out from the crowd.
Highlight your skills
Whether you have previous experience or you’re applying for your first job, skills are one of the most important tools to include in your retail CV. They summarise your abilities and really showcase why you’re the right fit for the job. The UK job market is competitive and possessing skills can help make you more employable. When adding your skills to your CV, a good idea is to refer back to the job description.
Normally, employers will tell you what they’re looking for. It’s a good idea to tailor your application to the job description provided by the employer. If an employer is looking for someone who is organised, works well under pressure and meets deadlines, then you should incorporate this into your CV application wherever possible.
Many young people with no previous experience, may feel they don’t have skills which reflect the job description, if this is the case, you should certainly rethink. Just because you don’t have any industry specific skills doesn’t mean you don’t have skills which are in demand to employers. Transferable skills are equally as important to employers and these can be gained through personal and professional experiences. These include but are not limited to:
CV example with skills gained from work:
‘In my previous role in retail, I have gained a wide range of skills. From developing strong numeracy skills from doing stock takes and working on the tills to remaining motivated during busy periods and high pressure situations. I have also used leadership skills to designate tasks and worked as part of a team to ensure the business runs smoothly and efficiently.’
CV example without work experience:
‘Despite not having previous experience in retail, I have developed a strong set of skills which will be invaluable to the retail industry. During education, I had a busy schedule when planning my revision and exams so I would need to prioritise tasks to ensure I was able to complete homework and assessments to a high standard. I have also grown my numeracy skills in math and have a strong understanding of why these are important in retail when giving customers the correct change, when stock taking and analysing sale trends.’
Previous work experience
When listing your previous work experience, you should always list it in order of most recent first. Make sure to highlight your daily tasks and achievements to impress your potential employer. They are looking for a candidate who can prove why they fit the job description. If you have related experience and skills make sure to provide evidence and examples where possible.
If you don’t have any work experience, don’t worry! Make sure to emphasise your skills and education achievements. If you feel unprepared for a job in retail, then think about how you can get work ready and boost your CV? Volunteering in a charity shop can go a long way and shows you’re passionate about a career in retail.
You should also include your education on your CV when applying for a retail job. Start with the most recent first and oldest last. You should include:
The amount of detail you go into all depends on your personal preference. If you feel a particular course or degree will add value to your CV then it’s a good idea to go into depth about why this supports your application and your achievements.
Your hobbies and interests
Including your hobbies and interests is completely optional. If you feel like it will support your application and demonstrate why you’re the best candidate for the role then by all means include these. They might help you to stand out from the crowd and secure your position in retail.
Just like including your hobbies and interests, these are optional. You can list your references and their details or you can simply finish your CV with ‘references available upon request’. This is completely up to you, unless the job description specifically asks for them then you will need to include prior to the next recruitment stage.
Where to find a retail job?
If you’re ready to secure a career in retail, you can visit careermap.co.uk to find a wealth of opportunities available to you. From professional jobs to apprenticeships, work experience and graduate opportunities, there is so much for you to shop for!