The world of sales is competitive, and this includes trying to secure a role with a great company or firm as a sales agent or manager. Whether you’re new or accomplished, you know all about the importance of first impressions and being memorable. Your resume is the chance to do this, and, luckily, not everyone will put the same time and care into crafting theirs. You can make your life easier by using an online resume builder to start with.Consider the following tips to help get on the short list.
Anyone can list related skills that a sales professional needs. You need to make your actual accomplishments stand out, so any time you can include stats and real numbers is helpful. Sales Talent Agency, an expert sales recruiting agency in Toronto, Canada, lists some of the key metrics you should feature along with your current and former job roles:
- Average sale size
- Average sale cycle
- Products/Solutions sold
- Quota and performance against quota
- Transactional or Consultative
- Percentage as ‘hunter’ or new accounts developed/acquired
- Percentage as ‘farmer’ or accounts managed and maintained
- Territory, including geographic, major accounts, channel partners
- Vertical industries called on (public, private, specific industry like healthcare)
- Type of accounts called on (small- to medium-sized business, Fortune 50 to 500)
- Experience leveraging channel partners and resellers
- Level called on within accounts (CEO, CTO, CIO, procurement)
- Any other unique, company-specific relevant points
Sales Talent Agency has many other useful resources on their site, including help with how to find your dream sales job and which personality traits are helpful to highlight using their in-house tools.
Other Content to Include:
- All relevant former work positions, your titles, dates, and a concise description of what you accomplished for them
- Include details like company size and what they do
- If the positions are not in sales, list the accomplishments and points related to the job you want
- Awards and scholarships
- Education, sales-related professional development courses, certifications
- Always list your degrees, even if they’re not business-related
- You may include an objective at the top, but this is a slightly out-of-date format containing information that your cover letter should already convey
- Do not include references until your interview, or when requested, to avoid giving out the contact information of all your former managers to several parties
Order your resume by relevance. If you’ve had sales positions before, list those and the related metrics first. If this would be your first role, education and awards might be a better choice up top.
You want to go for a clean and attractive look. Now is not the time to be gimmicky to stand out. Feel free to add a colour palette beyond a black font on a white background, but it should always be legible, easy on the eyes, and not distracting. Bright colours are never a good idea.
It should be well-organized with headings, columns, and rows that make information easy to read and quick to reference later.
Edit & Polish
Your resume and cover letter are likely to be initially screened by a machine, so you’ll want to include exact keywords from the job posting. This may scream unoriginal, especially to the writer in you, but it’s necessary to get your resume past the first barrier. Then, a recruiter will have human eyes on it. Your cover letter is a chance to be more creative and impressive with your language in addition to these basic keywords.
Proofread it heavily yourself and get at least one extra set of eyes to review it. We tend to read what we meant to write, not what is on the page, so a fresh perspective is important.
Test reading your completed resume on a laptop, phone, and tablet to see that it’s readable and looks how it should. Save it in PDF format (unless stated otherwise) because it will automatically adjust to fit any screen size.