When applying with your sales manager resume, there’s one catch. Employers never heard of you.
Somehow, they need to become confident that you get the job done better than the rest of the applicants.
Sounds tough? Exactly. But with the strategic approach to resume writing, it’s absolutely possible. The following guide will show you:
- How to prepare every section of your resume and win over recruiters 9 out of 10 times
- How to create a sales manager resume that get through multiple HR checks
- The best way to frame your experience and skills for maximum traction with recruiters
- How to use a resume and get a job that you want, not the job that was left
Looking for Related Resumes?
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How to Choose the Best Resume Template
Sales professionals dress well because it affects how prospects perceive them. Practice applying the same principles to your resume, too.
Make it ATS friendly, and picking up the right template helps here.
The right sales manager resume template wouldn't just look good, it'll be ATS friendly too!
When you select a Sales Manager resume template, try to:
- Match the template colors to the organization that you're applying to
- Keep plenty of whitespace, use legible fonts
- Ensure that it is reverse chronological
- Send it in a PDF format
About the color - doing this might make the recruiter appreciate your thoughtfulness.
To make sure your resume’s formatting stays the same wherever it’s opened, send it in PDF.
How to Write a Resume for a Sales Manager
Now that you’ve chosen a template, it’s time to move on to the content of your resume. Many how-to articles you’ll read online only show generic resume writing tips. While some of them may be applicable to your job, it will take a while to translate them to your role as sales manager. What qualifications should you focus on? How many jobs should you include in the work history? What skills do employers look for in sales managers? We’ll answer these questions and give you a step by step break down of what goes into each section of your resume
Top 5 Sections to Include in Your Resume
Regardless of how many years you’ve been at this role, or how many products you’ve sold, these are the main sections recruiters expect to see on your resume:
- Resume Summary or Objective
- Work History
It doesn’t matter if you’re writing an auto sales manager resume, a catering sales manager resume, or an inside sales manager resume. The sections listed above should be present on your application.
Resume Objective/Summary: Two Sentences That Turn Recruiters Into Your Advocates
Ah, the age-old question, “Should I use a resume summary or objective?” A resume’s goal is to entice a recruiter that the applicant is interesting enough for an interview. Both resume objective and summary can do that, but only if written properly. You see, most resume objectives sound like an applicant’s wish list for their job. 2 Sales Manager Resume Samples - Objectives:
This resume objective for sales manager doesn’t mention any of the applicant’s skills. Yes, the applicant may be hardworking and driven, but there’s no evidence of that in this summary.
It also doesn’t mention anything noteworthy. Since this is the first thing a recruiter sees, it has to be a showstopper.
It’s a good idea to use a sales manager resume objective for management graduates or entry level sales professionals. Also, a good choice for applicants changing careers. Just don’t write it out to read like a wish list of your dream job. Include details about your transferable skills or related accomplishments instead.
The example above is for an advertising professional transitioning to a sales role, but the mention of closed deal and innovative launch campaign makes it a tad more interesting because it shows what they bring to the table, combined with a transferable skill—sales. Enthusiasm, as shown by the applicant's desire to contribute to the company’s bottom line, is a nice touch because it shows passion for the job. If you’re not a fresh graduate or changing careers, you’re better off with a sales manager resume summary focused on your strengths and achievements. This way, recruiters can quickly see your best achievements without going through your whole application. Of course, it’s not enough to do a brain dump of your qualifications here. A good sales manager resume summary statement is short, so you have to choose which accomplishments and skills are worth including. Compare the two examples below for an international sales manager resume to get a better idea of what I mean. 2 International Sales Manager Resume Summary Examples:
At first glance, this looks like a good sales manager resume summary. It includes keywords you’d expect for a sales job, and achievements like handling high value accounts. But if you look closer, you’ll notice several things can still be improved here.
Notice how this resume summary has been carefully crafted. The pipeline value shows what you as a Sales Manager were doing in your role.
$800,000 monthly shows that you were operating with extremely precising and were converting customers at a 70%+ closing rates.
You’ll also notice that there’s no mention of the applicant’s academic background, because for experienced candidates, that’s better off in the education section.
Learn more about building a perfect Summary section in our Resume Summary: How-To Guide with 30+ Examples You Need To See Right Now
Sales Manager Resume Experience: Where The Real Sale Is Happening
Your job isn’t done yet. Now that you’ve enticed the recruiter with a delightful sample of your accomplishments, it’s time to prove your worth in gold with a compelling work history. Keep these things in mind when writing your work history:
1. Use Industry Specific Keywords
In sales, words like sales pipeline, B2B, B2C, leads, profit margins, and accounts are common. Use them to give employers a clear description of your work, while adding more job-related keywords on your resume.
