As a sales associate, you know the importance of persuasion.
With your positive attitude and effective communication skills, you can get any customer to buy any product…even if they don’t actually need it.
But it’s one thing to persuade customers into buying items and another thing to persuade the recruiter into hiring you.
For the latter, you need an effective sales associate resume!
And, because sales skills tend to shine best in person, you might struggle to translate them into a winning sales associate resume.
Well, worry not!
This guide includes everything you need to know about writing a sales associate resume, including:
- Sales Associate Resume Example (Better Than 9 Out of 10 Resume Examples)
- Step-By-Step Guide to Write Your Sales Associate Resume
- 30 Sales Associate Skills to Put on Your Resume
Sales Associate Resume Example
Not bad, right?
Here are the elements that make this sales associate resume example so effective:
- Chronological format. The sales associate resume example above uses the reverse-chronological resume format, which is the most popular resume format all around the world.
- Relevant contact information. This sales associate resume example includes all the essential contact details, such as the candidate’s name, email address, and phone number, as well as their professional LinkedIn URL.
- Attention-grabbing resume summary. In just two sentences, the sales associate resume summary above highlights the candidate’s strong points and achievements.
- Work achievements. The sales associate resume example above focuses more on the candidate’s achievements over their responsibilities, which helps them stand out from other candidates.
- Bullet points. This sales associate candidate has structured the resume information in bullet points, which are much easier to read than a block of text.
- Relevant skills. The sales associate resume example above only mentions sales-related hard and soft skills.
- Additional sections. This sales associate resume example includes extra sections such as volunteering experience, languages, and other skills that are valued in customer service and can help the candidate stand out more.
If you're interested in a different job position, check out these related resume examples:
Step-By-Step Guide to Write Your Sales Associate Resume
So, without further ado, let’s go through the process of writing a sales associate resume that’s just as compelling as the resume example above.
Here’s exactly what you need to do:
Step #1. Format Your Sales Associate Resume the Right Way
As we mentioned above, you want to go for the reverse-chronological format for your sales associate resume. That’s the most popular resume format (and a favorite among recruiters!).
Here’s what it looks like:
The other two popular resume formats are functional and combination:
- The functional resume format is skill-based, so you should only choose it in case you have no sales-related work experience but have industry-related skills.
- The combination resume format, on the other hand, should only be used in specific cases, such as employment gaps or in case of a career change. So, as a sales associate, this resume format is probably irrelevant to your situation.
All in all, none of these formats will do nearly as good of a job highlighting your experience and achievements as the reverse-chronological resume format, so don’t think twice about using it.
So, now that you’ve picked a format for your sales associate resume, you should focus on the resume layout, which includes:
- Use a professional font. You should use a simple, yet professional font style throughout your sales associate resume (yeap, that excludes Comic Sans & Co.).
- Choose the right font size. Go for 14-16 pts for headings and 11-12 pts for the body of your sales associate resume. Anything smaller will be hard to read and anything bigger might make your resume spill over to page 2.
- Use bullet points. Organizing the information in your sales associate resume in bullet points makes your resume look clean and helps the recruiter to skim your sales associate resume.
- Keep your resume short. It’s best to fit your sales associate resume in one page - that way, you can be 100% sure the hiring manager, busy as they are, will read it all. After all, they go through countless applications daily and they don’t usually spend more than a mere 7 seconds on each resume.
- Save your resume as a PDF file. Unless asked otherwise, save your sales associate resume in a PDF format to ensure it looks the same on every device and OS.
Use Our Tried & Tested Templates
If you’ve ever tried making a Word resume, you know that formatting alone takes ages.
You have to tweak the margins, pick the font, adjust its size, and the list goes on…
Instead of wasting your time on all of that, you should just be focusing on perfecting the content of your sales associate resume.
How do you ask?
It’s simple - just use one of our professional resume templates and jump straight to filling in the contents of your sales associate resume.
Our resume templates were created in collaboration with professional recruiters, so you don’t just win time - you get a free, professional, and visually appealing sales associate resume!
You can see for yourself how our tried-and-tested templates compare to traditional, black and white templates.
Step #2. Add Your Contact Information
Once you’re done with formatting, you can focus on the contents of your sales associate resume.
First things first - fill in your contact information (correctly!) so that the company can successfully reach out to you.
Here are all the contact details you should include:
- Your full name
- Your professional title
- Your phone number
- Your email address
- Your location (city and state)
If you are active on LinkedIn, make sure to include your profile’s URL, too.
Here’s an example of all the above:
Los Angeles, California
Step #3. Write an Appealing Sales Associate Resume Summary or Objective
Your next step is to write a sales associate resume summary or objective.
