Bragging may have no place in polite conversation, but it’s encouraged and expected when preparing a resume for a sales position. Employers are looking for someone who can sell, including the ability to sell their own achievements and qualifications.
Since people staffing human resources departments tend to scan resumes from the top down, putting the most compelling information first is key to a resume making it into the follow-up pile.
Remember That Numbers Tell the Story in Sales
Sales managers measure success using a range of numbers. Here are some figures to include on a sales resume that should catch the attention of any sales manager looking to grow the department:
- Increased profits or company revenue by a certain percentage point
- Consistently surpassed assigned sales goals
- Successfully penetrated new markets without management assistance
- Secured a certain percentage of new business each year
- Nurtured relationships with high-spending clients to keep them onboard
It’s crucial to be highly specific when including this type of information on a sales resume. Both the human resources recruiter and the sales manager will want to know how the applicant achieved success, not just that he or she did. This means including exact dollar figures, percentages, and statistics for every line of information offered.
A Resume Can Be More Than Words
The typical sales meeting consists of viewing numerous diagrams and charts to convey a message without using words. There is no reason that a resume can’t do the same thing. After listing his or her name, contact information, and most impressive sales achievement, the applicant may want to insert one or more charts that prove success and help to break up the blocks of text.
Any chart that can convey impressive growth from one reporting period to the next should pique the curiosity of the person viewing it.
Use Industry-Specific Language
A common practice in human resources is to scan resumes electronically for specific keywords. Those that include a minimum amount of them will then go to a human for further review.
While not every sales entity does this, writing a resume as if they do will increase the likelihood of receiving a call back and an interview. The following are some especially powerful words to include when writing a sales resume:
- Account management
- Attention to detail
- Brand positioning
- Buyer motivation
- Client acquisition
- Client retention
- Closing sales
- Lead generation
- Long-term growth
- Market penetration
- Product innovation
- Product knowledge
- Profit margin optimization
- Sales forecasting
- Time management
Applicants should keep in mind that it isn’t enough to use these words if they don’t have examples to back them up. In addition to hard numbers, recruiters for sales job openings appreciate seeing proof of achievements and actual examples wherever possible.
Make a Strong Case for Uniqueness
It can be difficult to stand out when the resumes of other sales professionals list similar skills, education, and experience. Those who have experience in a niche market or training in a sales specialty will want to include that information on a resume. Including details about awards and verifiable reviews by clients, vendors, or superiors can also help to sell the candidate. The goal is to write such an effective resume that the hiring company can’t wait to schedule an interview.
If you like this article and want to learn more lifestyle tips from us, click here.