How to write an effective sales resume
Working in sales, you know the importance of a first impression, and your resume is your introduction to a company. Your potential future employer needs to fully understand exactly who you are in a page, and the perfect resume will allow you to sell yourself.
However, writing a resume can feel stressful, and a poor resume will simply get passed over by hiring managers—even if you are the perfect candidate for the position. Read on to learn what to include to build an effective sales resume fast.
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1. Craft an appealing professional profile for your sales resume
As someone in sales, you’ve likely learned how to perfect an elevator pitch, and your summary is the elevator pitch of your experience, education and skills. When hiring managers are going through their piles of resumes, the first thing they’ll look at is your summary section.
Your first step in creating a resume easily is to look at what the company you’re applying for wants. For example, if they say they’re looking for someone who is passionate and experienced, put these traits in the opening line of your summary.
So, for example, you can lead with, “Passionate, persistent, accomplished sales manager with 8 years of experience in a sales environment.” Next, think about what you have knowledge of. For example, if you regularly use Oracle Sales, MailChimp and Tenfold, quickly list off those programs in your summary.
Finally, end with your education and accomplishments. If you regularly help companies update their systems or improved your last job’s customer retention by 25%, put those accomplishments here so hiring managers know exactly how you can help their company.
Here's an example of a strong sales resume summary
Accomplished sales representative with a positive, passionate and persistent attitude. With an experience of 7+ years working in the sales environment coupled with the exposure to Oracle Sales, LinkedIn Sales and SAP Sales. Successfully improved customer retention by 25%.
2. Include your biggest achievements in your work experience section
We’ll be honest with you, experience helps a lot when looking for a sales position, and this is where you’ll be able to shine with hiring managers. The main thing to remember when crafting your work experience section? Hiring managers want to see accomplishments, not job responsibilities.
This section will closely align with your skills section. However, employers want to see proof of your skill set. Simply saying that you are great at closing or regularly set and exceed goals doesn’t show hiring managers you can actually do these things.
Instead, look to see how you can prove you can do those things. For example, if you averaged over $5 million in annual sales or increased revenue by 80%, include this measurable data. If you don’t have an example like this, or if the company you’re applying to is looking for something more along the lines of “dedicated” or “knowledgeable,” include short phrases that prove you’re right for the job, including, “took no sick days in four years” or “strong knowledge in clothing sales.”
Finally, remember that your potential employer doesn’t need to know about everything you’ve accomplished in the past. Instead, look to include highlights, giving the most space to your most recent position.
Here's an example og an effective sales work experience section
Digital Evangelist, Bangalore, India
Inside Sales, SAP
- Advised customers on how to effectively strategize business transformation for enhanced ROI & Sustainability
- Managed entire North, West & East region for SAP ERP Cloud i.e. Business by Design.
- Responsible for logo acquisition & incremental business from installed base.
- Euro 140 K revenue attainment in the small and medium business.
- Maintained 4X pipeline.
3. Make your sales education section stand out
Whether you graduated from high school or hold and MBA, listing your education shows employers your formal qualifications for a position.
However, a lot of people simply list their educational institution’s name, years attended and what degree they obtained. While this is fine for some positions, you can make your educational section work harder for you by listing relevant classes or accomplishments.
Made it on Dean’s List throughout college or worked as the president of your high school’s Future Business Leaders of America club? This is the time to let employers know, so take the time to list off a few of your relevant educational accomplishments under each school.
Finally, look to include measurable accomplishments, such as increased club revenue by 15%, that further prove why you’re the right fit for the job.
Here's an example of how to list education in a sales resume
St. Joseph's College of Commerce, Bangalore, India
Master of International Business
- International Trade and Commerce
- Export and Import Policies
- Project Management
- Basic German
Essential skills to put on your sales resume
As someone working in sales, you have a host of essential skills in your arsenal. You may wonder how to include them, or if you should include them all.
The first step in figuring out your skills is to make a list of your hard and soft skills. After listing your skills into two categories, look at what your potential employer wants in an employee.
So, if they need someone with product knowledge and excellent client retention, include those in your skill section. Do not worry about measurable data in this section; you’ve already shown why you’re right for the position in your work experience and education sections.
Effective sales skills to include in your resume
- Product knowledge
- Active listening
- Time management
- Client acquisition and retention
- Attention to detail
- Written and verbal communication
- Microsoft suite
Remember, you use a plethora of skills in your work every single day, and you’re not going to have the room to include every skill you have in this section. Instead, look to narrow down your skills section to 8-12 relevant skills sales employers look for.
Key takeaways from our guide on writing a successful sales resume
Building your resume may seem difficult, but once you know what to include, you can create the perfect CV. By including a powerful summary, a thorough, measurable work experience section, showing your educational accomplishments and listing off relevant skills, you’ll be able to prove to hiring managers why you’re the right candidate for the job.
Take the time to craft the perfect resume for each potential employer by looking at what they need according to the job description, and you’ll see the job offers start rolling in. We hope you’ve found this resume guide helpful and that you can build your resume fast. Need more inspiration? Check out our sales resume examples for more inspiration.