There were 14.4 million sales jobs in the United States this time last year. However, the coronavirus pandemic that went into full effect in March has started wiping them out. From retail cashiers to advertising CEOs, virtually no one in the sales is safe from the economic fallout of the virus.
If you lost your sales job, or fear you will, there are industries that are hiring in mass — and they're looking for people like you. To land one of those roles, you will have to learn to market yourself by highlighting the skills and experience that employers in these fields seek.
Here, we look at which industries are still hiring people with your skill set and lay out a strategy for you to apply for and land a new job.
Transferable Skills to Emphasize on Your Resume
Whether you worked the cash register or you managed a sales team, you picked up valuable skills that transcend your occupation and industry. These are known as transferable skills.
There are three primary categories: hard skills, soft skills and technical skills. Hard skills are measurable abilities, such as math or a foreign language. Soft skills are harder-to-measure personality strengths, like communication and active listening, that help you work well with others. Technical skills represent your understanding of specific tools and programs.
Let's take a look at a few common sales skills in each category that you might want to focus on as you learn how to write a resume.
Hard skills: Data entry, data analysis, foreign language, social media management, math, knowledge of proper cash-handling procedures
Soft skills: Emotional intelligence, empathy, communication, flexibility, research, time management, relationship management
Technical skills: Customer relationship management software (CRM), key performance indicator software (KPI), geolocation software, Salesforce, Hubspot, Google AdWords, Microsoft Office Suite
Certifications and training: Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP), Certified Inside Sales Professional (CISP), SPIN Selling, Challenger Development Program, Certified Sales Leadership Professional (CSLP), Certified Sales Executive (CSE)
These Industries Are Hiring People With Your Skills
One of the great benefits of a career in sales is that sales positions exist in every industry. Below, we provide examples of industries that are still hiring sales representatives, as well as alternatives to sales if you would like to try something new.
If you were an inside sales representative, you might consider the following roles:
- Outside sales representative (for example, at a software company like Microsoft)
- Computer support analyst (for example, at a pharmaceuticals company like Pfizer)
- Customer service representative (for example, at an insurance company like Farmers Insurance)
- Sales manager (for example, at a beverage company, like Starbucks)
If you were an outside sales representative, you might consider the following roles:
- Outside sales representative (for example, at an insurance company like Geico)
- Computer support analyst (for example, at a hospital)
- Customer service representative (for example, at a transportation company Dollar Rentals)
- Sales manager (for example, at an auto company, like AutoZone)
If you were a sales manager, you might consider the following roles:
- Senior staffing manager (for example, at an ecommerce company, like Amazon)
- Supply chain supervisor (for example, at a shipping & logistics company like Averitt Express)
- Sales manager (for example, at a beverage company, like Coke)
If you were a retail associate, you might consider the following roles:
- Sales associate (for example, at a grocery store, like Trader Joe's)
- Caregiver (for example, at a nursing home)
- Receptionist (for example, at a hospital)
- Bank teller (for example, at a financial institution, like Wells Fargo)
- Greeter (for example, at an essential retail store, like Walmart)
- Stocker (for example, at a grocery store, like Kroger)
- Warehouse associate (for example, at an ecommerce company, like Amazon)
- Delivery driver (for example, for a delivery app, like DoorDash)
How to Apply for These Roles And What You’ll Need
- A current email address and phone number
- A resume
- Identification, such as a driver’s license or passport
- A current email address and phone number
- A resume
- A brief cover letter
How to Find These Jobs in Your Community
Do I Need a Resume During the COVID Crisis?
Resumes haven't gone out of style. While some employers are fast-tracking their hiring processes, many are still requesting resumes, especially for mid- and executive-level positions. It's critical to bring your document up to date and polish it up before you begin your job search.
The same is true for cover letters. Not as popular as they once were, cover letters are still important in that some hiring managers give preferential treatment to job seekers who submit them. If you aren’t confident in your writing skills, a cover letter builder can help.
Now, to get you started, here's a sales resume example. Study its structure and language to see how to position yourself to transition to other work.
Text resume example: Inside sales representative applying for a customer sales representative
Name: Lucas Housley
Address: Las Vegas, NV 89128
High-achieving inside sales representative with strong emotional intelligence seeks role as a customer service representative. Proven record of outstanding performance and in-depth construction industry knowledge. Demonstrated success in converting prospects into customers, servicing accounts and maintaining consistent sales levels. Flexible, high-energy and entrepreneurial sales leader.
Summary of Skills
- Empathetic and customer-oriented sales representative
- Expert-level grasp of CRM and KPI software
- Twice awarded the Sales Representative of the Month award
- Deep regional knowledge of the southwestern United States
- Dependable time management skills to stay flexible for customers
Las Vegas, NV
- Visited customer locations to evaluate requirements, demonstrate products and propose strategic solutions for diverse needs.
- Generated new business through successful networking and cold calling, surpassing annual sales quota by 30 percent in 2019.
- Collaborated with vendor representatives and company customers to set up optimal delivery schedules.
- Followed up with customers after completed sales to assess satisfaction and resolve any lingering concerns.
Wynn Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV
- Stayed up to date on latest marketing concepts and techniques.
- Tracked and analyzed web analytics to recommend proactive strategies to the sales team marketing manager.
- Designed and presented social media campaign ideas.
Education & Certifications
Bachelor of Science in Marketing
University of Nevada, Reno
Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP)
National Association of Sales Professionals