How To Write a Sales Resume

A compelling sales resume should illustrate notable sales achievements, heavily featuring sales numbers and telling your story using tangible examples from your work history. If you increased revenue by 200% over three years, you should explain what sales techniques and strategies you used to achieve this level of growth.

Many job seekers make the mistake of providing vague, uninspiring job descriptions instead of centering their resumes around achievements. As you build your resume, consider your impact on your prior organizations and put this information at the forefront of your document. Throughout this guide, we’ll provide various expert tips to help you translate your work history into an impactful sales resume.

  • Entry-Level
  • Mid-Career
  • Senior-Level
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1. Create a profile by summarizing your sales qualifications

Hiring managers cannot thoroughly read every resume on their desks. Showcasing skills and experience that align with the position at the top of your resume is an effective strategy to grab their attention. For example, if an organization seeks an account executive who excels in business development, you may want to highlight your experience uncovering new opportunities and building sales pipelines. This approach will give you a significant edge over the competition during the hiring process.

Senior-Level Profile Example


A dynamic Sales Professional with five years of professional experience specializing in business development, lead qualification, strategic selling, and account management. A proven track record of building and managing high-value relationships with wholesalers within the manufacturing industry.

Entry-Level Profile Example


A Sales Professional with entry-level experience specializing in lead generation, customer success, client relations, and cold calling. A proven track record of building rapport with sales prospects and upselling products to drive revenue growth. Adept at tracking sales data and creating reports using Salesforce CRM.

2. Outline your sales experience in a compelling list

To build an accomplishment-driven professional experience section, you’ll want to draw attention to your strongest career achievements. Hard numbers and monetary figures are especially important for sales professionals, providing employers with measurable data to evaluate your experience. There is a level of strategy involved here, however. For example, if the account values or revenue numbers were low, you may want to focus on showing your quota attainment percentages instead of featuring monetary figures.

Senior-Level Professional Experience Example


Senior Account Manager, Accelerate Software, Miami, FL

February 2017 – Present

  • Oversee 35+ enterprise customer accounts generating over $20M+ in yearly revenue, build strategic partnerships with Fortune 500 clients, and lead initiatives to drive business development efforts and accelerate account growth
  • Lead sales meetings with C-level executives to close new business
  • Serve as the point of contact for client accounts and identify value-added services to drive customer success, which has improved account growth by 25% on average
  • Lead a team of 10+ Account Executives, provide training and mentorship on sales best practices, and deliver support throughout the sales cycle

Entry-Level Professional Experience Example


Inside Sales Representative, State Farm Insurance, San Diego, CA

June 2021 – October 2022

  • Interfaced with 100+ sales prospects per week, scheduled sales consultations, educated prospects on products and services, and achieved 110% of annual sales quota
  • Established rapport with sales prospects, built positive long-term relationships, and provided information to customers on potential benefits of insurance plans and policies

3. Outline your education and sales-related certifications

Acquiring sales certifications greatly increases your odds of landing the interview. Although your work experience will always be the primary factor, obtaining additional certifications shows prospective employers that you’re committed to furthering your expertise. You should also consider how these certifications align with your career goals. For instance, if you’re pursuing a management role, you should prioritize obtaining a Sales Management certification.

Education

Template

  • [Degree Name]
  • [School Name], [City, State Abbreviation] [Dates Enrolled]

Example

  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Marketing
  • UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO, San Diego, CA September 2017 – June 2021

Certifications

Template

  • [Certification Name], [Awarding Organization], [Completion Year]

Example

  • Salesforce Certification, Salesforce.com, 2020
  • Certified Sales Development Representative, AA-ISP, 2019

4. Make a list of your sales-related skills and proficiencies

Most companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to automate the initial stages of the hiring process. This software works by searching for keywords in order to determine which applicants stand out as the best candidates for an open position. Incorporating keywords from the job description into your resume will increase your odds of landing an interview. Below, you’ll find a list of key terms you may encounter while applying for jobs within the sales industry:

Key Skills and Proficiencies
Account Management B2B Sales
B2C Sales Business Development
Client Relations Cold Calling
Consultative Sales Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Cross-Selling Inside Sales
Lead Generation Lead Qualification
Product Demonstrations Prospecting
Salesforce Sales Presentations
Sales Strategy Solution Selling
Strategic Selling Upselling
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Expert Advice
Recruiter Interview with David Pratt
David Pratt - Senior Sales Recruiter at Merrimack Valley Consulting, LinkedIn
Meet our Expert: David has 13+ years of experience recruiting sales professionals in SaaS, financial planning, and health care, primarily supporting young professionals breaking into technology careers.
1. What are the most in-demand skills for sales roles that should be featured on a candidate’s resume? Please include both hard and soft skills. -

Hard skills you should include are prospecting, sales techniques, CRM software, product knowledge, presentation skills, and time management.

Soft skills you should include are communication, empathy, teamwork, relationship building, resilience, problem solving, and emotional intelligence.

