A sales CV resume and a CV laying on top of each other and on top of a stack of papers

A strong sales CV is highly important as this is your potential employer’s first impression of you and a vital tool for landing your dream job in sales. It’s not just a list of past positions; it’s also a compelling narrative that showcases your skills and your ability to identify, connect with, and convert leads into loyal customers.

Whether you’re a seasoned sales professional or just starting your career, as sales recruitment specialists we believe that a well-crafted CV can make all the difference and help you stand out from other applicants. Here are some key tips to help you build a sales CV that stands out:

1. Tailor Your Sales CV, Don’t Copy and Paste:

One size does not fit all. Resist the urge to repurpose a generic or templated CV for every job application. It is crucial to take the time to tailor your CV to each specific job you apply for. This should involve carefully reading the job description and prioritising your key skills and experience that are relevant to the role and what the company may be looking for in a candidate. Use these keywords throughout your CV, highlighting how your qualifications align with the role requirements and their business needs.

2. Quantify Your Achievements:

Sales is an function centred around results. When recruiting sales specialists, we want to see concrete evidence of your ability to generate revenue, negotiate profitable deals and achieve targets. Don’t just list your responsibilities; quantify your accomplishments in previous roles and be prepared to share the steps taken to achieve this.

This may involve statements such as:

Using numbers: Increased sales by X%, exceeded quota by Y%, secured Z new clients in a given timeframe.

Highlighting specific contributions: Directed a marketing campaign that led to a 20% lead generation increase.

Focusing on quantifiable metrics: Reduced customer churn rate by 15%.

3. Action Verbs are Your Allies:

Use strong action verbs to describe your sales activities and achievements. Words like “developed,” “negotiated,” “closed,” and “exceeded” convey a sense of initiative and success.

Instead of: Managed a sales territory

Try: Developed and implemented a strategic sales plan for assigned territory, resulting in a 12% increase in market share.

4. Highlight Transferable Skills:

Sales recruiters aren’t necessarily looking to see if you have experience in the exact role they are hiring for. Even if you don’t have direct sales experience, don’t despair. Many skills are transferable to the sales world. Think about previous roles, whether this is in customer service, project management, or event coordination. Did you build strong relationships with clients? Develop effective communication skills? Did you exceed goals in a non-sales environment? Highlight these experiences and showcase how these skills translate to sales success. If you sell yourself well and show a willingness to apply and transfer these in to the sales role you are applying for, this will go a long way and stand out to sales recruiters.

5. Structure for A Successful Sales CV:

Your CV should be clear, concise, and easy to read. Your CV should be kept to 2-3 pages, ensuring that the structure is clear and easy to read. Here’s a recommended structure:

Contact Information: Include your name, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile URL (optional, but can be a great way for recruiters to learn more about you).

Profile: A brief (2-3 sentence) overview of your sales experience, skills, and career goals.

Career History : List your work experience in reverse chronological order, including company name, job title, dates of employment, and key accomplishments in bullet points.

Skills: Include a section with relevant sales skills like prospecting, negotiation, relationship building, and product knowledge.

Education & Certifications: List your academic qualifications and any relevant sales certifications.

6. Keep it ATS-Friendly:

Many companies now use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen CVs. These systems scan for keywords based on the job description. This again emphasizes the importance of tailoring your CV to the job description and including those key words throughout. However, while including relevant keywords is important, don’t stuff your resume unnaturally. Focus on writing a clear and compelling narrative while using keywords strategically and allowing this to flow naturally.

7. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread:

Typos and grammatical errors can make a terrible first impression. Proofread your resume meticulously before submitting it and show sales recruiters that you want the role by taking time to make your CV presentable and relevant. Use spellchecking/editing software and ask a friend or family member to give it a second look for any errors you might have missed.

By following these tips, you can build a sales CV that grabs attention, highlights your skills and achievements, and lands you that coveted interview. Remember, your resume is a marketing tool for yourself and what you can offer a company. Invest the time and effort to craft a compelling narrative that showcases your value as a top-performing sales professional.

Now go forth and close the deal on your dream role in sales!