Sales Resume Tips from an Executive Recruiter

Posted April 29, 2013

Perfect Your Sales ResumeIf you’re looking for a job in sales, you’re in luck. You’ve got CyberCoders Executive Recruiter Marie Cravey on your side! Placing sales candidates with great companies is her forte.

Cravey – that’s her on the left! -- sat down with me recently and went through an anonymous candidate’s sales resume. Point by point, she went over the most common errors, little known secrets and tactics to optimize your resume to its fullest potential.

So, before you send off your next sales resume, make sure you keep the following in mind on both resume formatting and substance:

1. Focus on the Top Two-Thirds of Your Resume

Recruiters will judge your resume largely based on the top two-thirds of your resume. Make it count. Don’t make the mistake of sticking to a resume template. For instance, education does not have to be listed first. What’s the most appealing, marketable aspect about you? Is it the prestige of your last company? Your achievements? Your awards? Whatever’s the most alluring should be listed first.

2. Summary Should Be 1-2 Lines Max

“Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the summary section because I don’t think it’s as important as the the accomplishments,” Cravey says. “But if you’re going to include a summary, make it concise and interesting.”

3. Dates Go On the Right

Cravey says that all too often, she has to tell candidates to move the dates to the right side of the resume. Recruiters and hiring managers’ eyes are naturally drawn to the left. Save that space for your current or previous company name and job title. Dates always belong on the right.

4. Recognized Company Name > Job Title

When you list your previous work history, recruiters are more interested in seeing which company you worked at rather than your title — no matter how senior it may be. If it’s a prestigious or well-known company, make sure the company comes first.

5. Quantify, Quantify, Quantify!

If you’re in sales – quantifying your accomplishments is going to make or break you. Make sure you quantify all your achievements. The more numbers, percentages and revenue generated the merrier.

6. Include Company’s Tagline

When recruiters are going through a million resumes with countless companies listed, they love when sales candidates include a quick company description. That way, they can quickly figure out what the company does – because that’s important to future employers.

“Many great candidates simply include the company’s official branded tagline under the company name,” Cravey says.

7. List Your Awards & Company Awards

Your awards should go above the fold (in the top half of your sales resume, that is) so list your awards under each position. Recruiters and hiring managers want to see sales awards like President’s Club, Achiever Club or Stock Option Award.

In addition, you should also include any notable awards that companies have earned as well. “Whether it’s a company award, departmental award or product award,” Cravey says, “Own the company’s success.”

8. List Names of New Clients & Partners

Another way to make your resume stand out is to list your new and notable clients or partners under each position, particularly if you have sold to Fortune 500 companies.

This way, when recruiters search these notable companies, they’ll see that you’ve worked with them. They’ll look to see if you’ve sold to any of their competitors. Name recognition is huge.

9. What Did You Sell? Who You Sold it To? How much did you sell?

These are the three big questions that any good recruiter will need to see in the first 10 seconds of reading each of your previous position. This is why points 5, 6 and 8 are important. Test your resume by showing it to someone who isn’t already totally familiar with your background.

Ask him if he’s able to easily answer these three crucial questions for each of your position. If not, it’s back to the drawing board!

Note: CyberCoders is a CareerBliss partner company.

photo of The CareerBliss Team

The CareerBliss Team

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