Sample Chronological Resume for a Retail Position

Upscale Fashion Boutique
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You adore retail sales – as an extroverted “people person,” it’s as much play as work to greet customers, assess their needs, and direct them to products you know they’ll love. You’ve earned your wings working entry-level sales associate and key holder roles, and feel like you’ve learned as much as you can about merchandising and customer communications. So, now you’re ready to step up to the management level – but how do you go about crafting a resume that will persuade employers you can handle the increased responsibilities?

When companies make their hiring decisions for retail management jobs, they are looking for candidates who have gained a fair amount of experience in retail sales settings. In particular, though, they seek people who have proven themselves to be proactive leaders and organizers even in entry-level positions.

What to Include in Your Resume

In your resume you should demonstrate how you “went the extra mile,” as a sales associate, to increase store productivity and contribute to improved customer satisfaction levels. Maybe you introduced a new process to management. Or contributed to a team-building initiative. Or motivated others to achieve and surpass sales targets. All of these achievements should be highlighted on your resume, for they will ensure that you stand out from your competition.

In addition to describing your work experience and showcasing your contributions, your resume should also incorporate the same keyword phrases that are used in the job ad for the position you’re applying for.

Many employers now advertise their retail management roles online, utilizing applicant tracking systems that are programmed to rank candidate resumes based upon the number of keywords they incorporate. These keywords generally describe the job skills that an ideal candidate should possess.

Typical keywords for both retail and retail management jobs include: “leadership,” “attention to detail,” “customer service,” “organization,” “visual merchandising,” “window displays,” “time management,” “trend awareness,” “loss prevention,” “product knowledge,” “payroll administration,” “purchasing,” “communication skills,” “Point of Sale (POS) Systems,” and “team building.”

The best place to provide these keywords is in a leading “Qualifications Summary,” positioned after your contact information and before your “Experience” section. For management-level jobs, it can be quite effective to highlight the keywords in a “Core Competencies” table.

The following is a sample chronological resume for someone looking for a retail management position. This is the most common resume format, in which one’s job experience is provided in reverse chronological order (leading with one’s most recent position and then working one’s way backwards in time). Note that the description of the job seeker’s current employment is couched in present tense; all earlier descriptions, though, are written using the past tense.

Chronological Resume Example for a Retail Position

Paul Jones
6 Pine Street
Arlington, VA 12333
555.555.5555 (home)
566.486.2222 (cell)

Qualifications Summary

Experienced, customer-focused sales professional positioned to leverage superb leadership, organizational, and communications talents to guide retail stores to heightened levels of productivity. Creative and innovative in implementing dynamic promotions, growing customer base and referral sales, and training sales associates in winning customer service strategies.

Core competencies include: Sales Events ~ Store Launches ~ Associate Hiring & Onboarding ~ Inventory Control ~ Payroll Administration ~ Loss Prevention ~ Customer Communications ~ Complaint Resolution ~ Process Improvements

Montblanc, Arlington, VA
Key Holder, April 20XX – Present

Coordinate and guide team of 8 sales associates in retail boutique sales of high-end watches, writing instruments, and jewelry. Deftly manage payroll, scheduling, reports, email, inventory, and maintain clientele book and records; place orders to restock merchandise and handle receiving of all products.

  • Organized over one dozen promotional events before and during opening of boutique, contributing to success of opening week, which saw revenue exceed projections by 18%.
  • Implemented and integrated new register functions.

    Nordstrom - Collectors and Couture Departments, Arlington, VA
    Sales Associate, Head of Women’s Wear, July 20XX - April 20XX

    Encouraged and motivated 16-member department team in providing world-class service to a discriminating clientele. Scheduled private shopping appointments with high-end customers. Communicated with tailors and seamstresses to ensure fittings customers were 100% satisfied with tailoring and fittings.

    • Provided thoughtful, convenient service to customers, earning annual customer service award twice.
    • Promoted to head sales associate of designer women’s wear due to merchandising ability and leadership skills.
    • Singlehandedly set up trunk shows and attended dozens of clinics for new incoming fashion lines.

    Jigg's Corner, Arlington, VA
    Bartender, February 20XX - July 20XX

    Concurrent with education, provided customer service to over 400 customers daily in fast-paced bar atmosphere. Maintained and restocked inventory.

    • Administrative responsibilities included processing hour and tip information for payroll and closing register.

    Bachelor of Arts, Ramapo College, Arlington, VA, 20XX

    Computer Skills: Experience with QuickBooks, NetSuite, POS systems, and other inventory management software; well-versed in social media and internet research.