Article | 13 min read

How to write the best sales resume: Tips and examples for 2022

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

By Donny Kelwig, Contributing Writer

Published January 24, 2022
Last updated March 24, 2022

Salespeople must be able to emphasize the value of a wide variety of products and services. 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 your value to a hiring manager. How can you make their life easier? What will you do to improve their company’s bottom line? The hiring process is almost like a “sales funnel” if you think about the application stage through the onboarding stage. And your sales resume is your value proposition—it has to be convincing if you want to keep moving through the “funnel” to reach the end and get hired.

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.

Sales resume parts

When crafting a sales resume, it’s important to emphasize your value as an employee. Below are the various components of a sales resume—objective, skills, experience, and summary—that hiring managers will use to gauge your value.

First, we’ll describe the function and purpose of each component. Then, we’ll illustrate them all in a few comprehensive sales resume examples.

Objective

sales resume objective

Companies want to hire someone they can rely on for a long time. If a potential hire can’t convince a hiring manager that they’re in it for the long haul, it’ll be hard for the employer to justify putting resources towards the salesperson’s training.

The objective for sales resumes presents the perfect opportunity for you to highlight your aspirations and make a case for why you’re the ideal candidate for the position.

An objective is often a great gateway for entry-level candidates to justify their skills. It doesn’t matter whether or not they have sales experience—sales resume objectives help potential hires explain how they plan on using their skillset in a high-stakes sales environment. Sales candidates can’t just paint a rosy picture of the future, though. They also need to articulate the skills they’ll put into action on day one.

Sales skills

sales resume skills

This is the most important part of a sales resume. If a potential hire can’t show that they can sell a company’s products or services, then there’s no reason to consider them for the role.

When you’re writing a sales resume, it’s important 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, adaptability, virtual leadership, and strategic thinking.

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

  • Product knowledge
  • Teamwork
  • Organizational skills
  • Empathy
  • Self-starter
  • Communication skills
  • Closing sales
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Time management

For some positions, it’s not enough to just have the skills necessary for the job. You also need to prove that you’ve leveraged your skills in the past to make an impact.

Sales experience

sales resume experience

If you have sales experience, you’ll want to spotlight it on your resume. But remember: the best sales resume offers a quick glimpse of who you are and what you can bring to the role. Don’t write an extensive overview of your experience; no hiring manager will read more than a page of it. Describe your sales experience as concisely as possible.

The first step is to think back on any accomplishments or major sales goals you’ve hit in prior roles. Focus on achievements that you can back up with evidence or that hiring managers could confirm with a call to your current or previous employer.

For example, if a potential hire simply mentions that they helped their company skyrocket its revenue, it can come off as vague and misleading. How much money was involved? How much did they contribute? What can an interviewer glean from this information?

To truly showcase your experience, you must be specific. Hard numbers and details will draw the hiring manager’s eye and help you stand out from the pack.

Sales resume bullet points

sales resume bullet points

Hiring managers typically need to sift through a large volume of applications. So if your resume is nothing but huge blocks of text, you’re only making it difficult for them to find the information they need to move forward with your application.

For example, if a candidate goes into too much detail about their daily workload as a sales rep, it will feel like filler. It may even lead the hiring manager to think the applicant doesn’t have enough qualifications.

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In your sales resume, summarize only the most relevant information in clean, easy-to-read bullet points. For instance:

  • Spoke with 120+ prospects each day, leading to $20K in new revenue for Q1

This sales resume bullet point provides concrete evidence and statistics that speak to the candidate’s capabilities and gives the hiring manager a succinct look at their daily activities.

Bullet points allow hiring managers to understand a potential hire’s skills without needing to read through walls of text. If an applicant formats their resume properly, it demonstrates that they know how to express their value clearly and concisely.

Summary

sales resume summary

If you had three sentences to convince a hiring manager to keep reading, how would you do it? Your answer forms the basis of sales resume summaries.

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. Then, 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 to fill the position.

You may be thinking that summaries and objectives are the same things—you’re not wrong. The sales resume summary and objective fulfill similar roles, so it’s redundant to include both. If you’re writing a sales skills resume, pick the one that you think paints you in the best light.

Also keep in mind that every role in sales requires a different skill set. This means you need to fully understand the ins and outs of writing resumes for certain sales positions.

Tips for sales resumes for different roles

Sales executives have a much different workload than sales reps, 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 roles.

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 and handle customers.

These simple additions to a resume go a long way for managers looking to hire a sales rep. But you need proper sales experience before applying for a sales manager role.

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 sales manager 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 great—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.”

These specific details and stats show off what the candidate is capable of and give the hiring manager a glimpse into their future with the company. But sales executives have a lot more to prove if they want to secure their role.

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 in various roles and circumstances. So when writing your sales skills resume, it’s beneficial to highlight experience in multiple roles at different companies. A well-rounded background illustrates adaptability, indicating that you can find success anywhere.

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.

1. SaaS sales manager resume example

First Name, Last Name
Sales Manager

Address | xxx-xxx-xxxx | Email

Self-motivated, tenacious, and client-focused sales manager with four years of sales and marketing experience in SaaS. Successfully took control of four marketing campaigns—each worth $2M to $4M—while managing a team of 15 technical sales reps. An out-of-the-box thinker with strong customer service skills looking to share expertise with a new team.

