CV Example Retail
Retail is the selling of goods or services to consumers, either in person, over the telephone or on e-commerce sites. As careers in retail can encompass a wide range of jobs from customer service and cashier duties to merchandising and store management, professionals of all backgrounds are generally welcomed.
Depending on the setting (department store, specialist store, convenience store, pharmacy store, supermarket, e-commerce site), you could work in any of the following roles:
- Customer service representative: in an office to assist customers over the phone or via live chat
- Cashier: in a retail store, greeting customers processing transactions, checking product pricing and assisting customers with stock queries
- Sales assistant: responsible for greeting customers, helping them find products and giving sales pitches at retail store locations
- Retail store manager: responsible for hiring and training store staff members, setting sales quotas and work schedules and assisting customers when necessary.
- Virtual merchandiser: creates appealing product displays to showcase products to attract business
Whether you’re already working in retail and want to further your career at your next company or you’re looking to make the leap, we’ve got you covered with our writing guide and retail CV example .
Personal statement or profile
As a retail employee, you’re the first point of contact for customers. If they don’t have a good experience, they’re unlikely to return to the store again.
In the same way, your personal statement or profile is the first thing that recruiters and hiring managers will read. Here is the opportunity to highlight the skills, experience and achievements that make you stand out as a candidate:
I am a customer-focused sales assistant with 4 years of retail experience. I am to rapidly acquire product knowledge to offer advice tailored to customers’ needs. Through upselling accessories at a fashion outlet, I have been able consistently generate over £500 in additional daily revenue. I am currently seeking a role at a fashion retailer to further deliver excellent service.
The retail industry is driven by metrics: revenue generated, conversion rates, average transaction value, etc. This means demonstrating the value you brought in each of your roles can make you a more favourable candidate than someone who just states that they ‘assisted customers’.
For example, if you work in the technology section of a store and often provide advice on particular devices, you can say that ‘provided specialist advice on laptops, resulting in 3-4 daily sales totalling £2000.’
Jan 2019 – present Fashion Sales Assistant, Topshop, London
- Recipient of Sales Associate of the Year through successfully selling over £30k in fashion accessories.
- Developing knowledge of current sales promotions and events to inform customers at the entrance.
- Stocking shelves and displaying products according to merchandising department layout.
- Providing advice to customers on outfits for specific occasions.
Aug 2017 - Dec 2019 Sales Associate, PC World, London
- Offered customers assistance with their purchases and provided specialist advice on laptops, resulting in 3-4 daily sales totalling £2000.
- Served and assisted customers on checkouts.
- Answered the phone and helped with queries/complaints, remaining professional at all times.
Even if you are only applying for a cashier position that does not mention any other duties, don’t hesitate to indicate those you may have performed previously. Of course, cashier duties should be listed first to show your suitability for the position. However, if you have already carried out inventory or restocking, for example, this can be an advantage for your application because you will show that you can help with other tasks in the store that will employ you.
While you don’t need a degree or a specific qualification to get a job in retail, as the sector grows and the demand for more highly-skilled employees increases, a degree in any discipline can give you an edge over other candidates.
For instance, business studies and retail management qualifications can be useful if you’re trying to get into store manager roles, while a degree in finance, business, economics or mathematics will be beneficial for careers in retail merchandising.
Sep 2016 - Jul 2017 BTEC Level 3 Certificate in Retail Knowledge, Hither Green College, London
- Understanding the management of stock, security and loss prevention in a retail business, and how the effectiveness of store operations can be improved.
Sep 2014 - Jul 2016 A-Levels in Economics, General Studies and English Languages, Hayfield High School, London
- Achieved 3 A grades
Working in retail goes beyond greeting and serving customers. You’ll also need to know how to manage customer complaints, practice empathy and patience and above all, be a good communicator.
Here are some skills and qualities you can include in your CV:
- Communication: Explaining products to customers, responding to complaints effectively and handling queries via the phone, email or live chat.
- Attention to detail: Processing transactions correctly and monitoring stock levels accurately.
- Mathematical: Managing cash, handling large amounts of money and approving credit.
- Sales: Upselling accessories to generate £500 in additional daily revenue.
- Technical: Operating electronic cash registers, credit card processors and Shopify.
In a retail environment, you will be in contact with customers from diverse backgrounds and countries. This is where even basic language skills can be helpful. Simply by greeting a customer in their language can put them at their ease:
English - native
French - basic
If you lack practical work experience , including volunteer experience can be a great way to catch the attention of recruiters, especially in an industry that can be quite competitive:
Sep 2015 - Aug 2016, Volunteer Retail Assistant, Barnado’s
- Processing transactions.
- Providing advice to customers.
- Sorting out donations.
- Tagging stock and categorising items.
- Keeping the shop tidy.