2. Show Initiative
Write about campaigns and other initiatives you started to improve your team. These initiatives don’t have to be limited to closing deals, it could be as simple as streamlining a process to qualify leads or file paperwork, so your team members can focus their energy more on other sales tasks.
3. Quantify Achievements Whenever Possible
Speaking of initiatives, it’s obvious that you should quantify sales achievements, but you shouldn’t stop there. You can also do this for soft and non-sales tasks. Let’s say you did streamline the process your team members used to qualify leads, how many steps did the process take before and after you streamlined it? What happened as a result of that initiative? Compare the examples below for a B2B territory sales manager resume, and you’ll see how this can boost your credibility: WRONG: Trained team leaders to streamline process for qualifying leads for B2B software sales RIGHT: Streamlined B2B pre-qualifying process for team leads, from 10 steps to qualify leads to 6 steps, resulting in faster outreach and an average of 21% more booked appointments across the region.
4. Don’t Write about Your Tasks
Yes, as a Sales Manager, you were tasked to hire and train sales people, build relationships with other buyers, develop new income streams and marketing strategies, and so much more. These are expected of you, so practically everyone else applying for the job will have these experiences. Take a look at this Hotel Sales Manager resume sample below. Do you see anything that would catch your attention in their work history? Sales Manager Work Experience
- Maintain relationships with key hotel accounts
- Launch social media and PR marketing campaigns for hotel bookings
No, because the bullet points show their daily tasks. There’s nothing here that would amaze you. The only way to set you apart is to write about what happened as a result of you doing those tasks. Ask yourself, “So what happened?” for every skill or task that you have to help you recall the results tied to your task. Swap the sales manager bullet points below with the ones on the resume above to improve it:
- Maintain relationships with key hotel accounts, thereby increasing corporate bookings for events by 15%
- Launch social media and PR marketing campaigns that led to a 20% increase in hotel bookings, even during the low season
5. Show Examples of Your Leadership
As the manager, employers don’t look at your individual performance anymore. They’re more concerned on how well you can duplicate your skills by training those under your supervision. Write sales manager resume bullet points about how you coach people who are stuck, how you brokered a new distribution deal with the help of your team, or how one of your team members got promoted. You’ll see examples of good leadership in this comparison of a regional sales manager resume.
The first example, while noting that they reported results to upper management, does not mention any improvement or results the team accomplished. So while it’s a management task, it doesn’t say if them being a manager helped or not.
What makes the second regional sales manager resume sample better is that the bullets are focused on the applicant’s impact to their team.
Hotel Sales Manager ExperienceSection
When you compare those two resume experience samples, notice how the second sample shows that “he knows what he has to do from day 1”
Now, let’s take a look at one more Sales Manager resume experience.
2 Retail Sales Manager Job Description Samples
Check out our How to Cover Work Experience On Your Resume guide for more tips on building a job-winning experience section.
Just make sure that your experience has been built to sell. Don’t compromise!
Sales Manager Skills Section: Which Ones Will Put You Ahead
Regardless of the industry, there’s a common set of skills expected for sales managers. Adding those skills directly increases the chances of your resume getting shortlisted for an interview.
Of course, these aren’t the only skills an employer will look for. Check the job ad for other skills not yet listed on your resume, such as soft skills or technical skills specific for the job. The skills for a retail sales manager, for instance, would be different from a hotel sales manager, or an area sales manager. Sprinkle these on your summary and work experience, and highlight the skills you’re most proud of— and are listed in the job description— on the skills section of your resume. Try not to go overboard on your skills section, you don’t want it to look like a bunch of random keywords.
