Potential is not an endpoint but a capacity to grow and learn.Eileen Kennedy-Moore
In this guide you’ll learn how to create a sales resume:
✔ Choose an the best sales resume template for your experience level
✔ Include technical and soft skills that reflect the job description
✔ The importance of crafting a sales resume summary or objective
✔ Create a sales resume with no experience that can still showcase relevant skills
✔ The right and wrong way to put education on a sales resume based on your experience level
Try one of our FREE sales resume templates:
Sales associate resumes
As a sales associate, you’re expected to combine a good personality with customer service skills that get results. These professionals need to understand the products they present in the utmost detail, so you’ll need to convince the hiring manager you’re ready to learn and have a genuine interest in the industry.
The best sales associates are truly passionate about the products they present, so bonus points if you can get this passion to come across in your resume.
As a store associate, you are more than a product expert - you’re also a communications expert. So, in your sales associate resume, make sure to also include your people skills. To make them feel true and specific, don’t just list them - provide situations where you used them.
Lastly, consider how to add some personality to your resume. Being a great sales associate has a lot to do with your attitude and personality, so it makes sense to include that on your resume. This can be done by including what you’re most proud of or how you spend your time.
When you’re applying for a sales representative job, you need to show that you can hit (and exceed) targets, communicate effectively, manage your leads, and more.
Make sure you communicate what your qualities are as a sales representative clearly and strengthen them with specific examples. A sales representative resume needs to show that you understand your industry in and out, and you are also in tune with customer needs.
Finish your resume off with some personality to help it stand out. Adding information about your passions, for example, makes you a more memorable candidate. This also can help show you’re a good culture fit.
A sales manager resume needs to strike a balance between demonstrating strong sales skills and the skills it takes to manage a team.
On the first point, you’ll need to demonstrate the impact you’ve brought to previous companies you’ve worked for. Don’t be shy about using the numbers that will help your case.
To demonstrate leadership skills as a sales manager, talk about your team and the progress you’ve helped it achieve. This could be an increase in sales results, a role in hiring new employees, or mentoring existing ones.
When thinking about references on a sales resume, we recommend focusing on references from higher-ups. But for a sales manager role, you can also add references from your team. This is a good way to show your managerial experience from their perspective.
Finally, the work of a sales manager is hardly without pressure - so make sure you also demonstrate you can push to complete work on time and get these past few clients before the close of the quarter.
With the development of new sales software, inside sales positions are becoming more and more common.
On the one hand, inside sales is a much more cost-effective way of generating sales. It’s also more convenient for the salesperson, who doesn’t have to spend time commuting to customer meetings. On the other hand, it requires a very specific set of sales skills.
Sales reps in inside sales need to have excellent communication skills because they have limited means to demonstrate their product to customers - it’s a question of emails and a limited online demo. They should also be able to articulate enough to explain the item in an engaging manner in this much less personal format. Clarity of writing and good articulation become paramount for inside sales resumes.
Another important skillset you should include in your inside sales resume is related to sales prospecting and upgrading. That’s a special blend of understanding customer readiness and evaluating prospect needs.
The car salesman is one of the classic examples of a sales rep position, and over the years, it has become somewhat notorious. Your resume will need to show why you’re better than the stereotype.
It starts with being specific. Don’t just list your responsibilities from previous jobs, talk about the numbers. How many vehicles did you sell, what was the % improvement? Make sure to include information about upselling and offering add-ons to customers - after all, that’s where the bulk of your profit comes from.
When it comes to a high-ticket purchase, most customers will be edgy and unsure - this is why a car salesperson resume needs to cover communication and people skills just as well as hard sales numbers.
A good car salesman will ask customers a lot of questions to assess customer needs and improve the offer based on that. You can include an example of such an experience in your car salesman resume to demonstrate you fit the bill.
Every sales job gets hundreds of resumes and the hiring manager can only spend a few hours going through them all.
To get noticed in this pile of resumes, you need to rely on a resume that ticks off a bunch of boxes.
