Write a CV that’ll get you a job before the ink on your degree is dry. With templates and expert tips to get you hired fast, even without experience.
What if I told you there was a way of transforming your job application from a dusty, shop-soiled leftover that nobody wants into this season’s must-have item?
There is. You just need a well-written retail / sales assistant CV. And you’re about to learn exactly how to do it. In less time than it takes to print out a receipt, you’ll have a CV as good as the one below.
Read on and you’ll see a professional retail CV example you can adjust and make yours. Plus, you’ll learn an easy formula for writing a CV for sales assistant jobs that will land you 10x more interviews than any other CV you’ve written in the past.
Here’s a retail CV example made with our builder.
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Sample CV made with our builder—See more CV samples here.
Looking for other CV writing advice? Read more here:
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- How to Write a CV [Professional UK Examples]
- Skills Based CV Format [Complete Guide]
- 20+ Free CV Templates to Download
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Sample Sales Assistant CV Template
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Customer-focused sales assistant with 2+ years of retail experience. Able to rapidly gain detailed product knowledge to offer expert advice on the most appropriate products and services for customers’ needs. Proven record of excellent sales figures. Seeking a role in the fashion retail sector to further deliver outstanding service.
Metropolitan Outfit Co, Clapham, London
- Maintained sales floor and processed payments at high footfall fashion retail outlet that achieved £1m+ in annual sales.
- Took charge of opening and closing procedures, POS systems, stock control and visual merchandising, contributing to award for best merchandised store in London region.
- Regularly exceeded sales targets by 10+% through attentive customer service and product recommendations.
- Operated online ordering and reservation system, ensuring all orders processed and completed within advertised fulfilment times.
- Provided training to new team members, ensuring they were fully compliant with company policy and expected levels of service.
BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Development, September 2018-June 2021 (Expected graduation date)
University of the Arts London
A-levels: Applied Art & Design, Fashion & Textiles, English Literature. September 2016–June 2018
Stockford Academy, London, UK
9 GCSEs including Mathematics and English, September 2014–June 2016
Stockford Academy, London, UK
- Visual merchandising: merchandising shop window and shop floor to maximise sales opportunities, and highlight promotions and new product lines.
- Product knowledge: comprehensive knowledge of products with ability to make expert recommendations to customers.
- POS Systems: mobile and static POS systems knowledge including processing online payments and end of shift reconciliation.
- Interpersonal skills: dealt with frustrated customers in a calm and friendly manner, resolving complaints as first point of contact wherever possible.
- Teamwork: assisting colleagues to achieve high-quality customer service, proactively opening new payment points during busy periods and volunteering to cover absences.
- Regional Customer Service Achievement Award, 2019
Now, here’s the job-winning retail CV formula:
1. Use the Best Format for Your Retail CV
Sales assistants work for retail companies and are responsible for communicating with customers and ensuring their needs are met. The purpose of your retail CV is to prove you have the customer service skills and product knowledge to efficiently serve customers and help your employer maximise sales.
The retail industry is the UK’s largest private-sector employer with almost three million workers. There’s a lot of competition out there for retail jobs, so how can you stand out in the 8 seconds it takes a hiring manager to read your CV? Start off with the right retail CV format, here’s how.
- Choose the right type of CV format. The best choice for a retail CV is chronological format. It’s the one hiring managers are most familiar with and shines a spotlight on the most important thing. Your work experience.
- Make a good first impression with your CV layout. Set your page margins to one inch on each side, left align the text (don’t use justification) and double space between each section. This creates plenty of white space, which makes your CV easy to read and guides the eye to the most important sections.
- Choose a professional CV font. Arial, Helvetica and Cambria are three solid choices.
- Keep it short and sweet. The best CV length is no more than two pages.
- Save your CV as a PDF to keep your formatting intact.
- Don’t include a photo, or any personal info like your marital status or date of birth.
Read more about CV Layout: How to Layout a Professional CV
2. Write a Retail CV Personal Statement
A well-merchandised shop window catches the eye and entices customers inside to browse further. Your CV personal statement or personal profile should do the same thing. It’s a quick-fire promotion for the rest of your CV that should grab the hiring manager’s attention and keep them reading. It should only be 3–4 sentences long and it needs to answer these three questions.
- Who are you?
- What can you offer to the employer?
- What are your career goals?
Answer the questions differently depending on how much retail experience you’ve got. If you’re an experienced retail worker then follow these tips to write your personal profile.
- Make a master list of all your strengths as a retail assistant. Think of it as your own product features list, promoting your professional experience, skills and abilities.
- Then refer back to the job advert, check the job description, list the skills and experience it requires and match the results with 3–4 points from your own list.
- Use these points to write a personal profile targeted to the retail job you’re applying for.
If you’re writing a student CV or a CV for a retail assistant with no experience, then do this.
- Again, make a master list of skills and experience. Think of your education and any other jobs you’ve had. Then list those that are transferable to being a sales assistant, like customer service and numeracy.
