Careers in Retail: Are You Ready for a Store Leadership Role?
by Kylie Ora Lobell
After years of working your way up through retail, you’re ready to apply for a job as a retail store manager. It’s time to showcase all those skills you’ve learned as a retail store associate or sales representative and land the job your experience merits.
You’re likely to see a pay increase when you move up to retail store leadership, where the average annual salary is $47,615. In addition, you’ll probably be eligible for benefits such as medical, dental and vision insurance. With the extra pay comes added responsibility. Because the success of the store is dependent upon you and your team, you can expect to work longer hours than the people you manage, especially during the busy holiday season.
While online sales are expected to continue to impact the retail job outlook, brick-and-mortar retail stores are expected to emphasize customer service as a way to compete. You can see our retail trends report for more information.
If you’re excited to jump into a position as a retail general manager, you first need to make sure your resume will impress the hiring manager. Here are five valuable tips from retail experts to help you craft a successful retail manager resume:
1. Format your resume properly
A hiring manager may only glance at your retail store manager resume, so it must be formatted correctly (get help with via our Customer Service Resume Samples & Pro Writing Tips page). To stand out, utilize the five critical components of a resume. These components are:
- A header with your contact information (due to privacy concerns, we don’t recommend including a mailing address)
- A summary statement of your skills and experience
- A skills section
- A work history section, in reverse chronological order
- An education section
When crafting your resume and writing a custom cover letter, it’s essential to read the job description thoroughly so you can make sure your matching your skills and experience to the needs listed. Get help with writing both documents by using our Resume Templates and Cover Letter Templates.
2. Showcase your hiring skills
An essential function of a retail store leadership job is hiring team members to work for you. It’s critical to highlight this experience on your retail resume.
“Hiring managers are generally looking for a leader that knows how to select great talent and create a high-performance team who deliver a memorable experience that results in repeat business,” says Beth Zurn, leadership consultant and client lead at Talent Plus, Inc.
3. Demonstrate how you effectively led your team
Hiring is just one aspect of employee management. Retail managers are also expected to be able to effectively lead their teams, ensuring that they are providing customers the best service and boosting sales.
Alex Tran, a digital marketing strategist for Hollingsworth and a former retail store manager, says your resume has to show your ability to lead, teach and motivate your employees. Include the number of staff you supervised, as well as any innovative tactics you used to get your team to perform their best. For example, Tran notes that she convinced the companies she worked for to offer incentives to employees, such as gift cards or parties, for doing a great job.
4. Communicate your can-do attitude
Retail can be unpredictable. One minute, your store is quiet, and the next, you’re flooded with customers. It can get especially hectic during sales events or the holiday season, and managers need to jump in and help at a moment’s notice.
According to Damian Birkel, who worked as a retail store manager at Macy’s and founded Professionals in Transition, your resume is a great place to demonstrate you’ll go above and beyond. Show that you have a “willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done,” he says, adding that a store manager has to roll up their sleeves and jump into situations “without hesitation” where help is needed.
5. Show how you practice patience
Jobs in retail store leadership can be demanding. Natalia Baker, a former retail store manager in the pet industry and current head of sales for bioDOGradable, says conveying your patience on your resume is crucial.
“Patience and listening are key to communicating,” Baker says. “Because you are going into a managerial role, both employees and customers will come to you with complaints, so being able to listen patiently is quite important. Most times people just want their concerns to be heard, so be prepared to listen patiently, because that can truly make all the difference between somebody leaving calmly rather than agitated.”
Are you ready to move up that retail ladder? Demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively with a well-written cover letter and well-edited resume. Our Cover Letter Builder and Resume Builder can help take your retail store manager application to the next level and land you that dream job in no time.