Sales engineer is one of the most rewarding positions in the sales world for several reasons.
First, you’ll get to know your product inside and out. You know exactly how it helps your clients so you don’t have to make any empty promises.
Second, you don’t have to aggressively push the product by making 100 cold calls every day — clients find their way to you on their own.
Third, your job is not an endless stream of repeated sales routines, and every new client is an interesting, challenging, and rewarding journey.
Fourth… Okay, you probably got it by now that technical sales is a goldmine. And all you need to start getting your share is one good sales engineer resume.
So, what’s the catch?
It’s hard to get into technical sales. The competition is fierce, and many companies prefer to nourish their SE’s from within.
Most outside candidates will be rejected solely based on their technical sales engineer resumes.
Luckily for you, we know how to write the best sales engineer resume that will get past HR filters and help you land an interview. Dive in!
In this Sales Engineer Resume Guide You’ll Learn:
- How to write a Sales Engineer resume that consistently converts into job interviews
- What are the most important sections for a well-performing Sales Engineer resume
- How to effectively combine technical and soft skills on your Sales Engineer resume
- How to write a Sales Engineer resume that gets you 9 out of 10 interviews
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How to write the best Sales Engineer resume
Every sales engineer job is a combination of the sales and technical skills that you use in order to sell complex technical products to clients.
So an effective sales engineer resume in a nutshell is a mix of hard technical skills and developed soft skills, with a touch of sales achievements and a relevant technical background.
However, that’s a very common perception of an SE job, and, frankly, too generic.
Although all sales engineer jobs have something in common, the exact workflow and environment will largely depend on the company you’re applying for.
The product, the sales process organization, the market state — all those components are different for any given job, making no two sales engineer positions the same.
That’s why it’s important to spot the unique requirements for every SE job and shape your resume sections accordingly.
Companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on training sales engineers, and then lose hundreds of thousands to wrong hires.
There’s not much room for mistakes here, so every section should appeal to the company that will be hiring you.
Let’s talk about what sections of your engineer sales resume are the most important, and how to properly format them.
What’s the best format for Sales Engineer resume?
The best format for you sales engineer resume is reverse chronological order when you list your past experience starting with the most recent.
How to write the perfect Sales Engineer resume header
Your sales engineer resume header contains your job title and your contact information. Pretty simple, right?
Well, you’d be surprised how many people ignore this crucial part of their resumes.
First, you need to clearly establish the title of the job you’re applying for.
Different companies use different titles for technical sales, and sales engineer is just one of them.
Alternatives are: sales consultant, solutions architect, technical sales engineer, and so on.
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact difference between those positions, because often companies have their own definitions.
For example, solutions architect can be a sales consultant in one company, and a project management role in another.
The general advice here is to use the same title in your resume as the job you’re applying for. Sales engineer is the most common title in technical sales, so that should be your default.
Second, don’t miss the opportunity to include your profile link. Which one to use? It depends on the position.
2 Sales engineer resume header examples
If you see a sales engineer position that puts a heavy emphasis on sales and client relationships, link to your LinkedIn profile to showcase your people skills.
Make sure your profile has lots of connections and captivating descriptions with your achievements in technical sales.
However, if you will be selling a complex software product, and the job description requires strong development skills, it might be a good idea to include your Github profile.
You can also feature links to both profiles and prioritize the more developed one.
We got down the header, now let’s impress recruiters with a concise and catchy summary.
How to write the eye-grabbing Sales Engineer summary section [with samples]
A great sales engineer resume summary provides recruiters with enough information to gauge their interest in hiring you.
A bad summary leaves no impression at all and increases the chances your resume will end up in the “probably not” pile.
The worst way to write the summary is to list your routines and technical skills. You’ll have the experience and skills sections for that.
2 Sales Engineer resume summary samples
Your summary should present you as a well-rounded professional with both technical acumen and sales experience.
The best way to ensure that this is the case is to showcase your past achievements and experiences in technical sales on a company-wide levels.
Other things that will increase the chances recruiters will like your summary include:
- Domain experience: if you were selling finance software or medical equipment and applying for a position in the same industry, by all means mention that
- Strategic numeric achievements for your company, e.g. co-managed and facilitated ten $20M contracts over the course of one year.
Below is a sales engineer resume sample of the summary section:
We’ve checked out the summary and intrigued the recruiters. Now it’s time to hook them with our experience section.
How to build up your Sales Engineer resume experience section [with samples!]
When businesses look for sales engineers, they don’t just look for someone who can learn about their product, but someone who uses this knowledge to sell it to clients.
The sales cycle in every company that sells high-tech products is usually very elaborate, and consists of many stages and agents.
Also, the sales process for every company is unique and sales engineers can be required at every stage of it.
You have your best shot if you carefully study the requirements of the job you’re applying for and frame your experience section accordingly.
These are the most common stages that sales engineers have the most impact on:
- Technical qualification: SE validates technical environment of a potential client to understand what solution can be offered
- Request for proposal, RFP: the process of answering clients request for details surrounding SE’s company and how its products are going to help client.
