A strong resume begins with a sales pitch: a keyword-rich professional profile. This introductory paragraph is crucial in detailing your hard and soft skills, highlighting years of experience and your commitment to the sales profession. Provide steadfast reasons why the hiring manager should set up an interview and consider hiring you right from the document’s starting point.
Effective use of keywords, clean and simple formatting, and a solid introduction that markets your skills will have you landing an interview in no time.
The general idea of creating an ideal format for an interview-winning resume is to keep it organized and easy-to-read. The formatting should be simple and not include too many unnecessary additions.
Keep the font style the same throughout the document and only include 3 font sizes, different sizes for your name, section headers, and overall text. The addition of one elegant color to the black font, in a border or section heading, could make it stand out from the other candidates.
Break your sales resume up into sections, as described below, to guide the reader to your various qualifications and experiences.
Try to maintain a length of two pages for your professional sales resume so you don’t overwhelm the reader when sifting through a large pile of resumes. Keep your accomplishments and expertise as the focal point.
The basic structure should include your name and contact information in a header, a persuasive professional profile summary, areas of expertise, education and credentials, work experience, and professional development. Additional sections may include professional affiliations, computer expertise, and community involvement.
Professional Profile Summary
A profile summary, professional profile, professional summary, or resume summary is your first opportunity to catch the hiring manager’s attention to your qualifications. Your summary’s main objective is to make your most relevant skills and experiences immediately noticeable to the reader. A professional profile is not an objective. The position you are applying for is your objective, and it should be listed above your profile summary as a title.
Examples of a title include Sales Account Manager, IT Sales Representative, District Manager, Brand Manager Consultant, Assistant Retail Store Manager, Communications Specialist, Vice President/Director of Sales, Territory Manager, Sales and Marketing, Divisional Group Manager, Project Manager, Search Engine Marketing Executive, etc.
The summary can be written in paragraph form or as bullet points. Both options need to be clearly organized to market your skills and qualifications. Keep your introduction to four to seven lines long and ensure it is written in the third person. The opening sentence should include your number of years of experience in the industry and use a bold font, so it stands out that much more.
Professional Summary Examples for Sales Professionals
Territory Sales Representative Resume Profile
Accomplished, driven, and customer-oriented Sales Representative with over ten years of professional experience in the retail industry. Superior aptitude for creating revenue generation strategies while consistently exceeding sales goals. Discernable marketing and merchandising ideas to create powerful displays with a solid eye for detail to maximize customer purchases. Ability to develop meaningful relationships with customers, co-workers, and management through effective communication and interpersonal skills.
District Sales Manager Professional Profile
District Sales Manager with over 15 years of experience leading commercial sales teams. Solid ability to build high-performing sales teams through effective management strategies, implementing business plans, and managing associate performance. Key establishment of hiring, training, and coaching initiatives for all district locations directly focused on promotions within the company. Proven sales and operational initiative goal achievement through effective management of budgets, profitability, staff requirements, and accounts receivables.
Senior Sales Executive Summary of Qualifications
Highly innovative, dynamic, and results-oriented business sales professional with ten years in retail management. Proven ability in driving top-line growth through effective communication, brand management, and merchandising initiatives. Verifiable track record in maximizing sales and profitability through sound business solutions. Experienced, forward-thinking team leader with proficiency in executing quality market analysis and trend forecasting. Strong dedication to the brand and engages in a culture of empowerment and encouragement to support continued business growth.
Director of Sales Professional Resume Profile
Enterprising, dedicated, and customer-focused leader with over 15 years of professional experience in Marketing and Operations. Strong proficiencies in building new business and forging continued loyalty with clients, vendors, and external business stakeholders. Ability to identify and capitalize on business development, operations leadership, and new product launches within all types of sales environments. Respected, decisive, and top-performing manager of award-winning global sales organizations.
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Resume Summary
Eight years of professional experience as a dynamic and results-oriented leader in a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative role. Articulate, patient, and persuasive in relations with management, peers, and clients. Strong desire to meet and exceed corporate sales goals while mentoring staff to improve overall customer satisfaction. Adept at increasing clientele base in both physician and hospital settings. Highly skilled at preparing and facilitating presentations for product lines at industry events. Proven leadership, decision-making, marketing, and business strategy development skills.
Regional Sales Representative Resume Summary
Dedicated, decisive, and professional Regional Sales Manager demonstrating 13 years of top-performing sales expertise. Proven ability to exceed sales quotas, manage professional development, support regional teams, and drive organizational growth and profitability. Effective leader, communicator, and negotiator with a solid talent for promoting new business through meaningful interactions at tradeshows and corporate events. Direct expertise in key account management, product training and placement, and direct sales and marketing.
Areas of Expertise
The next section of your sales resume should be titled “Areas of Expertise” or “Core Competencies.” This is the section where you can list any hard skills you possess that apply to the specific position you are applying for. This list of skills will also be keywords that will help your resume get past the applicant tracking systems.
List any areas that you are very familiar with or are highly skilled in. Hard skills are tangible skills that are easy to quantify.
Examples of keyword for sales positions are:
- Relationship Building,
- Territory Expansion,
- Product Marketing,
- Negotiating & Closing,
- Lead Generation,
- New Business Development,
- Outside Sales,
- Sales Expansion,
- Client Relations,
- Account Management,
- Sales & Distribution Channels,
- Team Leadership & Training,
- Customer Base Expansion,
- Upselling and Consultative Selling,
- Presentations & Proposals,
- Brand Awareness & Development
The education and special training section should include all your relevant post-secondary educational pursuits, as well as any additional training or certifications you hold. Include your degree title, the college or university you received from, the city, and the year of completion. If you completed it more than 15 years ago, then you can omit the date.