Both of these 2-3 sentence paragraphs go at the top of your sales associate resume to show recruiters you’re a relevant candidate in a matter of a few seconds (and get them to read the rest of it).
However, you only need to use one.
If you have plenty of work experience, you should write a resume summary to paint a picture of your professional background and highlight your top skills or achievements.
As such, an impactful resume summary can include:
- Your position and years of experience
- Your most relevant sales skills
- 1-2 professional achievements
Here’s an example of an effective sales associate resume summary:
- Enthusiastic and customer-oriented Sales Associate with 4+ years of experience in sales, specializing in the sale of home improvement items. Excellent customer service, communication, and collaboration skills. Awarded Employee of the Year in 2021 for regularly exceeding sales target quotas.
Now, if you’re still in high school looking for a part-time sales associate job or a recent graduate without work experience, you should use a resume objective to introduce yourself, your skills, and your professional goals.
To write an effective resume objective, just mention the following:
- Your industry-related degree (if applicable)
- What sales background makes you the right fit for the company
- Why do you want to work for the company
Here’s an example of an appealing sales associate resume objective:
- Outgoing and helpful costume design student, who is passionate about fashion and genuinely enjoys working with people. Looking to apply the strong customer service skills acquired from a summer job as a cashier in Company Y to help ensure customer satisfaction as a sales associate in your fashion boutique and learn more about fashion trends.
Step #4. Make Your Sales Associate Work Experience Stand Out
After you’ve grabbed recruiters’ attention with your resume profile, you should focus on your work experience section.
First, let’s address the basics.
Here’s how you should format your work experience section:
- Start from your current/most recent position and go back in time from there. If you have lots of experience in sales, only list your most relevant and recent positions. The recruiter won’t care about the summers you spent doing garage sales as a teenager.
- Begin each entry with your job title. Your job title should accurately describe your current/previous role.
- Continue with the company name and location. If the company isn’t well-known, you can also briefly describe it.
- Include the employment period. Use the mm/yyyy format to show how long you worked at the job.
- Add achievements and responsibilities. Go for 5-6 bullet points for your most recent jobs and 2-3 bullet points for older roles.
Now that you know how to format the work experience section, let’s dig a little bit deeper:
You may or may not know this, but more than 13 million people are working in sales in the United States alone.
And, of course, many of them are sales associates.
So, how can you make sure your sales associate resume stands out in such a big crowd?
Well, how you write your work experience section plays a big part:
The key is to focus more on your achievements over your responsibilities as much as you can.
Think about it - while most sales associates share the same responsibilities, such as helping customers and operating the cash register, your achievements are what can really set you apart from other candidates.
So, as you write this section, ask yourself: how did your work affect the company?
Perhaps you increased sales or customer satisfaction? Or maybe you’ve been awarded Employee of the Month?
No matter the achievement, make sure to mention it and make it as quantifiable as possible to really back your claims with hard evidence.
Here’s how an achievement-oriented sales associate work experience section should look like:
Make-up Sales Associate
01/2019 - 12/2021
- Assisted over 50 customers every day in selecting the best cosmetic products for their skin type.
- Efficiently operated Point of Sale systems.
- Showed initiative to assist team members in handling customers, cash operations, and store maintenance when needed.
- Stocked and organized make-up counters 15% faster than other sales associates.
- Won Employee of the Month Award in April 2020, June 2020, and August 2021 for outstanding customer service.
What if You Don’t Have Work Experience?
Many people find their first job in sales, so don’t stress if you don’t have work experience.
To make up for your lack of professional experience, you can instead focus on other types of sales-related experience you may have.
The options are plenty. For example, you can mention volunteering, internships, academic projects, extracurricular activities, etc.
After all, being a sales associate is all about helping customers, communicating effectively, and making sales, so if you have any related experience, just write it down!
Here’s what this could look like:
Animal Shelter VolunteerAnimal Shelter X
06/2018 - 12/2020
- Assisted 30+ people in choosing the right pet for adoption.
- Consulted people on pet adoption-related questions.
- Cleaned and maintained animal living spaces.
Step #5. List Your Education Right
A sales associate position doesn’t include many academic requirements.
This is probably why working as a sales associate is one of the best jobs for high school students.
So, whether you’ve been working as a sales associate for some time now, are still in high school, or graduated college, you should keep your education section short and to the point.
Simply list your highest degree and include the following:
- Degree name
- University, college, high school, or other institution attended
- Location (optional)
- Years attended
Here’s what this looks like on the resume:
BA in American Studies
The University of Groningen, The Netherlands
09/2012 - 06/2016
Now, in case you don’t have any work experience or sales-related experience, you can mention your education first.
Additionally, you can mention other details that add value to your application, such as relevant courses you’ve taken, academic achievements, GPA, Honors, and the like.
