Retail management is a very wide career field, where you need to adapt your resume to the specific job you are pursuing. As a retail manager, however there are some skills and experiences that are always useful, and this article will guide you through each section of a well-written retail manager resume.
Don’t forget to have a look at the complete resume sample included at the bottom, where you will find additional tips and guidance for how to catch the hiring manager’s interest.
Resume objective for retail managers
Retail managers have many responsibilities, and they carry the weight of a company on their shoulders. If a retail manager fails to properly manage the business, this could lead to financial losses and a stressful work environment.
As a result, hiring managers tend to have strict instructions for what to look for in a potential employee, which could sometimes make it tricky to get the food in the door unless you display the right qualities.
A good way of showing who you are in writing is by including a resume objective.
There is some debate regarding whether an objective would be considered old-fashioned, but there are plenty of ways to write a modern and inviting resume objective.
Use it as an opportunity to show off your leadership skills. Take control of your resume through your objective, the way you would manage the company and its employees, to show that you are a natural leader without having to say it.
Understanding sales is another key skill for a retail manager, according to websites like Monster.com, and the resume objective is your ultimate opportunity to sell yourself.
Responsible and energetic store manager with a proven sales track record. Organized, detail-oriented, passionate about sales and ready to commit to a challenge. Experienced in store management and corporate sales, and with a natural ability to lead.
Resume skills for retail managers
Let’s talk about the skills you need when applying for a job as a retail manager. Most retail managers have a past working in retail, in one way or the other, and they tend to have made the climb up to a manager position.
How did they do this? By having a clear plan of action, a goal and plenty of determination. When you write your skill section, you want to mix soft skills with hard skills, to show the hiring manager why you are the right person for such an important job.
You need to be a leader, be organized, have the ability to grasp new concepts without delay, work under pressure, handle heavy workloads and have a good understanding of sales.
People skills are also incredibly important, as you will be managing other staff and making sure business runs smoothly, while also making sure your employees are comfortable and at ease.
According to Career Explorer, you also need to be enthusiastic, outgoing, ambitious and assertive, and be confident when it comes to both analysing sales patterns and predicting future sales.
Purchasing | Marketing | 4+ Years of Experience | B.A. in Business Management | Inventory | Sales | Customer Service | Microsoft Office | Leadership | Project Management
Retail manager work experience
There are two different kinds of work experience that can be very useful when applying for a job as a retail manager – retail experience, and experience working as a manager or team leader.
If you have been working for many years, these two are what you want to focus on, but you can also include any work experience that demonstrates your sales experience, leadership, marketing expertise and more.
When you fill out your work experience section, it is all about being smart. A manager position isn’t just any job, and the hiring manager is likely to look for someone with documented experience guiding others successfully.
According to Workable, a key role for a retail manager is to help staff perform their absolute best, and having past experience can easily be what helps convince a recruiter or hiring manager that you know what you are doing.
Sample Work Experience
Pilot Flying J, Ellensburg, WA
Retail Manager, 2017 – 2020
Provided excellent customer service to company clients, conducted meetings with subordinate staff, monitored inventory and was involved in the interviewing and hiring process.
- Provided training for new employees, and implemented a monthly training session for all staff.
- Started an initiative to keep in touch with employees through a WhatsApp group, with the purpose of creating a relaxed atmosphere where everyone was given a chance to contribute.
- Opened another store location and worked continuously for a month to train staff and employees.
- Reorganized the invoice and inventory systems to offer improved transparency for both customers and staff.
CoCo Farms, Antioch, CA
Retail Manager, 2015 – 2017
Oversaw daily operations, kept staff motivated, resolved internal and external issues, provided continuous staff training, worked the sales floor and provided each customer with personalized assistance.
- Became the youngest retail manager in the past 10 years.
- Increased web based sales with 68% by opening new social media accounts and applying marketing strategies.
- Developed a digital mailbox for staff members, to facilitate the submission of suggestions, concerns and complaints.
- Kept staff motivated by focusing on strategies that acknowledged hard work and effort.
See’s Candies, Nashville, TN
Team Leader, 2013 – 2015
Supervised the business, kept clients happy, instructed staff, managed administrative duties, received goods and products from vendors and supervised marketing campaigns.
- Received promotion within the first 4 months of employment.
- Voted Employee of the Year for 3 consecutive years.
- Highlighted flaws in the existing sales routines, that led to a 34% overall sales increase.
- Suggested a reward system for loyal customers, to boost returning business and customer satisfaction.
Retail manager education
Being able to list a Bachelor’s degree in retail management would of course be great, but standard for most retail management positions is a High School diploma or GED.
Depending on the retail business you are pursuing, there could be additional educational requirements, but while sampling real job posts we noticed that most asked for work experience, rather than a specific academic background.
The easiest way to pinpoint specific requirements is to be thorough when reading the job post or work description, as these will state if you need any higher degrees to be eligible.
One thing to keep in mind is that just because a degree isn’t required, it doesn’t mean it can’t be useful. It could help you stand out among other applicants, or potentially make you a candidate for higher pay.
List any degrees you have, even if unrelated to retail management, or simply list your High School diploma if you lack higher education.
Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Bachelor in Business Administration, 2014 – 2016
Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Bachelor in Retail Management, 2009 – 2013
- GPA: 3.5
Most resumes might not need a course section, especially if you have an impressive track record working as a manager. However, if you lack work experience, listing retail management courses could help demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the job.
