12 Sales Resume Tips to Help You Get Noticed
Sales representatives, account managers and business development representatives specialize in bringing more money to the company and boosting revenues. However, even the top-notch professionals sometimes struggle to write a powerful resume that will land them an interview. In today’s post, an experienced resume writer online will give a handful of tips on how to write a strong resume for sales jobs.
If you work in sales, treat the resume as a sales copy. Your goal is literally to sell your skills, experience and competencies to a target employer and persuade them to invite you for an interview. You know how important the first impressions are, so make sure every aspect of your resume is spotless before you send it out.
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12 expert resume tips for sales professionals
- Treat your career summary as a sales pitch
Today, successful resumes start with a summary of qualifications, not an objective. However, avoid adding a summary just for the sake of it! The summary section is the first thing the hiring person will see, so treat it like a sales pitch, or elevator pitch. Briefly summarize the most impressive facts from your professional bio to engage them to read the rest of your resume. Limit the summary to 4-5 sentences, but shamelessly brag the best skills and accomplishments you have.
- Concentrate they key stuff in the top third of your resume
Use the top third of your resume to present the crucial information which matters for considering you for the role. The game-changing skills and certifications, top accomplishments or collaboration with a worldwide known client should be absolutely mentioned here. Hiring people are busy, and they won’t read your resume bottom to top in an attempt to find something impressive. So, make your key selling points visible at a glance.
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- List the essential sales skills
Whether you decide to include the specific Skills section or to mention your skills while describing the work experience, make sure your resume contains the essential salesperson skills. These skills serve as keywords, helping you pass the automated selection stage. Moreover, they make your sales resume outstanding as they show the employer that you’re a good fit. Here are the examples of skills you should consider listing: rapport building, client acquisition and retention, strategic prospecting, product knowledge, and communication.
- Put the accomplishments in focus
Companies hire sales professionals to achieve measurable growth in sales, client loyalty and steady business growth. So, show how you managed to deliver similar results in the past. Did you build the sales territory from the ground up and achieved $1.5M in territory sales? Have you trained new sales representatives and increase their productivity by 25%? Or maybe, you increased the number of returning clients by 20% by improving the quality of customer service? List all your accomplishments, supporting them with figures.
- Consider including graphic elements
If you have delivered really outstanding results and have done it consistently, it’s a good idea to present them visually. Increased market share, stable growth in sales or outstanding performance will look great in the form of the diagram, chart, or table. Graphics will instantly capture the attention of the busy hiring person and encourage them to read your resume top to bottom. However, you should include graphics carefully so that it complements the design of your resume rather than running it.
- Avoid generic language and buzzwords
Most resumes are stuffed with generic statements like “proactive problem solver” or “excellent communicator”. If your resume contains buzzwords like these as well, cross them out and replace with specific examples of where and how you applied your skills. For instance, instead of claiming that you have great client relationship building skills, say that you’ve implemented client outreach programs to increase repeat business. Specific examples work best when it comes to proving that you possess a certain skill.
- Highlight the awards and professional certifications
Apart from professional accomplishments, add other details which add up to your image of a highly qualified candidate. In particular, mention any professional awards and honors (such as Employee of the year, #1 in the sales team or other internal or external award). If you hold a reputable certification or passed the sales training, list them as well. You might want to create a specific resume section if there’s plenty of achievements or trainings, or integrate this information into the Experience section.
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- Beware of including confidential information
When bragging your accomplishments, mind the confidentiality factor. The sales strategies or figures from your previous jobs might be confidential, which means you cannot include them in a resume. If you are not sure about which information can be disclosed, talk to your supervisor and discuss how you could describe your performance without compromising the company’s sensitive information.
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- Tailor the resume for a particular job posting
The same sales position can imply different responsibilities with different companies, so applying everywhere with the same resume isn’t the best strategy. Customizing your resume for each job increases the odds that it gets shortlisted and you’ll get more consideration. Use the job posting for a reference to understand what qualification the employer is looking for in the first place. Mind the company size, the industry and long-term goals when tailoring the resume either. If your resume reflects their expectations, you’ll win the interview with ease.
- Choose a resume format strategically
There are three main resume formats, and although most sources recommend that you stay on the chronological one, everything depends on your career history. If you’ve started a career in sales years ago and have achieved a stable vertical progression, use a reverse chronological format to highlight that growth. However, if you’ve worked as a marketer and then changed career direction to continue a career in sales, opt for a functional resume. The right choice of format is the one that highlights the benefits of your unique career trajectory.
- Sweet and short is the best tactic
Keep your sales resume between 1-2 pages. This length is sufficient to showcase how you drove sales and built top-performing sales teams in the past without overloading the recruiter with unimportant details. Just like a good sales pitch, your resume should be short and sweet, rich in descriptions of your skills and successes. If you seek specific advice on how to choose the appropriate length for your resume, read professional writer’s suggestions on how long a resume should be.
- Edit and proofread meticulously
All sales roles require excellent communication skills and attention to detail. Make sure your resume reflects these attributes and is free from any mistakes, typos or grammar issues. Put your freshly written resume aside for a couple of hours and return to it to proceed with editing. Read it aloud and sentence by sentence to ensure accurate and concise writing. Run it through an online spell checker such as Grammarly.com. Submit it only when you’re 100% sure that your writing is perfect. Mistakes in writing can spoil the first impression as many hiring professionals see them as a sign of unprofessionalism.
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