How to Write a Sales Resume That Will Stand Out in 2018

What you need for a winning sales resume:

You need a sales resume that proves you can deliver results and make recruiters take note, here are the most important tips to keep in mind.

  • Demonstrate how your talents can solve a problem the business is facing or bring them further success
  • Show who you are along with what you do in order to show culture fit
  • If something doesn’t have value for the recruiter, leave it out. They are your audience
  • Build a one page resume where possible
  • Bring your passions across and link back to your personal attributes
  • Balance the weight given to your previous experience and soft skills

A successful sales resume is about supply and demand. This refers not only to your role in selling goods and services, but in how you approach securing the position. The ‘demand’ is the job vacancy. There’s only going to be one person hired for that position. So you need to ‘supply’ the recruiter with a resume that answers all of their questions, and gives insight into how you might solve problems they’re facing. This means taking the time to research the vacancy and getting to grips with what exactly needs to be done. From there, you can build a resume that is the perfect answer booklet.
The best way to learn how to do this is to see others who’ve used this approach and succeeded. That’s why we’ve collaborated with all kinds of sales professionals to learn what made their resumes so successful.

Best Sales resume examples by users who got hired

How to write a sales resume

Quantify your achievements (where possible)

Selling and numbers go hand-in-hand. For the recruiter to see how you perform in the industry, they’re going to need to see some metrics. For example, doubling conversion rates in two months. It doesn’t always have to be a margin increase or a rising percentage. Even attaching a number to the amount of clients you’ve worked with can make an impact. “Managed 35 top-tier accounts for 3 years with a 100% retention rate” tells the recruiter much more about you than “Responsible for sales accounts”. Doing this shows the recruiter your potential impact. It can similarly show your dedication to your craft. You weren’t just the head of the sales department, you made a real difference.
Melanie took this approach when quantifying achievements on her sales resume to show how she applies herself.

Resume Section

Take ownership of your strengths

Before crafting your resume, put together a list of your “Key Strengths”. These don’t necessarily have to be linked to sales. After listing all of the things you’re skilled in, start pinpointing those that relate best to the job description. For example, B2B sales. Make sure to give these strengths a prominent place on your resume and make it easy for the recruiter to see what you bring to the table. Taking responsibility for your strengths shows the recruiter you’re both self-aware of your abilities and you know where they can be applied.
Tip: Quotes are an alternative to quantifying your achievements as previously mentioned.

Resume Section

Show yourself

Within sales, personality is key for showing how you can build rapport and demonstrating your culture fit. Sales representatives rely on their ability to relate to others to close big deals and establish trust with clients. Giving insight into your personality shows the recruiter all of the ways you may establish these relationships. You can do this by including your favorite books, a passions section, or a Most Proud Of Section. In Adam’s sales resume, he included a passions section to satisfy this.

Resume Section

Know your audience

The impression your resume makes on the recruiter should always be at the forefront of your mind. Everything, from your resume header right down to your experience, should be answering questions the recruiter has. This doesn’t mean opening your resume with “Dear sir/madam”, but it does mean your resume should tell a clear story with defined sections.
Every part of your resume should have a clear-connection and logical flow. Design your resume in a hierarchical fashion where the most important questions are answered first. A great way to do this is opening your sales resume with a personal summary as Joshua did.

Resume Section

Tell the story of your career

Sales is an ever-changing field. No one year is the same to the next, and your resume should reflect that. The recruiter will be interested in what you have done in the past, but also what brought you to where you are now. Account for any gaps in your career with volunteering work, projects, passions, and more. Highlight key adversities you’ve overcome in your career in your experience section, too. Melanie tells the story of her rapid progression in her sales resume.

Resume Section

What 10 things recruiters and hiring managers are looking for in a sales resume

When it comes to writing your sales resume, here are 10 elements to keep in mind and possible ways of addressing them. Keep in mind, each position is unique in its own right and what may work for one, may not be suitable for another. So pick and choose as appropriate.

