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Article 13 min read

Sales resume examples and effective writing tips for 2023

Land your next sales job with a perfectly crafted sales resume.

By Donny Kelwig, Contributing Writer

Last updated March 15, 2024

Salespeople must be able to emphasize the value of various products and services in order to close deals and meet quotas. But before they can even get to that point, they need to make their biggest sale ever: themselves.

When you’re applying for a sales job, you’re essentially selling yourself to a hiring manager. Your sales resume is your value proposition, and it needs to be as well-thought-out as any other sales script.

In this article, we’ll cover the crucial components of a sales resume, tips for crafting a resume for certain roles, and a sales resume sample.

How to format a sales representative resume

Most of the hiring process is out of your control—but not your resume. Starting with a clean and well-formatted resume is going to help ensure you aren’t immediately dismissed. Luckily, there are a few best practices you can follow to make your sales resume look great and incentivize managers to hire you:

  • Always start with your contact information in the header.

  • Use a standard font (like Arial, Garamond, or Times New Roman) in 11- or 12-point size.

  • Divide your resume into clear sections so it’s easy to read at a glance. Common sections include:

    • Contact InformationSummary or Objective
    • Work Experience

    • Education

    • Skills

  • Use a reverse chronological order for your Work Experience section, starting with your most recent job and going backward.

  • Keep it short. One page is the ideal length for a resume. If you’re a real pro with decades of experience, a two-page resume may be necessary, but keep it concise and impressive.

  • Take a few extra minutes to double-check your resume and fix any typos or errors. Better yet, ask someone else to proofread your resume.

  • When you’re done, save the file as a PDF with your full name in the file name (for example: Lastname_Firstname_Resume).

Let’s dive deeper into what should be included in your resume.

Sales resume objective

sales resume objective, playing pool

If you had only three sentences to convince a hiring manager to keep reading, what would you say? Your answer forms the basis of the sales resume objective. Think of your resume objective as your elevator pitch. It’s your chance to describe your aspirations and why you’re the ideal candidate for the position.

If you don’t have a wealth of work experience to reference in this section, that’s okay. The resume objective focuses on transferable skills you might have acquired elsewhere. Be specific—explain how the knowledge and experience you’ve gained could help you excel at prospecting, pitching, and closing.

Sales resume summary

sales resume summary, reading a book

Hiring managers can’t afford to do an in-depth analysis of every application they come across. Sales resume summaries help grab the hiring manager’s attention by outlining your most valuable skills and overall experience. If the hiring manager is interested, they’ll continue to read the rest of your resume.

When writing a sales resume summary, your job is to tell the potential employer why they should consider you as a candidate. Fill the summary with your most important attributes, and try to compose it with language that illustrates your enthusiasm for the position.

It’s important to note that the sales resume summary and objective serve the same purpose, so don’t include both. If you’re writing a sales skills resume, pick the one that paints you in the best light: If you have a lot of work experience, you’ll probably want to go with a summary, but if you don’t, an objective is likely the better fit.

Sales resume experience

sales resume experience, two people on a call

No matter how much experience you have, you’ll want to spotlight it on your resume. The best sales resume offers a quick glimpse of who you are and what you can bring to the role.

Start by listing your previous positions, including the company name and the time frame you worked there. Underneath each job, list the responsibilities and accomplishments for each position.

For instance:

  • Spoke with 50+ prospects each day, leading to $20K in new revenue for Q1

  • Cold emailed 100 potential customers daily, with a closing rate of 15%

Focus on achievements and sales KPIs that hiring managers could confirm with a call to your current or previous employer. If a potential hire says they “helped their company increase revenue,” it can come off as vague and misleading. How much money was involved? How much did you contribute? Back your claims up with verifiable numbers.

Sales resume education

sales resume education, fingers pointed up

Education is a straightforward yet crucial section of your resume. Don’t include your high school information (unless it’s the only education you have). All other degrees can be listed in reverse chronological order. Include the institution, relevant majors or areas of study, and graduation year. If you graduated more than 10 years ago, you can leave off the year.

This is also a section where you can list continuing education classes. Employers like to hire people who continue to develop their sales expertise.

Sales resume skills

sales resume skills, holding phones

When you’re writing a sales or a customer service resume, it’s imperative to feature your most applicable skills for that particular job. These skills will vary depending on the position, so make sure you understand what hiring managers might want in a candidate.

For example, if you’re applying for a sales manager role, you’ll want to display your leadership skills. This could include delegation, the ability to inspire, virtual leadership, and strategic thinking.

There are a few traits in particular that hiring managers tend to look for when they’re writing the job description:

  • Product knowledge: Doing a little research on the products the company sells will go a long way!
  • Team player: This is a green flag for potential employers. No one wants to hire someone who can’t work well with others.
  • Empathy: The ability to show empathy is an asset for you as a salesperson and as an employee.
  • Self-starter: A motivated candidate is going to become a motivated sales rep.
  • Communication and organizational skills: Your expertise means nothing if you’re unable to communicate ideas in a clear, methodical way.
  • Problem-solving skills: Employers want to hire people who can effectively handle a problem when it comes up.

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Tips for sales resumes for different roles

The day-to-day responsibilities of sales reps vary significantly from those of sales executives, so the resumes for these roles will look completely different. Here are a few tips on creating a resume for entry-level, managerial, and executive sales positions.

Entry-level sales resume

Not every aspiring salesperson has years of experience behind them, and that’s okay. When you’re applying for an entry-level position, the first step is to look at your previous work experience and find skills that might be transferable to the world of sales. Quite a few jobs are great for building sales skills, even if they don’t involve sales specifically.

For example, if you’ve worked in the service industry, you’ve likely developed strong communication skills and learned how to work well with a team. At the very least, you know how to follow instructions, chat with customers, and solve problems in a fast-paced environment.

Simple additions to a resume go a long way for managers looking to hire a sales rep.

Sales manager resume

If you’re writing a sales manager resume, it’s critical to elaborate on your sales experience. Hiring managers are seeking a sales manager who can take on a wide variety of tasks every day. Your resume should include quantifiable achievements and highlight leadership skills.

If a potential hire mentions that they have over five years of sales experience, that’s informative—but it doesn’t demonstrate their capabilities. Meanwhile, a straightforward statement consisting of hard facts leaves no room for vagueness. For example: “Over four years, I earned my company $1M in new revenue while averaging a 98% quota achievement.”

Specific details and stats show what the candidate is capable of and give the hiring manager a glimpse into their potential future with the company.

Sales executive resume

Similar to sales manager resumes, sales executive resumes aim to showcase concrete experience and skills—plus statistics to back them up. The main difference is that sales managers need to display what they’ve done in the past, while sales executives need to prove that they can do it again.

Consistency is a crucial part of being a sales executive. Sales managers’ performance can seem more impressive with an agile sales team or with a stellar product. But sales executives must be able to go above and beyond in any situation.

Your job is to convince hiring managers that you can consistently perform at a high level, regardless of the circumstances. So when writing your sales skills resume, it’s beneficial to highlight experience in multiple roles at different companies.

Sales resume examples

Now that we’ve gone over some helpful tips for writing sales resumes, let’s take a look at sales resume samples with the sections we’ve mentioned.

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