Every industry is unique and the differences should be reflected in the resumes of those looking to work in that industry. If you're talking about sales, there are some specific things you need to include on your resume. Let's face it, a salesmen should be expected to be able to sell himself on his own resume. Employers will be critical of those who can't.
Pro Tip: Update your resume every 2 months even if you're not actively looking so important information doesn't get left out because it got forgotten.
We put together an example resume for you and will go through it section by section noting what's important.
Work experience should always come first and start with the most relevant, not most recent, though most of the time the most relevant and most recent will be the same (likely your current job).
- SPECIFICS! SPECIFICS! Anyone can write a line of flowery language that speaks of their experience in general terms, but it's not actually helping their case. Try to be as specific as possible when outlining what you've accomplished.
- NUMBERS! NUMBERS! As a continuation of the above, try to use numbers (dollar amounts, percentages, timelines, etc.) as much as possible. Nothing else helps give context to your experience like numbers.
- Tout companies you've worked with directly. This will help give employers a sense for who you're comfortable speaking and closing deals with.
- The work experience section is the most important (obviously) so spend the most time on it and get outside opinions to make sure what you're trying to convey is accurately coming across.
It's not as much about what you've majored in or what school you went to as it is about how able you are to achieve your goals and prove that you're capable and competent.
- If you have 2 years of work experience or less, show your GPA. If not, leave it off and provide it if asked.
- If you have anything unique about your college experience that speaks to your character and perseverance, add it here.
- If you didn't complete a degree for any reason, it's best just to leave this section off of your resume entirely.
When it comes to sales teams, a cultural fit is very important. You will be representing the company to the world and they want to be able to trust that you will make them proud. The involvement section is where employers will be looking for clues about who you really are.
- How you spend your free time says a lot about you. If an employer sees that you spend time working on your career by being involved in a career-related organization it's a huge bonus and makes you look like a serious professional with long-term value.
- If you don't have many extra-curriculars you can use in this section, you should feel the liberty to use your most impressive college experience. But we recommend you don't choose more than one college experience for this section.
Skills, Honors & Awards
Last, but not least, this section is the place to brag a little bit and really push the employer into agreeing to give you an interview.
- List any experience you have using software applications commonly used by salespeople. The more you already know, the less time you need being trained and onboarded. That's very attractive to an employer.
- Don't be afraid to put an unique award or honor you have received. They will help initiate conversation in the interview when an employer wants to learn more and it will give you a chance to talk about some of your accomplishments.
If you're a good salesperson, you're probably confident all you need is a shot at an interview. We're just trying to help open the door of opportunity wider for you. Use these tips and you'll improve your chances of landing more interviews where you can really win an employer over.