Updated: Jul 11, 2019
A strong resume begins with a pitch: a keyword rich professional profile. This introductory paragraph is crucial in detailing your hard and soft skills, highlighting years of experience, and your commitment to the sales profession. Provide steadfast reasons why the hiring manager should set up an interview and consider hiring you right from the start of the document.
Effective use of keywords, clean and simple formatting, and a solid introduction that markets your skills will have you landing an interview in no time.
The general idea of creating an ideal format for an interview-winning resume is to keep it organized and easy-to-read. The formatting should be simple and not include too many unnecessary additions.
Keep the font style the same throughout the document and only include 3 font sizes, different sizes for your name, section headers, and overall text. The addition of one elegant color to the black font, in a border or section heading, could make it stand out from the other candidates.
Section it Out
Break your sales resume up into sections, to guide the reader to your various qualifications and experiences. The basic structure should include:
Your name and contact information
Professional profile summary
Areas of expertise
Education & Training
Additional sections may include awards, professional affiliations, technology expertise, and community involvement.
Try to maintain a length of two pages for your professional sales resume as to not overwhelm the hiring manager when they are sifting through a large pile of resumes. Keep your accomplishments and expertise as the focal point.
Professional Profile Summary
A profile summary, professional profile, professional summary, or resume summary is your first opportunity to catch the hiring managers attention to your qualifications. The main objective of your summary is to make your most relevant skills and experiences immediately noticeable to the hiring manager. A professional profile is not an objective. The position you are applying for is your objective and it should be listed above your profile summary as a title.
Examples of a title include: Sales Account Manager, IT Sales Representative, District Manager, Brand Manager Consultant, Assistant Retail Store Manager, Communications Specialist, Vice President/Director of Sales, Territory Manager, Sales and Marketing, Divisional Group Manager, Project Manager, Search Engine Marketing Executive, etc.
Your summary should be in paragraph form and no more than 5 lines and in the third person. The opening sentence should include your number of years of experience in the industry and use a bold font so it stands out that much more.
Resume Summary Examples for Sales Professionals
Territory Sales Representative Resume Profile
High-performing Sales Representative with 10+ years’ experience in the retail sector. Excels at creating revenue generation strategies while consistently exceeding sales goals. Highly effective in promoting and articulating products, services, and benefits; recognized as a trusted advisor who understands the importance of sales leadership and relationship building to the bottom line.
District Sales Manager Resume Profile
25+ years of decision-making leadership and P&L accountability for demanding retail operations. Repeated success driving results and establishing excellence in customer service standards. Passionate about identifying operational inefficiencies and leveraging turnaround strategy to integrate new retail sales, service, merchandising, and processes that impact the bottom line. Achieves measurable results in retail environments, including big-box stores; change driver who thinks out-of-the-box to solve issues and challenges.
Senior Sales Executive Resume Profile
Award-winning sales executive with proven ability to accelerate revenue growth, develop strong C-level relationships, build and drive high performing sales teams, and close six and seven figure deals in the lending and servicing industry. Strong drive for results; consistently earn top ranks in performance in every position by bringing revenues, profits, and market shares to new heights. Ready to bring determination, energy, and sales leadership. “Get it done”, solutions-oriented mindset; offers innovative approach to sales challenges.
Director of Sales Resume Profile
Enterprising, customer-focused leader with 15+ years’ experience in Marketing and Operations. Strong proficiencies in building new business and forging continued loyalty with clients, vendors, and external business stakeholders. Ability to identify and capitalize on business development, operations leadership, and new product launches within all types of sales environments. Respected, decisive, and top-performing manager of award-winning global sales organizations.
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Resume Profile
Natural sales and communications professional with 15 years of public health program management, sales and marketing processes experience. Efficient in promoting and articulating products, ideas, services, and benefits with a record of establishing trust and value among clients. Skilled communicator, presenter, and facilitator adept in creating unique approaches and programs that drive business growth and deliver top results. Cultivates and expands on new opportunities and leads initiatives to increase market share.
Regional Sales Representative Resume Summary
Dedicated, decisive, and professional Regional Sales Manager demonstrating 13 years of top-performing sales expertise. Proven ability to exceed sales quotas, manage professional development, support regional teams, and drive organizational growth and profitability. Effective leader, communicator, and negotiator with a solid talent for promoting new business through meaningful interactions at tradeshows and corporate events. Direct expertise in key account management, product training and placement, and direct sales and marketing.
Areas of Expertise
The next section of your sales resume should be one titled “Areas of Expertise” or “Core Competencies” or “Leadership Value”. This is the section where you can list any hard or soft skills you possess that are applicable to the specific position you are applying for. This list of skills will also be keywords that will help your resume get past the applicant tracking systems.
List any areas that you are very familiar with or are highly skilled in. Hard skills are tangible skills that are easy to quantify:
Negotiating & Closing
Prospecting & Lead Generation
New Business Development
Sales Strategy & Expansion
Sales & Distribution Channels
Team Leadership & Training
Customer Base Expansion
Upselling and Consultative Selling
Presentations & Proposals
Brand Awareness & Development
Some soft skills that companies may be looking for and that can be included in your sales resume, include:
The education and special training section should include all your relevant post-secondary educational pursuits, as well as any additional training or certifications you hold. Include your degree title, the college or university you received it from, the city, and year of completion. If you completed it more than 10 years ago, then you can omit the date. Do not include high school or any college affiliations.
