Mystery Shopping on Your Resume

Hey Fam!

Do you add your mystery shopping history on your resume? Any tips and tricks/advice? Since you're technically an independent contractor, it's not "employment" but it's still work!

I mainly mystery shopped while I was a stay at home mom and therefore there's a HUGE gap in my resume. (I do still shop.)

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I always include it, and I am always asked about it. People are fascinated by it.
I took off 18 years from my real job as a scientist and shopped almost full time. I traveled the world and did lots of really cool stuff. Now, I shop part time and don't travel much due to Coronavirus, and I am back at my laboratory full time.
That's awesome! I have a microbiology degree that I have never put in use. Since my kids are all school aged now, I'm itching to find something that makes me feel like it was all worth it. I was a pharm tech before, throughout and after college until I had my children. I currently make natural cosmetics for a friend. Of course, all the biology jobs want 293856 years of experience.

If you don't mind me asking, how do you include it on your resume? Under Job experience, right? Any specific wording suggestions?
I have not needed or shared a resume in decades. At one time, I believed that I would never work again at any sort of job, and I destroyed all copies of my resume up to that time.

If I were to produce one now, I would do two things. First, work with a resume pro who can package my odd and disparate information properly. Second, insist upon a unique skills resumes for each job. This would best contain and present my disjointed work history in the best possible light for each situation. This is the only thing I know of that is an absolute for me. It might not be essential for you or for anyone else.

You are probably a typical job seeker, for whom a CV is needed. Whereas SoCalMama is a very strong sort for whom mentioning mystery shopping is a strong asset, someone else might have an equally strong set of different information but not be able to incorporate mystery shopping in such a good way. Neither approach is inherently right, wrong, good, or bad. Each one might help or hinder your unique self as you appear to screeners. You just need to think about your presentation. What method best supports your particular set of information and your goals? Good luck with whatever you choose to do! smiling smiley

p.s. After I added merchandising, I never needed to mention mystery shopping. I just needed to mention merchandising for the general time frame.

It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside. - Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy-Tacy and Tib
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I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/21/2021 09:19AM by Shop-et-al.
Here's a past discussion about similar topic. What is a good job title to use on a resume besides "Mystery Shopper?"

[www.mysteryshopforum.com]
@Batoulismia wrote:

That's awesome! I have a microbiology degree that I have never put in use. Since my kids are all school aged now, I'm itching to find something that makes me feel like it was all worth it. I was a pharm tech before, throughout and after college until I had my children. I currently make natural cosmetics for a friend. Of course, all the biology jobs want 293856 years of experience.

If you don't mind me asking, how do you include it on your resume? Under Job experience, right? Any specific wording suggestions?
I’ll look later and cut & paste for you.
I’m on my phone in my kitchen, contemplating my day. smiling smiley It’s easier from the desktop.
As a contract engineer, I'm out of work in between jobs. I put "Independent Consultant" to fill the gaps with generalized, buzz words for the job descriptions.

As mystery shoppers, we have a lot of skills under our belts. We may as well capitalize on them.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I coached a good friend of mine in traditional mystery shopping, then we moved her into video shopping.

She was hired 14 months ago by David Weekley Homes as a salesperson, and it was on the strength of her mystery/video shop experience. She’s on track to make well over $100K this year with DWH... and it all came about from her mystery shopping.

Don’t ever feel bad about MS’ing; it’s a skill that certain employers value highly. Put it on your resume!!
Here you go:

INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR – LICENSED PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR
06/99-present

• Self-employed Auditor, conducting quality & performance assessments/evaluations exclusively for the hospitality, resort, entertainment, luxury retail, and gaming industries.
• Select clientele includes (here I listed some of the well-known clients, but not the MSCs)
• Successfully completed +15,000 national and international assignments; including numerous post-inspection verbal interviews/debriefs with executive management staff.

I work with a licensed PI (not an MSC clearing house in NV - although I do that too). You'd have to tailor it to your experience. If you've worked "for" Shell, Kroger, etc, I'd throw that right in there.
I love the idea of naming the clients on your resume! I'm curious: why do you not mention the skills you have gained or use as a mystery shopper?

