10 Skills To Include on Your Sales Associate Resume

Updated February 3, 2023

Your resume is a place for you to highlight your top skills and qualifications. Including pertinent skills on your sales associate resume gives employers an idea of who you are as an employee and allows them to see the potential asset you’d be to their company.

In this article, we discuss the best sales associate skills to highlight on your resume and why these specific skills are valuable for this role.

What are sales associate skills?

A sales associate works in the customer service retail industry and greets customers, answers questions, provides assistance and manages inventory. Sales associates are also responsible for organizing the store and processing payments. Employees in this field are required to have a certain set of skills that will help them excel in this role.

Examples of sales associate skills

Sales associates should have a number of skills pertaining to their position in order to be successful employees. Your resume is a great place to highlight these skills. Since sales associates require both hard and soft skills, both should be included. Here are 10 skills to include on your sales associate resume:

1. Organizational skills

Being able to remember customer preferences, keeping track of inventory and documenting needed paperwork are essential. Having a set system and schedule is helpful when it comes to your organizational skills in the workplace. Displaying these skills on your resume lets employers know that you have the capability of managing tasks and people effectively and efficiently.

2. Communication skills

Greeting customers, making small talk and listening to customer concerns and needs is vital in a customer service role. Having communication skills on your resume lets employers know you’re an effective communicator, both verbally and in writing. In your role as a sales associate, you will need to communicate effectively with customers, managers and coworkers. This is especially important when obstacles arise. Employers want to know that you’re capable of not only handling the situation but that you can also communicate effectively to resolve it.

3. Problem-solving skills

Knowing how to problem-solve shows you are capable of quickly responding and solving obstacles when they arise. Being a great problem solver will help in situations when customers have complaints or concerns.

4. Time management skills

Sales associates are often pushed and pulled in different directions because of the high volume of customers they encounter. Effectively managing your time can help you manage multiple demands effectively without feeling overwhelmed. Highlighting your time management skills is a great way to show your employer that you’re capable of being productive in a timely manner. It also lets them know you’re able to prioritize daily tasks, focus on what’s important and that you can adhere to a set schedule to ensure deadlines are met.

5. Product knowledge

In order to be a great sales associate, you need to know everything there is to know about the item you’re selling. Understanding the products will provide you with the ability to answer customer questions, provide them with accurate information and point them in the right direction. A good understanding of product knowledge will also build customer trust. 

6. Interpersonal skills

As a sales associate, you are part the company’s image or brand. It’s crucial then that you have outstanding people skills. Since your main job is interacting with customers, employers want to know that you’re an active listener, good communicator, empathetic and that you have a positive attitude. If a customer has a great shopping experience because of their interaction with you, they are more likely to return. By including interpersonal skills on your resume, you’re letting employers know that you can get along well with customers, managers, coworkers or vendors.

7. Team leadership skills

Regardless of your experience level, having great leadership skills is a must. Employers want to know that you can be an effective leader when needed. As with any other position, an effective leader is one who not only interacts well with others but can also take charge when problems arise. 

8. Retail software skills

Along with being technologically savvy, you’ll need to understand the specific software that your future company uses. While having general computer skills is helpful, including your specific proficiency in Microsoft Office skills, for example, will impress employers more. Also, many companies may require you to work with an electronic register or credit card processor. Be sure to include these skills if you have experience with them. 

9. Numeracy

While it can be easy to depend on retail software, it’s also important to be a good mathematician in a sales associate position. Should the computers have a glitch, your ability to manually calculate prices, discounts and transactions will be a valuable asset. Employers want to know that while you may be up-to-date on the latest technology, your numeracy skills are up-to-speed as well.

10. Languages

Oftentimes, you will encounter customers who speak different languages. Speaking to them in a language they understand will help customers feel more comfortable around you. Employers might even offer increased salaries for those who possess bilingual skills.

How to improve your sales associate skills

There are various methods of improving your skills as a sales associate through adequate practice and experience. Here are four of the most effective ways to improve your expertise:

  1. Learn patience. All sales associates will encounter customers who require more or less of your attention and help. For instance, you might have a customer who has several questions and will keep coming back to you for assistance. As a good sales associate, you will need to be understanding of their needs and wait patiently as they explain them.

  2. Practice active listening. Understanding customers’ needs is vital when it comes to customer service. Being empathetic by attentively listening to them will not only help you understand them but also show them you care.

  3. Develop your brand knowledge. Researching your company’s products is helpful in developing brand knowledge. Employers want to know that you put in the effort to get to know their products. Perform extensive research on not only the company but also the products you’ll be working with.

  4. Practice good communication. Practice taking time to respond with well-crafted responses, be attentive and be mindful of non-verbal cues. Lastly, make sure to maintain eye contact to let customers know that you are focused on them and what they have to say.

How to highlight your sales associate skills

In order to gain employment as a sales associate, it’s important to showcase your skills throughout the interview process. Here are two ways to highlight those skills to future employers:

Sales associate skills for resume and cover letter

A well-structured resume and cover letter are great places to display your abilities as a sales associate. Make sure both are organized and are free from spelling and grammatical errors. In the skills section of your resume, include the areas of expertise where you excel as it pertains to the role. Your cover letter is a great place to expand and elaborate on these skills.

Sales associate skills for the job interview

Along with your resume and cover letter, your job interview itself is a great way to showcase your skills. Make sure to show up on time to your interview, pay attention to your non-verbal cues and employ active listening skills.

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