How to Write a Sales Resume (Plus a Sample Resume Template)
- Gwen Moran
- 3 Min Read
You’ve helped the sales team long enough. Now it’s time to put yourself into the game. As an administrative staffer with some sales-related experience under your belt, the first step is to write a winning resume format to help you land that sales job interview.
Writing a resume template for a sales job is slightly different than writing a more general resume. “Sales performance is more binary than most endeavors. You either sold goods or services or you didn’t. You either met/exceeded quota or you didn’t,” says resume expert Donna Svei, founder of The Avid Careerist blog. Even if you’re going for your first sales job, you need a strong resume template and a resume format that will showcase the skills related to sales success. To catch the interest of sales job hiring managers, follow these steps.
Focus on Performance
If you were instrumental in achieving a sales goal or helped move the needle in some way for the sales team, call out that success, Svei says. Include as much positive performance-related information as you can.
A Fast Company article says that sales and marketing professionals need to think beyond numbers to show their impact. You may not have access to your sales metrics or the information may be proprietary. In such cases, show the ways you had an impact, especially mirroring the sales job description, such as:
- Turned around a struggling business unit to profitability by . . .
- Drove increases in top-line revenue by . . .
- Strengthened performance by . . .
- Expanded customer engagement and online following by . . .
- Grew digital brand presence by . . .
Use the Right Words
The words you use matter for a sales resume, Svei says. Words that are action-oriented and show that you made a difference are important for a sales resume. January 2018 research by TalentWorks found that resumes that use strong, active, leadership-oriented words, such as:
Saw a nearly 51 percent higher success rate than those that used less powerful words in their resume format. The research recommends incorporating one to two leadership-oriented words every five sentences. Svei says it’s even better if you can add a number to the statement, such as “Exceeded goal by 10 to 27% each year.”
Stay Away from Creative Resume Templates
When you’re creating a resume format, ditch the fancy fonts and colored paper. Those trappings can undermine your professional image rather than make you stand out. If you want your resume to look clean, professional and modern, resume service ZipJob recommends eight fonts that will help you achieve those goals, including Verdana and Garamond.
Build Toward the Job You Want
For sales jobs, chronological resumes are usually best, Svei says. Describe the jobs you’ve held in ways that show how you have built skills that will serve you well in the sales job you want.
Use the Right Keywords
A recent article in Time magazine emphasized the importance of using the right keywords in your resume format. In many companies, resumes are scanned into an electronic system and retrieved based on keywords that match the job description.
Monster recommends peppering your resume template with titles like “sales associate” “sales manager,” and “sales representative,” as well as job-related buzzwords like:
- Customer service
- Territory expansion
- Consultative sales
- Product marketing
Customize your resume for the company and position you’re seeking and include the appropriate keywords that will make it easy to retrieve your resume.
Make Your Resume Mobile Friendly
Recruiters are also checking you out online, so be sure your resume aligns with your LinkedIn profile. Jobvite research found that 87 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to find and vet candidates.
Since more recruiters and hiring managers are also using devices like smartphones and tablets to view resumes, the resume format needs to be clean, with short sentences and broken up with subheads and bullets. A resume template might look like this:
123 Main Street
Anywhere, USA 12345
email@example.com | 555-555-5555 | LinkedIn/Username
- Results-oriented, engaging administrative professional with 3 years’ experience in sales team support and inside sales.
- Demonstrated effectiveness in contributing to sales team’s year-over-year increases over my three-year tenure.
Administrative Assistant, Jones Distributors (February 2015 – February 2018)
- Conceptualized holiday sales promotion that doubled year-over-year sales
- Consulted on and designed sales presentations, including one that landed the sales agency’s largest account
- Managed inbound sales inquiries
- Reviewed and copyedited all sales proposals before they were sent to clients and prospects
- Assisted sales manager with all annual account reviews and suggested creative selling solutions
Barista, The Latte House (June 2013 – February 2015)
- Oversaw all coffee-making operations during daily weekday rush
- Developed counter and shelf merchandising options that improved impulse buys 15% during holiday season
- Improved customer satisfaction score more than 10%
- Managed schedules to ensure proper staff coverage throughout the week
Education and Certifications
Anywhere State College, Anywhere, USA
Bachelor of Science, Communications
- Relevant Coursework: Communications, Marketing and Sales Promotion
Sales Professional Certification, National Institute of Sales Professionals, 2017
You may also customize your resume if you have particular skills or accomplishments you wish to emphasize. Monster has a good resume template for an entry-level salesperson, and LiveCareer‘s resume template is a good model for an inside salesperson.
You’re on your way to landing your next job in sales. Be sure to stop by ezCater’s blog for great ideas on sales productivity, meeting tips, and catering options.