Don’t make the mistake of listing all kinds of courses that are not relevant or related, as this could come off looking unprofessional, or like you are just trying to make your resume seem denser.
List retail management, leadership, marketing and teamwork related courses, along with anything else you feel has to do with the job you are applying for.
In our research, none of our sampled resumes included a course section, but if you have taken courses that could help you score an interview – go ahead and add them!
Keep in mind that you might want to alter the courses section of your resume to fit each individual job.
- Master the Shopper Experience to Build Your Retail Business
- Fast Track Retail Buying and Merchandising
- Self-Branding for Retail Managers
- Retail and Omnichannel Management
- Coaching Skills for Retail Managers
A way to strengthen your retail manager resume is to include certifications. You can become certified through numerous college programs, and while there is no national requirement for a retail manager to have certification – it can certainly help when applying for jobs.
Study.com confirms that no certification is absolutely necessary in order to be hired, but depending on the type of job – it may be desired by your future employer.
Some certifications are those you will obtain through your training once already hired, and unless the job post specifically states the need for a certain certification, it usually isn’t something you need to worry about putting on your resume, unless you have something worth highlighting.
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
- Food Handler Certification
- Certified Purchasing Manager
- Lean Six Sigma Green Belt
- Forklift Certified
Complete retail manager resume sample
We picked out one of the job posts sampled in our research to feature here, and we will now use the information provided in the job description to write a customized retail manager resume.
In this job post, they are looking for someone who can do it all, and who is great with people to help children fulfill their dream of meeting santa. You need no specific experience, but be able to pass relevant background checks and have a positive attitude.
For this role, you need a resume that highlights your leadership skills and your abilities to multitask, and you need your resume to show that you can tackle challenges, solve problems and keep the business running.
Enthusiastic retail professional with a passion for sales and providing quality customer service experiences. Excellent multitasker with 5+ years of documented retail experience, holiday season expertise, knowledge of sales techniques and a desire to provide each child and each customer with an unforgettable experience.
Leadership | Product Inventory | Customer Service | 5+ Years of Retail Experience | Organized | Energetic | Multitasker | Management Training | English & Spanish | Problem-Solver
Mattress Firm, Lynnwood, WA
Retail Manager, 2016 – 2020
Kept track of staff performance goals, monitored KPI results, oversaw daily business, trained new team members, was involved in the staff hiring process and provided customers with expert advice.
- Implemented additional sales coaching, to eventually boost sales with 26% in less than a month.
- Organized two annual showcase events to reach new and existing customers.
- Hired and trained store managers for additional store locations.
- Exceeded expectations and met goals continuously during busy holiday seasons.
Tractor Supply Company, Selah, WA
Team Leader, 2015 – 2016
Assisted the store manager with customer reception, guidance, keeping record of sales, filling out logbooks, rearranging on the sales floor and keeping the business running on a daily basis.
- Assisted in successfully doubling in-store sales during the first year of employment.
- Took over the company social media pages and used Facebook and Instagram live to communicate directly with customers.
- Accepted the prestigious Flagship Award in 2016 for Outstanding Customer Service.
- Organized and hosted CEO visits at the store location.
Michael Kors, Tukwila, WA
Sales Assistant, 2013 – 2015
Interacted with customers to provide a satisfying shopping experience, kept the store clean and organized, received merchandise from vendors and assisted with administrative duties.
- Landed an important business deal when it presented itself while no senior sales agent was available.
- Received praise from customers for being extremely helpful and welcoming.
- Assisted in the production of staffing schedules, and successfully resolved scheduling conflicts.
- Proposed a change to the cleaning routines, which was both cheaper and more efficient.
- Certified Purchasing Manager
Bishop Blanchet High School, Seattle, WA
High School Diploma, 2010 – 2013
A position as a retail manager is an important job, regardless of what business you choose, and it is crucial for your resume to come off looking professional, confident and reassuring.
Here are the three key takeaways from our research, so make sure you take this into consideration when writing your retail manager resume.
- Retail management almost always revolves around sales, which is why it is important that your resume highlights your ability to sell.
- Being goal-oriented is extremely important when you work as a manager, and especially in retail, and the skill section of your resume is the ideal opportunity to highlight these skills.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of a strong resume objective, as this is your chance to sell yourself, and the first contact you will make with the hiring manager or recruiter.
Tips from Experts
“Take a few minutes and write down, really quickly, every single experience, job, volunteer experience that you’ve ever had, and just put it out onto one doc. This really alleviates the stress of creating different resumes for different jobs. ” – Stacy Jene, Career Coach
“You also have to think about how you would increase in-store sales by using innovative and creative sales techniques.” – Richard McMunn, Career Coach
“The people who have risen to the top in their careers, didn’t necessarily do so by chance. They had a clear plan of action, even if they didn’t know it at the time. They had a clear goal of where they wanted to be, and they progressed and developed themselves to get there.” – Linda Raynier, Owner of lindaraynier.com
As a retail manager, you are in for a long line of responsibilities. Hiring managers will likely look closely at your resume, as a resume can say plenty about a person. Make sure you come across as organized and driven throughout your application, and focus on your work experience.
Your dream job might be right around the corner, but unless you deliver a polished resume with your application, there is a risk you might get overlooked in the pile of applicants.