- Discovery: the analysis of client’s business and their needs before the final proposal
- Presentation and demonstration of a technical solution
- Proposal development
- Support and up-sell of add-on products to long-term clients
You’ll often see these stages reflected in job description responsibilities.
For example, these are snippets from real-world sales engineer job descriptions:
- Ability to learn and demo the ABC platform robust capabilities
- Support regional sales manager to evaluate and respond to bids and formal requests for proposal to include periodic bid submissions of product offerings and prices to purchasing groups
- Proactively maintain contact with existing customers to keep contact information, sales opportunities, interactions, estimates, order forecasts, customer orders
So frame your experience according to the job description.
However, don’t just state that you performed these things in the past. This will cause your experience section to look bland and unconvincing, like the one below:
2 Sales Engineer resume experience examples
Here’s an example of a poorly written sales engineer resume experience section:
Instead, create a narrative where you performed these workflows and achieved certain results.
Ideally, you should use numbers because people who deal with sales are obsessed with quotas and numeric results in resumes.
Closing clients and meeting quotas is primarily a sales representative task, but sales engineers can easily tie themselves to the sales results because of the integral role they played in the process.
However, don’t overdo it, otherwise your resume will look like a sales representative resume.
The tasks most SE face are more technical in nature, and the core of the value you provide to business is the ability to sell your technological expertise, not the lack of it.
For example, unlike sales representative, sales engineers can customize a company’s technical solutions to the needs of a particular customer or assist in developing this solution.
Another important thing to do is to include keywords specific to the technical sales field.
First, it’ll help you to pass applicant tracking systems, or ATS, which companies use to filter out resumes that don’t contain words that are relevant to the job.
Second, the usage of professional slang will help you project technical sales experience in a more convincing manner.
Typical sales engineer keywords include: request for proposal (RFP), proof of concept (PoC), territory management, bids, growth, quota, demo, presentation, proposal.
To better understand what keywords to use in your resume, just refer to the job description.
However, don’t just blindly copy-paste those words into your resume. Create an organic, results-driven narrative.
Below is a good example of a sales engineer resume experience section:
Now with your experience section up and running, it’s time we remove the last doubts with regards to hiring you with a convincing and eye grabbing Skills Section.
Making best out of your Sales Engineer resume skills section
Any successful sales engineer possesses an effective combination of relevant technical and soft skills, and recruiters will judge you on both of these.
How to add technical skills to your Sales Engineer Resume the right way
Technical skills that you should feature on your resume will highly depend on the position you’re applying for.
For example, you may be well-versed in SQL and Java programming which makes you a great technical consultant for a big data project.
However, the very same skill set is rendered absolutely useless if you; for example, will be a sales engineer in an automotive company.
That is why you should always pay attention to the skills that are mentioned in the description of a job that you’re applying for and prioritize those skills on your list.
Below is a snippet of a real job description:
Experience in selling metallurgical services such as heat treatment, electroplating, nitriding, thermal-spray coatings, PVD / CVD coatings etc. to automotive or industrial equipment/ component manufacturers;
Good understanding of one or several of the following markets: Automotive, Power generation, Hydraulic & Pneumatic equipment, Oil & Gas, Construction Equipment and Mining , General Mechanical Components;
Here’s how the technical skills section would look:
Below are some of the technical skills you can meet in sales engineer’s resume:
How to include soft skills in your Sales Engineer resume
Although there are many soft skills that benefit and enrich a sales engineer’s resume, always remember that some of them are more relevant to the position than others.
Sales engineers are usually a part of an elaborate sales process with many agents and colleagues from inside sales, sales management, sales reps, and so on.
That is why one of the most important aspects of their job is the ability to collaborate.
Another crucial item to put on your resume is presentation skills, as often your ability to effectively present product defines how good you can sell with your technical expertise.
It’s also important to emphasize your communication skills, as sales engineers often have to explain complex concepts in a simple and engaging manner to both their clients and colleagues.
Put your soft skills in the context of your work experience to prove that you really possess them.
Again, carefully read the job description. No two sales engineer positions are the same.
While one SE position can be heavily focused around presentation and technical support, other positions may require excellent negotiation and closing skills.
Some of the soft skills to put on your sales engineer resume:
Education Section of your Sales Engineer Resume
Usually companies don’t require STEM degrees for sales engineers, unless the product is very complex and requires certain technical expertise to confidently sell it.
If you’re selling software, a computer science degree will definitely prove useful, while for manufacturing its manufacturing, or, maybe, an electrical engineering degree.
Include Relevant Certificates in your Sales Engineer Resume
Sales engineers can and should put both sales-related and product-related certifications on their resume.
Consider only adding those certifications that are highly relevant to your product and niche.
Otherwise, focus on getting real sales experience.
Here are some certifications that you can feature in your resume:
- Craft a unique balance between your technical skills and sales skills to prove recruiters that you’re a worthwhile investment
- Demonstrate your ability to sell with your technical expertise
- Create an image of a person who works with a team or on their own
- Frame your resume to the specific job description to increase chances of getting picked by recruiters