How to Write a Resume for a Sales Associate Position

FT Contributor
The words "sales associate" are circled with a green highlighter in the classified section of a newspaper.
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A growing reliance on online sales has led to a decreasing and downsizing retail store sector. Smaller storefronts are replacing large stores, leading to a decline in the need for sales associates. Small format stores are predicted to grow at a rate of 3.9% annually until 2022. This is more rapid growth than larger stores, which are only expected to grow at 0.9% per year until 2022.

Smaller stores mean smaller staff, so if you’re looking for a sales associate position, competition may be fierce. It’s important to have a well-crafted resume as you begin to find potential jobs that meet your needs. Review this guide to find out how to create a resume that will impress employers and allow your skill set and personality to stand out.

How to Organize a Sales Associate Resume

When creating your resume, being unique and designing a document that speaks to your personality is key. However, it’s also important to ensure you include specific sections and information so you can communicate your skills, objective, education, and experience. By including crucial keywords related to your experience, you’re more likely to pass the resume applicant tracking software that many potential employers use to screen job candidates.


Your resume’s header should include your name and contact information in the following order:

[First name and last name.]
[Street address.]
[Phone number.]
[Email address.]

Use a font and spacing style that nods to your personality but make sure it’s easy-to-read and congruent with the rest of your document’s format.


Your introduction may be one of the following:

  • A declaration of your career objectives.
  • A summary of your qualifications.
  • A professional profile, outlining your relevant experience.

If you have experience in sales, it may be beneficial to choose a professional profile or a qualification summary. This will catch the attention of a potential employer and entice them to continue reading your resume. However, if you have ambitions to move into a high-paying retail sales management position or leadership role, explain your motivation by discussing your career objectives.


It’s important to highlight the skills you possess, whether you have experience in retail or not. If you don’t have experience, you may need to emphasize your soft skills, such as:

  • Communication.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Customer service.

If you have experience in retail sales, you may be able to provide more specific and hard skills you’ve learned through your experiences, such as:

  • Upselling.
  • Operating customer service and inventory systems.
  • Using a cash register.

Utilizing action words

 to explain the skills you’ve learned keeps your resume exciting and allows the reader to connect these skills to the position.


Higher education is generally not required to become a sales associate. However, if you have education that you’d like to add to your resume, include the type of degree you earned, the subject you studied, the name of the institution, and when you graduated. If you took specific classes that relate to the position, include them in this section as well.


A sales associate job requires many skills, including customer service, organization, communication, and problem-solving. If you have past job experiences, include them in your resume by providing:

  • Your past job title.
  • The name of the company.
  • The dates you worked there.
  • Your duties in the position.

If you don’t have past job experience, consider adding any volunteer or internship experiences. Relate these positions to the skills that may be needed in a role as a sales associate.


You may need to include professional or personal references on your resume so a potential employer can consult with other people about your character, skills, and experience. When choosing your references, attempt to include people you’ve worked closely with, which are considered your professional references. They can provide details on the experiences you had and skills you learned.

You may also include friends or family members who know your character, which are considered your personal references. List your references briefly, but be sure to include:

  • The reference’s name and title.
  • How you know the person.
  • The reference’s contact information.

You can include as many or as little references as you’d like but three references is usually standard on a resume.

Sales Associate Resume Writing Tips

When you’re creating your sales associate resume, keep the following in mind:

  • Tailor your resume to the job: Consider the skills and personality traits necessary for the position and try to highlight those you possess.
  • Emphasize your customer relations skills: Even if you don’t have sales experience, bring to light any tasks you engaged in that required you to use your customer service skills.
  • List your technology skills: While computer skills may not be as important as customer service skills for a sales associate, you may need to operate a cash register or other computer equipment. Include your technology skills so the potential employer knows you won’t have an issue learning these systems.

Sample Sales Associate Resume

Robert Smith
300 First Street
Los Angeles, CA 00000


A customer-centric hard worker seeking a sales associate position in retail where I can use my technological and communication skills to increase a company’s sales and help exceed goals.


Sales Associate, Perfect Hardware Store, 2012-2014

  • Assisted customers in locating products.
  • Attempted to upsell customers for home improvement projects.
  • Used point-of-sale system to help customers check out.
  • Used computer systems to find specific products for customers.


  • Outgoing.
  • Reliable.
  • Technology-savvy.
  • Experience with home improvement products.
  • Advanced customer service skills.


High school diploma, Los Angeles High School, 2012.


Jerry Smith, manager at Perfect Hardware Store.
[email protected]

Pam Fern, English teacher at Los Angeles High School.
[email protected]

Larry Former, family friend.
[email protected] 

If you’re interested in a position as a sales associate, your resume should reflect your experience in customer service and/or sales. Even if you don’t have job experience in retail, you can organize your resume to include other experiences or skills you possess that can be used in the field.

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