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Retail Sales Associate Resume: Samples and Guide

Retail Sales Associate Resume: Samples and Guide

You’re a retail warrior, selling stuff and enriching lives one credit-card swipe at a time. Now prove it to your next store manager with your retail sales associate resume.

You need a retail sales associate resume sample that sells.

 

After all, you already know you can face a barrage of customers with fast feet and a bulletproof smile.

 

But hold the phone—

 

The store manager has a stack of retail resumes up to the skylights.

 

To prove you’re “the one,” your resume needs to jump out like a 90% off sign. It has to look like a gift certificate to the bank.

 

How can a single piece of paper do that?

 

It’s not that hard. It’s just a simple mix of past in-store successes and key traits.

 

Below, you’ll find a professional retail sales associate resume example you can tweak to fit any industry. You’ll also get easy steps to write a resume for retail sales associate jobs that’ll garner 10x more healthcare interviews than any other.

 

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

 

retail sales associate

Sample retail sales associate—See more templates and create your resume here.

 

Want to see more retail sales associate resume samples? See these:

 

Sample Retail Sales Associate Resume to Inspire You (Text Version)

 

Ken Stuber

Retail Sales Associate

678-914-2620

kenzstuber@gmail.com

linkedin.com/in/kenzstuber

twitter.com/kenzstuber

 

Personable retail sales associate with 4+ years of experience promoting in-store efficiency. Seeking to deliver excellent customer service at Sriz-Mart. At Rayes Stores, maintained a 20% cross-selling score, beating the store average by 25%.

 

Experience

 

Retail Sales Associate

Rayes Stores

Oct 2017 to Jan 2020

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Performed sales duties in busy department store, including POS, opening, closing, cleaning, stocking, facing, and product knowledge.
  • Operated POS system with 100% accuracy and zero mistakes.
  • Opened store on 30% of shifts, including opening cash drawer and front door and fulfilling 30-point opening checklist.
  • Closed store 2 days per week, including delivery of cash bag to bank.
  • Trained 3 retail sales associates in customer service best practices.

Key Achievement:

  • Maintained 20% cross-selling rate, beating store KPI targets by 25%.

 

Retail Sales Associate

Stygymoloch Outdoors

May 2016 to Sept 2017

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Restocked shelves and faced products in step with company policy. Achieved 100% compliance to our "always faced" guideline.
  • Passed quarterly product knowledge quizzes with 95%+ scores.
  • Operated POS for 5+ hours per day, 5 days a week, 48 weeks a year.
  • Collaborated with 20 team members to hit 90%+ customer satisfaction.

 

Waiter

The Angry Cacomistle

June 2014 to June 2016

  • Ran POS register, accepting cash and credit card payments.
  • Scored 94%+ in quarterly reviews for customer service.
  • Maintained a 30% upselling rate for appetizer add-ons - team best.

 

Education

 

BS in Business

Emory University, Atlanta, GA

2010–2014

  • Excelled in sales & marketing coursework.
  • Treasurer, Outdoor Emory club, collaborated with 25+ students to raise events participation 50%.

 

Skills

 

  • POS Operation
  • Product Knowledge
  • Restocking Shelves 
  • Sales
  • Upselling
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Communication
  • Time Management
  • Active Listening

 

Additional Activities

 

Volunteer Cashier, Goodwill

  • Sort, stock, and face donations.
  • Operate POS 1 day per month.

 

Organizer, Atlanta Road Spinners Cycling Group

  • Raised attendance 20% through written & oral communication.
  • Participate in 2 rides per week for 40+ miles of road biking.

 

Now let’s get you into Black Friday shape. Here’s how to write a job-getting retail associate resume:

 

1. Use the Best Format for a Retail Sales Associate Resume

 

Why worry about format in a retail associate resume? Well, because the store won’t hire Patrick from Spongebob. They want to know at a glance that you can handle a pre-Christmas rush or take an angry customer in stride. That begins with how you lay your resume out. So—

 

Here’s how to format a retail sales associate resume template:

  • Format: rely on the reverse-chronological resume format. It’s the most trusted by retail managers and store owners.
  • Fonts: use clean, professional resume fonts only.
  • Font size: 11–12 point for main text, 2–4 points bigger for resume headings.
  • Line spacing: single or 1.15 at most.
  • Subheadings: make ‘em big and readable to break up the wall of text.
  • White space: don’t be afraid of it. It makes your work more readable.
  • Resume margins: 1-inch on the top, sides, and bottom.
  • File type: save resumes as PDF files unless the online listing warns you not to.

