For some people, a job in retail was the first job they could find; for others, it is a career but one that is more and more disappearing as people shop online. In either case, you may be ready to transition your career from retail to a different path.
Identifying Transferable Skills and Transition Careers
As with any career transition, your transferable skills are most important—and you have many! Retail workers must be skilled at focusing on customer satisfaction, managing inventory, working with or leading a team, and acting independently to solve problems. Communication skills are also important, and flexibility is an asset in dealing with changes in inventory, work hours, and responsibility.
Careers that are a clear fit for a transition from retail include supply chain management, customer service representative, and sales in a variety of industries, including investment or insurance counselor for individuals and business-to-business sales in technology. You may also find a new career track as an office manager, administrative assistant, shift supervisor, banker, or recruiter.
Searching for Jobs
First, research any potential career or industry to make sure it is a realistic next step. When you are looking at job postings for that career or industry, do not concentrate on the job title but on the preferred skills and education, so that you have a better idea where to concentrate your efforts to make yourself a more attractive candidate. To make the transition easier, you may want to further your education, get a certification, or take a few temporary jobs in that field to see what type of environment seems to align best with your interests and skills.
Writing Your Resume
Writing a transition resume is an art: you need to present your skills your resume in a way that frees you from your previous career without exaggerating or lying about your experience. Achievements and the contribution you made to your previous company should be selected to illustrate the importance of your skills and to highlight keywords that are important in the industry you want to enter.
You may find that moving upward in retail (to a regional manager or marketing director, for example) or taking on new responsibilities (as a blog writer, for example) is ultimately a more attractive option than starting over in an entirely new field. A new career within retail requires a different resume from a transition resume but is a direction you should not overlook.
As a member of the National Career Development Association and as a Certified Job and Career Transition Coach, I can help you decide on your best career path and write the resume that will get you there. Robin’s Resumes® has accomplished both tasks for many people in the retail industry; let us help you, too.