Expertise

  • Strong sales strategy implementation
  • Thorough product knowledge in the SaaS field
  • Great time management skills
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Ability to adjust tactics at a moment’s notice to meet client demands
  • An empathetic approach to customer service
  • Excellent selling, communication, and negotiation skills
  • Client acquisition and retention
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Excellent MS Excel skills: market trends, analysis, cell formatting

Professional Experience

Sales Manager
Company, Location
May 2017 – Present

  • Cold-called 20+ clients each day, with a closing rate of 15% to 20%
  • Implemented and managed a training seminar on sales strategy that increased revenue by 12%
  • Boosted revenue by 15% within the first quarter of my start date
  • Consistently exceeded sales targets by over 10% each year
  • Averaged more than $3M in annual sales
  • Provided personalized coaching and mentoring to a team of 15+ sales reps
  • Provided extensive reporting, analysis, and course-correction for a team across 4 branches

Sales Development Representative
Company, Location
August 2013 – April 2017

  • Utilized tailored customer surveys to form sales strategy, boosting profits by 20% over three years
  • Turned 8+ daily cold calls into warm leads; organized meetings with AE team
  • Averaged a 175% quota achievement for FY 2015
  • Constantly adapted sales strategy to meet client needs, leading to a 34% win rate
  • Answered client questions and concerns, leading to a 92% customer service satisfaction rate over four years
  • Helped develop cold calling scripts for the entire sales team, leading to an 18% growth in revenue in a single fiscal year
  • Managed prospects, funnel positions, and progress through a CRM

Education & Training

University Name
Location
May 2013

BA in Business Administration

In the above example, the applicant focuses on their accomplishments. There are very few instances where they didn’t cite a specific, quantifiable achievement. In doing so, they make it easy for hiring managers to gauge their performance in each role.

The potential hire also highlights skills that are preferable for sales managers, displaying what they’re capable of in this specific position. Hiring managers can quickly see that the candidate shows promise.

Now, let’s look at a sales resume example for someone with very little professional sales experience.

2. Entry-level sales rep resume example for industrial sales

First Name, Last Name
Address | xxx-xxx-xxxx | Email

Highly motivated and client-focused sales specialist with in-depth knowledge of industrial and mechanical products. Has hands-on experience with large machinery and excelled in a mechanical engineering program. Looking to leverage excellent customer service skills and a Sandler Sales certification in an entry-level industrial sales position.

Expertise

  • Excellent cross-selling and upselling strategy implementation
  • Empathetic customer service skills
  • Customer acquisition proficiency
  • In-depth mechanical knowledge
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Strong selling and communication skills
  • Product database proficiency
  • Highly adaptable and agile

Professional Experience

Auto Parts Store Sales Assistant
Company, Location
July 2018 – Present

  • Worked with 40+ clients each day to find the exact parts they needed
  • Consistently worked to upsell and cross-sell products, leading to a 46% success rate
  • Managed an inventory system to properly assess and seek out necessary products
  • Utilized detailed knowledge of mechanics to recommend specific parts that were ideal for each customer
  • Developed a three-step selling program that increased upselling and cross-selling rates by 15%
  • Used excellent customer service skills to contribute to the company’s $200K annual revenue
  • Achieved a 95% customer service satisfaction rating for FY 2020
  • Provided coaching, training, and sales assistance to 7 new team members

Car Mechanic
Company, Location
August 2015 – June 2018

  • Used extensive mechanical knowledge to identify and offer solutions to clients
  • Leveraged customer service skills to keep clients satisfied, leading to an 83% customer return rate
  • Utilized product database to track inventory and find the right products for each job
  • Implemented unique marketing strategies to boost client acquisition rate by 18%
  • Assessed each client’s vehicle to determine upselling and cross-selling opportunities, resulting in a 23% success rate

Education & Training

Sandler Sales Certification
Online course
January 2021

University Name
Location
May 2021

BA in Mechanical Engineering

This applicant has little professional sales experience, so they must showcase their current skillset and how it can be transferred to a sales rep role. The potential hire has a degree in mechanical engineering and experience working in a mechanical environment. They leverage this knowledge and background to illustrate their value as someone with extensive information on industrial products.

The applicant also mentions their Sandler certification. This type of training can be important in scoring an entry-level sales position if hiring managers tend to favor candidates with professional sales experience.

The above example shows how someone without much sales experience can still build a strong resume by connecting their work and skills to the sales job they’re applying for. They cite specific details and statistics and translate those accomplishments into a common sales language. Between the candidate’s upsell and cross-sell success rates, their customer service skills, and their expertise, hiring managers will likely see them as a great fit for industrial sales.

Use a CRM to keep track of your achievements

Data is crucial for showing off your sales experience, but that information can be strenuous to track without the right software. While you could try to keep everything in a spreadsheet, that method requires constant edits, and you run the risk of miscalculations.

Don’t let your hard work go unnoticed—try Zendesk Sell. With customizable sales dashboards and automated data reports, our software saves you from wasting time editing and managing a spreadsheet. You can easily provide proof of your accomplishments and daily activities, too.

Request a demo today, and show hiring managers everything you’re capable of.

7 secrets of sales leadership

Read the full list of sales leader secrets to find out how these managers are getting the most from their teams.

7 secrets of sales leadership

Read the full list of sales leader secrets to find out how these managers are getting the most from their teams.

Learn more