Selling Yourself In: A guide to effective Sales CVs

Author: Ellie Taylor

Selling Yourself In A guide to effective Sales CVs

Are you struggling the get the attention of hiring managers? Does it seem like recruiters aren’t interested in your CV no matter how many jobs you apply to? It might be due to something as simple as formatting; sometimes your skills and experience can get lost in translation due to poor layouts.

This article hopes to simply provide you with some tips and advice on how best to present your sales prowess in your resume. This will improve your chances of catching the eye of recruiters and hiring managers and increase your performance in the job market. Although it may seem harsh, the average CV will only be given around 30 seconds of attention, especially if there is an extremely high response rate to the role. Your CV needs to be bold, punchy and, most of all, well-formatted in order to give the best possible first impression of your capabilities.

In essence, your CV needs to be more than just a list of your past employments. Given that you are a salesperson, and are applying to a sales position, one of the most important things to include is your sales performance. Perhaps the best way to do this is to concisely list your targets, either monthly or quarterly, and provide examples of how you have performed against these.

Doing this for your current role and two/three previous ones will give hiring managers a clear view of how you perform against KPIs and what level of value you could bring to their team. Try to use bullet points and bold font for this content so that it stands out. Format the statistics properly with currency values and percentages.

To add emphasis to these performance indicators, you can also add examples of key wins/achievements during your time with each company. This could take the form of total contract values or logos added to the business as new accounts. Again, you can use bullet points and bold font to ensure that the information is easily viewed and attracts the reader’s attention.

An important thing to include as a salesperson is the technologies and products that you are confident selling. If you specialise in Gamma, then make sure this is known. If you have spent the last 5 years of your career learning to build and sell connectivity solutions, use a section of your CV to detail this. One way to do this is to use a line or two at the beginning of your CV to list key technologies.

Perhaps the largest contributing factor to important information being lost within a CV is the use of continuous prose and long, drawling paragraphs. Large chunks of text can be off-putting to read so try to use bullet points and line breaks where you can to split up information. A couple of lines detailing your job role followed by some bullet points of key statistics is far more likely to attract the readers’ attention and get your point across.

Taking the time to make sure that your experience, skills and figures are clearly presented in your CV not only gives a good first impression but also acts as a backup source of information. In an interview or during a phone conversation, it is easy to get overwhelmed and miss out key details that might influence a hiring manager/recruiter to pick you over the next candidate. Having everything in your CV makes sure that information is accessible, easy to read and always within reach.

On that note, there is a further piece of advice that can help you in your job search. Often, when looking to leave a role that you have been in for several years, you may not have to hand an up-to-date copy of your CV. This can hinder recruiters when trying to share your profile with an interested organisation and might be especially detrimental if it is a fast-moving role and/or if there is a high number of other applicants. Try to update your CV regularly to avoid having to spend hours at a time trying to get it up-to-date when the time comes.

Where possible, you should have the CV saved to your laptop and mobile phone so it can be shared at a moment’s notice. Sales positions move quickly and are highly competed for so being able to send your CV to a recruiter or to a job advert as soon as a job becomes available will increase your chances of being considered for the role.

Ultimately, having the perfect CV doesn’t guarantee you to land your next dream role but it might just give you the edge. Having a well-presented and accessible CV might just be the thing that sets you apart from the next candidate and land you that all-important interview. Give yourself the best chance at success in the competitive world of sales and sell yourself in with confidence.

Ellie recruits for the UK Telecoms market, with a focus on sales positions.