Most people assume that working a sales job automatically means you can write the perfect sales resume. But selling other things is not the same as selling your own image.
For one, you are obviously more invested in your future than in a random product. Secondly, no two products are the same. The “rules” of selling shoes or software aren’t the same as the rules of pitching your professional history.
But you’re on the right page.
We will teach you how to compose the right sales resume for your goals. Keep reading below.
A conventional resume communicates your skills, education, and professional background. A sales resume has one extra role:
It shows your HR manager or future team manager how persuasive you actually are.
The steps below take you through actionable advice to hone that persuasion:
You need to hone your resume-writing mindset before even scribbling your name on an online resume template.
The right mindset: Let your resume reflect your uniqueness.
1. Avoid cliché phrases like “team player” or “great written and verbal communication skills.”
HR managers tend to ignore these overused cliches, so they pay less attention to your potential. Instead, choose examples from your past workplaces to show that you are a good team player, and that you can easily deal with interpersonal problems and stressful situations at work:
- Collaborated with ten developers and nine agencies to increase sales for product X by 20% in 3 months.
- Managed outreach for five sales teams between 2015 and 2020, building a unique collaboration system that saved 7 work hours per week.
2. Be intentional and goal-oriented with everything.
Don’t add things just because there’s a specific section on your resume template for them. And if you do add these things, remember to make them talk about you. For example, don’t say, “I like reading and working out” in your hobby section. Instead, say:
- I like reading because I thrive on learning and implementing new ideas.
- I enjoy exercising because I am goal-oriented and want to surpass my limits.
Now that you have the right mindset let’s pick the right format to showcase your experience.
- Pick a functional resume format if you are a beginner.
The functional format emphasizes your skills instead of pointing to your limited experience. That’s why it’s effective if you’re new to the sales force.
- Choose a chronological format if you have plenty of experience.
This type of resume highlights your knowledge, experience, and skills chronologically. When you create a timeline to tell your work trajectory, recruiters understand your evolution over time at a glance.
- Use a hybrid resume if you’ve had multiple positions.
This resume blends the sequential and skill-based format, thus allowing you to emphasize your work across companies.
- Consider a social media resume.
Many companies and people are already tapping into TikTok resumes. These video resumes show your creativity and persuasion much better than a conventional resume. And that’s exactly what you need in sales.
Here’s a neat example from Daniel Wall. Daniel aims to become a campus rep for TikTok, promoting TikTok services to other college students:
This is the part where you write your personal details, name, phone number, and title. You should:
- Use your full name, not your nickname.
- Make sure your email address sounds professional.
- Spell-check everything.
This part is a short summary of what you want to achieve by sending this resume. So:
- Use the name of the company you’re applying for.
- Avoid being generic.
- Use action verbs to summarize your work successes and skills in about 50 words.
Here’s a wrong example first:
“Seeking a challenging role that leverages my strong interpersonal skills and allows me to make meaningful contributions to the organization while providing opportunities for professional development and advancement.”
That sounds completely robotic.
A correct example sounds more like this (notice the bullet points, too):
“Experienced Sales Representative seeking a challenging role as a Sales Manager at Company X after completing advanced sales training.
- Diverse experience in prospecting, lead generation, and consultative selling.
- Over 3 years of experience managing sales teams of up to 10 people and working collaboratively with cross-functional teams.
- Successfully grew revenue by 50% through implementing new sales strategies and building strong relationships with key clients.”
And here’s a real example where the applicant uses a quote to stand out and elicit curiosity:
Highlight the most important work experience for the role you’re seeking. That means you must be very specific; customize your resume to ensure it fits the company you’re applying to.
For example, if you’re targeting meta advertising agencies, you should discuss the number of deals you’ve closed and the additional services you’ve upsold at your previous agency, rather than focusing on your sales experience at an online store.
- Showcase numbers.
- Make it interesting, so the recruiter doesn’t just glaze over your CV.
- Turn your experience into a unique selling point
- Don’t underestimate your work.
Suppose you are just starting in the sales workforce, and your previous job was invoice data entry.
Don’t sell yourself short by putting “data entry and invoicing” in your experience section.
- Oversaw invoicing procedures for 2,000 vendors, setting up an automated system that freed ten work hours per week and $1,000 in corresponding revenue per month.
- Tracked and processed record management for 2,000 vendors per month.
Pro tip: If you lack work experience, include extracurricular activities that fit your dream job.
Here’s how Robbin Moore outlines his experience as a sales manager for Virgina Region. Notice how specific he is about his responsibilities and accomplishments:
Remember: Use bullet points to emphasize multiple professional accomplishments.
At this point in the resume-writing game, it’s time to use your sales abilities and power of persuasion. Finding industry-specific keywords for your sales position isn’t enough.
You need to:
- Make these skills sound unique to your personality and work history.
- Give specific examples.
- Focus on 4-5 relevant skills.
Let’s say you want to work as a New Home Sales Consultant. Below are two skill examples for keywords and corresponding skills.
Notice that the phrasing sounds robotic and bland:
- Sales: Ability to close deals and exceed sales targets.
- Customer service: Strong customer service skills, including the ability to listen actively, understand customer needs, and provide prompt solutions.
Here are some better examples for the same position:
- Building relationships with potential customers through consultative selling techniques.
- Using my change strategist skills to highlight the benefits of new homes.
- Consistently exceeded sales targets by 10-20% through effective lead generation, negotiation, and closing strategies.
- Customer service:
- Adopting a customer-centric approach throughout the home buying process.
- Addressing concerns promptly and with empathy.
- High levels of customer retention and a 95% satisfaction rating from clients.
Pro tip: Focus only on important skills for your job position.
Take this example of a sales supervisor’s resume:
Pauline Dior includes skills like MS Office, which is basic software. Most people with her work experience and education are expected to master MS Office.
The good thing is that Pauline includes several other software programs that sales supervisors need: HubSpot, Pipedrive, and Zoho CRM.
This section highlights your education, but don’t let it take up too much space.
- Don’t include any education less than high school.
- Focus on the latest degrees. For example, if you have a Master’s in Sales, don’t mention your high school.
- Emphasize the most important degrees. For example, finishing trade school is more important than two semesters at a community college.
- Ensure your degree meets the job post’s requirements.
- Add all your sales-related certifications to outline your education.
Here’s a sales promoter resume example. Notice how tiny the education section is compared to the rest of the CV (which is a good thing):
As you can see, writing your sales resume isn’t tough if you develop the right mindset. Remember to emphasize your qualities, be specific, and have a result-centric attitude.
The right pitch can make or break your resume.
However, don’t lie on your CV and keep it short – one page should do the trick. Double-check for spelling and grammar, too, and you are ready to go.
Then come back here and tell us if you got your dream job!