Posts Tagged ‘Sales’

Keys to a Successful Sales Resume

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

If you’re looking to enter the sales industry, or move up the ranks, or land a job with a great new company, your first task will be effectively “selling yourself” in your resume.

After all, if you can’t submit a convincing pitch or create an effective sales document, employers probably won’t take you seriously for even an entry-level sales job.

As great sales jobs are highly competitive, you will want to make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward. Here are a few tips for crafting a sales resume that will maximize your chances of landing an interview:

Show them the numbers

If you’re in sales, you know your numbers and how important they are. As you’re hitting your monthly quota and improving your company’s revenue, you understand the importance of impacting the bottom line. Don’t distract hiring managers with needless jargon. Instead, show them hard facts and numbers that tell a clear story about what you have achieved in your career.

Salespeople operate in quantifiable results, so make sure your resume reads the same way. For example, don’t say you generated $100,000 without saying whether that figure was above or below your target goal. While you need to use your numbers, you also need to be able to show them why those numbers are important.

If you’re entry-level, or simply new to sales, you may not have sales numbers to speak to, but you can still tell a story that resonates with the hiring managers. Focus on showcasing yourself as a numbers and results-driven professional by quantifying your past successes as much as possible. As an aspiring salesperson, your potential employer wants to know that you can bring the numbers, so show them that you’ve done this in your past roles and can do it again.

What makes you unique?

When you apply for any job, you need to make sure you shine. Mention any awards, certifications, selling techniques you’ve mastered, and experiences that make you uniquely qualified for the job. Instead of listing various achievements at the bottom of your resume for a sales position, be sure that the most relevant successes are front and center. Sales is about survival of the fittest and being the best man or woman for the job—don’t be afraid to show-off a little bit.

Keep it clean, clear, and accurate

Clean up your resume. Just as you’ll need to get straight to the point by showing recruiters your sales statistics and results, you also want to make your resume clear and concise. Cut out irrelevant details. Typos or formatting issues highlight an inattention to detail that could cost you a job. Meanwhile, you shouldn’t leave any inconsistencies or wide gaps in employment in your experience section. Even if you weren’t working in sales, include your volunteer work or jobs that could be relevant for the position you are applying for.

The pressure may be high, but be careful to showcase your best work without exaggerating your contributions. Results from a recent CareerBuilder survey of 2,500 hiring managers around the country showed that 56 percent of participants caught candidates lying on their resumes. Gray areas that qualify as lying include: inflated titles, incorrect attribution, and incorrect working dates. All of these inaccuracies could ruin your chances of landing the job so that you can begin closing sales at a new company.

Think outside of the box

Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box while drafting your resume. Sales is about going with your gut and taking risks—feel free to be bold. Tailor your resume based on each individual role that you apply for. Imagine you are the hiring manager as you’re finalizing your first draft. Be honest when you look it over and think about whether you would take the time to give it a second look. Of course, you should share it with mentors, former coworkers, and friends who can offer a fresh, critical perspective. Just as you’ll try to sell your clients on new products or services, you want to discover the best way to sell your own skills and experience to your next hiring manager.

One final thing to keep in mind: confidentiality. Many companies consider their sales strategies and performances confidential information. The threat of competitors finding out about company success strategies is very real, so be sure not to include any information that would compromise your current or past employers’ confidential information. You certainly can include information that is available to the general public (for example, stats found in an annual report or on the company Web site).

Good luck!

6 Résumé Tips to Help You Land a Great Sales Gig | Dave Yourgrau via Startup Institute.