Format and layout
Depending on the role, experience can be important, therefore a chronological CV format is often the best choice. This is because it allows recruiters to quickly see how you have put your knowledge and skills into practice in the different positions you have held.
Layout and design
In a retail environment, you are the face of the business. If you don’t make a good impression with customers, they won’t return to the store, whether online or in person.
When you’re applying for a retail role, it’s equally important to create a good impression with your CV. This means sufficiently spaced headings, bulleted lists, highlighted titles and neutral colours (black, white, pale blue, grey and green).
With regards to fonts , stick to 12pt for standard text for readability and go 2-4pts higher to emphasise section headings. Make good use of white space to avoid your CV looking cluttered.
Hopefully, you now have everything you need to create your own retail CV.
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How to write a personal statement for a CV
Make your CV personal statement a good one.
You probably have a fairly good idea of how to write a CV. Your employment history, education and qualifications are relatively easy to pull together as you just need to look at dates, your previous job specs and what you have achieved over the years.
The personal statement is often the trickiest component of a CV to write. Thankfully, we've got this comprehensive guide to help you write a winning one.
What is a CV personal statement?
The personal statement for a CV, otherwise known as a personal profile, professional profile or career objective, is an important part of a CV that many job seekers get wrong.
It's worth pointing out that this type of personal statement is very different to the personal statement that you might write for something like a university application.
Your personal statement is a short paragraph that sits at the top of your CV, just below your name and contact details. Its purpose is to offer the recruiter or hiring manager a powerful overview of you as a professional, diving into three key aspects:
Who you are
Your suitability for the role and the value you can add
Your career goals and aims
Research by TemplateLab suggests that recruiters spend a mere six seconds reviewing a CV before deciding whether the applicant is a good fit. As the personal statement is the first section they will read, it must be powerful and tailored to the job you're applying for to successfully showcase your suitability. If it's not, you're unlikely to convince the recruiter that you're the talent they need, and they may move onto the next applicant.
Length, formatting and voice
An impactful and interesting personal statement should be clean and concise. It's typically around four sentences long – that's equivalent to 50 to 200 words.
Regarding layout, make sure to keep it consistent with the rest of your CV's formatting. That means it must maintain the same font size, font type and text justification.
You can add a 'personal statement' heading in the same way that you'd title the subsequent sections of your CV. However, if you're tight on space, you can cut this formatting detail as recruiters and employers will know what this paragraph is regardless of if it has a heading.
Something job hunters rarely consider is the voice or person they are writing in. The first person is acceptable for a statement, such as 'I am an IT professional looking for a job in…', as is the third person, for example, 'An IT professional looking for a job in…' Choose the point of view that is most comfortable to write in, but, as always, keep it consistent with the rest of your CV.
Top tip: If you're writing in the third person, remove all pronouns. Otherwise, it sounds existentially awkward, rather than objective. For example, 'She is a retail professional seeking a management role…' would become 'A retail professional seeking a management role…'
We've looked at the purpose of a personal statement, what it should include and how it should look on the page. Now let's zoom in on exactly how to write a winning statement.
When writing, keep in mind that your CV personal statement is your elevator pitch; it's the equivalent of the 'tell me about yourself' or 'why should I hire you?' question in an interview.
Part 1: Who you are
The first sentence of your CV personal statement needs to tell the prospective employer where you stand in your professional field and your career. Think about your current position of employment; what you like the most about your career, job or professional field; and your qualities that are valuable in relation to this vacancy.
Your first sentence may read like so:
As a successful digital marketing professional specialising in e-commerce, I have recently worked with several global brands in the sector to improve their marketing strategy and boost their reach.
Part 2: Your suitability and value
The next part of your statement should draw on your achievements that line up with the requirements in the job description, aiming to prove that what you can bring to the table is relevant and impressive.
It's always best to address the essential job specifications in your personal statement as you'll make it clear from the beginning that you're highly skilled and the right type of person for the job. For example, if the role requires a candidate with management experience or a degree in a certain subject and you have these, say so.
Your second point may look like this:
I have experience in optimising quality digital products via my most recent role and am therefore in tune with the latest developments across the online landscape. As a result, I have devised winning branding strategies for e-commerce businesses that are robust, customer-centric and set for aggressive growth.
Part 3: Your career goals
The last part of your CV personal statement should be short and snappy as it's reaffirming why you are applying for this vacancy.
It might read something like so:
I am currently looking for a senior branding or marketing management role within the e-commerce sector where I can maintain my strong track record and deliver similar results.
Complete CV personal profile examples
In addition to the samples above, here are a couple of complete personal statements examples so you have a decent idea of what yours should look like.
