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Posted January 25, 2021

Essential Skills and Keywords to Make Your Retail Resume Shine

By Grace Tino

Have you ever found yourself staring at a blank screen, unsure where to start when creating a resume and frustrated with your job search? Most job seekers, no matter their field of work, find themselves in this position at some point of their search. While resumes are the most essential part of a job application, this also means that hiring teams will be going over a lot of them from various job seekers for an open role. Think of your resume as a snapshot of yourself both personally and professionally; it is your first opportunity to impress the hiring team and seal your shot at an interview. With a one-page chance to dazzle a hiring team, a resume should be carefully written and tailored to each job listing. Luckily, there are some simple strategies for tailoring your resume to a retail position while also highlighting your unique value.

A good place to start when updating your resume before sending it in is by running through your skillset. Take a moment to reflect on your retail experience, general job experience, education, and more. Consider skills that you have developed from these and how they relate to the job you want next. If they're relevant, don't hesitate to list them in your resume! When writing your list, list the skills most important and relevant to the specific posting itself at the top. If your resume is lucky enough to be viewed by the hiring manager, many tend to quickly skim rather than read in depth. This means that your resume has a few seconds to leave an impression. For that reason, list your skills in rank of importance. Your standout skills that line up with the job posting should always be put at the top of the list, at the top of your resume.

Additionally, incorporate a variety of skills from different areas. Different areas to pull a skillset from include customer service, organization, leadership, and sales. Though you can use those general words in your list, it helps to get more specific. For example, rather than simply list "customer service," try writing "resolving customer complaints." If you feel that your experience is not as lengthy as the team is asking for, try to make up the space in your skills list. For retail jobs, especially entry-level ones, extensive education, and job experience are not the most important considerations to hiring teams. All past work experiences have plenty of valuable skills that retailers search for called transferable skills. These are traits that are invaluable to almost any position in any industry. Some transferable skills and traits that are helpful to incorporate include time management, teamwork, positivity, and a committed work ethic.

In addition to highlighting your skillset at the top of your resume, consider using keywords in your list. Keywords are words that hiring software scans for to find the most compatible resumes with the job requirements. With proper incorporation of keywords, your resume will be selected by automatic hiring software as a match and will also resonate with the hiring managers. Keywords do not just have to stay in the skills section of your resume! When tailoring your resume to a specific retail job, read the posting and highlight words and phrases that you see repeated, bolded, or emphasized; these are the keywords that will likely be used to filter through the submitted resumes online. Look at your explanation of relevant job experiences and see if you have used any of the keywords from the posting. If not, try to rephrase the descriptions of your past job experience. Rephrasing your job experiences and other statements, rather than just reusing one copy of your resume for every application, is a proven way to make your resume stand out.

What retail skills usually double as keywords and are the best for making your resume stand out? Try to use some of these common keywords/key phrases to fill out your list of skills and describe your job experience:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Problem solving
  • Sales experience
  • Inventory
  • Merchandising
  • Productivity
  • Manage
  • Train
  • Self-motivated

Tailoring your resume to each job you apply to is simple, quick, and effective. Though sending out your resume to job after job might sound efficient, it does not guarantee that a hiring manager will find it and read it. To get your resume in the hands of a hiring team, take a minute to develop a relevant and unique list of skills that align with the job description and evaluate the keywords in the posting. By incorporating key skills and rephrasing your resume with keywords specific to the job posting, your resume stands the best change of making it through hiring software and catching a manager's attention. Though we listed a few examples of keywords, there are many more that are great for resumes, and these will always vary per job listing. To get started, explore job listings for positions you're looking for on AllRetailJobs. Happy hunting!