How to optimize a sales resume so sales recruiters can help find a sales job
If you’ve ever applied to a sales job either through a company website or through a sales recruiter, you’ve probably wondered what happens next. You feel you are a perfect fit for a particular role yet you get no response from the company or sales recruiter and you can’t understand why. As sales recruiters we get hundreds and sometimes thousands of people applying for sales jobs we have on our website. Large companies like Microsoft would get even more. So how do you get your sales resume to stand out in a sea of other resumes from other sales people? We look at a few key elements to help us determine who we should reach out to for an interview.
The first thing most sales recruiters and companies will look at is your summary of what type of job you are looking for. Too often this section is generic and doesn’t apply to a specific sales job. What we are looking for is what type of role do you want? Business development, account management or sales management. Clearly articulate the sales job you are interested in and change this for every role you apply for. Otherwise you resume could get overlooked even though you may be suitable for a particular sales job.
In sales, unlike a lot of other jobs, you can give numbers as examples of success. Too often we see resumes that contain no information as to performance. You should include your annual revenue generated, number of accounts opened, your increase in sales year over year and your rank within your company. Give hard numbers and make them easy for sales recruiters and companies to see. If you made president’s club, make sure it’s there and make sure when you interview, you can prove it. By doing this you will separate yourself from a lot of other sales people that have applied for the same job.
According to a study done by the Ladders, the average recruiter spends 6 seconds looking at your resume. While I like to think as sales recruiters, we spend a bit more time than that, the reality is many recruiters don’t. 6 seconds is not a lot of time to determine whether or not someone should be considered for a sales job or not but that is the reality. Companies are looking for people that match a job description but more importantly have the keywords they are looking for. In some cases, companies may be looking for someone who has sold into Wal-Mart or Home Depot and will actively seek out those keywords. Many applicant tracking systems do searches based on keywords in job descriptions so make sure you have your skills such as cold calling, business development, managed a team of 10 and sold into retailers such as Wal-Mart and Home Depot if that’s what you background is. The more keywords the better. Consider it search engine optimization for your resume. The more keywords the more likely it is your sales resume will get found.
Most companies and sales recruiters will look to see what level of education you have achieved and if you’ve completed any post secondary education. Companies may not necessarily care that you have a university or college degree, but they do want to know the truth. Don’t put down that you attended Texas University when applying for a sales job when you only went there for 1 semester. Say you only attended for one semester so there is no confusion. We seen people have offers rescinded because at the reference check stage, things like this come to light.
Sales recruiters get hundred of resumes sent to them every day. While they try to get through all of them, it can be difficult. By focusing on the points above, it will make your sales resume stand out in the crowd and increase your chances of getting your next sales job.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.