Sales positions, depending on the specific product and industry, may rise and fall slightly in terms of availability, but they never really go out of style. Sales professionals are necessary in every field, for every type of product and service, and the skills that make a great salesperson are rare, invaluable, and difficult to teach. If you’re a company manager facing an exceptional salesperson across theinterview table, you’re wise to act fast and bring this person onboard. Because if you don’t, your competitors certainly will.
Because of the rarity and value of true sales talent, salaries in some fields can be very high. And even the highest salaries are often supplemented by commissions and bonuses. So if you have this talent, and you’re interested in stepping into one of these coveted—and very competitive—positions, what steps can you take to get your resume noticed? Here are a few resume tips and guidelines that can bring the spotlight in your direction.
1. Think like a manager. Managers value one thing above all else: The customer. As always, the customer forms the center of this equation, and if customers will respond well to you, then employers will too. Start with a trustworthy presentation. At the first glance, your resume should appear neat, sleek, and relaxed (not crowded, cluttered, and desperate.)
2. Put your entire presentation into your summary. As managers examine your credentials, their eyes will move to the summary first. These three or four brief lines have the power to bring you onto the interview list—or end your candidacy on the spot. Tell your entire story upfront, and make sure you include details about yourself and what you have to offer that no other candidate can claim.
3. Get rid of clichés and generic fluff. This field is too competitive for candidates to waste time by calling themselves “go-getters” or “great salespeople.” Sure you’re great, but so is every candidate in the resume stack. Cut to the chase and lead with your strongest accomplishments.
4. Use numbers. As you detail these accomplishments in your work history, make sure you quantify them. Add numbers to every claim. Don’t just state that you exceeded your quota at your last job—give percentages, dollar figures, and hard numbers that are easy to compare with the claims of other candidates.
5. Product knowledge is key. And managers are only half-interested in the product knowledge that helped you close in your previous positions. They’d prefer to hear about your knowledge of their own product lines and stories. A little research can help.
6. Remember that your resume is a sales pitch. Which means that, as with any presentation, you’ll need to set a tone, tell a story, back up your claims with hard, compelling evidence, and of course, close the deal. Don’t mess around, bore your audience, or include weak, irrelevant detail. Sales managers are experienced “customers”, and they’ve heard it all. Bring your A game and treat your reviewer as your greatest sales challenge yet.
Applying for a job in sales—regardless of the level or specific position—can be more challenging than applying for positions in other fields. Mostly because sales managers are tough, straightforward, and immune to pitches that are all style and no substance (or vice versa). But with LiveCareer on your side, you’ll be ready to win over the toughest audience out there. Visit the site for tools and resources, including the site’sResume Builderand Cover Letter Builder, that can help you get a foot in the door.