 

Here are the key elements of a resume to include:

  • Header: include fitting contact information.
  • Summary: give a glimpse of your experience, with in-store achievements.
  • Experience: work skills and retail accomplishments into your work history.
  • Education: yes, this matters in a resume for retail sales associate jobs. Why? Because it gives you a way to differentiate your abilities.
  • Skills: a short selection of your best skills for this retail role.
  • “Other” sections: do you have certifications or a history of volunteering? List them here.

Did you know there are three resume formats that can work in a retail sales associate resume? See our guide: How to Pick the Perfect Resume Format

2. Start With Your Retail Sales Associate Job History

 

So where do you start?

 

Writing a good retail sales associate resume can seem endless. You write, delete, write, delete, and keep going until you feel yourself getting old. Meanwhile, you’re still not earning a paycheck. Every day adds more bad news to your credit card. I’m here to help!

 

For the quickest path to getting hired, start with your experience section.

 

Here’s how to do it well:

 

  1. Write down the job title of your most recent retail role.
  2. Add the store name and location, plus the months and years you worked.
  3. Write between 3 and 6 bullet points that describe the retail job you held.
  4. Fill your bullet points with retail achievements that show you shined.
  5. Add numbers to those achievements to give them depth.
  6. Customize your resume so it matches the retail position you’re after.
  7. Use the tried and tested PAR (Problem-Action-Result) formula to make your words more compelling. (Compelling makes the phone ring!)
  8. Start each bullet point with an action word to give it zing.
  9. Repeat the steps with each of your past jobs.

See these retail sales associate resume samples:

 

Retail Sales Associate Job Description for a Resume

 

 

Right

Experience

 

Retail Sales Associate

Rayes Stores

Oct 2017 to Jan 2020

  • Performed sales duties in busy department store, including POS, opening, closing, cleaning, stocking, facing, and product knowledge.
  • Operated POS system with 100% accuracy and zero mistakes.
  • Opened store on 30% of shifts, including opening cash drawer and front door and fulfilling 30-point opening checklist.
  • Closed store 2 days per week, including delivery of cash bag to bank.
  • Trained 3 retail sales associate in customer service best practices.

Key Achievement:

  • Maintained 20% cross-selling rate, beating store KPI targets by 25%.
Wrong

Retail Sales Associate

Rayes Stores

Oct 2017 to Jan 2020

  • Operated POS system daily in busy store.
  • Opened and closed store, ensuring facility was ready for the day.
  • During evening shifts, assisted with sweeping and mopping.
  • Personified exemplary customer service when dealing with customers.

 

It should be obvious why the first of those retail sales associate resume examples wins.It shows you crossed the finish line repeatedly, with several measures of your success. Meanwhile, that bad resume example just lists your duties. “I did XYZ.” But were you bad at it? Or did you slay it?

 

But that works in a resume for retail sales associate with no experience too. Even if you’ve never had the job title.

 

These examples cover it:

 

Entry-Level Retail Sales Associate Resume Samples [Experience]

 

 

Right

Waiter

The Angry Cacomistle

June 2014 to June 2016

  • Ran POS register, accepting cash and credit card payments.
  • Scored 94%+ in quarterly reviews for customer service.
  • Maintained a 30% upselling rate for appetizer add-ons - team best.
Wrong

Waiter

The Angry Cacomistle

June 2014 to June 2016

  • Waited tables, took orders from diners and transferred them to kitchen.
  • Cleaned restaurant including sweeping and mopping front of house.
  • Greeted guests at the door with a cheerful attitude.

 

No contest. Even without experience, you can show success that matters to the manager. Just focus on retail skills used in non-retail jobs.

Pro Tip: Retail is a tough career with a high burnout rate. If you’re worried about that, consider other high-paying careers that don’t need lots of training.

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

What if you’ve been driving a register for 15 years? Is that good, or evidence of insanity? See: How Far Back Should a Resume Go?

3. List Your Education Next (It’s Not Clear Cut)

 

Admit it. You don’t need much education in a retail associate resume.

 

But—

 

If you’ve got it, it’s like a gift certificate for getting hired. If you show it right.

