With so many industries needing employees to sell products and services, possibilities abound for people desiring to break into sales. Whether you’re looking to become a sales associate at a furniture store or seeking work as a radio station’s advertising sales representative, landing your desired position starts with “selling yourself” to hiring managers by writing an awesome entry-level sales representative resume.
Growth of the online marketplace has presented jobseekers interested in entry-level sales representative positions with a variety of opportunities unheard of in the past. This action, however, has caused some decline in hiring at brick-and-mortar establishments. Overall, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment in sales and related occupations will grow 3 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is slow compared to other occupations.
While BLS statistics show the median annual wage for sales and related occupations as $27,020, pay ranges considerably within the field. Factors influencing compensation include the types of items or services being sold and how successful employees are at sealing deals.
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Sales Job Titles to Consider
Before writing your entry-level sales representative resume, it helps to get an understanding of possible positions. Here are some job titles aspiring entry-level sales reps may find interesting:
Financial Sales Representative
Does helping others meet their financial goals sound intriguing? Financial sales reps talk to clients about their objectives, long-term plans, and risk tolerance. They then recommend stocks, bonds, insurance policies, and other products that meet their clients’ needs. While employers offer on-the-job training for sales reps to become well versed in the company’s products and services, a degree in economics or a related field proves useful.
To get started on a career as an entry-level financial sales representative, use our sales representative resume example for inspiration.
Places with items to sell hire sales associates to answer customer questions and promote purchasing. A car dealership, for instance, hires sales associates to assist buyers coming into the showroom by pointing out vehicle features, discussing finance options and warranties, and offering test drives. A sales associate at a retail outlet, by contrast, might be responsible for directing customers to the appropriate department, finding items, and ringing up purchases.
Get a leg up on the competition by checking out our sales associate resume sample.
Advertising Sales Representative
When organizations want to promote their brand, they turn to advertising to spread the word. Advertising sales reps sell the space where others hear or see this information, such as pages in a magazine or airtime on the radio. The job can involve working with established clients to come up with packages that suit their needs or may include placing numerous cold calls each day to drum up business.
Our advertising sales representative resume example can help get you started on the road to this career.
Outside Sales Representative
Outside sales representatives present their employer’s offerings to owners, managers, and others responsible for making buying decisions at businesses and other organizations. The position typically requires a good deal of travel to make presentations to interested parties, attend trade shows, and meet face-to-face with clients.
To get the job you want, use our outside sales representative resume sample as a guideline of what to present to potential employers.
Inside Sales Representative
If traveling isn’t your thing, the duties of an inside sales representative may better suit your style. Working out of an office, inside sales reps use phone and electronic communication to generate new business for their employer and to stay in contact with current clients.
Craft a great resume for this type of position by following the suggestions of our inside sales representative resume example.
5 Sections of an Entry-level Sales Representative Resume
- Resume Header. This mandatory section contains an applicant’s name, phone number, and email address. Some candidates also choose to include their home address. Social media links, such as to your LinkedIn profile, can be included here if desired.
- Professional Summary. Why are you the person who should be hired? In three to five lines, make a succinct pitch about your qualifications. Since this is an entry-level resume, you may not have a great deal of formal experience to present, but you can still highlight skills learned through school, internships, extracurricular activities, and other life experiences.
- Skills. Let the job ad act as your guide for which skills to emphasize, as these are what the employer has deemed most pertinent for the role. Remember to include soft skills as well as hard ones, as these difficult-to-measure skills are highly sought after by employers. Examples of some of the most sought-after skills for entry-level sales reps are listed below.
- Work History (or Relevant Experience). Entry-level sales representative resumes oftentimes do not contain a great deal of direct, formal experience. However, include anything you can to show your professionalism, aptitude, and willingness to learn. Part-time jobs, internships, volunteer work, and leadership roles on teams fit the bill.
- Education. Educational requirements vary depending on the job. A high school diploma (or the equivalent) may suffice for an entry-level sales representative position at a big-box retailer, but employers may prefer a postsecondary degree in marketing or a related field for an advertising sales associate role. If you maintained an admirable GPA (usually 3.5 or higher), include this information. Likewise, honor societies or other academic recognition can boost this section.
16 Skills to Add to Your Entry-level Sales Representative Resume
Stumped for what to include in the skills section when writing your entry-level sales representative resume? Here’s a look at 16 abilities commonly associated with roles in this field:
- Articulate communicator
- Exceptional interpersonal skills
- Comfortable interacting with anyone
- Dedication to customer service
- Effective negotiator
- Team player
- Friendly personality
- Understanding of target audience
- Positive attitude
- Excellent time-management skills
- Goal oriented
- Diligent follow-up
- Willingness to learn about products and services in depth
- Thick-skinned and persistent
Transferable Skills Can Make or Break an Entry-level Sales Rep Resume
While you might not have direct experience in the field of sales, chances are that you possess valuable transferable skills. Transferable skills are abilities applicable to a variety of jobs, as compared to ones that are industry specific. Presenting transferable skills to potential employers helps them envision you in the desired position.
Because interaction with others is so vital to the role, the transferable skills found on an entry-level sales representative resume are often “soft” skills. Think about your past experiences. Were you a top cookie seller as a Girl Scout? That demonstrates persuasiveness. Did you diligently work the phones for your college’s annual alumni-giving drive? That shows ability to interact with strangers. Were you a journalist for the school’s newspaper? That experience probably honed your written and verbal communication skills and may have even required thick skin and persistence.
4 Tips for Writing an Entry-level Sales Rep Resume
1. Focus on what you can offer, not on what you lack. Employers do not expect entry-level employees to have a world of relevant experience. However, you may possess plenty of desirable traits that help you stand out from a pool of similar entry-level hopefuls. Don’t discount the power of professionalism developed from your work-study job or the leadership exhibited in your role as sorority president.
2. Show enthusiasm. Sales reps who are excited about their company’s products and services have an easier time on the sales floor. Take this into consideration when applying for jobs. A passion for fashion could provide a needed edge to secure a job at a clothing store. Or your genuine commitment to helping others establish long-term security can make selling investment plans and other financial products enjoyable. Mentioning such things in your professional summary helps employers know this position is more than “just a job” to you.
3. Find the right format. A functional resume format often works well for applicants without much formal experience. This type of resume puts skills and education in a more prominent position on the document than a traditional chronological one.
4. Show off your singular skillset. Think about what makes you unique and how when combined such traits might be appealing to a hiring manager. Your fluency in a second language, experience training new volunteers for an organization close to your heart, or talent for creating killer PowerPoint presentations may spark interest.
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