Shopping for a new career?
If you’re a great communicator with a passion for sales and customer service, a role in retail could be a great fit for you. And whether you’re already working in retail and want to advance your skills in a new organisation, or you’re looking to break into the industry; tailoring the perfect CV is the first step.
We’ve already covered how to write a CV, but to help you stand out in the world of retail, we’ve put together a retail CV template:
Download our retail CV template now:
Your personal statement should tell an employer three key things: who you are, what you have to offer, and what you’re looking for in your career.
Aim to cover your level of experience and the role you’re looking for, focussing on your most impressive (and relevant) skills and achievements in the field. For those looking for work in retail, this will generally be based around customer service, management, meeting sales targets, or another related area.
Try to include examples wherever possible, but don’t be tempted to include too much detail.
It should be clear, concise, and relatively short. Think of it as the prelude of a book; if it’s engaging enough to get the employer to read on – you’re doing it right.
Whilst this section is optional, it can be a great way to sum up your abilities in one clear and easy-to-digest paragraph.
And, if you’re lacking in practical work experience, including your skills before your employment history will also help to demonstrate what you’re capable of.
In terms of what you should include – always tailor it to the job description, highlighting the skills that prove your suitability to the employers.
Although there’ll be a number of capabilities needed, demonstrating your ability to communicate effectively, work flexibly, and stay calm under pressure will undoubtedly help to prove you’re a good fit to a retail role.
When it comes to your employment history, always list it in reverse chronological order.
Instead of listing every job you’ve ever done, think about which parts of your experience proves your ability to do the role you’re applying for. It’s absolutely fine to cut back on the detail on less recent/relevant jobs, especially if you have a newer one that covers similar responsibilities.
Don’t just focus on the duties you carried out either.
Whilst employers will be interested in a quick rundown of what you did, your accomplishments are likely to impress them more. So ask yourself, what have you done to directly influence a successful outcome? Adding any numbers, figures, and percentages you have is also a great way to back up your successes.
After all, these are what prove you not only did the job, but that you were actually good at it.
And if you don’t have much work experience yet? Simply place more emphasis on your skills and/or education.
Whilst most retail roles will place experience and skills above academic credentials, you should still include your education. However, the amount of detail you include is totally up to you, and will depend on the job you’re applying for.
Include everything from GCSE (or equivalent) onwards, with the most relevant qualifications coming first. Stating the subject, qualification level, and grade will usually suffice, but detailing particular modules of a course or degree could be a good way to highlight your knowledge.
If you feel like your lack of qualifications is holding you back, there are a number of retail courses you could take that could help demonstrate your abilities.
Hobbies and interests
It can be tough to decide whether to include hobbies and interests in your CV.
But remember: they are by no means obligatory. So only put them in if you feel they add value to your application.
Do you have a hobby that demonstrates the skills the employer is looking for? Is it particularly relevant to the role? Would you be passionate enough to talk more about your hobby at an interview?
If the answers to these questions are yes, adding your hobbies and interests could be a great way to stand out from the crowd.
But if your only hobbies include ‘listening to music’ or ‘socialising with friends’; which let’s face it, won’t add anything to your application, feel free to omit this section from your CV.
Writing that your references are available upon request is absolutely fine, unless the job advert states otherwise.
Just make sure the references you do provide are from a reliable source. After all, they can (and will) check, and the last thing you want is to lose out on your dream job because you didn’t have credible references.
Aside from previous employers, close family friends, teachers, and career councillors are all good options – especially if the recruiter is looking for a character reference.
Need more CV advice?
It takes an employer just seven seconds to save or reject a job applicant’s CV. This means creating a succinct CV is absolutely vital if you want to land that all-important interview.
To find out how to make your CV stand out from the crowd, buy James Reed’s new book: The 7 Second CV: How to Land the Interview.
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