Retailers typically wear many hats. Many retailing professionals are generalists, and their skills and experience can easily transfer into many different career options -- both in and out of retail.
Skills That Will Get You Noticed
A retailer often performs many transferable functions. Some of these are career fields in themselves; others play major roles in different careers. These include:
- Administrative functions
- Customer service
- Information technology
- Public relations
- Stock work
- Store management
The key is to pinpoint the desirable skills for your target job, and then craft a resume that will market you for that new job.
Shaping Your Resume
Once you know the kind of job you want, you need to customize your resume to sell yourself to the employer.
Not all resumes look alike. Functional resumes emphasize what you can do rather than what positions you have held. Choose this type if you're changing from sales clerk to buyer, for example, because this format shows off your transferable skills better and takes the focus off your old job titles. Chronological resumes summarize your work experience year by year. These are good if you're staying in the same field, especially if you've been upwardly mobile. You can also use a combination of functional and chronological resumes.
Action verbs give your resume power and direction. Try to begin all statements with an action verb. Here are good ones for various retail skills:
"Remove everything that starts with 'responsibilities included' in your resume," says Yana Parker, author of The Damn Good Resume Guide. "Replace that with on-the-job accomplishments."
Here's one good way to do this: Fill your resume with "PAR" statements. PAR stands for Problem-Action-Result. Here's how it works:
- State the problem that existed in your workplace.
- Describe what you did about it.
- Specify the beneficial results.
Here's an example: 'Increased lagging department sales 17 percent to 23 percent each quarter in one year by redesigning displays, improving advertising and enhancing customer service.'"
Resumes are your way of advertising yourself to potential employers. Make sure that your impression is a positive one. Resumes are designed to capture a potential employer's interest, so they will want to interview you. A good resume helps the employer predict how well you might perform in your desired future job, and how well you may fit within the company's style and philosophy.