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As you consider how to write your resume for an agent position, whether it’s in real estate, insurance, wholesale, or direct sales, your first strategic move should be to review relevant agent resume samples. You can learn a lot by simply examining how others have successfully presented their qualifications. You’ll get an idea of what kind of format to use, the information to include, and common mistakes to avoid.As you read further, you’ll find more detailed guidance for writing each section of your resume, from using action verbs instead of the passive voice, to listing the employer’s requirements as your own qualifications.
What to Include in an Agent Resume
As an agent, you bring two parties together the principal party whom you represent, and other parties interested in what they have to offer. The skill with which you perform your job determines your success and also, at least in the sales arena, can provide career cross-over opportunities. Depending on your career goals, you will format your resume differently.If you’re seeking a position along your defined career path and you have no significant employment gaps, it’s reasonable for you to use the chronological type resume format. This is the most commonly used format and is the most familiar to hiring managers. The basic sections of this type of resume are:
- Contact info (name/phone/email)
- Resume summary
- Work experience
- Contact info (name/phone/email)
- Resume summary
- Accomplishments (new section)
- Work experience
How to Write the Agent Resume Summary Statement
While every section of your resume is important, since the resume summary comes first, it holds a critical position. If it’s not well written and doesn’t create an image of the ideal candidate for the potential employer, they could lose interest and move on to the next resume in the stack. There’s a lot of competition out there. You want to grab their attention from the first word.Your summary should be no more than three concisely written sentences that depict you performing at a high level with measurable results. The use of incomplete sentences, called gapping, allows you to avoid using first-person pronouns and get to the point more quickly, which is what a hiring manager wants to see in a resume.Following are two samples of agent resume summaries from different business sectors, and you can find more by reviewing applicable agent resume samples.
- Passionate real estate agent who is well versed in all the latest technology, but understands the importance of making immediate contact and follow-up in the client?s preferred communication style. By using a transparent approach with detailed explanations for every step for first-time buyers, developed a loyal client list from whom 40 percent of new clients have been referred. Uses both traditional methods as well as social media for lead generation at a rate 22 percent higher than other agents.
- Energetic star insurance agent with a precise, step-by-step procedure that leaves nothing to chance. Embraces the art of cold calling and has increased client base by more than 30 percent for each of the last three years. Understands the value of relationship-building as it relates to increased referrals of clients already interested in purchasing insurance. Increased sales commission a minimum of 34 percent each year for the last four years.
How to Write the Agent Education Section
When a potential employer checks your education credentials, they’re looking for the requirements they stated in the job description, so in addition to checking agent resume samples for formatting ideas, you need to check the job description to make sure your education qualifies you for the job.The hiring manager doesn’t need to know your GPA (unless you’re a recent graduate), but they do want to know about your education in basic terms and access it in an easy-to-read format. All they need is the school attended, school location, and degree obtained. Any course of study related to your industry sector should be mentioned. If you’re working on a degree, list that too and indicate ?in progress? as its status.Certifications and licenses are especially important for the real estate and insurance sectors. Because of that, you may want a sub-heading called ?Certifications? where you can identify your specific training and current knowledge base.Real estate agents must be licensed by the state, and licenses must be current. Make sure yours is, and state the renewal date/period clearly. Insurance agents also must be licensed in the state where they work, and there are separate licenses depending on the type of insurance you sell.Even if the certification/license isn’t mentioned on the job description, you should include it in the education section of your resume.
How to Write the Agent Work Experience Section
By now, you should have an idea of which type of resume format will work best for you. If not, review agent resume samples of chronological, functional, and combination formats.If you’ve decided on the chronological format, the work experience section will be comprised of sub-headings for each previous employer including company name, company location, period of employment, and job title. Listed under each employer should be 3-6 bullet points directing the hiring manager’s attention to your quantifiable success. It’s important to use action verbs to let them picture you in action and as a viable member of their team.The functional format takes the best of all of your bullet points and lists them together under an “Accomplishments” section. You still need to use action verbs and be results oriented in your achievements, but you don’t have to link your big wins to a specific employer. This is to your advantage if you’re considering a career change. With you accomplishments already listed, when you get to the work experience section, it will be a simple list of previous employers with the basic information included in the sub-headings used in the chronological format, but without the bullet points.
Action Verbs to Include in Your Agent Work Experience Section
Any time you’re trying to describe your abilities or achievements, it’s important to remember the axiom ?show don’t tell.? The best way to do that is to consciously choose action verbs that relate to successes in your industry, like the ones listed below.
How to Write the Agent Skills Section
As an agent of any kind, you’re involved in people-to-people interactions, so it stands to reason that the soft skills, like communication, self-confidence, problem-solving, and initiative are critical to success. Before you begin to list all those wonderful attributes, go back to the job description to see what skills the employer lists as important. To the extent that you can claim them as your own, do, and list them first. Any additional skills you believe are important can be added to fill out the list.Even though interpersonal relationships are critical in any sales position, more and more, companies want their agents to be familiar with computer software, social media, and all forms of instant communication, from texting to Skype. Again, see what they want and if you can, give it to them. These hard skills should be listed under a sub-heading called ?Technical skills.?
Should I Include References in my Agent Resume
Ask yourself, out of all the agent resume samples you’ve perused, have any of them included references? The answer is no. There’s no good reason to include them as part of your resume, but there are many good reasons to include the simple statement, ?References are available upon request.?First, make sure you have qualified and consenting references ready. You should have at least 2 former managers or supervisors, and to fill out the list, you can used a peer with whom you worked or industry-related professionals with whom you developed a relationship.When an employer requests your references, you’ll have confirmation that they’re still interested, you’ll be able to give your references a heads-up, and you’ll have an opportunity to find out what kind of questions were asked.
Agent Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid
- Jumping right in to write your resume without researching the various relevant agent resume samples or using an old resume template could make your resume look forgettable before the hiring manager reads the first word.
- The importance of proofreading can’t be stressed enough. The best way to ensure no typos or grammatical errors are lurking is to have someone else read it.
- You don’t have to list every job you’ve ever had, especially if you’re a seasoned professional. Work experience from the last 10-15 years is relevant. If you show 35-40 years of experience, you could be triggering age discrimination that you’d never be aware of.
- Don’t talk about what you’re looking for in an employer. At a certain point you’ll be able to ask questions, but right now, it’s all about what the employer is looking for in a candidate.
- Don’t reveal confidential information about previous employers. Instead of looking knowledgeable, you’ll look untrustworthy.
Job Prospects in the Agent Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected growth of all occupations for the period 2012 to 2022 is 11 percent. Each of the sales agent sectors listed below fall within or just below the projected rate of growth overall. Real estate sales agent employment is projected to grow 11 percent for the same time period. As the real estate market continues to improve, so will the job market.
Population growth, mobility, an improving job market, new job relocations, and first-time home buyers all contribute to the demand for home sales. The industry is subject to economic fluctuations, and while the occupation is easy to enter, new agents will be competing with well-established and more experienced agents. The employment of insurance sales agents is projected to grow 10 percent. The industry grows with the economy, and unlike many businesses, direct online purchases of insurance are expected to have little affect on traditional sales agents because of the complex nature of insurance and the customer’s lack of time or expertise to learn what they need to know to make an informed decision.
Sales in health and long-term care insurance will continue to grow, and as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), sales agents are needed to enroll this new customer base. Bilingual agents have an advantage, as do those with an in-depth understanding of insurance terminology Wholesale and manufacturing sales agent positions are projected to grow 9 percent, basically following the economy. There will be an increased demand in this occupational sector because of a wider range of products and technology available to sell. In addition, these positions are not likely to be outsourced.