25+ Retail Skills for the Retail Worker Resume

retail skills

Retail associates and retail workers run the U.S. The retail industry in America as more than 29 million people part of it. With more than 42 million jobs. Making it one of the most highly sought after industries for entry-level workers as well as those with prior management experience.

The sheer scale of retail positions in the U.S. makes for incredible job opportunities. But what will make you stand out as a potential candidate? Your first guess is ensuring that your resume contains the right set of skills that retail managers are looking for.

Deciding which retail skills to list on your resume can be difficult. But this guide is going to help you breakdown which skills you might be suitable for and how to implement them as part of your job application assets.

Before We Get Into Retail Skills

Before jumping into vital retail skills for retail associates and retail workers, we need to look at what makes a great retail employee.

There are a few areas of interest which make great retail workers.

Great customer service

Being able to provide incredible customer experience and customer support which is representative of the brand is a key part of being a great retail worker.

Great people skills

Having the ability to communicate to someone, even when they’re unhappy with their product or service, is a vital component of being a great retail worker.

Knowledge of the product or service

Being familiar with the product or service is key. If you work at a lighting store and a customer walks into the retail location asking you about which light fixture is best for them, will you know how to help?

Administrative abilities

On top of managing the floor and customers, are you able to handle your administrative tasks? Like assisting with payroll, scheduling, purchasing, merchandise control, quality control, and more? Retail workers are tasked with having regular office type duties on top of their customer service duties.

Incredible communication abilities

It’s not simply communicating to customers. You’ll be challenged with communicating and coordinating with other retail associates and retail workers on the floor, while also communicating with customers. This puts pressure and strain on you as a worker. Those with high degrees of communication talents can do this.

Ability to operate technology

Technology today isn’t just a Point of Sale (POS) System, it may be mobile-based barcode scanners and inventory management systems that you may need to operate. Do you have a basic understanding of how to learn new technology?

Ability to sell

Great retail workers aren’t simply those with knowledge of the product, they are those who can help assist in the sales of a product. Using various sales techniques, as a retail worker, you should be able to contribute to store sales and revenue.

While there are a few more key functional areas that make up great retail workers. These are your most important. And your skills apply to these functions you might serve while on the job.

Why is this important? If you decide you want to speak to a particular skill that isn’t on our list, be sure it’s a skill that applies to one of these functional groups.

Retail Skills List

These skills can be listed on your resume, brought up in your interview or listed on your cover letter using prior work experience storytelling. If you aren’t sure how to do this, be sure to continue reading and find out the best way to implement these skills based on your needs.

Administrative Tasks

Sales Skills

Teamwork Skills

Customer Service Skills

Flexibility Skills

While all of these skills are simplified for you to be able to list them on your resume, consider the additional, more detailed functions of a retail worker. From being able to be tasked with sales goals, to the ability to meet those goals. And from being able to establish fast rapport with customers, to being able to handle unhappy customers and addressing their preferences.

There are an infinite number of ways that your particular job function might require certain details that you might want to allude to. The best way to try and target your skills is to read through the job description or online job posting. From there, you should be able to find the responsibilities portion of the job description. And that can be a great indicator for what types of skills you should address in your job application.

How to Implement These Skills on Your Retail Job Application

There are four key areas where you can implement these skills on your job application assets. They are considered: your cover letter, your resume summary, your resume experience, and in your job interview.

You might be thinking, well the job interview isn’t the job application. While that’s true, it is imperative that we align your skills in your resume and cover letter with the questions that you might be asked when you interview. This will create a linear path for you to be able to speak to prior work experience and increase your chances of getting a job offer.

On your cover letter

When speaking to particular skills on your cover letter, you shouldn’t simply list them. For example, you wouldn’t want to create a bullet list of skills and have one of them be “Respectfulness Skills”.

The more ideal way to implement these retail skills onto your cover letter is to consider prior work experience and business scenarios where you had to exhibit one of these skills. Was it an unhappy customer that came into the store yelling? How did you handle that? Was it a disagreement between two retail sales associates? How did you handle that?

Speak to real experiences and your skills will be communicated as a byproduct of that.

On your resume summary

A resume summary is a great way to start your resume. It is a three to four sentence long opening statement that paraphrases your prior work experience. If you can, allude to the skills that you’ve had to use in prior work experiences.

For example, you might want to mention that you know one of the most valuable skills for retail workers is to be able to establish fast rapport with customers. Stating that is a great way to show that you understand the needs of the job and have obtained the skills necessary to drive success in the position.

On your resume experience

Resume experience should contain bullet points that speak to your prior job functions and responsibilities. If you can, integrate the retail skills into this portion of your resume. This will align your cover letter, resume summary, and future job interview questions perfectly.

In your interview

There’s no better way to show your soft skills and talents than to perform them in the job interview. Is the interviewer asking you questions? Do you want to be sure you clearly understand the interviewer? Then maybe you exhibit active listening skills while they’re doing that.

Think through prior business scenarios and how you might be able to communicate that to your interviewer in order to allude to your soft skills.

These scenarios should contain a business challenge, the soft skills you used to overcome the business challenge, and the outcome or success that came from a resolution of the challenge.

Retail Positions These Skills Are Applicable For

If you aren't sure whether or not your job requires some of the retail skills mentioned in our list, here is a shortlist of job titles which they're suitable for.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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