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creating a sales resume

The sales industry is a popular career path for many people.

Starting a career in sales requires little qualifications but huge motivation and dedication and for many people it can be a very rewarding career. Ben Radley has worked in sales for over two years: “The job is hard – there is no denying that. If you want to work in sales you have to be quite financially driven, self motivated and able to handle rejection. There are hard days – I’ve had days where I have called over 100 companies just trying to get someone to speak to me with little success. Sometimes days like that do make you feel like quitting but the key to being a good sales person is being able to turn these around and turn them into positive connections. If you are able to build connections with clients and customers you’ll find it a very rewarding career. Last month I had a record one and made a great bonus. Bonuses always make the job worth it, although customer satisfaction does too. Knowing that someone needs something for their business and that you can provide it and help them is really satisfying.”

There are a variety of sales roles you can work in – almost every company in the world has a sales team. Telephone sales, media sales, travelling sales, face-to-face sales and specialist sales roles are just a few of the examples of roles you could work in if you were to choose this industry.

The Benefits

Many people working in this industry will note that the benefits of a career in sales is the financial rewards. Most companies offer commission structures that reward staff for their work. Other perks of the job can include team days out, staff events, flexible working and a good remuneration package.

The Cons

The industry is notoriously tough. Late nights, working to targets and dealing with difficult customers are just some of the drawbacks people working in this industry mention.


To apply for an entry position in sales you don’t need specific qualifications – most employers will look for a basic background in education from high school. However if you have a qualification from college it’s desirable.
Once you are working in sales you can work towards gaining industry qualifications and many companies offer in-house training.

Most employers will be looking for key attributes in individuals when they advertise for a sales position. Key attributes that you need to display on your resume to get noticed include self motivation, being dynamic, target driven and results orientated.

Resume Tips:

• Show your sales skills. Whether you have work experience in sales or not you need to demonstrate your sales skills and strengths on your resume. When an employer hires someone for a sales position they need to know that the person can succeed in the role and bring in new business. Regardless of the sales position you apply for – whether it’s telephone sales or face-to-face sales – showing that you have the right skill-set to liaise with customers is essential. Look back at your own work experience and highlight occasions where you have displayed these at work. It could be a specific example of working with a client or it could be a job role you have worked in. Either way, ensure you show your skills in both the work experience section and the skills section of your resume. Creating a skills section and listing your key skills in bullet points is beneficial because it allows the employer to pick up key information quickly. When deciding whether to invite someone to a job interview or not, an employer needs to see that they have the right skills to do the job – so highlighting yours can definitely improve your job interview chances.

• Show your experience. If you have work experience in sales then it’s crucial you highlight this within the work experience section of your resume – listing the job title, the name of the company and the main responsibilities of the role. Doing this will show an employer that you have industry experience which will boost confidence in your application. If you have minimal sales experience then ensure you list work experience that had similar responsibilities – like dealing with customers or working under pressure.

• Demonstrate you are target driven. This is important when applying for a role in sales. Employers want to see targets on a resume because it can give them an insight into the type of candidate you are going to be in the workplace and the impact you’re going to have on their company. If you have worked to targets before and over-achieved, write them down. If you have worked to tight deadlines before and met them, include it on your resume. Demonstrating that you can set and meet targets, whether they are financial or not, will improve your overall resume content.

• Be ambitious. Working in sales, whether it’s in an entry or senior position, is all about being ambitious. Many people in the industry will always be working to better themselves – whether that means earning more commission, gaining more customers, learning new skills or working towards a promotion. Ambition is one of the key traits employers look for too so if you can show you have this then you’re drastically improving your chances of securing a job interview. Use the hobbies and achievements section to show your ambition and remember, it doesn’t all have to be about work. Perhaps you have a hobby that you dedicate your spare time to or you spend out-of-hours time studying for an extra qualification or volunteering for a charity. Whatever your ambition is, mention it.

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