Visual merchandising is a field requiring creativity, energy and enthusiasm. The job can be highly rewarding, calling upon you to use color, accessories and texture to build displays that will enhance sales. To be considered for such a stimulating position, your first creation will be a thought-provoking, concise resume that will stand out as a call-to-action. The call would come from a potential employer; the action would be that of the employer hiring you.
The first thing a recruiter should see on your resume is complete contact information. You can center the information at the top of the page, or you can left-justify it at the top. Include your full name, your current physical and mailing addresses, land-line and cell-phone numbers, your email address and a web address, if you have a pertinent website. Add the address of your website if it features your talents as a graphic designer or highlights client testimonials from independent visual merchandising jobs in which you may have been previously involved.
Appearing next on your resume will be a statement of your objectives. To determine this, ask yourself: “What would I like to achieve as a visual merchandiser?” Your objective should clearly and briefly define your aspirations in the field, yet relate the benefits to the companies considering you. For example, if you hope to rise to the top of the profession, your objective could state, “I'm seeking an opportunity to demonstrate my creativity and experience as a visual merchandiser to positively affect business by attracting maximum sales through innovative merchandising concepts"
Highlights of Qualifications
Following your stated objective, type a section with a title similar to, “Career Achievements.” In this bullet-point section, which can also be centered, list some career highlights that will entice the recruiter to read further. For example, your list could state: “Accomplished Retail and Fashion Merchandiser,” “Skilled Verbal and Written Communicator” or “Proficient in all forms of Visual Merchandising Technology.” You can also include here a few related accolades you may have received, such as, “Organized Award-Winning Holiday Window Display Featured in Thanksgiving Day Parade,” or “Winner of White House Fashion Show ‘Mannequins on Wheels.’” Choose items that will catch the reader’s eye and perhaps serve as conversation starters.
In this section, which should directly follow “Career Achievements,” you’ll type a list of your formal experience. Include the names of the organizations for which you worked, the length of employment, the position you held there, and a brief description of your duties -- in reverse chronological order. For example, your employment record could be formatted as, “Colossal Cravings Department Store, 123 Clothing Court, New York, NY 10001, 2010 to Present." Follow this information with your title and duties, such as, “Lead Merchandiser," "Organized all fashion-related events, designed and created all window displays and supervised implementation of all store seasonal décor.”
Education and Affiliations
In this section, list the sources of your education, any certificates received and the related business groups to which you might belong. For instance, your education could be, “Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Merchandising,” you might have earned a “Certificate in Interior Design” and you may hold a membership in the “Retail Merchandising Association."
Interviewers will want easy access to a list of your references. Common practice dictates typing your references on a page separate from your resume, which you will have with you if requested. Be sure to provide all pertinent contact information for at least two work-related references, including your supervisors' names, phone numbers and email addresses. Offer at least one personal reference, such as a friend or a co-worker, and contact data for each.
Michelle Reynolds has been writing about business, careers and art since 1993. She was the publisher of a newsletter, “Working Parents Monthly," as well as a graphic design guidebook. Reynolds also served as human-resources director at a resort/spa for eight years. She is an artist and promotes the arts and other artists through ElegantArtisan.com, a website she developed and maintains.