Valuable Retail Skills You Want on Your Resume

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Valuable Retail Skills You Want on Your Resume

Retail can be described as the selling of goods or services to clients via various channels of distribution in order to get a profit. The word retailer is normally used when a service provider satiates the small orders of a huge number of persons who are customers instead of bigger orders of a small group of corporate, wholesale or government clientele.

A Background on Retail

Retail shops and markets go way back. Most of the earliest retailers were nomadic peddlers. Over the years, retail shops were transformed from ‘rude booths’ to the advanced malls we have currently. Some modern retailers mostly come up with strategic level decisions, for instance, market to be served, type of store, customer service, optimal product assessment, and other supporting services.

As soon as the strategic retail plan is set, most retailers come up with the retail mix which incorporates price, product, promotion, personnel, place, and presentation. In this modern era, a significant number of retailers are looking to reach broader markets by selling their products or services via many channels like online retailing and brick-and-mortar shops. Digital technologies are also transforming the manner in which consumers purchase goods and services. Retailing support services comprise advisory services, delivery services, and provision of credit, among others.

Retail shops come in different types and different contexts, for example, big indoor shopping malls and strip shopping centers in residential streets. There are around 3.7 million retail businesses in America. Shopping streets can limit traffic to pedestrians. Most times, a shopping street has a partial or complete roof to establish a more comfortable environment that can protect customers from different kinds of weather conditions like winds or severe temperatures. Forms of non-shop retailing comprise online retailing – a kind of e-commerce utilized for business to consumer transactions and mail order.

Working in retail
Retail jobs are multipurpose, high-pressure jobs. They require individuals who are adaptable, dynamic, and possess a diverse set of crucial skills. For you to stand out amongst your peers, you need to work on your resume until it shines. Your retail skills should shine by placing them in context. Do not just mention that you have excellent organization skills, back them up with examples of how you’ve utilized those skills.

There’s a saying in business that goes like, ‘the customer is always right (even when they are not).’ You can spend a lot of time cleaning up the messes made by customers. It’s easy to concentrate on the negatives, but they won’t help your career. On the other hand, working in the retail sector enables you to gain experience and highly transferable skills that you can utilize as you move between industries.

Even though jobs in the retail sector may not need a formal education, retailers are on the lookout for job seekers with strong skill sets. Selling your skills on your resume is important. With this in mind, below are important skills you’ll want on your resume:

  • Work Ethic

  • Attention to Detail

  • Business Awareness

  • Communication Skills

  • Customer Service Skills

  • Dependability

  • IT Skills

  • Interpersonal Skills

  • Numeracy

  • Selling Skills

  • Effective Time Management Skills

  • The Capacity to Stay Composed in Demanding Circumstances

  • Leadership

  • Resilience

  • Organization

  • Initiative

  • Cultural Awareness

Work Ethic

Even when you are tired and have been standing for something like 6 hours straight without taking a break, you’ll still have to be cheerful, put on a smile, and act as if your shift has just begun. Consistency with service is essential, and it really assists you to build a strong work ethic since you’ll be tested to perform your best at all times.

Attention to Detail

Retail workers have to concentrate on detail, whether it is about ensuring that a customer gets the exact change, the store is fully stocked or even the clothing on the display is arranged properly. Having an eye for detail is a crucial skill, especially when you are trying to attract customers to an item.

Other skills and tasks related to detail include stock checking, inventory, window displays, visual merchandising, and stocking and restocking shelves.

Business Awareness

This skill involves having an understanding of how a business or industry functions. Retail workers ought to fully understand the company they work for, the products being sold, and the kinds of customers that buy their products.
Having this kind of business skill will make you a strong retail employee. Other skills related to business awareness include:

  • Awareness of trends

  • Marketing

  • Management

  • Having a comprehensive knowledge of products

  • Loss prevention

  • Merchandise control

  • Operations

  • Product rotation

  • Receiving

  • Purchasing

  • Product sourcing

  • Ordering

Communication Skills

Communication skills are essential for almost every retail position. Retail workers ought to be able to speak with customers, other employees, buyers, and also their employers. Part of communication implies speaking clearly and effectively to people.

Valuable Retail Skills You Want on Your Resume

At the heart of the retail industry is communication. It does not matter what you are selling, it is essential that you can read both product descriptions and talk about pertinent goods and services. Other skills related to communication include:

  • Listening to customer complaints

  • Greeting customers

  • Responding to clients’ questions

  • Communicating with other buyers and stores

  • Explaining products to customers

  • Taking orders

When it comes to written communication, you can have a list of transitional words for writing essays ready to make your piece stand out from the competition. If this presents a challenge, seek the help of a professional, you’ll be glad you did!

Customer Service

Great retail workers know that communication is about more than verbal exchanges. It is also about having an environment whereby clients feel valued and appreciated, even if they are being difficult.

You need to take steps to advance your customer service skills by learning to anticipate customer responses. Come up with different lists of common scenarios and craft your responses to clients’ questions, complaints or comments. When you try them out in practice, ensure that you listen to your customers and make them feel at ease.


In the retail business, it is all about showing up. If you inquire any HR person, they will tell you that 80% of discharges are as a result of absenteeism or tardiness. It’s important to note that if you do not show up, failure follows.