For more detailed advice on winning recruiters over with your skills, read How to Create A Resume Skills Section To Impress Recruiters (+10 Examples You Need to See)
The Best Way to List Education on Your Resume
You’re already applying for a managerial role, which means you’ve been employed a few years. You don’t need to include details about your coursework or GPA in your education section. Just list your degree, major, school name, and the year you graduated. To save space, you can put it all in two lines. If you have a postgraduate degree, start with that and include the same details as your undergraduate degree and then list your undergraduate credentials below it. Here’s an example
If you have certifications, seminars or conferences you’ve attended, list them below your degree. Include the following details when listing continuing education:
- Name of certification or training
- Institution that provided it
- Date Obtained or ‘in progress’
Example: “Certified Inside Sales Professional from American Association of Inside Sales Maine, 2014” Haven’t finished your degree or certification? Just write ‘in progress’ or ‘Complete by (year)’ instead of the year finished. To give you an idea, here are several certifications an employer might look for in a sales manager:
- Certified Inside Sales Professional (CISP) by American Association of Inside Sales Professionals
- Certified Sales Executive (CSE) by the Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI)
List What You’re Proud Of
Recruiters read about 250 resumes per job application, so your resume should be interesting if you want to stand out. One way to do that is to include a section called “Notable achievements” or “Most Proud Of” where you can add your most impressive qualifications. You might wonder, how is this different from your resume summary? The achievements listed on your resume summary should be impressive AND uses keywords mentioned on the job you’re applying for. The achievements for the ‘Most Proud Of’ section aren’t necessarily limited by these criteria. Mention awards you’ve won from employers, a big sale you closed, the fact that you have a big remote team, or that some of your team members got promoted because of your help. You can even mention a personal achievement that you’re most proud. That’s a good conversation starter.
International Sales Manager Resume Tips and Examples
- Emphasize regional and global experience. Any job responsibility of a regional manager comes with a “regional” or “international” prefix: regional distributor business, regional sales and marketing, international marketplace, and so on.Make sure you showcase and emphasize your results while working across several regions and territories, as recruiters won’t do that for you!
- Technical sales experience might be a huge bonus. Many international products these days are digital in nature: SaaS services, cloud vendors, or digital consulting. Your experience selling complex technical products, combined with regional experience, might be a winning combination. Make sure to frame your technical experience from a sales angle, e.g. how you were able to use your expertise to sell a product or facilitate a business outcome.
International Sales Manager resumes share many similarities with VP of Sales resumes, so make sure to check out our detailed VP of Sales resume guide for more actionable advice.
Automotive Sales Manager Resume Tips and Examples
- Showcase successful experience with new marketing strategies and channels. The car selling landscape is quickly changing. Doing 100 cold calls a day is not that as effective as it was, and customers are not coming to your dealership doorstep as often as they used to. Demonstrate how you were able to use modern marketing techniques and channels to attract customers, and you’ll get an extra edge over more traditional auto sales resumes.
- Prioritize niched experience. If you have experience working with luxury cars or regional dealerships and applying for a similar position, the experience may serve as your unique identifier. You may even use a custom layout to build up an “Accomplishments” section and present successful results as your achievements, e.g. “Overpassed quota by 130% in luxury ... market.”
You can find up-to-date, detailed advice on landing a job in the automotive industry in our Car Salesman Resume guide.
Executive Sales Manager Resume Tips and Examples
- Showcase leadership within a complex sales ecosystem. A great way to do that is your soft skills in a context. For example, don’t simply write “Creative Problem-Solving” on your resume. Describe the exact scenario where this skill was used to make an impact: Formed a matrix team of engineers, customer success managers, and BI analysts to launch a new product that resulted in 350% target sales overpass”
- Prioritize your strategic wins over technical wins. Fulfilling a quota is good. But establishing dominance in new regions within the first six months is 100 times better. You have many wins over your long career, so carefully choose those you want recruiters to see first.
For more specific advice on building a successful executive sales resume, check out our detailed Sales Director resume guide.
Retail Sales Manager Resume Tips and Examples
- Experience of working in retail chains is your unique identifier. Make sure your resume showcases retail sales experience by studying target job requirements and using resume keywords when describing your work experience.
- Use the top third of your resume to mention retail management results. Utilize first sections of your resume such as Summary, Header, and Accomplishments to quickly differentiate yourself from candidates with more generic experience.
Check out our Retail Sales Associate resume guide for more specific resume advice in your niche.
Don’t let your previous accomplishments go to waste with a resume that doesn’t do you justice. Just think of this like another client presentation that you’re going to ace. Just so you don’t forget, though, here are the most important points to remember when writing your sales manager resume.
- Choose a professional looking template
- Write a compelling sales manager resume objective or sales manager resume summary that shows your achievements on the skills mentioned in the job ad
- Create an achievement focused work history that shows your leadership, planning, and sales skills expected with your employment level, whether you’re a sales manager, regional sales manager, or national sales manager
- List down skills and certifications that prove you have the technical know-how for the job