Nailing Your Remote Retail Job Resume
by Kristin Hackler
Remote workers are in high demand these days. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24 percent of people work from home at least some of the time. That number is likely to rise in the coming years as many companies ― from tech giant Amazon to healthcare organizations like Humana and even the U.S. Department of Agriculture ― look to build up their remote workforce.
Remote retail positions are growing right along with those companies. Take Concentrix, for example, based in Freemont, CA. The company has an employee base of over 90,000 and includes retail in its remote workforce. Scottsdale-based LiveOps employs about 20,000 remote independent agents, with a focus on remote customer service representatives.
Our retail trends report indicates that long-term jobs in the retail industry are projected to grow at a rate of 1.7 percent through 2026 for retail sales roles, and 3.8 percent nationally for first-line supervisors. A variety of remote positions will be available, including:
- Customer service representatives
- Web chat agents
- Data analysts
- Personal shoppers
- Virtual stylists
It sounds pretty appealing to be able to wake up, roll out of bed, and not have to worry about choosing an office-appropriate outfit or get battle-ready for traffic.
But that appeal also means the competition for these roles is fierce. Your resume and cover letter need to stand out. If you’re applying to a larger firm, such as one of the companies mentioned, keep in mind the challenge of getting past the first big hurdle: the company’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
Picking the right keywords is key
Many companies use ATS to pre-screen applications. In fact, an estimated 95% of Fortune 500 companies use ATS screening, so getting it right for the bots is essential if you want a real human to see your resume. To dodge the ATS, your resume needs to be clean, easy to read, and include keywords specific to the job for which you’re applying.
When it comes to keywords, here are a few helpful tips to remember:
- Search the job description for keywords describing the skills and experience the employer wants. If you have these credentials, include them word-for-word in your resume.
- If you can’t use the keywords in their exact form, choose words that are similar to, and complement, those keywords.
- Once you identify the most relevant keywords, mention them an average of three times in your resume and cover letter.
For a remote Data Entry Representative position, for example, your keywords should include technical skills, such as:
- Data Entry Representative
- Information processing
- Data processing
- Order processing
You’ll also want to highlight your retail skills, such as:
- Communication skills
- Comfortable phone and email demeanor
- Ability to multitask
Be sure to use the words “retail” and “remote” and, if applicable, “independent contractor” or “independent contracting.” Above all, keep it simple. Demonstrate the areas you excel in, emphasize the skill sets included in the job description, and avoid unprofessional or hard-to-read fonts.
Making your remote retail resume stand out
As you learn how to write a resume, be sure you’ve included these five key components:
- Header: Include your name and contact information, as well as a professional email address (due to recent privacy issues related to identity theft, we do not recommend including your mailing address).
- Summary statement: This is your first impression, so make it stick. In a few sentences, describe your skills and how they’ll benefit the company to which you’re applying. This statement should be targeted and unique to the position and organization ― it should not be a generic summary that you’re sending to ten other companies.
- Skills: Follow your summary with a bulleted list of skills that relate to what the employer wants. Keep it clean and to the point, and list practical skills as well as a few relevant soft skills, such as communication and time management skills. Be sure to use the same language the job ad uses when describing your skills (both technical and soft).
- Work history: Don’t just list what you did in your role; celebrate it. If you’ve worked in retail before, highlight your accomplishments and skills. If you’ve held a remote position, note your successes. Explain your work history as a series of achievements, starting with your most current role first and progressing backward.
- Education: This is important, but today’s employers are more likely to care about your experience. List your educational accomplishments at the end of your resume, and include relevant volunteer work, societies or publications you were involved with.
With so many people craving the freedom of a remote job these days, you’re going to have plenty of competition. That’s why a well-rounded, highly specific resume and cover letter are crucial if you want to catch a hiring manager’s eye.