When you mention in your resume or when called for an interview that any time your boss required a replacement or your team was down one employee, you were there shows how reliable you are.

IT Skills

Most retail jobs will incorporate some use of IT; therefore, it is crucial that you demonstrate some skill in information technology whenever you apply for a job in retail. As a retailer, you might be conversant with the electronic register or sale system. Also, you might utilize a management information system to examine purchasing and other client trends.

Valuable Retail Skills You Want on Your Resume

IT will most likely play a vital role, no matter the job. IT skills required in retail include cash registers, Point of Sale Systems (POS), analyzing data, assisting customers with online orders, and cashiering.

Interpersonal Skills

Working in the retail business entails interacting with other people regularly like customers, fellow employees, and employers. Those in retail have to put on a friendly face and be patient with frustrated clients. Essential interpersonal skills in the retail business include friendliness, positive attitude, flexibility, teamwork, team building, and relationship building. For tips on being the ideal team player, check out this article.


This is another critical skill in retail. You ought to be able to make sense of numbers for you to add up discounts, calculate prices, give change to clients, count inventory, etc. In addition, you may need to compute sales values or approximate stock required based on consumer data trends. Skills related to numeracy include inventory, pricing, price markdowns, money handling, math skills, cash management, cash accountability, credit cards, credit, credit approval, credit management, cash handling, check approval, calculating taxes, and check processing.

Valuable Retail Skills You Want on Your Resume

For more tips and steps for learning how to take a physical count inventory, read this article.

Selling Skills

To be an excellent retailer, you should be able to sell items. Retail workers ought to be persistent and persuasive with customers, convincing them that particular products are worth buying. Retail workers must have the ability to explain products clearly and then market them to customers. Skills related to this category include:

  • Buying

  • Closeouts

  • Arranging product displays

  • Accomplishing sales goals

  • Encouraging customers to consider accessories

  • Advising customers

  • Illustrating products

  • Creating a quick rapport with customers

  • Frequent shopper programs

  • Explaining the advantages of merchandise

  • Emphasizing promotional products to customers

  • Communicating product features and benefits

  • Converting shoppers into loyal customers

  • Assisting customers in locating merchandise

  • Suggesting other items when products are not available

Suggestive selling is also a highly desired skill. Read this article for the best tips on suggestive selling.

Effective Time Management Skills

For example, your Monday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift is followed by Tuesday’s noon to 7 p.m. and Wednesday’s 4 p.m. to a close. A flexible schedule compels you to learn how to use your time to get everything done. Maybe you are on the lookout for a more permanent position or you are still attempting to fit your tennis games 3 times a week. Working a job with ever-changing hours compels you to always be on top of things.

Valuable Retail Skills You Want on Your Resume

If you have worked with employee time management software, make sure to mention those skills. Many retail owners are no longer using excel sheets to keep track of their employees, so having experience in these technologies can make you stand out from the other candidates.

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The Capacity to Stay Composed in Demanding Circumstances

Picture this. You are behind the cash. The customer line is halfway through the store, and you’re ringing through one client’s purchase while another one is showing you damaged products.
Every industry is going to present you with situations that require you to handle several tasks at once. Having such previous experience can only assist you. Think of the most challenging situations you have faced in your retail career and how you prevailed over those circumstances. They might come in handy when you’re called for a job interview some day.


It does not matter whether you are a retail manager or shift supervisor, you have to have leadership skills. Without this crucial asset, you might not have a chance at succeeding in a managerial role in the retail business.

Valuable Retail Skills You Want on Your Resume

To advance your leadership skills, you need to work on creating an environment that focuses on teamwork and goal achievement. Make sure you tell your employees (if you’re the retail manager) what you expect of them and assist them to find a way to meet the objectives you’ve set.


Even if you love your job, each day comes with its challenges, whether small or big. It doesn’t matter whether you are running out of time to meet a sales target or you are understaffed on a busy day, you ought to learn to be resilient. To achieve this, you have to think on your feet, make decisions quickly, and not to take things personally.


This is a must-have skill in all retail career levels. However, organization becomes crucial when you start to manage employees and shape company objectives (in this role, your day to day tasks become more complex).

Valuable Retail Skills You Want on Your Resume

Rather than spending the day on the sales floor, you might move from cashiering and organizing displays, to training employees and communicating with upper management. To keep everything in order, you require a system, a schedule, and also an ability to multitask.


What did you do when problems cropped up? What if products were damaged before they were paid for or a customer suddenly fell ill? Think about how you reacted to unforeseen situations and what you learned from those experiences. If you mention that you came up with suggestions on how things could be improved, it will demonstrate that you are a good self-starter. If your ideas were taken into consideration and they benefited the company, so much the better.

Cultural Awareness

If you’ve worked with individuals from various diverse backgrounds in your retail career, this could be a great asset. Most big graduate employers are multinational and want to employ people who can build rapport with colleagues and clients from all walks of life. In addition, small companies will consider cultural awareness as an advantage.


In a nutshell, working in the retail sector will provide you with life experiences and skills that you might not get anywhere else. Make sure you mention them in your resume and during the interview, as they will greatly assist you in your career.

These retail job skills listed above will help you stand out from the crowd, making it easy for you to find the right retail job. Still looking for a retail job to apply to? Check out the top 10 U.S states that are hiring in the retail industry: