How to Become an Assistant Retail Manager
by Jim Reams
You've decided on a career in retail, and you're ready to take that next step up the ladder. You have several options. Many positions — such as assistant retail manager, retail shift supervisor or floor leader — only require a high school diploma or the equivalent. However, an associate or bachelor's degree can put you on the fast track to becoming a retail department manager.
The retail sector in the U.S. remains strong despite the challenges of a shift to online shopping, and a career in the retail industry can be a lucrative choice. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 1.8 million first-line supervisors of retail sales workers, and that number is projected to hold steady into the future.
What does an assistant store manager do?
The most critical role of an assistant store manager is to back up the store manager and assist in overseeing all store operations. Assistant store manager responsibilities include:
- Managing deliveries
- Supervising the floor staff
- Recruiting and interviewing potential new staff members
- Customer service
What are the necessary skills for a retail team leader?
As a retail team leader, you'll often be the point of contact for customer complaints or other issues. You may also need to create and maintain positive working relationships with wholesale vendors, which often includes attending vendor trade shows and conventions. This will require you to have excellent communication and diplomacy skills.
Your judgment and interpersonal skills will come into play as you oversee and manage your staff. Staff size may range from a handful of associates in a small store to several hundred in a massive retail operation. Most large stores will divide the retail supervisor staff into various retail department managers. Staff management tasks include scheduling, payroll, training and coaching, and acting as a shift supervisor on the floor.
Critical thinking and math skills are also required, for tasks like:
- Analyzing profit and loss statements
- Calculating commissions for the sales team
- Managing inventory
- Monitoring invoices for mathematical errors
- Calculating sale pricing and price increases
A retail manager is also directly involved in the security process and must monitor potential shoplifting and employee theft situations. When one of these events occurs, you will be involved in dealing with the suspected thieves. This unpleasant, stressful situation demands diplomacy and a firm resolve to come to a satisfactory outcome without escalating the situation. Depending on the severity of the offense, law enforcement may be involved. In the case of employee theft, you may be faced with terminating a staff member's employment.
How do you become an assistant retail manager?
To get a job as an assistant retail manager, you'll usually need to have previous retail experience. You'll also need a strong resume that showcases your knowledge. Your assistant store manager resume should include a summary statement that cites examples of industry-relevant skills and desirable personality traits. You can assemble your resume rather easily when you use one of our Resume Templates, which take a lot of the guesswork out of resume writing.
The experience section of your resume should focus on specific skills you possess, such as cash handling and staff management. Pay close attention to the requirements listed in the job listing. Many retailers now use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to review resumes. To ensure you grab a potential employer's attention and get past the bots, incorporate relevant keywords from their retail job description. Always align your resume to the needs and wants profiled in the job description.
Another way to get your resume noticed is to craft a compelling overview of your skills and experience. Our free Resume Builder offers easy editing tools and pre-written bullets points that will help make your document stand out.
Complement your resume with an outstanding cover letter. Our Cover Letter Templates lets you highlight your entrepreneurial spirit and your ability to handle the responsibilities of being a retail team leader. Cite specific examples of your team management, customer interaction and administrative experiences that make you the ideal fit for the job.