There’s no denying that the world of sales is highly competitive. Making matters even more difficult, in most cases, this kind of intense competition begins well before you actually land a job.
And while you might have all the skills needed to shine during the interview process, if your résumé doesn’t grab the potential employer’s interest in the first place, you’ll never get the chance to truly showcase what makes a must have hire for your dream sales gig.
So, how do you make sure your résumé stands out?
When all is said and done, there’s more to making a sales-centric résumé jump off the page than making it look pretty through formatting. Below, you’ll find four essential components of a successful, sales-centric résumé …
Read, rinse and repeat to land the sales job you’ve always wanted:
1) Numbers, Numbers, Numbers, etc.
Sales is all about numbers. After all, they’re what your future employer will expect from you …
As a result, they’re largely what a hiring manager will be searching for when looking over your résumé. Because of this, it’s essential that you quantify your past sales experiences.
Did you increase your company’s revenue? How? Did you exceed your sales quota? What did you do to crush it?
Whatever the case, don’t simply state that you did something—provide the percentages and raw numbers behind what took place to more fully demonstrate your sales success.
For example, which of the below statements do you think sounds more impressive to a recruiter who’s set on making the right hire the first time around?
- Option #1 – “Consistently surpassed sales quotas.”
- Option #2 – “Delighted my customers to exceed sales quota 35% quarter over quarter.”
The better you’re able to quantify past sales successes while inserting your “personality”, the easier it will be for hiring managers to find the information they really care about while getting an idea for who you are.
Cut through the “fluff,” and give recruiters what they want—numbers with “you” sprinkled on top.
2) Make it Relevant: Connect the Dots
As important as numbers are, they’re not the only things hiring managers care about…
It’s important to to easily digest and know what you’ve sold, what kinds of companies you’ve worked for in the past and even if your sales life included travel—crazy, right?
Because of this, don’t be afraid to include specifics about the products or services you sold in previous positions, did the products or services evolved while you were there or to talk about additional responsibilities past work required. More importantly, how were you part of all of that?
Connect the dots for them. These days, next to nobody does this, so give yourself a major advantage by doing so.
Your resume is a snapshot of who you are and what you’ve done. When you sum that all up via a well-written document to the position you’re applying for, you immediately stand out from the crowd as someone who can hit the ground running while making an impact on the company.
3) Go Ahead and Brag: Achievements and Awards
While you’ve probably heard this so many times it’s become redundant, it bears repeating—ideally, employers only want access to the best, most accomplished sales talent available.
If you’ve earned awards, certificates or some sort of recognition for your sales ability, don’t hide them at the bottom of your résumé where nobody can see it.
Think about it—at least initially, you’re trying to sell yourself as a highly-coveted sales performer via your résumé. Few things do a better job of demonstrating that you actually are “highly-coveted sales talent” than past sales-centric achievements and positive recognition. Were you sales rookie of the year, did you win the monthly sales contest by a landslide, or did you travel to an exotic destination for “President’s Club”? All of these and then some should be front and center. Make the potential employer jump out of the seat to talk to you.
Whatever it takes, the better you’re able to make your awards and achievements stand out, the more likely they’ll be to catch a hiring manager’s eye.
Just remember, be truthful! Fudging the numbers or telling tall tales will always come back to haunt you…
As important as it is to include numbers, relevant sales experiences and awards, you can’t overlook the value of concision. In fact, believe it or not, research suggests that on average, recruiters spend a mere six seconds looking at each submitted résumé …
This doesn’t give you much time to make a solid first impression.
Because of this, it’s important that you 100% build your résumé around the job in question. Keep things short, sweet and to the point while letting your personality come through. In general, this means avoiding the temptation to have your résumé get beyond one page in length.
Needless to say, if a particular award or job experience isn’t relevant to the sales position you’re applying for, kick it to the curb. Include only the most relevant information.
By so doing, you increase the likelihood that something speedily grabs their attention. Remember, your resume is merely an invitation for a conversation, the rest of the details come later.
You know the drill—this is the part where I want to hear from you!
Have any of the above tips helped you land a sales interview in the past? Are there other tactics that’ve helped you get your foot in the door at a high-profile company?
Whatever you’ve got for me, be sure to tell me about it in the comments below!
Fine-tuning your résumé can take a lot of work, but it’s something that can make all the difference in helping you find the perfect sales position.
As always, I can’t wait to hear about your experiences—have a great day!