1. Resume Header
2. Strengths
3. Education
4. Experience
5. Interests
6. Languages
7. Most Proud Of
8. Philosophy
9. Certificates and Courses
10. Recommendations

1. Your Resume Header

Your resume header is the first thing the recruiter will look for on your resume. It’s how you introduce yourself. It should provide the recruiter with your name and relevant contact information. This includes your email, phone number, and possibly a website link. The idea here is to provide the recruiter with an easy channel of communication and to contextualise your experience. It provides a name (and a face should you wish) to the story.

Resume Section

2. Your Strengths

As mentioned, you should take ownership of what you’re skilled in. It’s not arrogance, it’s confidence. Highlighting your core strengths tells the recruiter you’re self aware, but it also plays into problem-solving. Remember, the recruiter is looking to bring about change in the organisation with your hiring.
Therefore, highlighting your core skills makes this process easier. Think carefully about the presentation of your core strengths, too. Including a relevant graphic and/or icon beside each strength can add flair to set you apart.

Resume Section

3. Your Еducation

Working in a field like sales requires an understanding of human behavior and decision making. Many sales techniques are based on complex theories that are important for you to understand. Providing an account of your education gives the recruiter an idea of the type of study you have done preparing for your work in a theoretical sense. This is especially important for recent graduates and those still in education.

Resume Section

Are you taking notes?

Why not build a free resume with Enhancv as you go! It takes 2 mins to get started. Faîtes un essai gratuit
Start your 7-days trial

4. Your Experience

Sales place a great emphasis on practical ability. While having a theoretical base is important, especially for understanding human behavior, you need to show you know how to apply your knowledge. Even if you’re starting out as a novice, it is possible to provide previous experience in your sales resume. For example, selling tickets for a Charity gig.

Resume Section

5. Your interests

Employees work best in an company they believe in. Team’s work together best when everyone is on the same page. Therefore, it is important for recruiters to assess your culture fit before making the phone call to offer you an interview. Giving a clear account of your interests shows the recruiter what you spend your time on outside of networking, closing deals, and fulfilling orders.

Resume Section

6. Your Languages

Speaking multiple languages has positive effects on your performance and increases your chances at getting hired. Businesses are investing into the global economy more-and-more each day, with this comes its own set of challenges. Being able to communicate with clients in more than one way, with a comprehension of multiple cultures, is incredibly beneficial in sales.

Resume Section

7. Most Proud Of

A Most Proud Of section is perfect for a sales resume as it reflects one of the most important traits of anyone working in sales - versatility. As an Enhancv staple, you can use your Most Proud Of section to discuss a moment in your life that doesn’t fit neatly in your experience but is important to the story of your career, or even using it to highlight significant achievements that also have a personal meaning.

Resume Section

8. Your philosophy

Your philosophy tells the recruiter everything they need to know about your approach to sales. This can be a quote from a significant figure in your life (from sales or elsewhere), a quote you live by, or something that has stuck with you during your career. It gives insight into culture fit too.

Resume Section

9. Your certificates and courses

Not all of the skills required to work in sales are inherently sales-related. Other soft skills such as human relations, quality assurance, technologies, and so on also are implicated in your performance. You can quantify your skills and back them up by including a list of relevant courses you’ve undertaken. It’s also beneficial to mention any certificates that indicate a broader spectrum of ability.

Resume Section
Resume Section

10. Your recommendations

Recruiters are heavily influenced by recommendations of your skill. Adding in quick recommendations from former colleagues can shape the impression that’ll end you in the Yes pile over the No pile.

Resume Section

How to get a referral on LinkedIn for the sales role you want

Applicants who rely solely on their resume to get an interview have less than a 2% chance of getting an interview. At the same time, the sales industry is downsizing (in the US). As you can see, it’s important to give yourself the best shot possible at getting hired. This includes leveraging personal connections to get referred to a job.
So before you start applying for a new sales role, check your 1st and 2nd degree contacts in both LinkedIn and in any other relevant groups you may belong to. If you don’t have strong connections in the industry you’re looking to establish yourself in, start making them now!
Check out our complete guide to getting job referrals for more actionable tips.

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

Get more inspiration

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