First, it needs to be visually attractive and memorable. This ensures that the hiring manager will stop leafing through that pile of candidates when they see your sales resume.
But the sales resume template needs to do more than that. It should not only attract their attention, but also make content easier to grasp.
In order to make this happen you should start by mapping out the important sections you need for your sales resume.
Here’s the most common content in a sales resume outline:
Adding your sales experience in reverse-chronological order alone won’t cut it. You need to use special resume sections that make your key achievements stand out.
Finally, your resume outline and template should naturally guide you to demonstrate your impact. Keep in mind, you shouldn’t just list sales responsibilities from past positions, mentioning the results of your efforts is going to have a far greater effect.
Plenty of those other hundreds of salespeople you’re competing with have had similar responsibilities. Only the best salespeople can show business impact.
Choose the sales resume layout that will work best
Before someone reads a single line of text from your resume, they’ll notice the layout and template.
So choose a template that sends the right message for you.
Basic layout - this single column template is ideal for someone looking to get hired as an entry level salesperson. If you don’t have a ton of experience for your resume, this presents that so it’s incredibly easy to read and doesn’t look light.
Professional layout - use this template if you’re applying for a big corporation like Microsoft, or any other publicly traded company. Sales is all about making the right impression at the right time, presentation is paramount, so especially in those companies it’s good to use a professional sales resume layout.
Simple layout - applying to a company that you don’t know much and you don’t want to risk getting rejected? Than this layout can work best for you. It makes it easy to show your sales experience and skills without catching the hiring manager off guard with a unique layout.
Creative layout - Have you made a sales career from being unique or one of a kind? Or you’re applying for a sales or business development in a young startup. Then you should consider using something more colourful with more personal sections to show them how you stand out from the other saleswomen or salesmen.
Here’s what to consider when choosing the perfect sales resume layout:
Be sure it presents your relevant sales qualifications clearly
It should place your most important sales information at the top
It should be easy to read and catch your eye
If you have sales awards and achievements be sure to highlight them in their own section
It should work with ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems)
Be sure to send it as a PDF
Like a great sales presentation your sales resume layout should have start, middle and end that is clear and has a great flow.
If you can do this, then you’re already well along the way of closing the your new sales position!
PRO TIPIf you feel that you don’t have the level of sales experience that the company is looking for, then you can still consider using a creative layout. It’s a great way to promote your non-traditional sales experience and might help you get noticed and invited for an interview.
Let your sales resume header make a great introduction
Remember, competition is what sales is all about.
You’re always trying to get that sale before the competition does.
First impressions matter, no matter what you’re selling. Even yourself!
You don’t want your name, address and contact info to be the reason you’re not in the running, right?
A lot of salespeople don’t realize the importance of their sales resume header, so let’s talk about what you need.
A great resume header should include:
Resume Title - include your top sales experience, with your sales career goals and add something unique about yourself and any sales awards you’ve received.
Picture - It’s very common to include a photo for a sales or business development resume. Make sure it’s professional as it will go a long way to give the HR department a good impression of you. You should always check your local rules about including photos on resumes as in some regions and with some employers it isn’t allowed.
LinkedIn - It’s hard to be a great salesperson today with the networking power of LinkedIn. You likely have an enormous network of great contacts there, so why not let the hiring manager see how connected you are!
Email - You should always include your email. Corporate HR departments regularly reach out via email for interview details.
Certifications - You might have a Certified Sales Person (CSP) certification. It is essential that you include this after your name in your sales resume header. It may be the difference maker between you and the others that get selected for the sales position.
Tony Washington CSP
CSP with 10+ in global technology sales
+359 88 888 8888
+359 88 888 8888
So, if you put yourself in the place of the sales manager reviewing your sales resume you can see where the wrong example above is lacking.
They’re going through hundreds of resumes that just have a name and basic title.
The resume header is the first impression your resume makes, so don’t leave them wanting more!
PRO TIPUnless you have a social media account, other than LinkedIn, that is devoted to your profession or field of work it isn’t a good idea to include social media on a sales resume as it has no relevance to the position.