Step #6. List Your Sales Associate Skills
Skills are another key element to your sales associate resume. They can be a plus if you lack work experience in sales or help you stand out from other applicants with similar work experience as yours.
However, listing all your skills just for the sake of it is redundant and won’t really help you land the job.
So, instead, you should tailor your sales associate skills section for the position you’re applying for.
Now, the best way to go about it is by carefully reading the job ad.
Does it mention some specific skills the company is looking for in a candidate?
If your sales skills match any of the skills listed in the ad, make sure to include them in your sales associate resume.
And, in terms of formatting, it’s generally advised to list your hard and soft skills separately.
Are you still unsure which skills to include in your sales associate resume?
Worry not! We’ve compiled a list of the 30 most in-demand soft and hard skills for sales associates to give you some inspiration.
30 Sales Associate Skills to Put on Your Resume
20 Soft Sales Associate Skills
- Customer Service
- Communication Skills
- Active Listening
- Organizational Skills
- Time Management
- Stress Management
- Conflict Resolution
- Interpersonal Skills
- Emotional Intelligence
- Attention to Detail
- Negotiation Skills
10 Hard Sales Associate Skills
- Cash Register Operation
- Microsoft Office
- Point of Sale Systems
- Product Knowledge
- Stock Management
- Brand Awareness
- Visual Merchandising
- Store Maintenance
Step #7. Include Relevant Additional Sections
If you still have some space on your sales associate resume, consider making use of some additional sections.
While they aren’t as important as your work experience or skills, additional sections can give you the edge you need over candidates with very similar resumes to yours.
Not to mention, these sections are especially useful if you’re still in school/university or recently graduated.
As a sales associate, you can add one or more of these additional sections:
- Languages. Do you speak any other languages than your native? If so, definitely include this in your sales associate resume! Languages are useful and highly valued in any job, but even more so in customer-oriented roles, as customers are more satisfied with and loyal to brands that offer customer service in their native language.
- Hobbies and interests. Including your hobbies and interests in your sales associate resume allows you to express your unique personality and skills. When relevant, list field-related hobbies/interests. For example, listing dog agility training as a hobby won’t help much if you’re applying to work in an electronics store, but it can definitely give you an advantage if you want to be a sales associate in a pet store.
- Awards and certifications. Perhaps you were awarded for selling the most vintage clothes in a charity event? If you want to work in a clothing store, definitely list that in your sales associate resume. Likewise, list any certifications related to sales, retail, accounting, and other related fields.
Here’s an example of how these additional sections should look on your sales associate resume:
English - Native or Bilingual Proficiency
Spanish - Native or Bilingual Proficiency
German - Limited Working Proficiency
- Web Design
- Video Games
#8. Match Your Sales Associate Resume With a Cover Letter
By now, you should feel more confident about writing a job-landing sales associate resume.
And rightly so!
There is, however, one last step before you can put all that we covered into practice and that is to attach a sales associate cover letter to your resume.
Essentially, a cover letter is a 4-5 paragraph letter to the recruiter that aims to explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the position and a good fit for the company.
So, to do this effectively, instead of repeating what you’ve already said in your sales associate resume, your cover letter should explain more in detail anything important you didn’t have the chance (or space) to mention on your resume.
This may sound like a lot, but writing a compelling cover letter isn’t all that difficult.
Here’s exactly what you need to do to write a convincing cover letter:
- Start your cover letter by including your contact information in the header.
- Greet the recruiter by their name or title, instead of the overly popular and outdated “To Whom It May Concern.”
- In the first paragraph, grab the recruiter's attention by mentioning your 1-2 top achievements.
- In the body of your cover letter, describe your work experience and skills in detail, explain your motivation to work for the company as well as highlight what makes you a good asset to their team.
- End your cover letter with a call to action.
- To make sure your cover letter is nothing short of perfect, check our cover letter writing tips and cover letter mistakes.
Want to impress the recruiter with your attention to detail? Make sure it matches your sales associate resume by choosing one of our cover letter templates!
And that’s all!
Now you’re ready to write the perfect sales associate resume AND cover letter to land the job.
But, before you do that, let’s go over some of the key points of writing your sales associate resume:
- Choose the ever-popular reverse-chronological format for your sales associate resume.
- Depending on whether you have work experience or not, catch recruiters’ attention with a resume summary or objective.
- If you have work experience, make it pop by focusing on your achievements. If not, you can write down any other relevant sales experience you have, including internships, projects, or volunteer experience.
- List any other additional information, such as languages, awards, and hobbies to make your sales associate resume stand out.
- Attach a convincing cover letter to your sales associate resume to help you land the job.