Taking on a Corporate Leadership Role in Retail
by Kylie Ora Lobell
After gaining all those retail customer service skills and proving yourself time and time again, you’re applying to be a retail district manager. It’s an exciting time. You’ll have the opportunity to lead a larger team, showcase your exemplary skills, and earn a higher salary.
According to Glassdoor, the average pay for a retail district manager in the United States is $74,624 per year. And the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts strong growth in retail positions in the coming years. To learn more about the current state of retail in the United States, take a glance at our retail trends report.
Before you take that next step up the corporate ladder, you need to polish up your resume and create a captivating cover letter that proves you’re ready to take charge (you can do the polishing and creating with our Resume Templates and Cover Letter Templates).
How to create a standout resume for corporate leadership
Whether you’re looking for a role as a retail district manager, a retail regional manager, a retail area manager or a divisional manager, your resume should include the five critical components to differentiate yourself from the competition:
- A header with your contact information (for privacy reasons, do not include your mailing address)
- A summary statement of your skills and experience
- A skills section
- A work history section
- An education section
When getting familiar with how to write a resume and a cover letter, remember this key piece of advice: Read each job listing carefully so you can make sure you incorporate all required skills and experiences into both documents. Also, be sure to tailor each resume and cover letter to the specifics profiled in job advertisements.
Other key features of a corporate leadership resume:
1. Share employee relations information
As a retail area manager in a corporate leadership position, you’re going to be overseeing all the employees in your district. According to Mandy Fard, a certified professional resume writer with Market Connections and a former retail manager, you need to list your experience with hiring, training, leading and evaluating a team.
2. Demonstrate business travel experience and territorial knowledge
As a retail store manager, you didn’t have to know much about the surrounding region. That changes when you become a retail district manager. According to Fard, you must be able to communicate familiarity with the geographic area in which your stores are located. And since you’ll often be away from the office in your new retail district manager role, include any business travel experience you have in your resume.
3. Cite the important metrics
Hiring managers for corporate leadership positions want to see that you have the hard numbers to back up your experience and skills. “It is very important to quantify achievements and list results,” says Fard. “Quantifying one’s accomplishments on a resume is the best way to make it stand out above the rest.”
Nick Glassett, founder of OriginLeadership.com and a district manager for Journeys, shares his advice on metrics. He says to include the total number of stores you oversee, the volume of sales you’ve generated and the number of employees you manage.
4. Showcase your soft corporate leadership skills
In addition to quantifiable metrics, don’t forget to add soft skills to your resume. Fard recommends including your ability to communicate remotely, as well as your analytical, problem solving, conflict resolution and negotiation skills.
According to Glassett, other essential soft skills to list are your ability to mentor the growth of other employees and facilitate goals. “Being a [divisional manager] is a tough job and not for everyone, so other skills to discuss are creative problem solving and stress tolerance.”
5. Highlight awards you’ve earned
Note any honors or awards you or your store have received. These achievements indicate your record as a standout manager. Glassett says you should consider mentioning:
- Record sales under your leadership
- If you earned employee of the month status
- If you achieved high satisfaction ratings from customers
- If you garnered other accolades from your managers