In the battle to land your next sales job, you have to sell the most important product of all... yourself. Whether you're a newly qualified graduate or a seasoned sales professional, your CV is your gateway to an interview. Employers can spend as little as 30 seconds glancing over your CV before they decide whether it's a yes or a no! With that in mind, it's important that you make your information as easy to access as possible. To help you, we thought we'd put together a few tips to help you show employers that you're worthy of an interview.
Start with a summary
Your summary needs to be short and snappy, effortlessly guiding the reader through your work history, relevant experience and impressive sales accomplishments. Remember, this is a snapshot; a teaser that should encourage the reader to look at your CV in more detail. Ideally, you should include a specific reference to the job you're applying for. To do so, provide a brief insight as to why your experience makes you ideal for the role in question. This will help the reader to imagine you in the role on offer.
Show that you are goal oriented
Sales is a goal oriented industry, so it's imperative that you think about your best achievements and how to present them in your CV. Your sales achievements need to be backed up with tangible figures that are easy for an employer to understand. For example, you could let them know your sales turnover figures, how often you've exceeded your sales quota, or how many sales referrals you've had from clients in the past year. The key is to prove that your sales skills are founded in figures and not in theory.
Additionally, you could add some colour to your CV, or choose to use eye-catching graphs to demonstrate your achievements. If it makes it easier for employers to quickly view your accomplishments, why not test it out to see if it results in a better hit rate.
How you present your CV is key when you consider that employers may only be taking a quick look at your CV. Your most pertinent information has to be easy to see, and your accomplishments need to jump off the page. To make this happen, you'll need to consider a simple format that lays out your experience in an understandable way. Avoid fancy fonts and opt for Arial or Calibri, with a minimum font size of 11. Another important tip is to ensure you bullet point your text. This will help to break up big blocks of text, ensuring that your achievements and experience are easy to follow.
Think about how a recruiter might read your CV, they certainly won’t be reading every word, so make it easy for them to find your most relevant experience, skills and achievements. Moreover, ensure that you include the same keywords that the employer or recruiter used in their job description.
Don’t forget the soft-skills
The modern salesperson needs to be buyer-centric, able to build rapport quickly, demonstrate credibility, and offer strategic assistance by listening to the buyers concerns and pain points. In your CV, you'll need to show to employers that you have the soft-skills necessary to be a successful member of their sales team. Skills such as being a good team player, a good communicator, and an experienced negotiator are important soft skills to have, so be sure to demonstrate them in your CV.
Gaps in your CV
If you have gaps in your CV, there's no need to panic. Gaps don't have to be negative, even if they may have felt like it at the time. Briefly explain what you were doing during your off-work period and highlight any new skills you developed during this time. Listing the transferrable skills that you picked up is a great way to show that you are an active learner and that you take every opportunity to grow as an individual.
Tailor your CV for each role
Once you have a 'master copy' of your CV, it shouldn't take long to tailor your CV for each role that you apply for. The key is to structure your CV to highlight and match the requirements for each role. Match the language and keywords to the job description, and draw attention to your most relevant skills, experience, and achievements. Taking the time to tailor your CV is essential, and as you become more experienced in doing so, you will be able to tailor your CV more quickly and efficiently.
If you’re looking for a new position within the Sales sector, or need to hire a Sales professional, then get in touch: