Sales Assistant CV: Example for Retail & How to Write

Sales jobs are like anything else. There are the fantastic ones you’d crawl down a High Street filled with broken glass to get to, the OK ones that are nothing to write home about, and the ones that will have you scribbling secret letters to Amnesty International ‘before they realise you left the sales floor’.

 

Help the employer who just wandered into your shop choose the right candidate for that dream job they have burning a hole in their pocket. That job with the flexible hours, competent management, polite customers, and products you actually enjoy reading up on at home. It’s worth the hard sell.

 

Scroll down to see a sales assistant CV example that’s better than four out of five in the window display. Learn how to make yours at least as effective at landing interviews. Follow along with UK-specific sales assistant CV templates and plenty of up-to-date advice to make sure your dream job chooses you.

 

Create an effective CV in minutes. Choose a professional CV template and fill in every section of your CV in a flash using ready-made content and expert tips.

 

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Sales assistant CV example

 

John Elliott

077 2222 2222

john.elliott@lcmail.co.uk

linkedin.com/in/johnelliott

 

Personal statement

 

Dedicated and entrepreneurial sales assistant with over 5 years’ experience in retail, including both fashion and consumer electronics. Retained approximately £25,000 of business for Oak & Fire by carefully monitoring and anticipating trends and adjusting inventory flow accordingly. Looking to put proven sales skills and entrepreneurial attitude to good use in helping Weiss & Weiss continue to expand onto the UK market.

 

Work experience

 

Retail Sales Assistant

Oak & Fire Menswear, Southam

June 2018—present

  • Achieved a return rate 40% lower than the historical average by advising customers on style and sizing.
  • Handled cash, card and mobile payments to a total estimated value of over £160,000 without incident.
  • Liaised with other Oak & Fire shops to predict which styles would sell the fastest and adjusted stock orders accordingly, enjoying an 89% in-stock indicator as a result.
  • Reorganised the business-shirt inventory, saving customers 2–6 minutes of waiting every time they request a size that is not out on the floor.

 

Sales Assistant

Alf’s Electrical, Southam

November 2016—May 2018

  • Exceeded 94% of all monthly sales targets, with 100% of targets being at least met.
  • Moved from department to department gradually building up in-depth knowledge of over 300 products.
  • Reduced returns by almost 10% by encouraging customers to come back or call the shop if they had installation, etc., problems and fielding their questions.
  • Kept track of margins on higher-ticket items and used a combination of discounts and up-sells to bring in 20% more profit per sale on average.

 

Education

 

NVQ 2 in Retail Operations, 2017

Kane Ward College, Southam

 

A-levels: English, Geography, Mathematics, 2013–2015

Dellaster High School, Southam

 

8 GCSEs (including Mathematics and English), 2011–2013

Dellaster High School, Southam

 

Skills

 

  • Point-of-sale software: comfortable using Square and Magestore POS on a daily basis.
  • Inventory management software: used Cin7 to process and receive shipments.
  • Interpersonal skills: used an open and friendly yet professional demeanour to put customers at ease and improve their shopping experience.
  • Attention to detail: processed customers purchases quickly and accurately, being sure to double-check all details before finalising.
  • Team player: maintained close, collegial relations with co-workers in spite of the competitive nature of much of our work.
  • Organisation: kept workplace neat and tidy at all times, often adapting habits to make things run more smoothly for everyone involved.

 

Languages

 

  • French – B2
  • Spanish – beginner

 

Awards

 

  • Secret Shopper’s Choice, awarded by Oak & Fire Head Office, 2019
  • Alf’s Electrical Salesperson of the Quarter, Q3 & Q4 2017 & Q1 2018

 

Now you know what a perfect CV looks like. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making your sales assistant CV at least as impressive:

 

1. Start your sales assistant CV off with a personal statement

 

First impressions last. They’re important, that’s why your sales assistant personal statement has to make recruiters sit up and take notice from the get go. A good CV personal statement will do three things well:

  • Introduce you as a sales professional—your character traits and specialisation
  • Show what you have to offer—by being very specific about what you achieved for your previous employers
  • Describe your goals—in such a way that it’s clear that they line up with the company’s goals.

 

You’ll be writing a new personal statement for each new job application so it’s a good idea to make the whole process as simple and reproducible as possible. You can generate a new personal statement simply by answering the following questions in a total of 3–4 sentences or about 50–150 words:

  • What kind of sales assistant are you?
  • What areas have you been working in and for how long?
  • What’s your most impressive / relevant on-the-job achievement?
  • (Optional) What’s your most unique achievement?
  • What are you hoping to be able to achieve in this job? (Not for yourself but for your employer).

 

Your whole application, including your sales assistant personal statement, is likely to be processed by an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) before a human being even lays eyes on its contents. There are some things you can do to grease the ATS wheels:

  • Mention the company you’re applying to by name
  • Mention the job title you’re applying for by name
  • Use the same keywords as the job advert—if you have ‘teamwork’, but they’re looking for ‘a team player’, then find a way to use the keywords ‘team player’ instead.

 

Your sales assistant personal statement clearly comes first in your CV, but it’s best to write it last (it's basically a CV summary). If nothing else, you’ll find writing achievements a lot easier after you’ve prepared your job descriptions. So leave it in the back of your mind for now and come back to it later, if not at the very end.

 

Sales assistant personal statement example

 

Dedicated and entrepreneurial sales assistant with over 5 years’ experience in retail, including both fashion and consumer electronics. Retained approximately £25,000 of business for Oak & Fire by carefully monitoring and anticipating trends and adjusting inventory flow accordingly. Looking to put proven sales skills and entrepreneurial attitude to good use in helping Weiss & Weiss continue to expand onto the UK market.

 

A strong CV summary will convince the recruiter you’re the perfect candidate. Save time and choose a ready-made personal statement written by career experts and adjust it to your needs in the LiveCareer CV builder.

 

Create your CV nowcv builder

 

2. Put your achievements on display in your sales assistant CV

 

It’s hard to describe all the subtle things that go into making a good sales assistant. There are a lot of people skills involved that are difficult to pin down, just for a start. So rather than even trying to describe these things, show them in action. Use your sales assistant job descriptions to do this.

 

First, though, you need to decide on a CV format. The chronological CV format is easily the best option for a sales assistant CV, although you may want to look at other options if you’re changing careers, transitioning from military service or have long gaps in your employment.

 

Order your CV job descriptions from most recent to least recent. This is what hiring managers expect to see and what ATSs can parse most readily. Use the following sales assistant CV template to create a subheading for each job description:

 

[Job Title]

[Company Name, Location]

[Dates of Employment]

 

Now fill each job description with up to six bullet points. Do not put your sales assistant duties or responsibilities into these bullet points. Instead, fill them with your achievements. Put simply, an achievement is the description of an action you took and the benefits your employer got from that action.

 

Start each achievement with a strong verb, like ‘negotiated’, ‘led’ or ‘expanded’ be sure to put numbers to the benefits you brought to your employer. Quantify everything you can, but focus on these benefits first and foremost. Use accomplishment statements to help structure your achievements.

 

If yo’re writing a sales assistant CV with no experience, you can focus on any internships, placement work, and volunteer work you’ve done and put this section after your education section. If you have zero experience at all, then a student CV might be a more effective approach for you to take to get the ball rolling. 

 

Sales assistant job description for a CV

 

Retail Sales Assistant

Oak & Fire Menswear, Southam

June 2018—present

  • Achieved a return rate 40% lower than the historical average by advising customers on style and sizing.
  • Handled cash, card and mobile payments to a total estimated value of over £160,000 without incident.
  • Liaised with other Oak & Fire shops to predict which styles would sell the fastest and adjusted stock orders accordingly, enjoying an 89% in-stock indicator as a result.
  • Reorganised the business-shirt inventory, saving customers 2–6 minutes of waiting every time they request a size that is not out on the floor.

 

Sales Assistant

Alf’s Electrical, Southam

November 2016—May 2018

  • Exceeded 94% of all monthly sales targets, with 100% of targets being at least met.
  • Moved from department to department gradually building up in-depth knowledge of over 300 products.
  • Reduced returns by almost 10% by encouraging customers to come back or call the shop if they had installation, etc., problems and fielding their questions.
  • Kept track of margins on higher-ticket items and used a combination of discounts and up-sells to bring in 20% more profit per sale on average.

 

3. Include a pared-down education section in your sales assistant CV

 

There are many ways to become a sales assistant and academic qualifications aren’t always required (beyond the usual GCSEs in English and Maths). Still, you need a clear education section in your sales assistant CV no matter what road you’re on. Work from most recent to least and don’t mention grades.

 

If you have a university degree or an NVQ level 3 and some work experience under your belt, then you can leave your high-school education off the list entirely. Use the following sales assistant CV template for both university degrees and other tertiary qualifications:

 

[Degree Type] [Degree Name](Degree Class), [Years Attended]

[Institution Name], [Institution Location]

 

If you’re still studying, then include an expected graduation date. If you don’t have a university degree, then use the following templates to detail your high school education:

 

A-levels: [Subject Name 1], [Subject Name 2], [Subject Name 3]

[School Name], [School Location], [Years Attended]

 

[n] GCSEs (including Mathematics and English)

[School Name], [School Location], [Years Attended]

 

where n is the number of GCSEs you completed.

 

You may want to add bullet points to this section to highlight your achievements or areas of excellence while studying if you don’t have much experience. Otherwise, keep it short and sweet and just stick to what’s listed above.

 

Sales assistant CV education section

 

NVQ 2 in Retail Operations, 2017

Kane Ward College, Southam

 

A-levels: English, Geography, Mathematics, 2013–2015

Dellaster High School, Southam

 

8 GCSEs (including Mathematics and English), 2011–2013

Dellaster High School, Southam

 

You don’t have to be a CV writing expert. In the LiveCareer CV builder you’ll find ready-made content for every industry and position, which you can then add with a single click.

 

Create your CV nowcv builder

 

4. Showcase your skills in your sales assistant CV

 

This probably won’t be the only sales assistant CV you send out this week or maybe even today. That’s just the nature of job hunting. Your sales assistant skills section is another one that’ll have to be written to match the employer’s requirements as they appear in the job advert every time.

 

But if you invest a little time in building up a master list of sales assistant CV skills now, this section becomes a matter of copying and pasting different skills into future CVs. To make a master list, simply open a new document and start listing as many of your sales assistant skills as you can (hard, soft and IT skills).

 

Now go back and add a sentence to each skill that describes how you’ve demonstrated that skill at work. Be as specific and concrete as you can. Quantify what you can but it’s fine if you can’t put numbers to any of your skills. If you can’t add a sentence like this onto a skill, then remove it from your list.

 

Now that you have your personalised sales assistant skills master list, go back to the job advert and see what skills they mention there. Copy 5–10 skills from your master list that at least cover what the advert is asking for. Finally, play around with keywords to mirror those used in the advert.

 

Sales assistant CV skills for a CV

 

  • Point-of-sale software: comfortable using Square and Magestore POS on a daily basis.
  • Inventory management software: used Cin7 to process and receive shipments.
  • Interpersonal skills: used an open and friendly yet professional demeanour to put customers at ease and improve their shopping experience.
  • Attention to detail: processed customers purchases quickly and accurately, being sure to double-check all details before finalising.
  • Team player: maintained close, collegial relations with co-workers in spite of the competitive nature of much of our work.
  • Organisation: kept workplace neat and tidy at all times, often adapting habits to make things run more smoothly for everyone involved.

 

5. Fill your sales assistant CV out with the right extra sections

 

If all you have to advise your customers is two or three product features, then many products will end up looking the same. The more different features and qualities you take into account, though, the greater the differences between those products become. It’s the same here, where you’re the product.

 

You and your competition all have two years experience in retail and a high-school education. According to your job descriptions and education sections, you’re the same. But what if you speak three languages and volunteer in a charity shop on weekends? Add extra sections to your CV to fill in the grid.

 

You can add sections that list any additional certificates, achievements, awards, even hobbies. Not many people do this and that’s exactly why it can make such a huge difference. Just keep it professional and 100% relevant to the job at hand and you can hardly go wrong.

 

Definitely include any foreign languages you speak. This is still a relatively rare trait in the UK and can really set you apart.

 

Sales assistant CV extra sections

 

Languages

 

  • French – B2
  • Spanish – beginner

 

Awards

 

  • Secret Shopper’s Choice, awarded by Oak & Fire Head Office, 2019
  • Alf’s Electrical Salesperson of the Quarter, Q3 & Q4 2017 & Q1 2018

 

6. Write a sales assistant cover letter to go with your CV

 

As a sales assistant, you know that there are things that just go together. Handing over purchased goods with a receipt, for example. It’s one and the other, not one or the other. It’s the same with job applications. A job application is made up of two parts: a CV and a cover letter.

 

So don’t leave your sales assistant CV to go it alone—be sure to write a crisp, new sales assistant cover letter to complete every application. A good sales assistant cover letter will follow the standard UK business letter format and include:

  • A properly set-out header
  • An appropriate cover letter salutation
  • The main body paragraphs
  • A sign-off that matches your chosen salutation.

 

Where the main body paragraphs are made up of:

  • A pitch-perfect sales-pitch opening
  • A showcase of your achievements
  • A tight wrap up and confident CTA.

 

How long can a cover letter be? Aim for around 250–400 words in total, about half an A4 page to a single A4 page.

 

Include a cover letter unless it’s been made clear to you that one’s not required. Writing an effective cover letter can be a little daunting at first, but you might be surprised at how painless it can be. Even a simple cover letter can make all the difference.

 

Putting the finishing touches on your sales assistant CV and cover letter

 

There’s window-dressing and then there’s making sure the aisles aren’t cluttered with disused pallets and boxes. Poor attention to detail reflects badly on a sales assistant and can make your sales assistant CV just difficult enough to read that it gets rejected before it has a chance to dazzle with its brilliance.

 

Basic CV formatting rules to keep in mind:

  • Be predictable where it counts—leave you contact details near the top of your CV.
  • White space is priceless—use it to break your CV structure down into clear sections.
  • Use subheadings to make your CV easy to navigate at a brisk pace
  • Choose the right CV font, which means something understated and professional like Noto, Garamond, Arial, Liberation or Calibri—nothing crazy, and keep it at 11–12 points
  • Attach your CV as a PDF file unless explicitly asked for something else
  • When it comes to the right CV length, keep it brief—one page per decade of experience, no more than two pages even if you have over 20 years’ experience.

 

Get someone to read over your sales assistant CV and cover letter. They’ll find mistakes you overlooked, that’s just how it works. It’s why writers have editors and editors have proofreaders. Use any built-in spellcheckers, apps or web apps that can help you get your spelling and grammar perfect.

 

It’s been a week or two and you haven’t heard back? Follow up with a quick email or phone call. This will send all the right messages and you might even get an update on how your application’s going.

 

A cover letter alone simply won’t be enough—you need an impactful CV, too. Create your CV in minutes. Just follow our wizard and fill in every CV section with ready-made content. Get started by choosing a professional CV template.

 

cv builder

 

The LiveCareer online CV maker lets you build a professional CV fast and download it as a PDF or DOC.

 

Create your CV now

 

I hope this article has been useful to you. Please let us know in the comments below if you’d like me to elaborate on anything I’ve touched upon here. You can also leave any questions, feedback or experiences you’d like to share down below

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LiveCareer Editorial Team
LiveCareer Editorial Team

About the author

Since 2005, the LiveCareer Team has been helping job seekers advance their careers. In our in-depth guides, we share insider tips and the most effective CV and cover letter writing techniques so that you can beat recruiters in the hiring game and land your next job fast. Also, make sure to check out our state-of-the-art CV and cover letter builder—professional, intuitive, and fully in line with modern HR standards. Trusted by 10 million users worldwide.

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