2. What work experience or other accomplishments are hiring managers seeking in a sales candidate?-

Hiring managers want to see you’ve reached competitive sales goals. Share achievements such as exceeding quota, your rank against peers, and awards or presidents club attendance.

3. What else should a sales candidate be prepared to provide hiring managers besides a resume?-

Some companies want a 90-day plan and references, so be ready to provide these.

4. What advice would you give a sales candidate about their job search?-

Be strategic about your search. Target roles that fit your background best and put all your efforts into those. Do not just apply and wait; find other avenues to confirm an interview. Treat it like the sales process.

How to Pick the Best Sales Resume Template

It’s generally best to select a simple template that’s straightforward and well-organized template for sales resumes. Although flashy modern templates may appear more aesthetically pleasing, using graphics or excessive color might distract the reader from your content. Remember, hiring managers are concerned with your qualifications first and foremost. Your primary goal should be to deliver this information as efficiently and cleanly as possible.

Sales Text-Only Resume Templates and Examples

  • Entry-Level
  • Mid-Career
  • Senior-Level

Joseph Corbin
(123) 456-7890
[email protected]
LinkedIn | Portfolio
New York, NY 12345

Profile

A dynamic Sales Professional with five years of professional experience specializing in business development, lead qualification, strategic selling, and account management. A proven track record of building and managing high-value relationships with wholesalers within the manufacturing industry.

Professional Experience

Business Development Associate, Hazlett Manufacturing, New York, NY
August 2020 – Present

  • Manage accounts with 10+ wholesalers generating $3M in annual sales revenue, deliver product demonstrations and education to sales prospects, and exceed annual sales quotas by 20%-30% YOY
  • Build relationships with key decision makers within the rubber industry, conduct sales negotiations, and utilize strategic selling techniques to enhance annual revenue growth by $200K per year
  • Identify business development opportunities and coordinate with the sales team to develop presentations, qualify leads, and generate sales strategies for the territory

Sales Representative, Giljean Plastics, New York, NY
June 2018 – August 2020

  • Developed sales strategies to persuade manufacturing executives to purchase Giljean’s rubber components, which resulted in a 150% increase in sales revenue over three years
  • Managed a four-county territory in California valued at $1.5M, achieved 120% of sales quotas YOY, and developed long-term client relationships with key wholesalers

Certifications

  • Salesforce Certification, Salesforce.com, 2020
  • Certified Sales Development Representative, AA-ISP, 2019

Key Skills

  • Business Development
  • Strategic Selling
  • Account Management
  • Sales Strategy
  • Closing Techniques

Education

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Marketing
University of Syracuse, Syracuse. NY September 2014 – June 2018

Frequently Asked Questions: Sales Resume Examples and Advice

What are common action verbs for sales resumes?-

We know it’s easy to get stuck when writing the professional experience section of a resume. In some instances, only a limited number of verbs can be used to describe your career achievements and work history accurately. Varying your usage of action verbs is important, as your content may appear redundant if you overuse the same words repeatedly. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of action verbs you can use to craft your bullet points:

Action Verbs
Analyzed Built
Cross-sold Conducted
Collaborated Developed
Drove Enhanced
Generated Identified
Improved Implemented
Increased Led
Liaised Managed
Partnered Qualified
Spearheaded Upsold
How do you align your resume with a job description?-

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sales occupations are expected to experience no change in growth between 2021 and 2031. This amounts to a decrease in over 164,500 jobs over the next decade. The sales industry is highly competitive, especially at the senior level, so you’ll want to carefully align your resume with the job description.

Tailoring your resume to the specifications of the position you’re applying for is the key to generating traction in your job search. As you write your resume, cross-reference your document with the job listing to ensure you have included everything the company seeks. Do not copy and paste their language into your resume. It’s important to capture your unique experience.

What is the best sales resume format?-

A reverse chronological format is the best approach for sales resumes. This ensures that your most recent accomplishments are featured toward the top of your document. A functional resume format fails in this regard, as it prioritizes your skills and qualifications without meaningful context or descriptions. This impacts your ability to showcase your career experience properly and grab the hiring manager's attention.

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Expert Advice
Include a cover letter with your resume

If a company requires you to submit a cover letter for a job opening, you’ll want to tailor your content to that company carefully. Take the time to research the organization beforehand. Ask yourself why you’re interested in working there, and detail your reasons in the middle paragraph.

This will show prospective employers that you’re an attentive candidate genuinely interested in joining their team. For more information, view our sales cover letter guide.

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Frank Hackett headshot

Frank Hackett

Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

Frank Hackett is a professional resume writer and career consultant with over eight years of experience. As the lead editor at a boutique career consulting firm, Frank developed an innovative approach to resume writing that empowers job seekers to tell their professional stories. His approach involves creating accomplishment-driven documents that balance keyword optimization with personal branding. Frank is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) with the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PAWRCC).

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