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What To Highlight In A Sales Resume?

Many sales professionals have the gift of the gab, but when it comes to writing a sales resume, it’s important not to sell yourself short. The key is tailoring your resume to suit the specific job by lining up your resume with what the job opportunity needs, and ensure you don’t get overlooked. When a hiring manager scans your resume, keywords (e.g., specific skills and requirements listed in the job posting) are critical. Using keywords is vital because recruiters frequently use applicant tracking systems (ATS), which automatically screen candidates. Stick to the right keywords and use numbers to illustrate your outstanding sales ability. For example, look to include numerical data about: - Sales quota attainment - Increased profits - Client attraction and retention - Customer satisfaction scores Read on for advice on resume creation for sales positions, giving you insight into the best ways to present your sales skills to secure that job.

Sales Resume Example

Structure Of A Sales Resume

Like any good sales pitch, keep your resume short and sweet, should be one page long. Be concise with headings, bold font, bullet points, and white space to ensure it is easy to review.

You can use a resume guide to give you a starting point. Resume samples offer a good overview, and a resume builder makes it faster and easier to create your sales resume.

There are three main resume formats to choose from: the chronological, which focuses on work history, the functional resume format which showcases skills, and the combination resume format which balances both skills and experience. If you have an extensive work history, you will want to use the chronological resume format. However, if you are a recent graduate or have a spotty work history, you will want to use either the functional or the combination resume formats.

Regardless of the resume format you choose, every sales resume you write will have the following sections:

Contact information

The header is the first element a recruiter will see and should include your name, contact information, and LinkedIn profile link (if available). Failure to include your correct contact information will make it difficult for recruiters to contact you to schedule an interview.

Resume summary

The next section of your resume will be the resume summary or resume objective. In a resume summary, you will write about your most significant skills and achievements in sales. The summary is a great place to recount how you have set ambitious sales targets or exceeded sales goals. Moreover, you can impress a prospective employer by focusing on exceeding customer satisfaction and a commitment to excellence in customer service. For more guidance read these resume summary tips.

If you are short on experience, you will write a resume objective instead. In the resume objective, you will state your major skills and career goals rather than your work history.


In the skills section, you will include a mix of soft skills (intangible traits that speak to how you interact with others and approach) and hard skills (technical knowledge). A sales resume sample could include the following skills:

  • Cold-calling or outside sales experience
  • Exemplary communication skills within your sales team
  • Customer Relationship Management software (CRM)
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Relationship Management
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Business development.

Check the job description for keywords that match your skillset, and list these skills first in the skills section. This will both show the recruiter that you have the skills for the job and will help you rank higher in an ATS.

Work history

Your previous experience is significant to a hiring manager and will ensure they feel confident knowing you can do the job. Demonstrate how your experience shows you could perform this role exceedingly well.

Starting with your most recent role and in reverse-chronological order, briefly describe your responsibilities and duties but focus on your main achievements. Bullet points and action verbs (e.g., “managed,” “headed”) work well to display your career highlights. You can capitalize on the variety of your positions, whether you have been a sales rep, a sales associate, or a sales manager. Even if you worked in an administrative role, you could detail if you were involved in bringing in new business or closing sales as part of the job.

Don’t underestimate the importance of customer relationship management and retaining repeat customers. A strong focus on customer needs will show you care about giving value to the customer. Recruiters want to see your job titles, the name of the company you worked at, as well as your start and end dates.


The education section is the place to detail your sales credentials and general educational achievements. You should start with your most recent qualification and work backward. If you have a relevant degree in marketing or business, you can include it in the education section. You only need to add your GPA if it was 3.5 or higher and you graduated within the last year.

Do's and Don'ts

  • Proofread your resume. Ensure you do not undermine your hard work with poor spelling or grammatical mistakes.
  • Select keywords from the job description and use them throughout your resume. Consider using resume examples so your resume is scannable and ATS compliant.
  • Include specific examples to highlight how you meet the criteria. Remember, a sales resume should contain impressive numerical data to support your application.
  • Forget to customize your resume file name to include the job title you are applying for when submitting your resume online.
  • Don’t use vague statements or cliches (e.g., “best in class” or “superlative”). These will add nothing of value to your resume, and only add clutter and hide relevant information.
  • Don’t lie about having specialized skills or experience in particular duties to meet the job requirements. You will likely get caught either in the interview or when you start working.

FAQ: Sales Resume Examples

Yes. Including a cover letter is important so you can provide further explanation to the hiring manager or recruiter about how you are a good fit for the job. Use cover letter examples to craft your sales cover letter.

If you lack work experience, you can still apply for the job. Base your resume around your strengths, promoting your self-motivation and soft skills. You could also include entry-level sales experience, where you had sales responsibilities in a non-sales role. You could also include any transferable skills from education or volunteer work. Finally, if you have suitable educational achievements, you can push these to the forefront of your resume.

Take a detailed look at the job specification, and tailor your resume to focus on specific keywords that spell out what the job needs (e.g., “greeting customers, creating rapport, and closing sales”). Be sure to address these keywords in the skills, summary, and experience sections of your sales resume.