How To Write a Retail Assistant Resume (with Sample Resume)

Retail Sales Assistant at Register
Retail Sales Assistant at Register

Here is everything you need to know to write a retail assistant resume and secure a role in retail. (Also helpful for these alternative role titles:)

  • Customer Service Officer
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Retail Customer Service Officer
  • Retail Consultant
  • Retail Assistant
  • Retail Shop Assistant
  • Sales Associate
  • Retail Team Member
  • Supermarket Retail Assistant
  • Retail & Warehouse Assistant
  • Showroom Sales Consultant
  • Retail Services Assistant

Retail Employment

First, let’s consider retail employment.

Retail businesses account for more than 10% of employment in Australia. However, over the past few years retail has experienced difficult conditions.  Resulting in several big brands closing their doors, including Esprit, Diana Ferrari, Toys R Us, Max Brenner, Roger David, and Laura Ashley.

An upsurge in e-commerce was already putting pressure on physical stores and then the pandemic hit!

To remain viable retail stores, are taking action to enhance their e-commerce presence, to reduce the size of store space, and to re-imagine the purpose of their stores.

These changes have implications for retail employees, impacting the way they are employed and the role they perform.

For more information see KPMG’s Australian Retail Outlook Report

With this in mind,  let’s explore the critical skills do you need in today’s retail sector, and how you prove you have the skills needed to be a sales assistant.

Three Critical Skills for Your Retail Assistant Resume

1. Content with change

The retail industry needs people who are comfortable with change.

As retailers innovate; explore new strategies, new store formats and new technology, they need people with resilience, adaptability, and flexibility. 

Therefore, on your retail assistant resume, you need to prove you are comfortable with change. You can do this by providing examples of when you have experienced change or uncertainty in the past and remained composed and focused.  

Use your examples as achievement stories on your resume.

An achievement story describes a past accomplishment. These stories act as evidence to demonstrate that you have the skills or expertise to perform the role you are applying for.

A simple format to structure your story is: Accomplished (X) by doing (Z)

Here is an example:

Learnt new Point of Sale (POS) system; swiftly adapted to new system despite having minimal exposure before implementation. Took detailed notes during training session. After just two weeks was asked to train weekend casual staff.

Use these prompts to help you think of your own example for your retail resume:

  • When have you embraced a new process at work?  What was the outcome?
  • Have you been required to deal with unexpected events/requests on the job? How do you respond?
  • How have you encouraged others to deal with change? What was the situation and outcome?
  • Have you experienced a situation where the workload was too much? How did you respond?

Additionally, you could take this further and prove you are willing and capable of driving change. Use examples to show that you can problem-solve. In other words, that you can develop fresh ideas and provide solutions to all types of workplace challenges.

2. Capable of delivering an elevated store shopping experience

Delivering an elevated in-store consumer experience is becoming increasingly important for traditional retailers. For example, Mecca in 2020 opened a flagship store, offering services that included make-up application workshops, ear piercing, blow-dries and facials.

One essential component of the in-store experience is customer service. Consequently, retailers are looking for the ultimate people person. In other words, someone who can build rapport within minutes, remains calm and composed even when dealing with frustrated customers, and importantly, is able to determine and meet the customer’s needs.

Being a people person requires several skills; interpersonal, communication, active listening, along with confidence, empathy, and patience.

Again, within your retail assistant resume use achievement stories of your success applying your customer service skills, with a focus on the times you have provided a memorable in-store experience.

Think about:

  • How you provide service above and beyond facilitating the transaction? How you make sure customers have a positive experience in-store?
  • Examples of when you have succeeded in creating a positive customer experience? What did you do? What was the outcome?
  • You can also focus on specific skills; for example, when have you used your active listening skills to determine and respond to customer needs?
  • Have you ever felt frustrated while dealing with a customer? How did you respond?

Related: How Do I Prove I am a People Person on My Resume?

3. Tech-savvy

Retail stores embracing e-commerce are also leveraging technology in-store. These stores use technology to deliver innovative shopping experiences, and ensure a consistent and cohesive experience across the online and physical store.

It will be increasingly common for physical stores to have virtual look books, interactive product displays, purchase apps, digital price tags, and virtual reality showrooms.

As a result, retailers are not only looking for skills in the operation of point-of-sale systems, but the modern retail employee also needs the technical skills to operate in-store digital technology.

For example, Specsavers ‘Frame Styler’ technology.

Therefore, on your resume you should provide achievement stories that demonstrate your success applying technology. Also, you should include a technical skills section to list specific applications and software you are proficient in.

Additional Retail Assistant Skills for your Retail Resume

In addition to these skills be sure to also include evidence of other key sales assistant skills.

These will include communication, initiative, organisation & planning, problem-solving, and teamwork.

Here is a selection of specific retail assistant skills. You should use the position description or job ad to guide you to the specific skills the employer is seeking. Look out also for specific industry knowledge, IT software, hardware or other office technology or equipment.

  • Advertising
  • Customer Recommendations
  • Retail Operations
  • Social Engagement
  • Strategic Sales Planning
  • Banking
  • Reports
  • Customer Relationships
  • Planning & Rostering
  • Sales Presentations
  • Product Styling
  • Billing & Receipting
  • Data Entry
  • Point of Sale System
  • Target & KPI Achievement
  • Stock Control
  • Training & Development
  • Cash Handling
  • Visual Merchandising
  • Customer Advice

Retail Assistant Resume Writing Tips

For each skill make sure you include achievement stories. Importantly, where possible you should quantify your accomplishments. Futhermore, an achievement story should also go beyond the data and result and include details of how you achieved the outcome.

Here is an example:

Oversaw delivery of three-day in-store promotion and achieved 24% increase in sales; accountable for organisation of event and promotion on social media. Creative social media strategy generated significant interest. Increased in-store traffic by 50% on previous year. 

Additional Resources

Resume Writing Guide

For additional assistance writing your resume, follow this step by step guide:

Step One: The Fundamentals of a Good Resume & the Basic Structure 
Step Two: Setting out the Scope of Your Past Experience
Step Three: Achievement Stories
Step Four: The First Page
Step Five: Editing & Proofreading 
Step Six: Targeting & Keyword Optimisation

Related: How to Apply for a Job at Woolworths

Related: McDonalds Crew Member Job Description for Resume

How To Write a Retail Assistant Resume When You Have No Previous Experience

You can write a strong retail assistant resume and prove you are the best person for the job even without past work experience. Here are some articles to help (both include example resumes)

How to Write Resume for First Job with No Work Experience
Skills for Your First Resume

Retail Assistant Resume Example

Finally, here is an example of a retail assistant resume

Download here as a PDF.

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