 

First, of course list your degree and the name of your school. Add the dates you attended. But the real trick is to grab the store manager’s attention with something different you did. That means listing your biggest school success in there that fits the job. If you just graduated within the year, add more—extracurricular activities or relevant coursework.

 

The next of our retail sales associate resume examples shows how:

 

Retail Sales Associate Resume Example [Education]

 

 

Right

Education

 

Emory University

2010–2014

 

  • Excelled in sales & marketing coursework.
  • Treasurer, Outdoor Emory club, collaborated with 25+ students to raise events participation 50%.

 

Can you see why that works? It’ll make the manager stop and think about you. The longer she thinks about you, the better your chances.

Pro Tip: Did you graduate more than ten years ago? Then don’t add achievements to your retail associate resume education unless you’ve got a massive one.

Want to knock your retail clothing sales associate resume education section out of the food court? See our guide: How to Put Your Education on a Resume [Tips & Examples]

4. Add Retail Sales Associate Skills the Store Wants

 

Decision time.

 

Which skills should you add to your retail associate resume? Where should you put them? How can you prove you really have them so the store calls you tomorrow?

 

There’s a trick to it.

 

See this list of skills for retail sales associate resumes:

 

Retail Sales Associate Resume Skills (Hard Skills)

 

  • POS Operation
  • Product Knowledge
  • Stocking Shelves
  • Facing Products
  • Cross-Selling
  • Planogram Setup
  • Handling Returns
  • Sales
  • Upselling
  • Training

 

Retail Sales Associate Resume Skills (Soft Skills)

 

 

But—

 

To pick the best ones from the list, look in the retail job description.

 

That’s where the employer gives a cheat sheet to get the interview.

 

Here’s how to pick the right retail skills:

 

  1. The job ad is often packed with the skills resume keywords the store needs.
  2. List those skills on a sheet of scrap paper.
  3. Make a separate list of your retail skills from your experience and education.
  4. Find areas of overlap between the two lists. Those are your best skills.
  5. Create a retail sales associate resume skills section with 5–10 of the best.
  6. Use both hard skills and soft skills for a well-rounded appearance.

 

The next retail associate resume example lights the way.

 

Say the job needs restocking, product knowledge, and POS operation.

 

Retail Sales Associate Resume Examples [Skills]

 

Right
  • Restocked shelves and faced products in step with company policy. Achieved 100% compliance to our "always faced" guideline.
  • Passed quarterly product knowledge quizzes with 95%+ scores.
  • Operated POS for 5+ hours per day, 5 days a week, 48 weeks a year.
  • Collaborated with 20 team members to hit 90%+ customer satisfaction.

 

Sold!

 

Those numbers give it life.

Pro Tip: Don’t have enough intel on the retail sales associate position you want? You can get some with 30 minutes of quick, fun, informational interviews.

If you need more skills suggestions for your retail sales associate resume—see our guide: +30 Best Examples of What Skills to Put on a Resume

5. Add “Other” Sections to Your Retail Sales Associate Resume

 

Question:

 

Who would you hire?A retail employee who has experience and education?Or a team member who’s great to work with? Someone who goes above and beyond, shows up for their shifts, and actually cares?Get into that second group with your retail sales associate resume. How? By adding Kroger-level additional resume categories.

 

Choose from:

 

  1. Resume Volunteer Work

 

Have you helped out at Habitat for Humanity or Goodwill? Even a little volunteering shows you’ve got energy and competence to spare, especially if you’re new to retail.

 

  1. Second Languages on a Resume

 

If you speak Spanish or Chinese, that can help your resume for retail sales associate jobs. That goes double if it’s a language many of the clientele speak, too.

 

  1. Clubs or Groups

 

Are you part of a group or club that could show leadership or communication skills? List your group accomplishments on your resume to show added bandwidth.

 

  1. Resume Licenses & Certifications

 

Do you have additional licenses or certifications that would make the store manager or GM think good thoughts about you? Here are some that work:

 

The sample retail associate resume sections below show the plan.

 

Retail Sales Associate Resume Examples [Other Sections]

 

 

Right

Additional Activities

 

Volunteer Cashier, Goodwill

 

  • Sort, stock, and face donations.
  • Operate POS 1 day per month.

 

Organizer, Atlanta Road Spinners Cycling Group

 

  • Raised attendance 20% through written & oral communication.
  • Participate in 2 rides per week for 40+ miles of road biking.
Wrong
  • Road biking
  • Swimming

 

Wow.

