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Do Sales People Need Resumes? What are Sales Resumes?

Someone asked me an interesting question the other day, “Do Sales People Need Resumes?”.  It was a very valid question and the answer is yes, Sales People need resumes just like any other professional.  There are sales resume formats and even career level based formats for sales resumes.  I think that in their mind they had been interviewing with the wrong types of companies because they weren’t asked to submit a resume and didn’t really think to create one.

A Salesperson’s resume needs to sell that person enough to get them in the door so that they can sell themselves on why they are the right fit for that company.   It needs to not only outline that person’s achievements, but a sales resume needs to have metrics and should be relevant to the type of company they are applying to.  Although your personality and sales pitch on why you are a fit within the company, if your sales resume cannot sell you then you won’t even get the chance to sell yourself.  That is why it is important to have a professionally written and formatted sales resume to show off why you are the perfect candidate for that role and career level.  When that resume gets you in for an interview, you can then sell yourself.  So what goes into a Salesperson’s resume and what are some ways to get your resume into the hands of a Hiring Manager or HR department?


1.  Start with your achievements.

When creating a resume for Sales People it is important to understand that sales jobs are extremely competitive and the HR Departments or Hiring Managers may get hundreds of resumes each day.  By listing some of the highlights in your sales career like being the top seller for X months, selling a certain dollar amount in a month or year is a start.  If you can then show any experience with products and services that are relevant to the new company that is even better.  Another great achievement to share is if you have been promoted to a Sales Manager position or were training and mentoring other people.  It not only shows that you were impressive enough to get to train others, but you may have management potential to Hiring Managers and the people in HR.  Recruiters and Hiring Managers want to see what you have sold and what you had achieved in your sales career and how it may relate to their company and team.  By outlining it in bullets in a qualifications section on your sales resume you’ll make it easier for them to see the highlights of your career.

2.  Referrals and quotes.

Now I have never really seen this on a Salesperson’s resume before, but one thing that could help you to stand out is to include a couple of quotes from referrals with a phone number to contact them on the side or back of your resume.  If you don’t have a huge sales career yet or your resume is flat, you may want to try including it as a section to fill in blank space.  The thing to remember is that Sales Jobs are also about creativity and standing out so that you are memorable.  If you can find a way to tie in quotes from previous Sales Managers and use that person will also give you a referral, you may be able to create a more memorable impression of yourself and your resume.  The Hiring Manager may also end up contacting that person if they liked you to get the full referral.  You will have potentially made their job easier and been able to show off what other people have said about you and your skills.

3.  Submit your resume on something other than paper.

Sales Jobs are extremely competitive and creativity is what can help you to either get or lose ]an interview for a sales job.   If there is a company that you really want a sales job with, go online or call in and find out what the Hiring Manager or HR Director’s name is.  You can then look them up on sites like Facebook, Linked In and Twitter.  Try to see if you can find out what they are interested in and then use that to submit your resume.

If the person like basketball than try writing your resume on a basketball and ship the ball to them.  If they seem like they are funny or creative, maybe send a candy or chocolate foot in with your resume below and a note that says something like “Now that I have my foot in the door, how about you call me for an interview?”.  If they always talk about a TV show or favorite celebrity, find an autograph on eBay or another site and put your resume on the back of the 8×10 autographed photo.  By combining your resume with something that the Hiring Manager would never get rid of is a perfect way to get your resume in their hands.

Going that extra step not only shows that you are creative and will go that extra step to make the sale, but it will also show how dedicated you are to being a sales person.   Going that extra mile may impress the person looking to hire someone for the sales job enough to bring you in and possibly hire you for the sales job.  You do have to be careful though as some people may feel like you are stalking them.  Use your best judgment when trying one of these out of the box ideas.

Sales jobs are some of the most competitive jobs out there.  Sales People not only have to go the extra mile and then some to get an interview, but they also need to impress and sell themselves to other Sales People.  The hardest part is getting in the door. By having a professionally written and properly formatted sales resume you are half of the way there.  By doing something that stands out in a positive way and shows that you are not only creative but will also do what it takes to close a sale is what can help you close the deal.  Remember to carefully evaluate the position and company and always have a sales resume that matches the sales job and is formatted properly to match your career level.

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