Your guide to showcasing retail and leadership achievements in your next job application

Retail management requires a large number of flexible skills and there are various ways to enter this level of the retail sector. As a result, many candidates for Store Manager positions often possess a wide variety of experiences and achievements. This makes for tough competition.

Whether you're looking for a leadership role at Harrods, Tesco, Primark, or any store in between, here's how to write a Retail Manager CV, complete with an example and template.

What is a Retail Manager CV?

A Retail Manager CV, also known as a Store Manager CV, is the document you use when applying for a management position in retail. It offers an overview of your contact details, relevant skills, employment history, and qualifications, in two pages.

A Retail Manager CV will not only demonstrate skills and experience in the retail sector, but will also zoom in on managerial and leadership abilities for an in-store position.

Information to include in a Retail Manager CV

The format of a CV can be adjusted to fit your unique career history. After all, employers recognise that everyone's path is different. However, there are sections which are fundamental and employers expect to see them in a CV for a retail management position. They include:

  • Contact information

  • Personal profile

  • Core competencies or key skills

  • Employment history

  • Education and qualifications

How to write a Retail Manager CV

Consider the following steps carefully when writing your Retail Manager CV:

1. Contact information

Always start your CV with your name, professional title, and contact information. Include your email address, phone number, and your location, in the format of town and county or city.

If you have a LinkedIn profile, you can include a link alongside your contact information. However, be aware that employers will review it, to check how your professional brand appears online and get to know you a little more. This can be an advantage, but only if your profile is up to date.

2. Personal statement

Next is a personal statement, also known as a professional profile. It's a short paragraph of three or so sentences summarising who you are, what value you can bring to the role, and your career ambitions.

This paragraph is essentially an elevator pitch, as potential employers tend to read this first since it's at the top of your CV. Creating maximum impact is essential to entice them to read the rest of your application.

3. Core competencies and key skills

Following this section is an often overlooked addition to a CV, but one that's essential for a management position. To cut through the noise of other applications, introduce a key skills section and bullet point between nine and 12 of the most relevant skills for the vacancy. In this instance, it will be leadership skills and retail management competencies.

To ensure that you reference the skills that employers care about the most, read the job advert and identify the requirements that align with your abilities. Often, the requirements are listed in priority order.

Examples of leadership and retail management skills include:

  • Recruitment and training

  • Organisational skills

  • Motivational skills

  • Fairness and patience

  • Customer service and engagement

  • Complaint handling

  • Communication skills

  • Stock control 

  • Sales management

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Attention to detail

  • Ability to work under pressure

  • Decision making

  • Problem solving

  • Time management

  • Sales analysis

  • POS systems

  • In-store logistics

  • Leadership skills

  • Commercial awareness

  • Prioritisation and delegation

  • Visual merchandising

4. Employment history

The employment history section of your Retail Manager CV will likely be the chunkiest, as it showcases the highlights of your career so far. List your work experience in reverse-chronological order, starting with your latest role. For each position, detail the company name, your job title, dates of employment, a short overview of the role for context, and a list of your key achievements. 

Don't fall into the trap of listing all of your day-to-day responsibilities. This won't set you apart from the competition. On the other hand, your achievements and successes will offer additional insight into your capabilities and demonstrate the value that you can bring to the new role.

And remember, always tailor your achievements to the job advert, to make your career summary as relevant as possible to the employer's needs, and support them with facts and figures.

5. Education and qualifications

Like your employment history, include your education and qualifications in reverse-chronological order. Include the qualification title, the institution you attended or the course provider, and the year of completion . 

While university graduates are often favoured, retail management positions rarely require high-level qualifications. However, employers will typically require candidates with GCSE-level English and Maths or equivalent, so be sure to reference this.

Also include any qualifications or courses specific to leadership or the retail sector.

6. Additional CV sections

We've covered the essential sections of a CV, but there are a few additional sections you may not have thought about - and they may give your retail management CV an extra edge. They include:

  • Technical skills: Show off which retail and POS systems you're confident using

  • Languages: If you can speak any language other than English, include it along with an indication of how fluent you are

  • Accreditations: If you're a member of professional bodies relevant to the retail sector, or to leadership and management, you can add this too

Formatting guidelines for a Retail Manager CV

Here are some best practice tips and tricks for formatting your Retail Manager CV:

  • Length: The standard length of a Retail Manager CV is two A4 pages - no more, no less

  • Font type and size: Simple, contemporary font types are best to aid legibility, such as Calibri or Arial. Keep body text between 10 and 12 point font and headings slightly larger

  • File type: The best CV file type is a Word document, as it will maintain formatting and an applicant tracking system (ATS) will be able to read it accurately

What not to include in a Retail Manager CV

Wondering what to avoid including in a CV for a retail management position?

  • Don't list referees: Asking for references is standard employment practice and is completed once you're hired. Therefore, you don't need to add the line “references available upon request” or list your referees
  • No photos or headshots: Adding a headshot may seem professional and polished, but it's not standard practice on UK CVs because of anti-discrimination laws
  • Don't reference protected characteristics: Sensitive information such as age, race, religion,marital status, sexual orientation, sex or gender reassignment, and disabilities are protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 and do not need to be referenced on your CV
  • Don't include an objective statement: This is considered outdated - and presumably, your objective is to get the job you're applying for!

Retail Manager CV template

If you're looking for a retail management job, here's a template to reference when writing your CV:

Retail Manager CV template

Retail manager CV example

To help steer you in the right direction, here's a completed example of a CV for a Store Manager role:

Retail Manager CV example

Retail is a competitive sector and management positions are highly sought-after, but using these CV tips and tricks will help you on your way to writing a winning CV. If you want to make sure that your CV showcases your retail skills and achievements, as well as your leadership ability, submit your CV for a free review.

Recommended reading

Related Articles: