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As you move forward with your job search, you’ll have two options: you can create your resume using pre-existing templates and online resume building tools, or you can draft and edit your document on your own, starting with a blank page.
If you do the latter, start by consulting representative resume samples, like the ones below, to get an idea of what an application should look like in this industry. They can help you understand how your resume should be formatted, the kind of information you’ll need to include, and the kinds of common mistakes you’ll want to avoid. As you review these representative resume samples, you can also read through the text below for more information and guidance.
What to Include in a Representative Resume
But as you review these representative resume samples, youâ€™ll notice that they all have things in common and a few basic formatting elements that most employers will need to see before they can consider hiring you. Each of these representative resume samples contain the following subsections, and yours should too:
Â· Resume Summary
Â· Education Section
Â· Work Experience Section
Â· Skills Section
As you will notice while reviewing these representative resume samples, the summary, education, and skills sections are formatted in similar ways, more or less. But the work experience section varies from this pattern. When you reach this section, you will have a few different layout options to choose from. You can follow the traditional chronological layout, the modern functional layout, or any hybrid or combination of the two.
If you choose the chronological format, you will shine a spotlight on your track record and employment history; this approach will usually work better for candidates with an unbroken work history and a steady progression of increasing responsibility. Do note, this is the resume format that hiring managers are most used to receiving.
If you decide to use the functional format instead, you will focus on your core competencies or the specific elements of expertise that you can offer to your target employer. These may include the core sales or customer relationship management skills that help you stand out from the crowd or the unique elements of your experience and background that allow you to help your target company succeed.
If you have a few gaps or mid-life career shifts in your work history, the functional format may represent a better option.
Review the representative resume samples in this collection and notice the impressions created by each formatting style, and consult the work experience section of this article for further specifics.
How to Write the Representative Resume Summary Statement
In addition to flipping through the representative resume samples in this set, take a look at the examples below:
Award winning sales pro with exceptional business development skills. Responsible for over 500 accounts and claims over eight years of experience with cold calling, networking, and successful business development. Proven track record of exceeding sales quotas and maintaining exceptional levels of customer satisfaction.
Senior customer service representative with four years of experience training and onboarding new representatives on customer service software platforms including Zen Desk, C-Desk, LiveChat and Support Center. Exceptional presentation, conflict resolution, and relationship management skills.
How to Write the Representative Resume Education Section
Use this area to list each of your academic accomplishments in chronological order, starting with the most recent. For each entry, list your degree/diploma, your institution, and your course of study. You can also list your GPA (if itâ€™s above 3.0) and your course, diploma or degree completion dates if you choose.
As a sales or customer service pro, you may also hold training credentials for courses you have taken independently or certifications you have earned, and you will want to show these off in this section. Just below your academic degrees, create a separate list for your certifications and state licensing credentials if you have them.
How to Write the Representative Resume Work Experience Section
The chronological layout will help you show off your past, so this option will work best if you can demonstrate a long, uninterrupted track record of relevant and similar positions. In this case, youâ€™ll create an entry for each of these past jobs, and each entry will include your title, your employer, your start and end dates, your core responsibilities, and the most important victories and projects you completed during your tenure. If you helped to grow your company or you added millions of dollars in new accounts, this is the place to share this information. If you broke records or won awards for resolving customer complaints, explain this here.
If you have some gaps in your work history or you entered this field recently after leaving another profession, youâ€™ll want to show off your future plans and core contributions, not your past positions. In this case, you may want to format your resume using the functional style, which will mean breaking your section into two distinct subsections. In the first, youâ€™ll list your key skills and areas of expertise. In the second, youâ€™ll offer a bare-bones list of your past job titles with no additional dates or supporting detail.
Take a close look at each of the representative resume samples in this collection for guidance as you make your decision.
Action Verbs to Include in Your Representative Work Experience Section
How to Write the Representative Resume Skills Section
These skills may directly or indirectly reflect the requirements stated in the job post, but if you have a skill you think your employers may find valuable, this is where youâ€™ll make that clear. For example, if you can offer software proficiency, foreign language ability, or a special skill related to leadership, management, presentation, or communication, list it in this section.
If you arenâ€™t sure your skill will be useful to your target employers, err on the side of inclusion. That said, if you canâ€™t see a connection between a specific skill and the job description at all, leave it out.
Should I Include References in my Representative Resume
Have your list ready to submit to employers when they ask for it. Meanwhile, review the text of the job post carefully. Some employers provide clear information and instructions on this aspect of the review process.
Representative Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid
Generalities: In the field of sales and customer service, numbers matter, and quantifying your accomplishments can help set you apart from your competition. Instead of claiming that you â€œresolved numerous customer complaintsâ€, try adding specifics. For example: â€œClosed ten calls per hour on average, often exceeding 100 successful customer contacts per dayâ€. If you handled large accounts, attach a dollar figure or timeline to your accomplishments.
Overstatements: You may have an absolutely glowing track record as a closer, but make sure your claims are accurate and verifiable. Overstatement is common among applicants in this field, and even a minor or innocent exaggeration can harm your chances.
Missed opportunities: In customer-oriented positions, almost every social or communication-focused skill you can offer will be valuable to your employers. So donâ€™t leave anything off the page. If you can interact successfully with others in any capacity (as a partner, leader, team player, educator, motivator, or supporter), your employers will want to know about it.
Job Prospects in the Representative Industry
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, available positions for sales-related job seekers will grow by about five percent between 2014 and 2014. This increase will result in about 778,000 new jobs during this period. This reflects the average growth rate across all positions in all industries.