You know the biggest problem with most sales representative resumes? They’re all awfully generic. And so is the career advice for writing them.
“Show some numbers…”, “List your greatest achievements…”, “People skills are important!”
How does that even help?
What if you didn’t close multi-million dollar deals? What if you haven't been the top closer in a 300-people sales department?
Should you just write “have amazing people skills” in every section of your resume?
To get a decent job as a sales representative, you need more than that.
You need a sales representative resume that not only sells you, but shows recruiters that you are serious about bringing in money for their company.
How do you even start writing one?
Fortunately, you’re in the right place.
In this Sales Representative resume guide you will
- Learn how to sell yourself with every section of your sales rep resume
- Find 14 sales representative resume samples that will help you get interviews 9 times out of 10
- Learn how to use the job description to create a highly-relevant and converting sales representative resume that recruiters will love
- Create a unique mix of hard and soft skills that make you look like a perfect candidate for the job
- Know the difference between different sales representative positions and how to apply for them
Looking for related Sales resumes (English)?
- Sales resume
- Sales Coordinator resume
- Sales Consultant resume
- Sales Associate resume
- Retail Sales Associate resume
How to write a Sales Representative resume that converts into interviews
The thing about writing a sales representative resume is that you can do the same thing in two absolutely different ways that will produce different outcomes.
For example, numbers.
You can write about working on a huge team with 100 different sales people over 5 years. This sentence has two numbers in it, but it doesn’t say much about your ability to sell, does it?
Some numbers are highly relevant, others not so much. We'll talk about that in detail in the Summary and Experience sections.
Another crucial mark to check is relevance. Your achievements and experience can be impressive and worth attention, but completely irrelevant to the job you’re applying for.
You can talk about closing quotas and meeting milestones and deadlines, meanwhile your superiors expect you to present products to C-tier executives and close multi-million deals.
Finally, you have to present your skills and achievements at the right time. You have several key sections, all of which are designed with a particular goal in mind.
In this guide we’ll go through each section and share the best advice on how to properly format your resume and what to write so that you can land yourself more interviews.
For starters, let’s talk about the proper format and the most critical sections of your resume.
The most effective layout for Sales Representative resume
In most cases, use reverse-chronological format for your sales representative resume.
So what recruiters would like to see on your sales representative resume?
Writing a convincing Sales Representative header
The header often gets overlooked during the resume writing process. This is because, apart from the title and contact info, there’s not much to put there.
Well, if that’s your assumption, you’d be wrong.
Following the relevance point from the last section, your title can be hugely misleading for recruiters, even if you change just one word.
There are several types of sales representatives: whole sales reps, field sales reps, direct sales reps.
Outside sales reps travel a lot and have lots of face-to-face interactions, while inside sales reps do their job completely remotely.
While they both sell products, their skillset can be significantly different.
If you apply for the position “Outside Sales Representative” with your “Inside Sales Representative” title, recruiters may toss out your resume without even reading it.
2 Sales Representative resume header examples
Even if you’re applying with a standard “Sales Representative” title for an outside sales position, chances are another candidate with a more customized title will get ahead of you.
Also, no matter how the sales position you’re applying for is titled, you have to include a link to your LinkedIn profile.
A well-developed LinkedIn profile with many connections and activity signals your networking and prospecting abilities, which are in high demand for any sales operation.
With the header difficulties successfully maneuvered, let’s get to how to write a perfect sales representative Summary section.
Making the best out of your Sales Representative resume summary section [with samples!]
If you want your sales representative to be successful among recruiters, you have to carefully study the job requirements for the job you’re applying for.
Although we’ll state this again and again throughout this whole guide, it will manifest itself differently in each section.
For example, your summary section will be radically different if you’re applying for a B2B sales representative job or B2C position.
It also depends on what product you’re going to sell.
Is it highly technical? Then you should probably mention your experience in the high-tech sales world. Not technical? Then push your soft skills.
And again, is it inside sales or outside sales?
The worst thing you can do is to blandly write your Summary section based on what your last job was, because, frankly, your next job will probably be very different.
3 Sales Representative resume summary examples
This Summary lacks specialty. It lacks concrete examples. And it does not build a convincing picture in the mind of the recruiter that will be hiring you.
Selling in B2B can be very different from selling in B2C.
In B2B sales, you close huge deals and can work over the same clients for months. Usually this kind of work is supported by developed collaboration with a sales team.
