Your sales resume is likely to be the most important “sales pitch” that you ever make as you will be selling yourself – your skills, your successes and triumphs. To write a first class resume you need to make it predominantly results oriented and focus on your achievements and contributions during your career.
The format you use can be adapted to suit your individual circumstances but will generally follow a style similar to the following example:
Keep this straightforward, placed right at the top, clearly set out and easy to read. No tricks here. Simply provide the necessary details for the employer to contact you without having to search through the resume. Have this information “front and center.”
This section is only required if you have not had previous work experience in sales and are a new graduate or have had very little work history. It should be a short, simple statement targeted to suit the position you are applying for.
I seek an automotive sales position that will utilize my expertise, initiative and commitment to excellence. I prefer a position with career growth possibility”.
This section is where you have the opportunity to stand out from the crowd. You need to sum up your sales career with three or four powerful sentences. You must show your value to a prospective employer and point out your sales abilities and highlight your special expertise, strengths and knowledge of the industry. Think of this part as an advertisement which says “this is what I Can Offer You”.
An example profile statement could be:
Skilled sales professional, recognized for consistent delivery of profit growth in competitive markets. Offering 15 years of experience including key account management and territory supervision. Strong team building capacity: acknowledged success with managing and developing new teams.
This next section of your sales resume can introduce some keywords and key phrases that hiring managers are seeking in sales personnel. You can select some from the suggested ones and add your own to suit your skills.
- Sales Expert
- Online Sales Strategies
- Sales Forecasting
- Sales Reporting
- Sales Team Management
- Sales Force Systems
Your education is always of interest to employers. List your qualifications in reverse chronological order. State the name of the institution, the year completed and subjects studied or professional qualifications obtained.
Sales Work Experience
In the responsibilities or duties section it is best to emphasize your record of sales accomplishments rather than to simply make a list of duties. Make sure to emphasize your particular responsibilities in such things as budgets and any supervisory roles and highlight your best successes.
Use action verbs and bullet points such as “initiated, “launched”, “developed”.
Of course a number one priority is to show how much you can benefit the company by using your sales proficiency. It is certainly advisable to include as many of the following examples of information as possible.
- Your sales figures or a percentage increase in sales
- Quotas met or exceeded
- Any dwindling accounts that you have ‘rescued’
- Awards or merits gained
- Playing a role in developing a new product
- Taking part in the launch of a new product
- Negotiating with suppliers to achieve extra profit
- Acting on any boards or committees
- Taking part in sales training programs to increase performance
- Handling client objections or dissatisfaction successfully
Keep in mind that the employer is especially interested to know how much you will improve the bottom line for the company. sales resumes that focus on this type of information will give a clear picture of your abilities and showcase your worth to a prospective employer and ultimately this is what your new boss is seeking to discover.
For this section a recent graduate with little or no work history could include relevant voluntary activities and clubs which will show leadership qualities and communication skills. More experienced sales people could add any memberships of professional associations.
Remember to include the keywords and phrases that were used in the job advertisement numerous times throughout your resume as these are what the employers will use when searching to hire sales people. Be careful not to overdo using them as this will spoil your resume and it may be rejected.