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Retail's Value on a Resume
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Retail’s Value on a Resume: How Jobs in Retail Prepare America’s Workforce for Success

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Retail’s Value on a Resume: How Jobs in Retail Prepare America’s Workforce for Success,” a study commissioned by the National Retail Federation, shows that the vast majority of hiring managers across all industries view experience in the retail industry positively and value the foundational job skills that retail instills in its employees. Hiring managers overwhelmingly believe that retail experience develops the skills and traits they seek in prospective job candidates and that these skills are readily transferable across industry sectors and should be leveraged throughout any professionals’ career.

By the numbers

71 percent of hiring managers say that retail provides its employees foundational skills and experience that are transferable to other industries and recommend that employees include retail experience on their resumes.

80 percent of hiring managers state that the skills and traits that are most important to them are the same skills and traits that more than eight in 10 current retail employees say they use regularly.

78 percent of current retail employees are satisfied with their job and nearly eight in 10 describe themselves as happy working in retail.

The research findings also show that hiring managers value retail experience on resumes and encourage former retail workers to list their retail supervisors as references — believing that these references can help candidates get hired.

As the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting 42 million jobs, retail plays a pivotal role in equipping the evolving American workforce with the requisite skills and training to compete effectively in the global economy.

According to the survey, current and former retail employees indicate that retail provided them with the foundational skills and experience critical to success in any career. These skills can be further developed and refined for those who choose to remain in the retail industry or can be easily transferred to benefit almost any sector in the economy.

This report shows that retail helps prepare a large part of the workforce for long-term success. The skills cited by hiring managers include, among others: following directions; knowing how to — and being able to — work with anyone; staying cool and collected under pressure and in front of others; willingness to step up and pitch in to help the team; being respectful and friendly; and knowing how to multitask.

Other important elements of the research show that retail provides personally and professionally satisfying jobs and happy employees; offers opportunities for advancement and upward mobility; and provides flexibility that employees value.