Your CV is the chance to pitch your skills to prospective employers. As a result, if you’re applying for a sales role, the pressure is on because pitching is a key part of your profession.
You know that in sales first impressions count, therefore your CV needs to be flawless to prove that you’re a great catch.
To make sure you get past the gatekeepers and have the chance to show what a talented professional you are in an interview, here’s how to write and polish your CV for a sales role.
Get your pitch spot on
If you’re chasing a brand new lead and your initial pitch takes a nose dive, you know that you may have stunted your chances of making a sale.
The same concept applies with your CV.
To get your pitch spot on, you must tailor and tweak your personal profile on your CV.
This short, punchy section sits just under your name and contact details and must tell the employer three things: who you are/what you do, what skills, experience and abilities you can offer the company and your career goals.
Essentially, you’re pitching the features and benefits of hiring you, in the same way that you would explain the features and benefits of a product to sales leads. Therefore, showcasing your best skills in this section, especially ones that are relevant to the role, will ensure you make a great impression, fast.
Zoom in on relevant skills
When recruiters look through CVs to find their next hire, they are scanning for keywords and phrases related to the job description, that show the candidate is a potential fit.
Therefore, to prove you’re a sales professional worth an interview, you must zoom in on skills related to your industry.
To make sure you’re referencing the correct skills, scan the job description and highlight the requirements you fulfil. These are the phrases you should inject into your CV to show you’re a match.
Here are some common hard sales skills employers are often on the look-out for:
- Relationship building
- Product knowledge
- Sales closing
- Forecasting and budgeting
And here are some important transferrable skills relevant to the industry:
- Time management
Support your claims with facts and figures
It’s all very well claiming you have the skills in the bag, but to convince the recruiter, you need to back your statements with facts and figures.
As a sales professional, you can quantify your results and achievements in a number of ways, from unit sales and revenue generated, to the percentage of targets achieved and business generation and retention.
Take a look at these examples:
- Generated 120k revenue in first year, exceeding annual sales target by 15%
- Increased my client base by 25% year-on-year
- Developed a new sales and pricing strategy for leads, increasing sales by 20% over 6 months
Make it look slick and professional
Once your CV is brimming with details to make the sell, you need to get it looking flawless.
The ability to communicate effectively and professionally with your client base is essential. And so your CV must mimic this approach or your employers won’t want you to represent their brand.
To ensure your CV is easy to read, choose a simple font, such as Ariel or Calibri, and use it consistently through the body text, which should be no smaller than 10 point, no larger than 12. Then, mark each section with bold headings in a slightly larger font point to make your CV easily digestible.
You CV should ideally fit two pages comfortably. If it’s slightly over or under, simply tweak the font size or adjust the page margins.
Proof your CV with a keen eye to remove all spelling and grammar mistakes which might put employers off. Our top tip: read your CV aloud as you’ll be able to spot errors more easily.
You should now realise that writing a sales CV is very similar to writing a sales email, and so this process may come quite naturally to you.
Just remember to create a great pitch from the off, tailor your CV with keywords and to make your CV slick and professional. It won’t be long until you’re watching the interview invitations roll in.
Laura Slingo is Digital Copywriter for the UK’s leading independent job board, CV-Library. For more expert advice on job searches, careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice pages.