How to write a sales resume objective or summary
One often overlooked element of a resume is the objective.
The idea is to quickly give the reader some information about who you are and what your goal is. This enhances the rest of the resume by giving it valuable context.
So what’s the best way to go about this?
A good sales resume objective will highlight your desire to create Win-Win-Win situations that benefit your customer, your employer, and you as a salesperson.
A resume objective should be highly tailored to the sales job description. Look for keywords and make sure you clearly show how your experience overlaps with the needs of your potential employer.
Certified and award-winning sales professional with over 10 years of global corporate sales experience in the software and technology industries.
Salesperson with many years of experience in B2B sales.
Wow, when you see the two sales resume objectives it’s obvious which isn’t going to make the sale!
The first example packs a powerful sales pitch in just 19 words!
It instantly lets the hiring manager know:
You’ve won sales awards
Have over 10 years of sales experience
Have worked on major global sales
Your experienced in software and technology sales
So you can see how much power the sales resume objective has in getting you noticed. Right?
A good sales resume objective is actually serving a dual purpose - it shows what you have to offer as a candidate, but it also demonstrates your ability to align someone’s requirements with your proposition.
This is a key skill for a sales associate.
The resume header is the first impression your resume makes, so don’t leave them wanting more!
How should you include sales experience on your resume?
Sales resume experience is all about hard numbers.
Make sure you clearly demonstrate what your impact was in past positions.
Focusing on this by citing hard numbers is far more effective than simply listing your responsibilities for each role. Have a look below at some great and not so great examples.
Sales Resume Experience Examples
Sr. Sales Manager, Northeastern United StatesPrestige Software Co.
Reported directly to national sales director to support sales teams in other regions and ensure that their quarterly targets were achieved
Led a team of sales executives in a sales campaign that resulted in increased sales of $500k and the company exceeding its annual sales targets by 25%
Received the 2017 Salesperson of the Year award. Selected from a list of 14 candidates
First, you need to make sure your job title is as clear and impressive as you can. This isn’t the time to be humble!
While it’s not always possible to provide exact metrics of how you impacted some areas, you can see how this experience example mentions specifics whenever possible. It also highlights key areas where they excelled at managing teams and exceeding goals.
Ok, this example doesn’t say anything other than you had a sales job and did the tasks you were asked to do. You can already see this resume going on the “no” pile can’t you?
Don’t simply list tasks. Doing this demonstrates a lack of motivation and that go-getter mindset that every sales position is looking for.
Additionally, make sure your resume tells a compelling story - this is where a full work history may be the right solution. It should represent a clear path, showing your progression over time.
But, what if your past positions don’t include “sales” in the title? Simply use the description and responsibilities outline to show any links to sales or its key skills - communication, organizational, and proactivity.
Finally, compare your experience section with the details listed in the job description for your sales position. This will remind you of anything you might’ve missed during the writing session and will give you hints on what achievements you’ll want to highlight further in your resume.
What if you need to create an entry level sales resume experience section?
So how can you create a sales resume experience section when you don’t have any?
Don’t worry, we’re going to show you how to do that now.
Maybe you just recently graduated from school? Or are making a change into a sales career?
You may think you don’t have the sales experience that is needed for a great sales resume, but in just a few moments you’re going to realize that you’ve got more sales experience than you think!
While you may not have been the VP of Sales for North America, you’ve most likely worked in an environment that required the necessary sales skills to make a great salesman or saleswoman. This experience could come from an internship, a side project, an organization you volunteer for, etc.
Here’s what you should do:
Start by identifying the kinds of skills and experiences you think will be relevant for the sales job you’re applying for. For example, the posting may be looking for someone experienced in customer service or account management.
Now, look back at your previous experiences to see what you may have done which could demonstrate that. In this example, maybe you worked in retail or another customer service job where you needed to listen to the customers needs and make sure they were always happy.
Once you’ve got the right experience, emphasize it using the same language the job description did.
With these techniques, even if you’ve never had a job as a salesperson, you can still show you’re qualified for your first position.