Bachelor of Arts in Marketing, California State University – Irvine, 5/2011
Including Professional Experience
Focus your job experience section on your most recent pursuits, especially if you have been in sales for a long time. If you decide to include quite a few positions, as it is applicable to the job you are applying for, then you can always elaborate on three experiences and simply list the remaining positions.
In paragraph form, list your general duties and job description – answer the question: What were you hired to do or achieve? Next, in bullet point form, relay your top three day-to-day responsibilities. Then, add a tier header, such as Key Successes, Results Delivered, or Key Accomplishments and list your top 3-4 achievements in that position. This section is where you can really shine; utilize this section to detail your accomplishments with valuable numbers, promotions, and major projects.
Write Concise Resume Bullets for Accomplishments
Boosted sales by 30% through lead generation and new business development.
Acquired three big new accounts for the company which grew revenues by 8%.
Oversaw expansion of sales territory to include three additional cities and an expansive rural area which grew sales by $250,000 year over year.
Increased revenues from $15K in the first year to over $2.5 million in 5 years.
Effectively managed 90 inbound client request daily to earn top sales associate award in 2018.
Earned company-wide Employee of the Year Award out of a pool of 1385 employees in 2018.
Other Resume Headings
In addition to the basic outline of a well-crafted sales resume, which includes your eye-catching professional summary, areas of expertise, education, and career experience, you may also wish to include any applicable volunteer experience, professional development training, or computer expertise.
Don’t bog your resume down with unnecessary information. Leave some details for the interview. A resume needs to be concise and still provide enough information to get your foot in the door for an interview. If there are activities that directly relate to the position or have been mentioned in the job posting or company website, then you should most definitely include them if space permits.
Another section that may be applicable is one titled Awards and Recognition. If you have been presented with some prestigious sales honors, then you may want to include them on your resume. Awards are proof of your optimal sales skills and should be showcased. You can also include these in your Key Successes for the job it applies to.
One of the most important tips when creating your professional sales resume is to proofread it prior to submitting your application. Proofreading is of utmost importance when you want to land that coveted job at a major organization.
Ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors, and double check your address, educational institution information, and previous job dates for accuracy. By submitting an error-free and up-to-date document it shows that you take the initiative, have excellent communication skills, and pay attention to the small details.
Organization or Company Research
You already know that you want to work for the company in the position of Sales Representative or District Manager because you believe you are the right candidate for the job. But you would never try to sell a product without knowing whom you are selling it to, right? The same goes for your resume.
Thoroughly scrutinize the job posting, company website, and LinkedIn profile to elaborate on what the corporation stands for, their mission statement, and what some business opportunities may be. From there, see if you have any transferable skills that directly apply to what they are seeking in a new employee.
This is a great opportunity to prepare for that interview as well.
Tailor or Focus Your Resume
One of the best sales resume tips is to tailor your job search documents to the specific position you are applying for. The basic outline will remain the same for each posting. From researching the company and scouring job posting you will uncover company-specific information and requirements that you should include.
Sprinkle keywords throughout the document to ensure that you are not only passing a possible Applicant Tracking System screening but are catching the eye of the reader as well.
For best job search results use different resumes if you were applying for a sales executive posting at a SaaS company and a uniform/corporate apparel company. If you have multiple job targets tailor each resume to optimize the outcome.
Scrutinize the job posting and identify any keywords the company is interested in for their new employee. Make sure you include these buzzwords throughout your resume, as well as in your areas of expertise and professional summary. If the keywords they list do not apply to your capabilities, then leave them off. Only include those skills that are relevant to the expertise you exhibit professionally.
In sales, numbers are everything. So, why would you leave them off your sales resume? Without breaking any confidentiality rules of your previous jobs, relay some numerical achievements. If you have a significant amount of sales achievements, you may wish to create a separate heading for them, otherwise, include at least three accomplishments under your work experience section per job.
Showcase accomplishments like:
Market share growth
Clientele base growth
New accounts signed
CAR or STAR Method
When highlighting your job achievements use the acronyms C.A.R. or S.T.A.R. as an effective way to demonstrate your competencies.
CAR Accomplishment Approach
C.A.R. stands for:
Challenge: What was the Challenge?
Action: What Action did you take to strategize a solution?
Result: What was the quantifiable Result of your action?
STAR Accomplishment Approach
Showcase your competencies using this approach under your job duties paragraph to incorporate impressive bullet points into a resume.
Situation: What was the situation / project / obstacle?
Task: What were you tasked with? Action: What actions did you take to complete the project/fix the situation/ overcome the obstacle?
Result: What was the result.
of your efforts? What improvements were made? How was the problem resolved for the better?
Employers want to know what you have done in your previous positions, how you benefited your employers, and what results you accomplished. Some questions you may ask yourself to come up with accomplishments include:
How did you perform compared to your peers?
What were your specific sales figures?
Did you win any sales awards?
Have you led contract negotiations landing a positive business deal?
Did you participate in a successful product launch or product development?
An excellent sales resume showcases your relevant work experience, selling attributes, and skills that qualify you for the position for which you are applying. By including hard and soft skills, education, and career accomplishments, like this Sales Executive resume sample, you are showing the company that you are the right fit for the position and will bring commendable skills to the role.
By writing your professional summary last, you can utilize the information already entered in the resume to craft a winning summary that highlights what you have to offer. This, in addition to simple formatting, a clean structure, and relevant keywords, will provide you with a well-rounded, professional sales resume. Paired with a job-specific cover letter, you are sure to land at the top of the interview pile!
Struggling with writing a stand-out professional sales resume and cover letter? You can view our professional resume and cover letter writing services to get started.
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