Here’s how to tailor your resume to retail and land the job you want.
The busy season is approaching for retail, which means there are hundreds of new opportunities up for grabs. With the hiring influx on the horizon, here are some tips to help you stand out from the crowd and land the role you’re after.
While scanning resumes, recruiters look for keywords. In the retail space, using hot phrases such as ‘sales’ and ‘communication and interpersonal skills’ will help you stand out to a recruiter. Typically, retailers are looking for someone who can sell a product without being pushy, so communicating that you have that quality is important. Add retail-specific skills and achievements, such as being in the top 10 per cent of sales staff for a quarter or beating targets on a regular basis.
Whenever you’re applying for a job, it’s best to do your research on the employer. Normally people will save this for interview preparation, but the concept also applies to resume writing. For retail, make sure you know what the brand sells and who it sells it to. Recruiters will look for skills relevant to their brand. For example, if you’re applying somewhere that does in-house product photography, include your photography portfolio if you’re skilled in that area. Same goes with other transferrable skills that you may not think apply to retail. If you’re a great writer, include that, too. Think creatively and ask yourself which of your skills could apply to a retail setting and include all of them.
If you have relevant work experience, be sure to jot that down. However, if you are coming into the industry fresh, then employers will look for other promising attributes. You can communicate this in a passions and hobbies section. Be concise and list things that you are passionate about which relate to the business you’re applying at. This can be anything – reading fashion magazines if you’re applying at a clothes store, showcasing interior design work if you’re applying at a furniture shop. Mention your studies as well if they’re applicable. These qualities show your drive and appreciation for the industry, even if you’re lacking practical experience.
A resume should be concise while showcasing your best qualities and achievements. Don’t hesitate to include achievements from school or previous jobs. Showing a company you were voted employee of the month twice might seem embarrassing but it’ll help you stand out to recruiters. Having referees is also important, so ensure these are up to date. If you’re applying for jobs, give your referees a heads up. They’ll do a better job of selling your abilities to employers if they’re expecting a phone call.
A fresh set of eyes is the best way to find any mistakes on your resume, so ask someone to skim the document (as well as your cover letter) before you hit send. This will finalise your draft and give you the confidence to start applying. Good luck!
Photography: Hayley Benoit