The ultimate guide to a successful merchandiser resume
A guide for creating a merchandiser resume, including writing advice and resume examples. Topics covered include choosing a resume format, writing a resume summary, selecting key merchandiser skills to include, describing work experience, and properly listing education.
If you’ve ever walked through a well-organized store with beautifully designed displays, then you have experienced the hard work of a merchandiser. To earn a position as a merchandiser, it is crucial to create a resume that encapsulates your technical talents and interpersonal skills perfectly.
In this guide, we will cover the 5 key elements your merchandiser resume must have to successfully land a job.
Keep reading to learn the answers to the following questions:
- Which format is best for a merchandiser resume?
- How do you write an effective merchandiser resume summary?
- What key merchandiser skills should be included on a resume?
- What information should you include in a work experience section?
- How do you properly list your education as a merchandiser?
1. Which format is best for a merchandiser resume?
When writing a resume, the very first detail to decide on is what resume format to use.
Resume formats differ mainly in how much they focus on work experience over other sections of the resume. The best resume format for you will, thus, highly depend on your own experience level and the skills you wish to include on the document.
There are 3 main formats to choose between:
- Reverse-chronological: The reverse-chronological resume focuses primarily on work experience, listing your most recent job first. This resume format is the most commonly used but does require you to have at least 1 to 2 years of experience in a field to be truly effective.
- Functional: The functional resume removes the focus from work experience and places it instead on education, skills, and unpaid experience. This format is commonly used by current students and recent graduates who do not yet have an extensive work history.
- Hybrid: The hybrid resume is a combination of the above two formats. Rather than focusing on one section in particular, the hybrid format spreads information out more evenly between all sections. Applicants who are changing careers or who have large gaps in their work histories often opt for this format.
2. How do you write an effective merchandiser resume summary?
A resume summary is a brief, one-to-three sentence introductory statement at the beginning of your resume. This statement is your best opportunity to showcase your key skills and accomplishments that you want employers to take notice of.
To illustrate how to write an effective resume summary, we have provided a weak example, followed by a correction and explanation:
Incorrect merchandiser resume summary example:
Merchandiser with around 5 years of experience working in a large department store. Created very large holiday and seasonal displays. Received an award from the company at the end of the year for customer service and overall positive attitude.
What's wrong with this example? In this example, the applicant provides some good examples and details regarding their experience. However, they fail to provide the specific information that would make this summary more compelling to employers, like the name of the award or types of displays created.
Corrected merchandiser resume summary example:
Creative Merchandiser with 5+ years of experience working in a large, commercial department store. Responsible for designing and building holiday displays that included apparel, self-care products, hair care products, and more. Received the company’s “Employee of the Year Award” for exceptional customer service and a consistent positive attitude.
Why is this better? This corrected example provides a lot more specific information that gives this summary the context it needed to be effective. The applicant provides further explanation regarding the displays they were responsible for creating, as well as including the name of the award they received in a previous position.
3. What key merchandiser skills should be included on a resume?
As a merchandiser, you are responsible for a wide variety of different tasks – from stocking shelves and creating displays to operating transportation equipment.
To catch the attention of employers, it is critical to include as many relevant skills as possible. You can do this by creating a dedicated skills section, as well as using additional skills as keywords and extra details in your resume summary and work experience section.
It is also important to include both hard and soft skills on your resume to show employers you have many abilities. Hard skills refer to your technical and learned abilities, while soft skills have more to do with your personality and how you interact with other people.
Below, we have provided 10 examples of both hard and soft skills to help you brainstorm what to include on your own resume:
- Product Rotations
- Designing and Building Displays
- Inventory Management
- Knowledge of Operating Procedures
- Operating Transport Equipment
- Backroom Management
- Stocking Aisles
- Physical Strength and Stamina (most employers will list the strength requirements within a job posting, so look out for these details and include the necessary information on your resume.)
- Data Collection
- Electronic File Management
- Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication
- Attention to Detail
- Time Management
4. What information should you include in a work experience section?
Your work experience section is where you should focus on your key responsibilities and accomplishments at each of your previous positions.
While your job descriptions should give a solid overview of the type of experience you have, you should also focus on making these descriptions compelling and impressive to employers. This means including specific, quantifiable details that inform the employer of your value as an employee.
Here is an example of a work experience entry from a merchandiser resume:
Merchandiser | Pepsi Co.
Chattanooga, TN | January 2016 to March 2019
- Efficiently stocked and rotated products in coolers with high attention to detail, reducing product waste in frozen aisles by 15%.
- Lifted an average of 40 cases weighing between 20 to 80 lbs. daily.
- Created promotional product displays at store entrances for seasonal and holiday merchandise.
5. How do you properly list your education as a merchandiser?
Most employers hiring merchandisers will want a minimum educational requirement of a high school diploma or GED. However, having a higher level of post-secondary education or having relevant certifications can help you make your resume more competitive.
When listing your educational credentials, always remember to include:
- The name of your degree or certification
- The name of the school, university, or certifying institution
- Graduation or completion dates
- Certification expiration dates (when applicable)
Here is an example of a well-crafted education section on a merchandiser resume:
High School Diploma | Watauga County High School
- Graduated: 2019
- GPA: 3.8
- Retail Merchandising Certificate | Harper College, 2020
- Fashion Merchandising Certificate | Saddleback College, 2021