If you’ve worked in a sales role before, you’ll know that first impressions count. A powerful, well-structured and results-focused CV is key to proving to an employer that you’re a great catch - and ultimately, landing that all-important interview.
And when you’re applying for a sales job, your CV becomes even more important. After all, a CV is basically a selling document. If you can’t sell yourself, how will you sell a product or service?
Here’s how to write a stand-out sales CV.
Jumping into CV writing without research? Mistake. How are you meant to know what to include in your CV if you’re unaware of what your target employees are looking for?
So, start your sales CV mission by asking yourself the following questions:
What skills are they looking for?
What experience do they need?
What software of IT packages do they use?
What will be expected of you in the role?
You’ll be able to answer each of these questions by studying the job description and other (similar) job posts, as well as doing some research into the company. Jot down your answers and use them as you move forward with writing your CV.
Use the following structure to ensure you get the right information across in the correct order.
CONTACT DETAILS - Include your mobile number, email and location. If you’re willing to relocate, jot this down too. Got a polished LinkedIn profile or a work-based social media profile? Include your handle.
PROFILE - 4-6 powerful lines which outline your relevant skills, key achievements and sales experience.
CORE SKILLS - A short, bullet point list highlighting your key skills.
EXPERIENCE - Include the company, title of the position, and dates. Talk briefly about responsibilities and key achievements of roles which are sales-related.
EDUCATION - Include the qualification, institute, and dates. Only include relevant and important achievements. Experienced candidates don’t need a huge education section, but graduates or entry-level candidates can go into more detail.
INTERESTS - An optional section - include interests which will have a positive effect on your application or are relevant to the role.
Employers and recruiters are busy people. Your professional profile is the best chance at grabbing their attention and making them feel compelled to read your entire CV - so you need to make sure it’s perfect.
You’re applying for a sales role - so think of your profile as a sales pitch. Summarise your skills, experience and knowledge (all of which, should be highly relevant to the role you’re applying to) in short, snappy sentences that leave them wanting to know more about you.
Avoid cliches like ‘hardworking’ or ‘team player’ - employers have seen these hundreds of times.
A sales CV is no time to be modest - it’s your time to sell yourself and your skills! When employers are looking through a batch of CV’s, they scan for keywords and skills which are essential for the role - so you need to make sure they jump out.
Scan through the job description before making a list of your core skills which are relevant to the position. Ideally, it will include a mix of sales-related skills (relationship building, sales closing, budgeting) and product knowledge.
Think carefully about the language you use in your sales CV. It should be persuasive, smart and descriptive which really hooks attention.
Use bold, strong, powerful words. Write in an active rather than a passive voice and keep the language professional - leave out slang and casual-style talk.
It should read like a brochure for a high-end product, not a basic one - leaving the employer almost desperate to call you.
What’s the most important thing in a sales role? Results. When you’re describing your previous roles and achievements, quantify them by using numbers, facts and figures to prove you can make an impact in the new role.
This could be anything from the amount of revenue you generated to unit sales. Basically, you need to prove that you’ll generate business and provide a return on the company’s investment in you.
You could have a perfectly written CV and the most relevant skills and experience in the world - but if your CV is badly formatted, it could go straight into the ‘no’ pile.
Keep it simple - there’s no need to be super creative with colour, photos or fancy fonts. But you should aim to use an easy-to-read font (Arial or Tahoma are good choices) and format it in a way which highlights your most impressive skills.
The information shouldn’t be lengthy - employers and recruiters will appreciate a CV which is snappy and easy to navigate. Use bullet points where applicable. Try and keep it to 2 pages if you can, as they’re unlikely to read further.
Oh, and most importantly? Triple-check for spelling mistakes - one mistake and you’ve missed your chance.
You’re a sales professional - so make your CV the best sales pitch you’ve ever written.
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