8 years ago
April 13, 2016

How To Write A Sales Resume

It is so critical to make your sales resume the best that it can be so you can land your next sales job.

Rhys Metler

how to write a sales resumeThe competition for open sales positions in today’s job market is fierce. This is why it is so critical to make your sales resume the best that it can be. As important as it is to have a well-written sales resume, it is equally important to ensure that the information on your resume is instantly relevant to each hiring manager to whom you send it. The following tips will help you write a star sales resume and land your next position.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

To make it easy for a hiring manager to see that you are the best candidate, it’s a great idea to start your sales resume off with an Accomplishments section. In this section, you can list three to five of your most impressive achievements at previous employers. Including these achievements up front is more meaningful than simply claiming to have a strong track record, and is guaranteed to get the hiring manager’s attention. Think of it as you would an email pitch: Your goal is to get the hiring manager’s interest right away, and gradually move closer to a face to face meeting throughout the document.

Highlight Experience That Matches the Employer’s Needs

Most sales people have worked in more than one industry. If this is you, or if you are trying to move into a new industry, your challenge will be highlighting the experience that is likely to be most attractive to the hiring manager. Looking carefully at the sales job description should tell you which experiences you have are most relevant to the position and will allow you to select which to include and which to leave out of your sales resume. By the same token, be ready to explain any gaps in your work experience at an interview. Remember, while there may be a reason that you were out of the workforce for a period of time, it is never a good idea to stretch your dates of employment on a sales resume to obscure the fact. This information is easily verified and can put you out of consideration.

Focus on Results, Not Responsibilities

When writing about your work experience it’s tempting to focus on what your responsibilities were. However, most responsibilities are common to all sales positions so highlighting the fact that you were responsible for prospecting is a waste of valuable sales resume space. Instead, focus on the results that you achieved with your responsibilities. Including the fact that your prospecting led to more face to face meetings than your peers confirms that prospecting was a responsibility and that you were able to achieve results that you can repeat for a new employer.

Include Awards, Training, and Certification

You might think that your experience or past results would make it clear to a hiring manager what training and certifications you have, but it’s better to assume that the hiring manager isn’t making assumptions of his or her own and include this information in black and white. If you have a large number of qualifications, depending on how long your sales resume is you may want to select only those that are most relevant to the position. For example, a sales manager hiring for a position in manufacturing might find your many certifications in pharmaceutical sales interesting, but these probably wouldn’t be a factor when determining which candidates to call in for an interview.

While this might seem like a lot to include, remember that most employers find two or even three page sales resumes acceptable – provided that the information on the sales resume is valuable to the position. Be sure to double-check the job description to ensure you have addressed everything that the employer is looking for and that your resume is in the requested format. Sending in a strong sales resume that follows these guidelines is sure to increase your chances for an interview.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ 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 daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.