For a graduate, written in the third person
A recent graduate with a first-class BSc degree in Mathematics, specialising in analytics and statistics. Holds commercial experience within the finance sector thanks to an internship with a corporate UK business, and has resultantly developed technical skills in data science and data engineering. Has a proven ability to meet deadlines, prioritise , problem solve and maintain high standards having balanced a part-time job alongside studies over the last three years. Now looking to secure a place on a graduate programme that will provide exposure to data science and career progression opportunities.
Addressing a recent redundancy, written in the first person
I am a skilled and successful product engineer within the automotive industry with an HND in mechanical engineering and seven years of experience in the sector. Having worked in a number of labs handling vehicle-based testing and mentoring development technicians, I am confident in managing teams in a hands-on environment and running new development projects from briefing to sign off. Currently looking for a role that complements my skill set and experience. Available immediately.
Pitfalls to watch out for
There are some common CV profile errors that you should avoid. Steer clear of these popular pitfalls or your statement may not be as powerful as you hoped.
Are you someone that is an extremely self-motivated, ambitious professional with extensive experience and passion for a certain industry? We thought so.
Buzzwords are great, and you'll find them in abundance in job adverts. But it's best to sprinkle just a few through your personal statement as they don't particularly provide evidence of your skill or ability. It's much stronger to show the employer how you're self-motivated and ambitious with an example.
A generic personal statement
Once you've written your statement, you might think that it will work for every application. For the most part, it will, because, in theory, the jobs you're applying for will be similar and match your skill set.
However, you must tweak and tailor your statement (and your entire CV) so that it targets the skills each vacancy requires. Otherwise, it will be too generic and not impactful.
Too much waffle
As you begin to plan and write the personal statement for your CV, you'll most likely find that you have a lot more to say than you originally thought. Be careful not to overwrite as you may be left with a statement that is clogged with too many adjectives and is clunky to read.
As a rule of thumb, highlight your best bits in your personal statement and save the expansion of details for your cover letter.
Let one of our career experts review your personal statement. Request a free CV critique today!
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Retail CV Examples
There are lots of retail CV examples available, but if you’ve decided on a career in retail, finding a comprehensive list of what to include can be challenging. We’ve put together a guide to help you create a winning retail CV application to help you showcase your true potential. If you’re a people person, hard working and organised then a career in retail could be right up your street.
How to write a CV for retail?
Want to break into the world of retail but wondering ‘how to write a CV for retail’ or ‘where can I find retail CV examples’ then you’ve come to the right place. Writing a CV can feel daunting, for any position, and even more so if it’s your first. But it doesn’t have to be! First think about the retail position. Is it an assistant, supervisor, merchandising or stock management role? Research the role inside out and then apply it to your CV.
A job in retail involves a lot more than just stocking shelves and folding clothes. Retail stores come in all shapes and sizes and there are lots of different opportunities available. The most popular routes for people to go down are; retail assistant and retail supervisor.
Retail assistant CV
A retail assistant is a fantastic route for you to begin your career in retail. It’s an entry-level job which enables you to gain the fundamental skills and knowledge relevant to the retail industry. Whether you’re looking for a career in a large retail chain or a small retail company, the purpose of a retail assistant doesn’t change.
You’ll be assisting customers, dealing with queries, ensuring stock availability and advising on promotional offers. Retail assistants are also known as sales assistants and in short, they generate sales, help customers and handle payments.
When writing a retail assistant CV, you might have little to no experience but that doesn’t necessarily matter. As long as you can demonstrate your strong work ethic and transferable skills.
As a retail assistant, you will normally follow instructions from your supervisor or manager. If you have previous experience or qualifications then you might want to put together a retail supervisor CV.
Retail supervisor CV
When writing a retail supervisor CV, you will typically have previous experience in the industry, especially if you’re applying to a large retail chain. Qualifications and skills will vary depending on the employer so it’s always best to check the job description and see whether you’re the right fit for the job.
Your responsibilities will also vary, some employers will delegate you the task of overseeing employees, dealing with complaints, training retail assistants and performing stock inventory, bookkeeping, cashing up at the end of the day and merchandising.
When writing a CV for a retail position, whether it be as a retail assistant or supervisor, you will need to include:
A personal statement is your chance to sell yourself. Describe who you are, what you can bring to the role and what you want to achieve in your career. Make sure it’s clear and easily understandable so the employer reads on. Make sure you include any relevant experience, even if it’s your first position and you don’t have any, you should at least cover skills related to retail.
Retail CV examples if you have work experience:
‘In my previous retail role as an assistant, I provided excellent customer service to ensure the customer had an enjoyable experience and returned, increasing customer loyalty. I have experience of working in a fast paced environment and would undertake a variety of tasks, including, replenishing stock, serving customers, handling money and arranging product displays. Given my previous experience, I feel I would make a great retail candidate and would work hard in this role.’
