How to write a professional sales director resume?

Whether helping a national retailer increase their revenue or saving a global chain from financial disaster, sales directors truly do make the business world go ‘round. However, when a company has a sales director opening, there tends to be a lot of competition.

Hiring managers must quickly sort through resumes, and this can lead to great, qualified candidates getting ignored if their resume isn’t well-written. Luckily, we’re here to help. This resume guide will help you write your resume quickly and easily, letting you create a document hiring managers will love. Follow this guide to build the perfect sales director resume today.

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1. Make your sales director professional summary stand out

Your summary is the first step to ensure your resume isn’t ignored. Think of it as your first introduction to the company you’re applying for; a short elevator pitch of 3-4 sentences that shows hiring managers exactly why you’re right for the position. After resumes pass an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) test (a computer program that looks for keywords and discards resumes without them), a hiring manager will take a look at the remaining candidates. Most hiring managers won’t read past the summary, making instantaneous decisions on whether or not a candidate is qualified in only a few sentences.

To make your summary stand out, you’ll want to include the following elements: your experience, achievements and a few keywords to show why you’re qualified for the job. Going no more than four sentences, a proper summary will answer hiring managers’ questions about how you’re qualified for the job and what you can bring to the company.

Begin with something like, “Driven sales director with 14 years of experience working for Fortune 500 companies.” You’ve picked a personality trait, shown your experience and who you have worked for in only a single sentence!

Finish up by discussing a few of your key accomplishments and what skills you’ve used to excel at your past jobs. Don’t worry about fully explaining anything here. You’ll be able to do that in your work experience and education sections.

Sales director professional profile example

Certified Professional Sales Leader offering 4 years of relevant experience and a bachelor's degree in Business & Management from the University of Nottingham. Accomplished individual with exceptional teamwork skills and the ability to use multiple sales software programmes, including Salesforce CRM, Pipedrive, and Bitrix24.

2. Showcase your best achievements in your sales director work experience section

Your work experience shows hiring managers exactly why you’re right for the job, so take the time to think about which of your experiences are most relevant to the position you’re applying for. Also remember that you can tailor your work experience to better fit each job you send an application to.

For example, while one company’s job listing may heavily focus on experience another may be looking for someone who specializes in new technologies. Taking the time to tailor your work experience lets you showcase different achievements to different companies while still being qualified for both.

The main thing when writing about your work experience is to make sure you’re not simply writing your job responsibilities. Hiring managers know you were supposed to network and lead; what they want to know is exactly how you did it.

To show exactly why you’re right for the job, include measurable, quantitative data. Talk about how your store was consistently in the top 10% or how you increased sales at your location by 25%. Showing, rather than telling, potential employers about accomplishments will go much further with hiring managers than simply listing out your job responsibilities that anyone else with the same position would have.

Sales director work experience section example

NM Technologies, Inc., Nottingham, United Kingdom
Sales Lead
2016-2021

  • Managed and supervised multiple key sales activities and identified monthly and annual revenue targets.
  • Coordinated a team of 5 people, conducted weekly team meetings, and represented the company at various industry events.
  • Hired and trained new Sales Representatives and generated detailed reports.
  • Monitored and analyzed the sales performance and worked on the development of new sales strategies.
  • Won the Employee of the Year Award for increasing sales by 300% within one year.

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3. Beef up your sales director education section

Your work experience and skills sections are important, and many people tend to gloss over their education with a simply summary of their institution’s name, degree obtained and years attended.

However, many recruiters and hiring managers place a lot of stock in where their employees graduated from, and you’ll want to make your education section stand out. Whether you have an MBA or BA in communications, marketing or sales, make sure you list exactly what you accomplished in school as well as any certifications you received long after school ended.

For example, if you were on the President’s List all through school or led an extracurricular club’s marketing campaign, make sure you include exactly what you achieved.

By showing extra qualifications from your education, you can easily push your resume to the top of the pile. This is also a great way to fit in extra skills that you decided not to place in your skills or work section. On a side note, remember that your education section should still be short, with 3-5 bullet points more than enough to showcase your achievements.

Sales director education section example

University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Business & Management
2012-2015

  • First Class Honours (Top 3% of the Programme)
  • Clubs and Societies: Business Club, Marketing Society, TEDx Club

4. The best sales director skills to put on your resume

Let’s be honest—you have a lot of skills you utilize on a daily basis, and it can be tempting to list all of them on your resume to show why you’re the right fit for a job.

However, hiring managers (and you) don’t have the time to go through a list of skills, and you must decide which competencies to include. To begin, divide your skills into two categories, soft and hard skills. Your list should look something like this:

Effective sales director soft skills to put on your CV

  • Analytical
  • Motivational
  • Coaching
  • Presentation
  • Negotiation

The best hard skills for your sales director resume

  • CRM
  • Google Analytics
  • Market Research
  • Microsoft Suite
  • Product Knowledge

Next, look at the job listing. Are they looking for a motivated leader with expertise in Microsoft? Make sure to include these skills in this section. This doesn’t mean you should copy the job listing word for word; however, by including a few keywords from the job listing, you’ll show why you’re the right candidate for the job. Finally, make sure you limit your skill list to between 8-12 different skills, usually devoting about half to soft skills and half to hard.

Building a resume for a sales director position doesn’t need to be difficult once you know what to include. By crafting strong summary, work experience, education and skill sections, you’ll be able to create a resume that stands out to hiring managers.

Need a little more inspiration? Check out our sales director resume examples to look over resumes that actually worked for other candidates by clicking here.

Published on Jan. 3, 2022

Martin is a resume expert and career advice writer at Kickresume. In his five years at Kickresume, he has written nearly 100 in-depth, painstakingly researched resume advice articles and, as chief editor, he has also edited and revised every single article on this website. Tens of thousands of job seekers read Martin’s resume advice every month. He holds a degree in English from the University of St Andrews and a degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Amsterdam.

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