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
FWIW, I wouldn't use the term "mystery shopping" or "mystery shopper" on a resume; some people have a view of it that's not particularly favorable.

I don't have it on my resume and am semi-retired from my freelance marketing/marketing communications career and don't intend to be out job hunting at this stage in my life. But if I needed to either fill a chronological gap or tailor my resume, I'd include MS under that marketing/marketing communications entry. I would say something like "Conduct and report evaluations (or audits as someone mentioned) of service and/or product at retail businesses, financial institutions, whatever you specialize in, blah, blah, blah. Required skills include excellent interpersonal communication, detailed observation, and accurate report writing. End clients include (drop the names of the ones for whom you do the most shopping and who are well-known)."

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
@HonnyBrown wrote:

I love the idea of naming the clients on your resume! I'm curious: why do you not mention the skills you have gained or use as a mystery shopper?

They usually ask what I didin the interview, which is way more exciting than explaining that I spend a lot of time watching bartenders pour liquor. They don't really care to much about my observation skills. They are interested in my lab skills. Sometimes, I talk about thinking quickly to get out of a jam or figuring out multiple ways to solve a problem. One that comes to mind is that I needed a second poker interaction, but the poker room was closed due to lack of players on a Tuesday afternoon. I ran into a poker room dealer in a different part of the casino, had an interaction and was able to use that.
I can also make up BS stories on the fly. Not exactly a skill they want. I told so many people that my son was going to USC film school, that I began to believe it myself. "My oldest son. He deserves that best. Yes, I do actually want to spend $25,000 on that gift." Crazy stuff.
If I needed to list skills, I would list computer programs (Microsoft Office Suite), editing, scheduling, time management, budgeting, cost estimating, whatever fit the job the best.
When I was doing mattress shops I would say my "husband" was out of town and I was using that time to look at mattresses. I don't have a husband. When I was doing a particular retail store that has items for pre-teens I said I was shopping for my "granddaughter". I don't have a granddaughter. To my disbelief I have become quite a good tale teller throughout my time as a mystery shopper. People consider me shy and quiet ( I am not) so I amaze myself that I could do something such as mystery shopping.

Right now the only shops I am doing are those drive thru hamburger shops as I don't have to get out of the car. I have health issues that cause me some problems. So as soon as those become better I will continue in the world of mystery shopping as I see more and more shops becoming available in my area.
I was just talking with my husband about this the other day, after he listened to my half of a phone call to an assisted living community looking for a place for "mom" to live. Over the years I have come up with a complete backstory, and use specific details as needed.
@Clamchatter wrote:

To my disbelief I have become quite a good tale teller throughout my time as a mystery shopper.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
I've never put it on a resume but I usually combine my MS income and other consulting I do on one Schedule C as 'business consultant.' Never thought of mentioning clients - wouldn't that break our ICAs??
I did an assisted living facility once. I used my older sister as someone who needed such a facility as she just became a widow, had health issues and was unable to to take care of her house and yard. Plus she lived in another city quite a distance from the rest of the family so we wanted her to move closer so we could look in on her.

Part of this is true.

I swear the contact I had at this facility would call me every week wanting to know what the status was with my sister or wanting me to bring her in. I even received a coupon in the mail for a free cherry pie.

The only way I stopped these phone calls was when I got a new phone number.

My sister is a widow, is in fairly good health and is quite capable of taking care of herself.

I used her once before when I did an AARP shop. I thought I was going to a table in a mall where there was an AARP table set up. No, it was an assisted living facility. There was an event going on in the lobby at the time. I was approached by an employee wanting to know what I was there for. Thinking quickly I said I was looking for places for said sister. I was asked to sit and wait for someone else to talk to. In the meantime I saw the booth where the AARP people were so after a short time I just casually went over and talked to them just normal to get the information to complete the shop.

Then the person who was the manager came out, took me into her office where I had to tell a fib to make the reason I was in the facility legit. I felt bad for taking her time.
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