Start your retail CV with your personal details. Don’t waste space using ‘CV’ or ‘Curriculum Vitae’ as a header – recruiters will already know what it is. Instead, you should use your name as a header, followed by your job title and contact details.
This section doesn’t need to be long and certainly doesn’t need to contain all your personal information. Simply list your name, profession, location, email address and telephone number. It should look something like this:
Location: Town, county
Phone number: 01234 56789
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Using an email address like ‘email@example.com’ isn’t going to look very professional. Choose a simple and professional address. It’s best to just stick with your name where possible.
After your details, you need to include a short personal profile. This doesn’t need to be more than a few sentences long and should introduce who you are.
You should also take this opportunity to outline your career goals and what you can bring to the role. Remember, you need to tailor your personal profile for each role and business you apply to.
Your employment history is your chance to shout about any great experience you’ve had, or places you’ve worked. List only the most relevant experience and do so in reverse chronological order.
Alongside this, include the name of the organisation, the dates you were employed there, your job title and your achievements in the business. Here’s an example of how to lay this out:
Company name, location | Dates you were employed here
Don’t focus solely on writing a list of responsibilities. You also need to talk about how your achievements contributed to the business. Illustrate with examples and figures where you can.
If you don’t have any previous retail experience, you’ll need to focus on highlighting the transferable skills that you can bring to the role. These might include good communication and customer service.
Next on your retail CV, it’s time to outline your credentials. As with your employment history, you should include the name of the institution, the years you attended and the grades you achieved.
These should also appear in reverse chronological order. Here’s an example of how this may look:
Institution name | Dates you attended
Subject name – grade achieved
You don’t need to go into too much detail in this section. However, if you took any qualifications or modules relevant to the role you’re applying to, this is your opportunity to go into more detail about them.
Towards the end of your retail CV, you should include a skills section. This gives you a chance to highlight any soft and hard skills you have that will be beneficial in the role.
Look at what the job description asks for and then begin to compile a list of your relevant skills. You don’t want this to take up too much room – so only choose the key skills.
Depending on the role, you might want to include skills such as customer service, communication, attention to detail, stock taking, pay roll, merchandising, payment and shipping.
Hobbies and interests
This section is optional and should only be included if you have space, or if you have interesting hobbies that are relevant to the role. For example, if you run your own fashion blog and you’re looking to work for a clothing brand, this may be beneficial.
To save room on your retail CV, at the bottom simply put ‘references available upon request’ instead of including the full details. Potential employers can ask for these details later should they need them.
Top tips for how to layout your retail CV
- Make sure you keep your CV clear and concise. Don’t try to pick a design or layout that is too creative or unique. This could actually end up being distracting or off-putting.
- Choose a clear font, in a good size. The temptation can be to make the text smaller to fit more information in. This will only make it harder to read. Calibri or Arial Font size 12 is usually best
- A retail CV shouldn’t need to be any longer than two pages, so make sure you only include the most relevant information.
- Use clear headings and bullet points where you can to break up your details. Recruiters aren’t going to wade through big blocks of text and this could damage your chances of getting the job.
Things to leave out
While some of this may seem obvious, you’d be surprised how much information candidates are willing to share. Writing a CV can be tricky, particularly if you haven’t had much practise! So to help you out, we’ve put together a list of aspects you definitely don’t need to include:
- A picture of yourself
- Age or date of birth
- Marital status
- Gender (though it’s likely your name will give this away!)
- National insurance number – this can leave you open to job scams
- Your full address
Your retail CV needs to be clear and concise. Include only the relevant details about your education and employment history and remember to sell yourself in your personal profile. Getting your CV right from the start will aid you in your job search.
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