Writing a quality résumé is difficult. Essentially you are boiling down your professional experiences into a one to two page document. To help bring clarity to the process remember a résumé is just a marketing document.
Write your résumé for a targeted audience. What type of sales job are you looking for? A software sales résumé is different from a sales manager résumé. Why? Each role requires very different skills and experiences. Write your résumé first to reflect the hiring motivations of your ideal job. Then tweak the résumé for each job you apply for.
Chronological or Functional Résumé Format?
We are asked frequently if people should write a chronological or functional résumé. A functional résumé simply describes what you do and your key attributes, while a chronological résumé describes each step in your career.
Sales résumés should be chronological. More specifically they should be reverse chronological. Your current job goes first and your first job out of school (university or college) goes last.
Under each career heading try to write three to four bullets that describe your core responsibilities, and one to two bullets for your big achievements.
What Doesn't need to be on a sales résumé?
There is a lot of superfluous information that doesn't need to be on your résumé. If you are trying to control the length of your résumé throw out items like: experience with software applications, hobbies and irrelevant training courses. Remember this is a marketing document. Only keep the information that is relevant to your buyer: the hiring manager.
Also, you don't need to include your high school under education. Everyone went to high school. It's a given.
Choose a Standard Résumé Format
You don't have to reinvent the wheel for your résumé. Microsoft Word offers great templates for résumés. Use a basic résumé template with a simple design that is easy to read. That will reduce the hassles you face in creating a résumé.
The key elements of a sales résumé include:
Experience (reverse chronological)
That is basically all you need. Ultimately the pen doesn't sell.
A résumé is a required document to find a job, but it is only a starting point. Think about it. Brochures don't win sales – salespeople do. The same is true for résumés. You must hone your interviewing skills to win your dream job.
Sales managers are busy people. They don't have time to interview everyone who applies for their jobs. Take the time to write a great résumé. You don't want to have one of those résumés that are rejected, because it didn't look good enough.
About the Author:
Jeremy Miller is a Partner with LEAPJob, a sales recruiting firm in . LEAPJob recruits sales professionals and sales leaders for many of 's most recognized companies. Their clients range from the Top 50 Employers to smaller organizations building their first sales force.