2019’s Most Comprehensive Guide to Writing a Great Sales Associate Resume

You might have been a top-seller at your last company, but selling your skills to prospective employers is a completely different story. With this comprehensive guide, we give you the tips and tricks for developing the best sales associate resume and setting yourself apart from the competition!

It doesn’t matter if you’re in retail, wholesale, or even automotive sales: When it comes to finding a career in this wide-ranging industry, there seems to be no end to online applications and in-person interviews. What’s more, with fewer open positions and a steady growth rate, you have more competition working against you. You need to find a way to display your skill sets with the help of a stellar resume.

This article answers the most common sales associate resume questions while providing all of the information you need to create an impressive and eye-catching resume.

Get started with the right sales associate resume

For popular job advertisements, human resources might go through hundreds of similar “copied-pasted” applications. Cookie-cutter sales associate resumes are a dime a dozen and it won’t do much good if your competition is using the same template.

In a customer-facing industry, you’ll need to showcase your personality, people skills, enthusiasm for the job, as well as any relevant experience in the field.

Specific sales industry resume tips

What's the average experience on resumes VS job description for a Sales Associate

avg. experience on resumes
avg. experience on job offers

Follow these 4 surefire steps when adding skills to your sales resume

  • Write down your own expertise, from language levels to interpersonal skills to software capabilities.
  • Carefully read through the job description and record the listed requirements and expectations
  • Determine where there might be an overlap of these skills. These don’t have to be perfectly-matched – there’s usually a great deal of flexibility here.
  • Instead of telling prospective that you have these abilities, ask yourself how you can illustrate these skills by providing concrete examples.

Best skills for a Sales Associate resume

The top 5 skills for Sales Associate resumes based on 1,000+ real examples

After researching thousands of resumes, we’ve determined that the top 5 skills for sales resumes include:
  • customer service
  • microsoft office
  • organizational skills
  • crew member
  • cash handling
But see how these skills stack up against actual the wording of job offers:

Top 5 Skills On Resumes vs Job Offers

SkillIn resumesIn job offers
customer service57.91%47.50%
microsoft office15.51%12.10%
organizational skills7.28%6.40%
crew member6.65%0.40%
cash handling5.70%7.00%

 Source: enhancv.com

If you’ve been in food service, you already have customer service experience. Maybe you’re the colleague that bosses relied upon to train new recruits, manage day-to-day orders (“inventory control”), or handle operations while they were out of the office. Even using PowerPoint or CMS programs are handy skills that show that you’re capable of utilizing a variety of technologies. Don’t worry about having every single skill on a job advertisement’s “requirements” list: Your hiring might come down to translating your experiences into a well-written resume.

Write a personal resume that stands out

It’s not unheard of for recruiters to receive hundreds of resumes for extremely competitive positions. Even if ten people are vying for the same spot, you need to ensure that your resume stands out and accurately showcases what you’ll be able to bring to the company.

Forget the business jargon and mindset: It’s just as important to represent yourself as a real person. Your chances improve if a recruiter sees you’re the kind of person who can speak to customers with confidence and honesty.

Be unique while getting your point across

In today’s competitive industry, people are starting to shirk the traditional resume – and for good reason. Think about writing a brief “Most Proud of” section to display what sets you apart from the competition. In your last line of work, did you learn a valuable lesson that translates to the job you’re applying to?

Consider including a safe-for-work website, some hobbies, or a list of interests in your “skills” section. Often, a hiring comes down to the manager determining whether you’re a great addition to the office atmosphere.

Job referrals: it’s all about who you know

The job hunting landscape has drastically changed over the past decade, and one of the most important things you can do to land a position is to receive a referral. People who are referred by current employees have a 60% better chance of getting hired, and hiring professionals are taking note. Not only do referred employees contribute more to company culture, but more than 30% of companies rely on this method to find potential hires. Use LinkedIn or other networking pages to find local events where you can chat with people in your industry. If you’re a regular client, strike up a conversation with other sales associates to learn more about hiring procedures and benefits. Even if you aren’t a fit for an open position, your resume might be held onto for one in the future.

One thing is clear: using your personality and networking skills will never go out of style. Learn how to get referrals for your dream job.

Don’t overlook the importance of asking for advice

Before sending out resumes and cover letters, remember that family, friends, and industry peers are probably the best sounding boards. After you’ve had a few days to develop your sales resume, send it to a few trusted people for structural and editorial feedback. This limits the chances of sending out a resume with mistakes and greatly improves your chances of landing an interview.


Trying to land an interview? Check out more winning resume examples for inspiration.

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No spam, just information that will help you build a resume that makes you feel relevant and well represented.