The role of a retail sales associate may not be the most prestigious one on the jobs market but it certainly is one of the most popular ones. The reason is that this position can be a great fit for both entry-level candidates as well as seasoned professionals. That said, with so many people searching for sales associate jobs and trying to figure out how to write their sales associate resume, we couldn't stand aside and ignore the trend. At Prime-Resume, we also decided to launch a new type of blog posts in which we are going to share job descriptions for different kinds of roles. The first one to go is retail sales associate job description.

Retail Associate Sign in the center of the picture

Retail Sales Associate Job Description and Requirements

Before we move on to the actual sales associate duties, we would like to say that copy-pasting generic job descriptions (like the one below) is never a good idea. The truth of the matter is that if you are going to sound on your resume just like hundreds of other candidates, your resume will not have a chance. At the same time, you may be a professional sales person but if you are too lazy to customize your sales associate resume then HRs will not care either. Therefore, the retail sales associate job description listed below is only a template which should give insight into what the role is all about. Once again, customize this list before you add it onto your resume.

- Ensure high quality customer service by greeting customers, providing them with needed information, and resolving client issues.

- Evaluate customer needs and provide necessary assistance and product advise based on product features and customer preferences.

- Maintain the selling floor stock and assist in display of merchandise.

- Operate cash registers, process payments (cash, checks, and credit cards) and customer refunds.

- Achieve/exceed department's sales goals.

- Initiate promotional and sales events in the store.

- Develop product knowledge and attend training classes.

Obviously, the aforementioned list of sales associate duties is not comprehensive. One can add many other statements depending on the type of sales jobs held. But this list of sales associate duties provides a good foundation for developing a customized list of accomplishments. Additionally, it will help those who are just starting out to better understand what the role of a sales associate entails.

Sales Associate Skills

If you are looking to create a powerful sales associate resume, you need to know more than just the list of duties. The majority of recruiters and hiring managers are interested in specific skills candidates can offer. Here are some of the sales associate skills sought after by employers (most of them are either required or preferred by the companies):

  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Planning and organizing
  • Sales and merchandising
  • Customer support
  • Attention to detail
  • Teamwork orientation
  • Time Management
  • Problem Solving
  • Creativity
  • Marketing

Other Sales Associate Requirements

Knowing what sales associates usually do and what skills they need to perform well isn't enough. Many employers have a list of additional requirements candidates should meet if they seriously want the sales associate job. Once again, such requirements will vary depending on the company, industry, and career level. Below we have gathered the most common must-haves for the job:

  • Associate's Degree (sometimes high school diploma works too)
  • Understanding of basic sales principles (or former retail sales experience)
  • Telephone etiquette
  • Positive and customer-oriented attitude
  • Adaptability to changing environments
  • Professional appearance
  • Ability to perform basic math
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Ability to stand and move for extended periods of time

Key Takeaway for Sales Associate Job Seekers

Sales associates provide a variety of services. From helping people pick out products to ringing up the purchases, they are always there for the customers. Therefore, if you are seriously considering a sales associate job then you should at least adjust your resume to match the typical job description, skills and other position requirements. Besides, there are multiple training courses available to make up for the missing qualifications.

If you are looking for senior type of sales associate jobs, then you should revamp your resume to make it reflect your accomplishments. The thing is that for those trying to get a senior sales position it is not enough to just meet basic requirements in order to get hired. One should demonstrate solid accomplishments to be considered for the job. Luckily, it is not difficult to show off if you are really good at sales. Just outline the results (numbers) you have achieved. For example, "Increased sales by 32% within 6 months through implementing new sales techniques". Such statements add weight to your resume and prove you can achieve specific results, and not just do things.