Of course, if you’re creating an entry level sales resume, your education section is going to be of particular importance.
How to create the best sales resume education section
Sales is a unique profession that doesn’t usually put as much emphasis on education when being hired.
Don’t get me wrong, a strong degree or college diploma in business administration or marketing is going to help you for sure, it’s just not usually the #1 factor for getting or not getting the job.
If you’ve been in sales for several years, you won’t have to put as much emphasis on education on your sales resume as a newcomer or fresher in sales.
If you’re applying for your first job in sales then you’re going to want to expand the details of your education where possible.
Here’s what you can add to your education section:
Relevant courses (here you can mention projects, skills acquired, lessons learned, etc.)
Your GPA (if you think it’s relevant)
Here’s a look at how a sales industry veteran’s education looks compared to someone who is writing a resume with no sales experience.
This person graduated 10 years ago, so it’s not necessary to include many details about their education. This degree acts as an anchor or foundation that their sales experience was built on. In this case it serves to be a box that is checked by the HR team that you have a university education.
Here is an entry level sales education section example:
You can see that by expanding on the experiences you may have had at university creates a list of sales experience even when you didn’t actually have a paying job as a salesperson. Hiring manager take note of sales resumes that do this.
How to include skills on your sales resume
There are two basic approaches to including your skills. The way you go about it will depend on whether you’re describing technical or soft skills.
Let’s break down the difference and how to do each one the best way.
How to include technical skills on a sales resume
Most of the technical skills required in sales have to do with software for lead and customer management or presentations.
You’re either familiar with the software or you’re not. There isn’t really a need to elaborate beyond that.
This kind of a skills section is important because many ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) will screen your resume for certain keywords before a human ever sees it. A simple list of relevant technical skills required in the job description does the job perfectly.
While technical skills are becoming more and more important in sales, the industry is still build on soft skills.
But just listing them isn’t going to cut it. Anyone can say they have good people skills or are well organized.
To stand out, you need to show that you have those skills by giving examples.
PRO TIPMost big companies use ATS systems to automatically scan resumes for keywords. So, be sure you list your skills as closely to how they’re listed in the job description (more on how to do that later).
Active listeningSuccessfully managed a client portfolio of over 20 ensuring frequent touch points and regular status meetings to ensure continued loyalty by hearing and exceeding their needs
Time ManagementAlways met or beat all sales deadlines by integrating my daily workstream with sales management software to handle a larger than normal workload
Presenting and Public SpeakingMost comfortable in front of an audience, I have been presenting 7-10 times per week in front of clients and at sales conferences and seminars
ForecastingCreated quarterly and annual forecasts for a team of 7 with frequent monitoring and adjustment to keep finances on track for corporate success
Here, you can see that someone scanning your resume can quickly see which soft skills you possess and that you’re serious about backing them up. Right away, this is going to distinguish you from most of the other sales resumes they’ve seen.
Whether you’re a retail sales associate working in a store or an outside sales manager with high-ticket clients, speaking to customers to uncover their needs and present them with the right offer is crucial.
This skill flows well into account management, which covers the long term communication with clients.
The end goal here is retaining high value users and upselling current customers to new services or add-on products. It’s where the bulk of profit for many businesses comes from, as this expansion revenue requires a lower investment from companies compared to acquiring completely new customers.
The top sales resume soft skills
Dealing with Objections
Public SpeakingPersonal Ethics
Door to Door Sales
Creating Good Rapport
Dealing with Objections
4 steps to follow when adding skills to your sales resume
Follow these four steps to match what the employer is looking for to maximize your chances of getting hired:
Read the job description carefully and write down all of the skills it mentions.
Then list all of your own skills. These could be hard skills like knowing a language or soft skills like working well in groups.
See which skills match up - they don’t necessarily have to be exact matches, to raise a flag for you.
Don’t just list the keywords - demonstrate you have these skills by giving examples from your past experience.
When it comes to sales, there are specific skills that make for a great salesperson - these have to do mainly with communicating with customers and transforming leads into high-value customers.
