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Common Questions and Answers
Average sales people are a dime a dozen, but great sales people are hard to find. Unfortunately the best sales professionals usually aren’t the best resume writers. They are busy making the sale and seldom take time to update their resume with their best accomplishments until opportunity knocks. If this sounds like you there are companies who need and want you, but if your resume doesn’t reflect your selling power, you’ll be considered average and not worth talking to.
Primarily, recruiters are looking for sales people with industry experience. There are several reasons. One is the learning curve it takes to master a new industry. If you’ve already spent several years in your industry you save your new employer thousands of dollars and months of training. Second, with industry experience comes industry contacts. Every employer loves to hire sales people who have already built client relationships within their industry. Nothing promises “up to speed quickly” like industry experience.
Reflect your level of industry knowledge by including up-to-date language in your resume. If you’re unsure, check industry and trade periodicals for changes in terminology. Use job postings to see how employers are talking the talk. Let your resume repeat their verbiage and your resume will be heard loud and clear.
This is especially true if you have sales experience, but no industry experience. Your transferable skills will help prospective employers see how well you would function in their industry. Some of the most important transferable skills for sales resumes are:
* New business generation
* Existing account expansion
* Sales closing ratio
* Sales quota maintenance and growth
* Customer satisfaction (Just to name a few)
It’s important to note that your resume should include only the transferable skills you want to use in your next position. If you love closing the sale but hate prospecting for new business, don’t include prospecting as one of your transferable skills.
It’s easy to say that you are great at building revenue or increasing customer satisfaction, but it’s meaningless without quantifiable accomplishments that back it up. Your resume should include a highlight of accomplishments section at the top of your resume, but it should also include accomplishments with each employment entry as well. This may be a challenge for you if you see yourself as a big-picture-person and hate details. If so, it’s time for you to think back on the details of your career and dig out the gems to put your value on display for prospective employer.
The better your resume is the better prepared you’ll be to talk about your experience, skills and accomplishments. Too many great sales professionals think that the sales process of getting a new job starts with the interview. No so! In today’s tight job market your resume is your pre-sales marketing tool. Without an outstanding resume you’ll miss out on the best interviews and your next dream job.
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