The sales resume is a bit unique, because, in no other profession do the “numbers” matter as much as they do in sales. Everything, in fact, is based upon numbers, whether you are a direct salesperson or the leader of a team of salespersons. Your value is based upon numbers. So, when you get ready to put together your sales resume, you need to be ready to do some serious bragging. Here are 5 tips that will let you brag gracefully.
Put Your Greatest Success First
Yes, resumes should usually be chronological, and yours can be too. But right under the heading (name, contact information), you need to write a short summary of who you are. In that summary is where you are going to put the biggest sales success of your career to date. You want the reader to see this before looking at your employment history. If you bury it in that employment history, chances are the reader won’t find it, because you won’t look any different than other candidates, and your resume might get discarded.
Focus Only on Results in Your Employment History
Don’t talk about your task responsibilities – if you are a sales or sales management professional, anyone reading your resume will already know what your task responsibilities are. Instead, focus on the following:
- What increase in sales did you achieve from the time you began in the position or within the last year
- How did you rank within the sales department? (Include this only if you were first or second in a good-sized sales force)
- If your position involved getting new clients, how many did you get within a set time frame? If it’s not clients, how many new accounts did you get?
- Name all sales awards you received
List Your Awards in Two Places
Not only should you mention awards as you outline your employment history, you should have a separate section for them if you have three or more. This list can also go at the top of your resume, right under your summary. A potential employer needs to be impressed from the beginning. This is one good way to do it.
List All Training and Credentials
These are important, especially if the person reading your resume knows anything about sales training. There are some big names in the sales training industry, and if you have been able to attend any workshops or conferences hosted by these “big boys,” that will be impressive. And, often, there are certificates provided to those who achieve milestones in sales, by outside organizations to which you may belong. List them all. And, if you have done any sales training, be sure to mention it too.
Know Who Will be Reading Your Resume
There are small, mid-sized, and large companies. Your resume should be geared for the size. For example, if the company is small, have you had experience with other small companies in which you competed successfully with larger competitors? And if you are coming from a large company to a small one, you need to show that you can be a hands on sales manager who is on the field with the players. If you are applying to a large company, have you handled big budgets and lead a large sales force before? One thing you can do when you are making a change in company size is to take a look at some sales resume examples in which the candidates are doing the same thing.
A Word About the Entry-Level Sales Resume
If you are looking for your first sales position straight out of school, you have a tough job. Instead of racking up all of your great achievements, you have to sell yourself instead.
In your entry-level sales resume, you should include any honors that you received during your schooling; if you wrote any papers that received high grades, put them in a portfolio on your LinkedIn account and provide the link; if your GPA is high, include it. Youi want to show future employers that you have strong motivation to succeed and that you meet with success in your efforts to succeed.
And remember this: if you are applying for an entry-level position, you will not be expected to have had experience, just educational and personal achievements.
Above all else, your resume must exude confidence. You know you can do the job; you know you are good at what you do. If you follow these 5 tips, that how you will come across.