7 months ago
February 21, 2017

What Does a Great Sales Resume Look Like?

“What does a great sales resume look like?” is a question that many sales managers ask themselves during hiring. Keep reading to find out.

Claire McConnachie

“What does a great sales resume look like?” This is a question that you’ve probably asked yourself while recruiting and hiring sales talent. With a high turnover rate in sales and the majority of candidates being mediocre at best, it’s important to understand what a great sales resume looks like, so you can spot it when you see it.

Understanding what makes a great sales resume can help you weed out the poor and mediocre sales candidates and make better hiring decisions that benefit your business in the long run.

When sifting through endless sales resumes, here’s what you should be paying attention to—these traits are telling of top sales talent.

Numbers

A great sales resume will absolutely talk numbers, not just vague job descriptions, duties, and tasks. A sales resume that includes tangible numbers, like quota met at previous jobs, sales closed, and revenue brought in, can tell you far more about a sales candidate’s true skills than just reading that they created sales presentations, set up demos, and met with clients at their offices.

Great sales people will want to brag about their numbers, and it’ll show through their resumes. No numbers on the resume? Make sure to ask about them in the interview.

Products Sold

A great sales resume will detail the type of products that were sold at previous companies. Your company might sell very specific, very technical medical technologies or financial products, for example. If you learn from a candidate’s resume that they sold similar types of products before, it might indicate that they’ll require less training, get up to speed faster, and make fewer mistakes, leading to better sales performance.

It’s not enough for a sales person to have success selling a product—they should have been successful selling the right type of product.

Travel Experience

There are so many different types of sales jobs out there, and not all of them require travel. But if the position you have open does require some extensive and long-term travel, it’s good to find a candidate who lists travel experience on their resume. This indicates that they’re not opposed to being out of town or traveling overnight for work, so they likely won’t have problems with this requirement of the position.

Big Names

What does a great sales resume look like? By and large, the best ones list big name clients and companies. If you recognize many of the candidates’ previous employers or many of the big-name clients and Fortune 500 companies that they’ve reeled in, you’ve probably found yourself a top candidate who runs with the big dogs.

Sales Strategy

Great sales resumes will also explain and detail the candidates’ sales strategies and how they use them on a daily basis. As you know, every sales rep will have different ways of selling. You need to ensure that the candidates you hire fit in perfectly with your existing sales force, or, alternatively, can bring in some fresh and exciting new sales strategies, making them big assets to your sales department.

Value

When you have to read dozens or hundreds of sales resumes for an open role in your department, they could all start to blend in together. But a great sales resume will stand out by showcasing the candidate’s value in a real, tangible way. It will show insights into how the candidate is a unique sales professional, how they can contribute to your bottom line like no one else can, how they can close large deals or build relationships, and in general, how they can be an asset that you couldn’t live without.

Trajectory of Success

A great sales resume will also show a career trajectory of success, showing that the candidate has been successful time and time again at different organizations. You’ll see a pattern of promotions, title changes, and increased responsibilities and challenges. A mediocre candidate’s resume, on the other hand, will likely show a sales rep with the same type of position at multiple companies, with no trajectory of success.

There you have it. You’ll never have to ask yourself “what does a great sales resume look like?” again. 

Claire McConnachie

Claire is a Western University graduate with a background in recruiting, sales and customer service. As a Recruitment Consultant, her goals are to place the best people in the right roles resulting in satisfaction for both the candidate and client.