Since sales jobs are filled depending on whether the employer believes that you can sell their product, it’s important to format a resume that emphasizes the skills your potential employer is looking for in a candidate. While any sales person’s resume should be treated like a sales pitch, the format will vary depending on your unique abilities and experiences. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to format a resume that will highlight your skills, work history and qualifications.
1. Decide which format will best emphasize your skills. There are three main formats to consider: chronological, functional and chrono-functional. Although you should ultimately make this decision based on your strengths and the specific job you are seeking, a chronological format is likely to work best. Functional resumes primarily outline strengths and skills while downplaying or even skipping work history entirely, and employers are predisposed to dislike them. When you are determining how to format a resume, keep in mind that a chronological style is what most employers want to see.
2. Place your contact information at the top. Be sure to include your name, email address, phone number and mailing address. Make sure your email address sounds professional, but don’t use your current work address. You should also use dashes or parentheses in your phone number to make it easy to read. If you are uncomfortable including your full address, just include the city and state that you live in.
3. Start with a professional summary, not an objective. The summary should only be a few sentences long, so showcase the details that you consider to be most relevant to sales position. Try to keep your summary concise. While there is a lot to keep in mind when figuring out how to format a resume, remember that the professional summary is an opportunity to make up for any shortcomings in your work experience section. Spend some time on it and place it near the top of the document after your name and contact information.
4. Write out your work experience in chronological order, starting with your current job and moving backwards. Be sure to include your job titles, the names of your employers and the dates of your employment. You should also include a bulleted list that highlights a few accomplishments you achieved at each job. One of the most common mistakes job hunters make is describing their routine work duties rather than their accomplishments. Employers, especially in sales, are more interested in learning how you excelled as opposed to hearing about your day-to-day tasks. If you can quantify those accomplishments, be sure to do so.
5. Include a short education section at the bottom of the resume. Employers in sales are going to be much more interested in your professional accomplishments than your education. In fact, many sales jobs require no formal education beyond high school. Therefore, while you will want to include some information about your education, only mention the highest level of education you have attained and the location of the school you attended.
6. Proofread everything, and don’t rely entirely on a spell-checker, as it can miss some things. You can learn a lot about how to format a resume properly, but it won’t help if your resume includes grammar or spelling mistakes.
Learning how to format a resume correctly is one of the most important steps you can take when looking to land the job of your dreams. Fortunately, LiveCareer has the information and resources you need to get the most out of your resume and to jumpstart your professional career.