Retail CV examples without work experience:
‘Although I don’t have any previous retail experience, my proven track record at school shows I am hardworking. At school, I would need to communicate effectively with my teachers to ensure I worked towards deadlines and produced a high standard of work to the best of my ability. I am extremely motivated and driven, at times I would use my leadership and team working skills to complete projects set successfully with my class. Despite not having any previous retail experience, I am a quick learner who enjoys new challenges and would love the opportunity to excel in this role.’
Did you know that, the average recruiter only looks at a CV for 7 seconds? Make those seconds count! Feel like you’re not prepared for the job? You could always consider looking for a retail apprenticeship or voluntary work in a charity shop to help you stand out from the crowd.
Highlight your skills
Whether you have previous experience or you’re applying for your first job, skills are one of the most important tools to include in your retail CV. They summarise your abilities and really showcase why you’re the right fit for the job. The UK job market is competitive and possessing skills can help make you more employable. When adding your skills to your CV, a good idea is to refer back to the job description.
Normally, employers will tell you what they’re looking for. It’s a good idea to tailor your application to the job description provided by the employer. If an employer is looking for someone who is organised, works well under pressure and meets deadlines, then you should incorporate this into your CV application wherever possible.
Many young people with no previous experience, may feel they don’t have skills which reflect the job description, if this is the case, you should certainly rethink. Just because you don’t have any industry specific skills doesn’t mean you don’t have skills which are in demand to employers. Transferable skills are equally as important to employers and these can be gained through personal and professional experiences. These include but are not limited to:
- Communication skills
- Time management
- Numeracy skills
- Attention to detail
- Interpersonal skills
CV example with skills gained from work:
‘In my previous role in retail, I have gained a wide range of skills. From developing strong numeracy skills from doing stock takes and working on the tills to remaining motivated during busy periods and high pressure situations. I have also used leadership skills to designate tasks and worked as part of a team to ensure the business runs smoothly and efficiently.’
CV example without work experience:
‘Despite not having previous experience in retail, I have developed a strong set of skills which will be invaluable to the retail industry. During education, I had a busy schedule when planning my revision and exams so I would need to prioritise tasks to ensure I was able to complete homework and assessments to a high standard. I have also grown my numeracy skills in math and have a strong understanding of why these are important in retail when giving customers the correct change, when stock taking and analysing sale trends.’
Previous work experience
When listing your previous work experience , you should always list it in order of most recent first. Make sure to highlight your daily tasks and achievements to impress your potential employer. They are looking for a candidate who can prove why they fit the job description. If you have related experience and skills make sure to provide evidence and examples where possible.
If you don’t have any work experience , don’t worry! Make sure to emphasise your skills and education achievements. If you feel unprepared for a job in retail, then think about how you can get work ready and boost your CV? Volunteering in a charity shop can go a long way and shows you’re passionate about a career in retail.
You should also include your education on your CV when applying for a retail job. Start with the most recent first and oldest last. You should include:
- Place of study
- Year of study
- Subject name
- Qualification level (GCSE/A Level/ Level 2 etc)
- Grade (You can include your predicted grade if you haven’t received your results yet)
The amount of detail you go into all depends on your personal preference. If you feel a particular course or degree will add value to your CV then it’s a good idea to go into depth about why this supports your application and your achievements.
Your hobbies and interests
Including your hobbies and interests is completely optional. If you feel like it will support your application and demonstrate why you’re the best candidate for the role then by all means include these. They might help you to stand out from the crowd and secure your position in retail.
Just like including your hobbies and interests, these are optional. You can list your references and their details or you can simply finish your CV with ‘references available upon request’. This is completely up to you, unless the job description specifically asks for them then you will need to include prior to the next recruitment stage.
Where to find a retail job?
If you’re ready to secure a career in retail, you can visit careermap.co.uk to find a wealth of opportunities available to you. From professional jobs to apprenticeships, work experience and graduate opportunities, there is so much for you to shop for!
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Your CV personal profile (also called a CV opening statement or personal statement) is a brief paragraph or a list of bullet points that sits at the top of your CV structure and introduces you as a top candidate
Learn how to stand out with our writing tips and our example retail CV. Whether you're already working in retail and want to further your career at your next company or you're looking to make the leap
The personal statement for a CV, otherwise known as a personal profile, professional profile or career objective, is an important part of a CV that many job seekers get wrong. Your personal statement is a short paragraph that sits at the top of your CV
All the tips you need to write a CV personal statement that makes you stand out from the crowd. Lis McGuire, Professional CV Writer and Founder of Giraffe CVs says Your personal statement is one of the most important elements of your application
Want to break into the world of retail but wondering ‘how to write a CV for retail?' or ‘where can I find retail CV examples?' Read our guide for help
Search from our large selection of personal statement examples and learn about what to include in the personal statement in your CV
The CV personal statement, or profile, is the first thing that will be read by potential employers and recruiters alike, so it's important to take the time to create a concise yet well-written introduction to your qualifications