Working in Retail

by Ryan

I've worked in retail for 6 years since leaving school.

I wasn't promoted in my previous roles. I was customer service assistant in one role, and general assistant in the other role. I worked in convenience stores.

In my first job, I worked alongside a team of 7, on average. In my second job, I worked alongside 3 or 4 members of staff, on average.

I wish to find a full-time job, during the summer, in retail, to top up my income, and work part-time during term-time.

My ultimate goal/ambition is to seek a managerial role: either as a deputy store manager, store manager, area manager, or supervisor/team leader.

After summer this year, I intend to study HND retail management at college. I hope that by combining experience with a qualification, I will be able to progress into a management position which is currently eluding me.

In both stores, the company decided to do a re-fit - enhance the store in terms of accessibility, manoeuverability inside the store, shelf space, range of products, modernisation, facilities e.g. cash machine.

I don't how to construct convincing statements from my past experience that I can use in job interviews to show a potential employer what I am capable of.

Therefore, I need to construct a punchy personal profile statement which will attract the interest of prospective employers and allow me to achieve my ultimate goal and ambition.

I also need to talk about my responsibilities in my previous roles. I don't know what to do in order to make what I write interesting to a reader.

How can I make my responsibilities 'eye-catching'?
How can I show that I accomplished quite a few things in my previous jobs??

What can I do in order to show an employer that I can be beneficial to their company? The infamous 'What can you do for me? question

If you need any further information so that you can help me, please let me know.

Thank you very much for your help - much appreciated.

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Hi Ryan,

Thanks for making contact. I have several suggestions for you:

  • It is essential that your resume is targeted to a position. Given that you haven't been promoted previously, your first job target will probably be supervisor/team leader

  • Instead of focusing on your responsibilities in your resume, begin to think about your contribution. For example, with with the store re-fit what involvement did you have in higher level stuff - did you participate in planning the new layout, positioning of departments, and positioning of merchandise with categories?

  • While you haven't been promoted have you been asked to do any leadership work at all - such as inducting or training new staff, training existing staff etc? Include these contributions under an achievements heading for each job.

  • Writing a punchy profile statement. Obviously refer again to the content here - career profile. Look at lots of job ads for retail supervisor/team leader. Copy and paste the selection criteria into a blank word document - then do a skills audit against these attributes. Where are your strong points>

  • Pay attention to the types of skills and experiences being sought in team leader job roles. How many of these attributes being advertised do you have? Make sure that you include these key attributes in your profile and accompanying key skills summary.

  • Make sure that your profile is the first heading in your resume, followed by a key skills summary - these headings should be at the top of your resume, the first thing people will read about you.

  • Ultimately Ryan, the key here is targeting your message, and how you decide to position yourself.

    Make sure that you describe in your resume the skills and attributes you have that are associated with a retail supervisor/team leader role.

    Hope this helps,

    Best wishes


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