- Then choose 3–4 items from your list that are relevant to the job and combine them with passion for the role, and knowledge about the employer to prove that you’ll be a good fit.
- Put this all together into a personal profile targeted to the job.
Whatever your experience, you’ll find this section easier to write if you leave it until last. It’s much easier when you’ve got your experience, skills and education ready to refer to.
Now for the main event. Your work experience section.
Check out this guide for even more tips on how to write your personal profile: How to Write a CV Personal Statement [20+ Examples]
3. Stock up an Impressive Retail Work Experience Section
You’ve got an angry shopper demanding a refund, other customers queueing out the door and your weekly stock delivery has just arrived. And to put the icing on the cake the district manager has just arrived for an inspection. It takes experience to handle that sort of retail chaos. Here’s how to prove it.
- List your most recent retail gig first and work back from there. That’s why this type of CV format is called reverse chronological.
- For each entry, include your job title, the name of your employer and place of work, dates of employment (use “present” as the end date if you work there now), then up to six bullet points describing the job.
- Begin your bullet points with a snappy CV action word like undertook, operated or created, to give them added impact.
- Include numbered achievements, don’t just list your duties. In other words, don’t just say what you did, prove how well you did it.
- Use the PAR (Problem Action Result) formula and accomplishment statements to structure your bullet points.
- Target your CV work experience section to the job description. Note the skills and experience the employer is looking for and match your experience to what’s required.
Want even more good CV advice? Check out our guide: 20+ CV Tips and Advice for Job Application Success
4. Include an Education Section
I admit it, for a retail CV this section carries less weight than your work experience. But hiring managers still expect to see an education section that’s correctly formatted and contains certain essential information. Here’s what to do.
- If you’re a school-leaver, then include the name of the school, its location, and the years you attended. Include individual subjects for your A-levels. But for your GCSEs you only need to list Maths and English, many employers look for passes in these subjects as a minimum requirement.
- If you went to uni, or you’re still studying, include the university name, years attended, and the name of your degree. Put an expected graduation date if you haven’t graduated yet.
- If you’re still studying, or just finished and don’t have much experience then change the order of your CV and put your education before your work experience section.
5. Show Off Your Retail CV Skills
Product knowledge, patience, POS systems. Just a few of the skills you need for a retail sales assistant CV. There’s not enough space on your CV to list them all, so how do you choose the ones that’ll get you hired? Just follow these tips.
- Refer back to the job advert, read the job description and list which skills are needed.
- Now make a list of your own skills. Check out your work experience and education sections for guidance.
- Then compare the two lists, see what matches, and put 5–10 of those on your CV.
- Include a mix of soft skills, hard skills and technical skills.
- For each skill, add a single sentence showing how you demonstrate it. Don’t just show, tell. E.g. POS Systems: Mobile and static POS systems knowledge including processing online payments and end of shift reconciliation.
These skills would look great on a sales assistant CV.
Retail CV Skills
- POS systems
- Visual merchandising
- Loss prevention
- Product knowledge
- Interpersonal skills
- Communication skills
- Leadership skills
- Complaint resolution
- Time management
- Working under pressure
When making a CV in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your CV here.
When you’re done, Zety’s CV builder will score your CV and tell you exactly how to make it better.
6. Add Additional Sections to Your Retail CV
Here are some scary sales figures. There are 118 people applying for every job and only 20% of those land an interview. If you want to be one of them you’ve got to outshine the competition. And a great way of doing that is adding extra sections. Here are some ideas.
- Add a languages section. Foreign language skills are needed at all levels of the workforce and make a great addition to a retail CV.
- Volunteering is also a powerful addition. 82% of managers prefer to hire people with volunteering experience.
- You could also include projects, achievements, awards and hobbies. Just make sure it’s relevant and helps to make you stand out as a candidate.
7. Consider a Cover Letter
Writing a cover letter can seem like more work than it’s worth. But they’re still a great way of improving your chances of success. In fact, more than half of employers say they’re a must-have.
This is how to write a cover letter.
- Use the correct cover letter format.
- Start your cover letter with a ‘hook’. Show passion for the job and the employer and include an impressive work-based achievement.
- Show how your skills and experience will make you a high-performing retail sales assistant and make sure you tailor this to the job you’re applying for.
- Include a cover letter ending with a call to action asking to meet in person or have a phone call to discuss the role further.
- Stick to the right cover letter length.
Follow up on your job application. If you haven’t heard back within a week, get in touch with the employer by email or phone. It can make all the difference.
Want a more detailed checklist for your cover letter? Read more: What to include in a cover letter for a job?
And that’s it. You’re ready to take your pick of the best retail and sales assistant jobs going.
Plus, a great cover letter that matches your CV will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:
Thanks for reading. Got any job hunting tips and tricks you’d like to share? Is there anything you’d like me to explain in more detail? Are you trying to write a retail CV with no experience If you’ve got any questions at all, please use the comments section below. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.