Choosing the right technical and soft skills for a salesperson resume
Remember your sales resume isn’t just a resume, it’s an answer to a specific job.
So, you should make sure that sales skills and keywords you use are tailored to that job posting.
Let’s take some text from a Sales Representative job offered by The Kellogg Company:
Selling, negotiating, and executing business plans – The data doesn’t lie. You’ll utilize your tried and true fact based selling techniques to grow Kellogg’s in-store sales.
Patience+ Persistence= Profit – It’s time to put your can-do attitude to the test. You’ll be a champion for Kellogg by implementing creative ideas and innovative solutions to overcome roadblocks, selling within the grocery landscape.
Excel, PowerPoint, Nielsen…Oh My – Showcase your savvy working with these applications to create a compelling sales story at every store.
Drive Results – You will be accountablefor delivering on key metrics such as POS (Point of Sale) budget, call coverage, and maintaining “perfect shelf” discipline … just to name a few.
YOUR RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
High school diploma or equivalent
Access to an approved* personal smartphone with Android or IOS operating system connected to a cellular network while working
Intermediate technology skills such as Microsoft Office Applications, Internet, Cellular use
Strong problem solving, influencingand negotiationskills
Demonstrated use of excellent interpersonal skills
Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Bachelor’s Degree in business or related field
Proficiency working in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE WITH WALMART
Now let’s pick out the keywords and skills that someone applying to this job should mention:
Selling, negotiating, creative ideas, innovative solutions, problem solving, negotiation, interpersonal skills(all of these should be backed up with examples)
Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Nielsen(these can be listed as technical skills)
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE WITH WALMART(this should be highlighted with specific examples on how you worked with them)
This is only a portion of the requirements, but it’s already clear that you’ll have a lot of soft skills to demonstrate. When this happens, you can go beyond simply listing them in their own section and try to ensure they are mentioned and backed up in your experience, education, or other resume sections.
Based on our analysis of hundreds of sales resumes, we found that these were the 5 top skills to include on a sales resume:
It’s clearly visible that effective communication and persuasion are on every hiring manager’s mind. The most cited skill in sales job descriptions is customer service and direct communication with customers.
Adding certifications to your sales resume
This can be done similar to your technical skills section, or you can add CSP after your name at the top if that’s your only relevant certification. Just be sure to mention any certifications the job offer specifically asks for or mentions.
As a sales manager, sales associate or business development director you know that having a unique selling proposition is a major advantage.
Adding creativity and personality is your way to do this on a sales resume.
Before you go too crazy with this creativity you have to keep in mind that your resume is going to be read by a human with their own preferences and biases. As much as possible, you have to craft your resume to match that person or organization.
If you know the company you’re applying to is very traditional, then keep your resume that way. If the company pushes culture and personality a lot on its website and in the way it presents itself, it makes sense to reflect this on your own resume.
One way to approach it is to consider culture fit. Emphasize elements of your personality that match with the company. Just like with the experience above, you want the person reading your resume to get the feeling “This person seems perfect for us.”
For example, if you see the company likes to go hiking for an annual retreat, mention that you love to hike. Small details like this can help make you feel like the perfect candidate.
Or, if there were specific books or motivational speakers which had a major impact on how you approach sales, listing them is a great way to combine a bit of personality and some insights into what kind of salesperson you are.
Key takeaways: what makes a great sales resume?
Choose a resume layout that sends the message you want and fits your experience level.
Create a resume header that shows your sales certifications and makes sure you’re easy to contact.
Make sure your resume objective or summary is very specific about your sales experience, accomplishments, and future goals.
Your sales experience has detailed metrics and specific examples showing the impact you’ve had in your role.
Any soft skills you list are backed up with examples.
You list all of the technical skills you have which match the job description.
Your resume has a bit of personality designed to show you have the right soft skills and will be an excellent culture fit.
CONTENT BELOW HERE IS FOR SAFE KEEPING AS WE’LL NEED IT IN THE FUTURE
Retail sales associate resumes
Working in retail isn’t for the faint of heart. Your retail sales associate resume needs to show you’ve got what it takes.