 

The first of those retail sales associate resume examples telegraphs key skills.

 

The second? It’s empty shelf-space.

Pro Tip: How long should your resume be for retail sales associate jobs? A single-page resume template is plenty, but don’t make it less. Fill it like a shopping cart with your best successes.

Can you put hobbies and interests in a retail associate resume? Damn straight. See our guide: List of Hobbies & Interests for a Resume or CV

6. Write a Retail Sales Associate Resume Objective or Resume Summary

 

It’s sad:

 

Most store managers don’t read resumes. They glance, and judge you in an eye blink. Judge ‘em back—by putting all your best successes right up top. That works best in a resume objective or resume summary. Which one should you use?

 

Well, a resume summary is for retail workers with more experience than Sam Walton. It wraps up your key info like years of experience and top skills and achievements. Use a resume objective if you’re a fledgeling store employee. That can use accomplishments from non-retail jobs.

 

The idea with either is to tell your story in six seconds.

 

These two retail sales associate resume examples give directions:

 

Retail Sales Associate Resume Summary

 

 

Right

Personable retail sales associate with 4+ years of experience promoting in-store efficiency. Seeking to deliver excellent customer service at Sriz-Mart. At Rayes Stores, maintained a 20% cross-selling score, beating the store average by 25%.

Wrong
Retail sales associate who is exceptionally skilled in POS operation, customer service, and cross-selling. Able to pitch in and do the hard work of keeping a store’s customers satisfied and keeping the store up and running all day or night.

 

The difference?

 

The first of those retail sales associate resume samples sells. It calls out the store by name, then uses a magnetic fact.

 

But—

 

How do you start an entry-level resume?

 

See these entry-level retail clothing sales associate resume examples:

 

Retail Sales Associate Resume Objective

 

right
Engaged retail sales associate with skills in POS operation and stocking merchandise. Seeking to enliven the customer experience at Rayes Stores. As waiter at The Angry Cacomistle, scored 94%+ in customer service on my quarterly reviews.
Wrong
Entry-level retail sales associate skilled in stocking merchandise and POS operation, as well as facing products and maintaining product knowledge. While I don’t yet have any on-the-job experience in the retail world, I’m happy to start soon and learn fast.

 

The last of those retail sales associate resume examples is damaged goods. It could be anyone, including Alan from The Hangover.

Pro Tip: Are you pulling your hair out trying to write a convincing associate resume objective or summary? Don’t. Circle back to it after you write your resume.

To write an in-demand resume objective or resume summary for retail sales associate jobs, see our guides:+20 Resume Objective Examples and Professional Resume Summary Examples

7. What About a Retail Sales Associate Cover Letter?

 

Does your retail sales associate resume need a cover letter?

 

Like air.

 

Almost half the store managers demand cover letters. And you never know which half you’re talking to.

 

In your letter, show:

 

  1. Your knowledge of this retail job
  2. Your shiniest wins that show you’re the pricing-gun-wielder of their dreams

 

Write your cover letter in three paragraphs.

 

Do it like this: 

Pro Tip: Add salary requirements to your cover letter only when you are asked to. Otherwise, it’s not a safe move. 

Finally, here’s how to write a retail sales associate cover letter that flies off the shelves: Retail Cover Letter Examples

Key Takeaway

 

Here’s a rundown of how to write a retail sales associate resume:

 

  1. Format your retail sales associate resume template with 1-inch margins and line-spacing and a professional resume font.
  2. Write your work experience section first to make it easy on yourself.
  3. Add big retail accomplishments to your experience and education sections for a tailored fit.
  4. When choosing retail skills for a resume, hand-pick them from the store’s online job posting.
  5. Add “other” sections to sell them on your POS and stocking powers. List volunteer work, certifications, or hobbies.
  6. Write a retail sales associate cover letter as a quick sales pitch to get the interview.

 

That’s it! Now, we’d love to hear from you: 

  • What do you struggle with most in writing a retail sales resume? 
  • Is it hard to figure out the right retail skills or achievements?
  • Do you worry that your retail sales associate resume objective is too weak?

 

Let’s chat below in the comments, and thanks for reading!

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Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Tom Gerencer, a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), is a career expert who has published over 200 in-depth articles on Zety. Since 2016, he has been sharing advice on all things recruitment from writing winning resumes and cover letters to getting a promotion.
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