Whether a resume works doesn’t just depend on the talents of the person it describes, it also depends heavily on the industry the role is in.
That’s because, at a basic level, every industry has different priorities when it comes to resumes. The sales industry demands remarkable confidence and self-assurance, the catering industry demands taste and flair, and the tech industry requires specified skill sets and (more often than not) a tolerance for working odd hours.
So what if you’re looking to secure your dream position in e-commerce? It’s a thriving industry, but a very demanding one in a lot of ways, and you need to cater your resume accordingly if you want to be seriously considered.
Let’s go through some tips for nailing your e-commerce resume, and apply them to a sample resume for a hypothetical candidate called Elle Fiction.
1. Be Specific
At its core, online retail isn’t very touchy-feely. It’s a stat lover’s dream, filled with ceaseless torrents of analytics data. The best way to make an impression is to get extremely granular. That’s why it’s absolutely worth reviewing your past performances to (hopefully) find a big, bold, clear stat that paints you in a positive light.
Take the following two statements, for instance:
- “Under my stewardship, user engagement improved significantly, as did sales figures.”
- “Under my stewardship, user engagement rose by 67% year-on-year, and the monthly sales rate hit a level 82% higher than the previous best.”
Doesn’t the second one have a potency and credibility that far exceeds the first? The whole point of your resume is to make a compelling case that you’re a perfect fit for the specific role requirements, and precise performance metrics will help remove any doubts.
Now, if you can’t find any good stats from your previous roles (or other relevant endeavors), you should take steps to note down some from your current workplace (assuming you have one). It’s far easier to get that kind of information when you work somewhere than it is in hindsight when various people have moved on and a lot of data has likely been lost.
2. Show Your Hustle
It’s a big advantage if you’ve worked in e-commerce before, but lacking that kind of experience doesn’t automatically rule you out for a role in the industry, even if you’re looking at mid-level positions. It just means that you need to work harder to show that you have enough relevant experience to be a good fit.
On the whole, online retail is dominated by entrepreneurs who started from nowhere and worked their way up to success, and they don’t generally have much time for people who make excuses, shy away from the grind, or show complacency. That means you should make sure your resume shows your grit, resilience, and determination. Smart companies hire scrappers.
Think about all the adversity you’ve faced, both personally and professionally, and tell a brief story about how you overcame it and ended up stronger and more motivated. Noting previous difficulties will show honesty, and explaining that you handled them and moved on from them will show that you’re a good person to have on a team in the event of a crisis.
When reviewing your skillset, think about the core requirements for the role by reviewing the job description. When it comes to e-commerce, a core skill is often the ability to sell.
Have you ever sold anything? Perhaps you’ve offloaded products through eBay or put artwork on Etsy. Maybe you’ve worked as a store assistant. It could even be that you sold candy on a playground during free periods at school. However far back it dates, it can be presented as relevant experience if you draw the right narrative from it.
If you don’t have anything suitable, then you need to change that ASAP to show prospective employers that you have the skillset they need to make their business better.
One great way to boost your first-hand experience, and quickly, is to make your own web store— the appeal of the modern template-led system (found not just in Shopify but also in BigCommerce, Prestashop, Ecwid, and many others) is that it makes it relatively straightforward to pick things up as you go. If you’re keen to develop a wide range of relevant skills, you can also get savvy with some other e-commerce marketing tools.
Just being able to put on the resume that you’ve run and marketed your own store (even a trial one) will show that you understand the basics of the industry. Plus, if you can test-run some tools and platforms often used in e-commerce, chances are you’ll have a better understanding of the tools your new employer is using when it comes to your first day on the job.
3. Use Space Efficiently
How much should you fit into your resume? The truth is that there isn’t a satisfying answer that doesn’t take into account what you have to say and what your targeted position requires. That said, e-commerce isn’t a sector that’s going to want to see a lengthy portfolio or an in-depth analysis of your childhood, so it’s generally best to keep things as succinct as possible.
You should aim to keep your resume to a single page if you’re an entry-level candidate, consider two if you’re pursuing a mid-level position and just can’t fit everything you want to say into one, and perhaps reach three if you’re going for a role at the senior executive level (the c-suite).
Aesthetically, you’ll want a clean layout, a strong, crisp font, and very simple visual flourishes (if you use any at all). The sample CV you’re about to see is a fine example to draw from, as the Enhancv setup did a great job of ensuring that the content remained appropriately delineated.
So would you hire Elle Fiction? Obviously she has a fairly strong hypothetical background, but that doesn’t matter as much as you’d think if it isn’t communicated as well as it is here. And if you can’t quite boast of the same accomplishments, don’t worry too much — if you pick out the right things, a system like Enhancv can help you create an e-commerce resume far better than you might imagine. Give these tips a try, and see how you get on!
Make one that's truly you.