Bachelor of Arts in Marketing (05/2011)
Ivy University, Hometown, America
Including Professional Experience
Focus your job experience section on your most recent pursuits, especially if you have been in sales for a long time. If you decide to include quite a few positions, as it applies to the job you are applying for, you can always elaborate on three experiences and list the remaining positions.
In paragraph form, list your general duties and job description. Next, in point form, relay your top three achievements in that position. This section is where you can really shine; utilize this section to detail your accomplishments with valuable numbers, promotions, and major projects.
Write Concise Resume Bullets for Accomplishments
- Boosted sales by 30% through lead generation and new business development.
- Acquired three big new accounts for the company, which grew revenues by 8%.
- Oversaw expansion of sales territory to three additional cities and an expansive rural area that grew sales by $250,000 year over year.
- Increased revenues from $15K in the first year to over $2.5 million in 5 years.
- Effectively managed 90 inbound client request daily to earn top sales associate award in 2018.
- Earned company-wide Employee of the Year Award out of a pool of 1385 employees in 2018.
Other Resume Headings
Besides the basic outline of a well-crafted sales resume, which includes your eye-catching professional summary, areas of expertise, education, and career experience, you may also wish to include any applicable volunteer experience, professional development training, or computer expertise.
Don’t bog your resume down with unnecessary information. Leave some details for the interview. A resume needs to be concise and still provide enough information to get your foot in the door for an interview. If there are activities that directly relate to the position or have been mentioned in the job posting or company website, then you should most definitely include them if space permits.
Another section that may be applicable is one titled Awards and Recognition. If you have been presented with some prestigious sales honors, you may want to include them on your resume. Awards are proof of your optimal sales skills and should be showcased.
One of the most important tips when creating your professional sales resume is proofreading it before submitting your application. Proofreading is of the utmost importance when you want to land that coveted job at a major organization.
Ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors and double-check your address, educational institution information, and previous job dates for accuracy. Applying with an error-free and up-to-date document shows you take the initiative, have excellent communication skills, and pay attention to the small details.
Organization or Company Research
You already know that you want to work for the company in the position of Sales Representative or District Manager because you believe you are the right candidate for the job. But you would never try to sell a product without knowing whom you are selling it to, right? The same goes for your resume.
Thoroughly scrutinize the job posting, company website, and LinkedIn profile to elaborate on what the corporation stands for, its mission statement, and some business opportunities. See if you have any transferable skills that directly apply to what they seek in a new employee.
This is a great opportunity to prepare for that interview as well.
Tailor or Focus Your Resume
One of the best sales resume tips is to tailor your job search documents to the specific position you are applying for. The basic outline will remain the same for each posting. From researching the company and scouring job posting, you will uncover company-specific information and requirements that you should include.
Sprinkle keywords throughout the document to ensure that you are not only passing a possible Applicant Tracking System screening but are catching the eye of the reader as well.
For best job search results, use different resumes to apply for a sales executive posting in a food service company and an oil and gas sales position. Suppose you have multiple job targets tailor each resume to optimize the outcome.
Scrutinize the job posting and identify any keywords the company is interested in for their new employee. Make sure you include these buzzwords throughout your resume, as well as in your areas of expertise and professional summary. If the keywords they list do not apply to your capabilities, then leave them off. Only include those skills that are relevant to the expertise you exhibit professionally.
Some soft skills that companies may be looking for and that can be included in your sales resume include:
- Team building,
- Time management,
Hard are tangible skills that organizations could be searching for in a job applicant include:
- Product Knowledge,
- Closing Techniques,
- Managing contacts,
- Qualifying Leads,
- Developing Proposals
In sales, numbers are everything. So, why would you leave them off your sales resume?
Without breaking any confidentiality rules of your previous jobs, relay some numerical achievements. If you have a significant amount of sales achievements, you may wish to create a separate heading for them, otherwise, include at least three accomplishments under your work experience section per job.
Showcase skills and strengths like:
- Sales Increases
- Market share growth
- Sales rankings
- Clientele base growth
- New accounts signed
CAR or STAR Method
When highlighting your job achievements, use the acronym C.A.R. as an effective way to demonstrate your competencies. C.A.R. stands for:
- Challenge: What was the Challenge?
- Action: What Action did you take to strategize a solution?
- Result: What was the quantifiable Result of your action?
STAR Accomplishment Approach
Showcase your competencies using this approach under your job duties paragraph to incorporate impressive bullet points into a resume.
- Situation: What was the situation/project/obstacle?
- Task: What were you tasked with?
Action: What actions did you take to complete the project/fix the situation/ overcome the obstacle?
- Result: What was the result.
- Of your efforts? What improvements were made? How was the problem resolved for the better?
Employers want to know what you have done in your previous positions, how you benefited your employers, and what results you accomplished. Some questions you may ask yourself to come up with accomplishments include:
- How did you perform compared to your peers?
- What were your specific sales figures?
- Did you win any sales awards?
- Have you led contract negotiations landing a positive business deal?
- Did you participate in a successful product launch or product development?
An excellent sales resume showcases your relevant work experience, selling attributes, and skills that qualify you for the position for which you are applying. By including hard and soft skills, education, and career accomplishments, like this sample, you are showing the company that you are the right fit for the position and will bring commendable skills to the role.
By writing your professional summary last, you can utilize the information already entered in the resume to craft a winning summary highlighting what you have to offer. This, in addition to simple formatting, a clean structure, and relevant keywords, will provide you with a well-rounded, professional sales resume. Paired with a job-specific cover letter, you are sure to land at the top of the interview pile!
Do you need assistance with writing a stellar professional sales resume and cover letter? You can view our professional resume and cover letter writing services to get started.
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