In B2B, your core skills are passing gatekeepers, forming lasting relationships, and having the ability to talk to high-level executives with confidence.
B2C sales is another story. It’s about closing quotas, pushover attitude, and often you’re the whole sales team in itself.
Again, to summarize, ask yourself these questions:
- Is that a B2B or B2C position?
- Inside sales or Outside Sales?
- Is it a hi-tech or a niche product?
Below is a summary example if you’re applying for B2B outside sales position in a niche market
Here’s an example of a sales representative summary section for B2C inside sales representative:
Now that we’ve got the recruiter’s attention with your Summary, it’s time to secure your interviews with an outstanding Experience section.
What you should know about Sales Representative resume experience section
The general advice for your experience section is, of course, to present relevant sales results backed up by numbers.
For example: increased the net sales by 30% over 6 months by building a relationship with seven national accounts with cumulative revenue of $12M.
But you can go even further than that.
Carefully study the description of the job that you're applying for.
Below is a snippet from a real world job description:
- Build and manage existing accounts and generate repeat business through relationship building and client engagement
- Calling clients and introducing them to the best dental products through consultative sales techniques
- Prospecting and developing dental accounts to achieve sales goals through outbound calls
- Document customer contacts in the company’s CRM system.
- Actively manage accounts that include a large, pre-existing customer base.
- Use our 200-page catalog with over 5000 items to sell product solutions to large and small companies
What’s important to this employer: building relationships, outbound calls, CRM system, consultative techniques. Moreover, this is the dental industry, so much revenue comes from managed relationships and upselling. Here’s how an experience section looks without adjusting it to a particular job description:
2 Sales Representative resume experience samples
Here’s how it looks when you put sales duties and responsibilities on your resume, mirroring the job’s description:
Using keywords from the job description in your resume not only increases its relevance, but also allows you to more easily pass Applicant Tracking Systems, or ATS.
ATS filters resumes based on a number of keywords before human recruiters even have a chance to look at them.
With the experience section up and running, let’s talk about how you should approach the writing Skills section.
Pay attention to your Sales Representative resume skills section
For most sales positions, including sales representatives, soft skills have a bigger priority over hard technical skills.
The only exception would be if you’re applying for a job that requires deep domain knowledge, e.g. manufacturing or software solutions.
In that case, listing relevant technical skills first will give you a competitive edge over other candidates.
However, in most of the cases, you should start with your soft skills.
The most important skills to put on your sales representative resume are:
Again, it all comes down to the specific job which soft skills you should prioritise.
For inside sales, cold calling, lead qualification and time management are critical for success.
For outside, face-to-face sales, it’s relationship building, networking, confidence and the ability to pass gatekeepers, to name a few.
It’s also useful to analyze whether you’ll be working as a solo salesperson or as part of a sales team, collaborating with sales managers and sales engineers in your region.
If that’s the case, emphasize your team’s achievements and collaboration skills.
Remember: don’t simply list your soft skills, and always put them in a real-world context.
Listing Soft skills on your Sales Representative resume
Technical skills to put on your Sales Representative resume
Technical skills vary from job to job and depend highly on the product you’re selling, as well as how much the sales process in the company uses technology.
Skills like CRM management, SEO marketing, digital marketing, and advanced web presentations are critical in modern, hi-tech environment.
At the same time, all the digital marketing tools in the world won’t help you make a sale to C-tier executives that don’t even manage their own LinkedIn profile.
Let’s talk about your Education section and how to put it on your resume.
How to include education on your Sales Representative resume?
The most common requirement for sales representative jobs is a bachelor's degree.
What exact degree you need is not important unless you’re in technical sales, where a STEM degree gives you an advantage over less technically-versed candidates.
You don’t have to necessarily mention your GPA, especially if it's below 3.0.
Let’s talk about your sales certificates.
Should you add certificates to your Sales Representative resume?
Sales experience always prevails over sales certificates on your resume.
However, sales certificates, as well as digital marketing certificates, can be used to strengthen your overall profile.
The main takeaways from writing a perfect Sales Representative resume:
- Carefully study the job description to make sure you frame your past sales experience for more conversions;
- Backup your sales achievements with numbers and results that are directly tied to business revenue;
- Demonstrate your soft skills in action, don’t just list them like many generic resumes do;
- Grab recruiters attention from the very start by writing a convincing and highly relevant Summary section;
- Understand what kind of product the company is selling and make sure your resume presents you as a perfect candidate for selling it.