Communication, management and customer service skills lead the way on recent sales job postings, a LiveCareer analysis of job ads and resumes found. In all three categories job seeker resumes are including the skills set forth by employers.
This is good because landing a sales job in today's high-pressure, competitive market will not be easy.
As consumers and businesses start spending again, sales professionals who can highlight stories about communicating with their team, satisfying customers and managing a full workload may get a second look from a busy hiring manager.
LiveCareer pinpointed the skills listed most often in job ads, including the precise wording of each skill. This data-based approach reveals the terminology employers expect to see on sales applications, and can help guide job seekers in refreshing their resumes.
Top hard, soft and remote work skills that will help you land sales jobs
We analyzed a wide range of sales job ads, including sales representatives and sales managers. Here are the skills that rose to the top.
Found in 64.44% of sales job ads
Look for words like communicate, articulate, voice and talk through.
- Management skills
Found in 48.33% of job ads
Look for words like manage, oversee, conduct, supervise and direct.
- Customer service
Found in 43.89% of job ads
Look for the phrases customer service, help customers and assist clients.
Found in 32.22% of job ads
Look for words like lead, plan, mentor and coach.
- Relationship building
Found in 31.67% of job ads
Look for words like relate, collaborate and team player.
Found in 27.78% of job ads
Look for words like professional, experienced and qualified.
Found in 32.78% of job ads
Look for words like instruct, teach and train.
Found in 18.89% of job ads
Look for words like drive, delivery and driver's license.
- Presentation skills
Found in 8.65% of job ads
Look for programs like Microsoft PowerPoint.
- Computer skills
Found in 7.78% of job ads
Look for a wide range of HR software and talent management systems.
Remote work skills
- Project management software like Teamwork (found in 5.33% of job ads) and Monday (found in 4.72% of job ads).
An experienced inside sales representative resume example
How to add skills to your resume
Read the job description, understand what the employer is seeking and use the exact wording of the skills listed in the job posting.
1. Weave a few important critical soft skills into your summary statement.
Example one: Inside sales representative
Achieved industry-leading customer and revenue growth by leveraging top-notch abilities in networking and lead development. Demonstrated success in converting prospects into customers, servicing accounts and maintaining consistent sales levels. Skilled at relationship building, communicating and multitasking.
Example two: Sales manager
Hardworking and driven sales management professional equipped to revitalize sales operations and align procedures to maximize profits and client acquisition. Successful at improving sales procedures to streamline and strengthen processes. Multifaceted leader with analytical and diligent approach to relationship building and leading strong teams.
2. Create a separate skills section. Make sure to include both hard and soft skills.
Example one: Sales Associate
- Stocking and replenishing
- Merchandising knowledge
- Product and service sales
- Sales training
- Exceptional customer service
Example two: Outside sales representative
- Persuasive negotiator
- CyberMatrix software
- Superior organizational skills
- EStara Softphone
- Telemation e-CRM
- Strategic account development
3. Lace skills throughout top achievements in your work experience section.
Example one: Inside sales representative
- Followed up with customers after completed sales to assess satisfaction and resolve any technical or service concerns.
- Established fair pricing structures and finalized contracts to complete purchase agreements with high-profile customers.
- Computed total costs and profit requirements for customer sales to provide accurate pricing.
Example two: Sales engineer
- Prepared cost estimates and bid documents by studying customer RFPs and consulting with project managers.
- Managed technical integration, systems engineering program management, customer support and program management.
- Delivered technical sales presentations to prospects and presented benefits and value of products.
How to grow this skill set
Employers are going to want to see you continuing to build your sales skills. There are many options available to you, including:
- Once you have a little on-the-job experience, certifications can help you build upon the foundations. There are the standards (e.g., Certified Professional Sales Person); advanced courses (e.g., SPIN Selling, Challenger Development Program); and specialized certificates for those in remote sales (Certified Inside Sales Professional).
- Research the tools and programs commonly used in your industry. You can't go wrong getting certified in Salesforce, HubSpot, Google Analytics and Google Ads.
- In addition to certifications, you can take online courses to familiarize yourself with important sales topics. See what's available on Udemy, Coursera, edX and others.
- Get actively involved in LinkedIn groups like Sales Best Practices, Sales & Marketing Best Practices, and the Sales Association, as well as online forums (such as Warrior Forum), where sales professionals are talking about key issues in the field and sharing job opportunities.