The retail world is very dynamic, especially during the high season at the end of the year. So, it’s a good idea to demonstrate you can perform well under pressure and you are organized enough to not let tasks fall through the tasks when the pressure is on.
Start by including your experience along with hard numbers (increased floor sales by 30% in my first two months). Be as specific as possible and focus on the impact you had in previous roles.
A retail resume can also include details that show more than your direct sales skills. If you’ve ever taken the initiative to optimize a process or make a retail display better, you have self-drive, motivation, and perfectionism to flaunt.
Remember you can also demonstrate retail sales skills from outside of your regular work experience. By listing what you’re most proud of or your achievements, mention times you worked well under pressure, solved a tough problem, or just showed dedication.
[Go to full guide]
Entry level salesperson resumes
A typical sales resume is going to focus heavily on their performance in previous sales roles. That’s where the challenge of an entry level salesperson resume comes in. Fortunately, there are other ways to show you’ve got sales skills and the right attitude to learn.
Consider whether you’ve had experiences which showed persuasion, determination, passion, or just ingenuity. These examples can demonstrate you have what it takes to thrive in a sales position even without any formal work experience.
Beyond this, you need to show you’re ready to learn. Show you’re eager to get out there and grow to really stand out.
Finally, you can show you have what it takes for an entry-level sales position with more than just the resume. Make sure your communication skills shine during the whole application process. Write your resume and cover letter in a concise but persuasive manner.Follow-up with an email to keep the hiring manager engaged and after an interview be sure to send a thank you letter.
Outside sales resumes
Inside sales is becoming easier and more common, but often it’s not the right answer for high-ticket products. This is why the outside sales experts aren’t going anywhere.
Being good at outside sales requires a set of specific skills that should be visible in your resume. First, you should demonstrate flexibility, as the job of the outside sales representative is governed by meetings with clients.
It’s a dynamic job, so attention to detail and good organizational skills are vital for your success. You’ll convince the hiring manager not just by putting these skills in your resume, but by citing a situation or project where you demonstrated them.
Of course, just like any other sales job, you should include specific measurable results you’ve achieved in past positions. Be specific and add numbers that prove your efficiency.
Sales assistant resumes
Sales assistant resumes don’t require so much in terms of experience, but do require you to show a lot of attitude, perseverance, and a will to learn.
First and foremost, a hiring manager will be looking for a likable personality, as sales assistant jobs have a lot to do with talking to customers and fulfilling their needs. Both in person and in your resume, you need to come across as friendly and approachable.
Then, it all comes down to ambition and a willingness to learn. Make sure you highlight examples where you achieved success because you were adaptable and curious - this can be in past work positions and in personal experiences.
Keep in mind that the sales industry has pronounced seasonality, so timing your application right can increase your chances of getting a sales assistant job. Employers take on extra staff during the busy winter season, so it’s smart to apply around September.
Be advised that companies sometimes let some of these employees go at the start of the year, but if you prove your usefulness, you won’t have much to worry about.
Director of sales resumes
A director of sales has a lot on their plate and their resume will need to reflect the increased number of requirements for such an important position.
The first and most important point you need to get across is that you improve the company’s sales strategy. Some of the key components, depending on the industry, would include pipeline volume growth, reducing sales cycle length, and ultimately increasing the average purchase volume and growing monthly sales revenue.
Make sure you include relevant numbers for each of the improvements you’ve worked on. After all, if you’re in sales, you know that numbers speak for themselves.
Your director of sales resume wouldn’t be complete without a focus on leadership skills. Talk about your experience managing sales teams, mentoring mid-level management, and improving team effectiveness.
The position of director of sales is multifaceted and there’s a lot of other information you may want to include on your resume. Take a moment and think what has made an impression on you when recruiting for your own sales teams. This can be specific sales results, but most often memorable candidates include something in their resume that shows their personality and demonstrates culture fit.
Looking to build your own Sales resume?
Enhancv is a simple tool for building eye-catching resumes that stand out and get results.
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.