How to Build a Great Sales Resume

So, you’ve decided to get into sales – congrats! – and now you find yourself Googling how to put a great resume together or how to make your first sales focused resume? Putting together your resume and editing it to become the perfect reflection of your background and skills takes time.  Plus, it is no longer a secret that Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) have been built to filter out CVs that do not contain keywords, target words or phrases.  If you’ve found yourself lost at where to start as you craft your resume, then you have just found the jackpot! Below are six tips for writing a great sales resume to help you land your dream job. Ready or not, Let’s dive in!

1. Customize your resume to the role 

The human resource manager doesn’t have more than a few seconds to review your resume and see if you stand out. Therefore, you must focus on getting them excited right off the bat. How do you do that? Customize your resume to fit the company and role you’ve applied to in the sales department. This means you need to spend the time upfront doing research on what the company does and the problem they are solving.  It also may mean changing your titles, or explaining them.  For example, if you held a “Marketing Associate” internship where you made cold-calls or targeted email campaigns to prospect for new business, but you’re looking to get into sales, “Sales Development” or “Business Development” titles will give you a better shot.  If the human resources manager or talent acquisition manager can easily draw parallels from your previous experience to what they are looking for, you have a better shot at getting your foot in the door.  

2. Create an outstanding summary 

A resume without a summary is like a book without a cover. Even if your resume contains loads of relevant experiences, many managers look to the summary to see who you are and what you are about.  The best tip for effective resume writing is to start with an excellent overview.  Think of this section as your personal sales pitch and be intentional with the words that you use to describe yourself and your goals.  Here you should include both your skills and achievements but it’s also a great place to tie your background to the company’s core values if they have them posted on their website. The sales pitch/summary should contain what you bring to the table and what the client/company stands to gain by hiring you.  If you’re still unsure of what to put here, We asked 11 Sales and Talent Leaders what they look for when hiring recent college grads.  This summary should be strategically placed at the top of your resume so it is the first thing a hiring manager reads and associates your candidacy with. 

3. Include statistics in your achievement section 

After you’ve listed the company name, your title and dates of employment, what comes next? Many people are often unsure of what to include in their bullet points that will be meaningful and not redundant.  When it comes to writing a resume for the first time, it’s important to list both the broad responsibilities and the specifics of your role.  Every great sales resume has a section for achievements and accomplishments and this is where you should highlight what you have accomplished. 

Most importantly, all the experiences which contain the achievement should be statistically recorded. Employers want to see details of what you have done in figures. How many people outbound touches (calls, emails, etc.) did you do on a weekly or monthly basis? How many demos or meetings did you do each month?  How many deals closed?  What percentage of the target goals (KPIs or revenue) did you achieve? 

While these may not be written in the job description, they are always top of mind questions for the sales hiring team.  So, instead of waiting for an interview to tell your potential employers what you can do, start by explicitly stating it in your achievement section. These detailed accomplishments will show the amount of value you can bring to a new company from day one.  

4. Include only relevant sales skills 

The number of resumes received by a Human Resources department is more than the recruiters can handle.  This is why applying through LinkedIn and other ATS systems has become so popular.  These job boards allow recruiters to filter in candidates that meet their requirements and reject those who do not.  This means only resumes with the selected keywords and job skills are moved forward to the recruiting team.  When writing your relevant skills and position responsibilities make sure to review the job post and include relevant experience. Some of the sales skills keywords are time management, sales process, prospecting and closing, running demos, product knowledge, etc. These are very common and simple but also relevant to pass the ATS screening. To achieve up-to-date keyword optimization, try ResumeBuilderPro to be on top of the game every time. 

Why use ResumeBuilderPro?

  1. It is easier and faster to use – ResumeBuilderPro helps save time spent agonizing over how to put a resume together
  2. It offers the recruiter standard resume writing. With their resume builder, you get to use what recruiters love best to build your resume and, in the process, avoid what may come across as an error. 
  3. Customizing your job role is easier. You don’t have to worry about creating effective resume writing when ResumeBuilderPro has it covered. Your resume can now be tailored to different roles without missing a beat. 
  4. It is a Free Resume Builder tool that offers professional services. All resumes created with ResumeBuilderPro are professional, well structured, and most important – free! 

5. Organize your resume properly

Knowing what to include in your resume is key, but don’t forget, organization matters. Everyone has an opinion on where you should start – should Education and Skills come before or after Experience? Should you list accomplishments at the top, or in each relevant section?  There is not a one-fits-all solution in these instances, but again, you should default to which formatting may be most relevant to the position you are applying for.  The truth is, the recruiters care more about proper formatting and accurate information.   They want to be sure if they are putting you through to a hiring manager, your resume is polished and professional. 

If you want to create an innovative and professional resume without worrying about the best arrangement or keywords to use, ResumeBuilderPro is a great solution.  Their platform can help you make your resume in seconds and you’re able to choose various formats and layouts to get your desired effect.  All you have to do is input your information, select a layout, and they do the rest, resulting in a great sales resume to get your foot in the door! 

6. Make sure to review for errors 

Be like Santa – make your list and check it twice! Make sure to proofread your resume – and then do it again! Asking a friend for another set of eyes, or having Siri read it aloud can really help you pick up on errors that spell-check may miss.   From the start of your summary to the last date on your resume, making sure the resume delivers persuasive and excellent communication without errors is key to crafting the perfect resume. 

Conclusion 

Building a strong professional sales resume starts with a great summary and includes customizing it to the role you’re interviewing for, key accomplishments and relevant skills.  As with everything in life, organization and polish are key factors to getting noticed and moving forward in the hiring process. If you want to make sure you’re checking off all these boxes in a quick and efficient way, ResumeBuilderPro is a great solution and as always, Treeline’s team of dedicated professional recruiters are here to help.  Now that you’ve got a great resume, you’ll need to knock the interview out of the park!  Check out these first interview tips and the best sales interview questions to ask the employer!