Sales Resume - Example & Writing Guide for 2020

August 24
9 min read

You’re a sales rep.

You use your skills to sell products or services to customers and companies.

But when it comes to creating a convincing resume, you’re left confused.

How do you make a sales representative resume, anyway?

Surely it’s no different than a resume for any other profession, right?

Fortunately, this guide will answer all of your questions. In fact, we take you through a simple step-by-step process to creating a sales resume with a super-high conversion rate

Specifically, we will cover:

  • An example of a finished sales resume that works
  • How to write a sales representative resume that’ll fill up your interview diary
  • How to make your sales representative resume stand out [with top tips & tricks]

Before we look at the finer details, here’s a sales resume example, created with our very own online resume builder:

sales resume sample

Looks good, right?! Follow the steps below to create a sales representative resume that get results, just like the above example.

How to Format a Sales Representative Resume

Before you can wow the recruiter with your vast sales expertise, you need pick the best format.

Basically, you need to make your resume easy to read.

You will also want to highlight your core strengths, which relies on choosing the correct format for your specific situation.

If you want to impress, the “reverse-chronologicalresume format is recommended. Essentially, it puts your most recent and most notable strengths at the top, which allows the recruiter to see your value in an instant. We recommend starting with this format.

The following resume formats also get our approval:

  • Functional Resume – If you’re confident about your sales skills, but lack the experience, this resume format is recommended
  • Combination Resume – Combining both “Functional” and “Reverse-Chronological” formats, use this format if you’re an experienced sales representative

Once you’ve chosen your format, you need to organize your resume layout.

Use a Sales Representative Resume Template

Here’s the harsh truth –

You won’t get any sales job if your resume isn’t formatted correctly.  

It needs to be scanned by humans and robots alike. 

You could use Word, but the resume format is at risk of falling apart with a single change.

If you want to skip formatting issues, use a sales rep resume template.

What to Include in a Sales Representative Resume

The main sections in a sales representative resume are:

  • Work Experience
  • Contact Information
  • Skills
  • Education

Want to go a step further? You can also add these optional sections:

  • Awards & Certification
  • Languages
  • Interests & Hobbies

That sounds great, but what do we write for each of these sections? 

Read on to learn how.

Want to know more about resume sections? View our guide on What to Put on a Resume.

How to Correctly Display your Contact Information

Unlike your sales presentations, this section doesn’t require flair.

But it must be factually correct. 

One misplaced digit can completely destroy your chances of receiving a phone call.

The contact information section must include:

  • Full Name
  • Title – Align this to the job description. In this case, “Sales Representative”
  • Phone Number – Check this multiple times
  • Email Address – Use a professional email address (firstname.lastname@gmail.com), not your childhood email (timloveshamsters@gmail.com)
  • (Optional) Location – Applying for a job abroad? Mention your location and if you are open to relocate.

Correct Example:

  • Phillip Green - Sales Representative. 101-358-6095. philgreen@gmail.com

Incorrect Example:

  • Phillip Green - Superhero Salesman. 101-358-6095. salesmanphil@gmail.com

How to Write a Sales Representative Resume Summary or Objective

Just like a customer glancing over products on the shelf, the hiring manager will only spend just a few seconds looking at each resume.

Although worrying, this fact highlights the importance of a resume that makes a big impact within the first few sentences.

But how can you do this?

Well, by using a resume summary or objective.

These are short, snappy paragraphs that sit at the top of your resume, just under your contact information.

sales resume summary

But how do the two differ and which one should you pick?

A resume summary is a 2-4 sentence summary of your professional experiences and achievements.

Sales Representative Resume Summary Example

  • Experienced sales representative with a strong background in boosting sales for a diverse clientele. Seeking to leverage solid sales skills and extensive technology knowledge to be the senior sales rep for Random Technology Store. Notable achievements include achieving over $250,000 in sales for every fiscal quarter, maintaining relationships with 15+ large contractor companies, and increasing gross profit by 42% from 2017 to 2019.

A resume objective is a 2-4 sentence snapshot of what you want to achieve professionally.

Sales Representative Resume Objective Example

  • Motivated individual with passion and vast knowledge of gaming technology, seeking to become the new sales representative for Random Technology Store. Experience includes working as a sales associate to help customers find products, answer stock questions, and promote store awards program.

So, which one is best, summary or objective?

Whether you choose a summary or objective will depend on your experience as a sales representative. Those with a strong history on the sales floor should go with a resume summary, whereas those who have sales skills, but lack the industry experience, should choose an objective.  

Pro Tip

  • As a sales representative, you know that benefits sell. As such, make it clear how your experiences and skills will HELP the company.

How to Make Your Sales Work Experience Stand Out

The recruiter is looking for someone that can sell.

And when we say sell, we mean SELL.

The easiest way to prove that you can sell ice to the Eskimos is with your work experience.

Here’s the best way to structure your work experience section:

  • Position Name/Title
  • Company Name
  • Dates
  • Responsibilities & Achievements

Here is an example:

Sales Representative

WeSellCars Ltd.

03/2015 - 06/2020

  • Achieved over $250,000 in sales for every fiscal quarter 
  • Maintained relationships with 15+ large contractor companies
  • Increased gross profit by 42% from 2017 to 2019
  • Lead and presented all company product promotions

To really sell your value, you should focus on your best achievements, rather than your daily tasks.

Instead of saying:

“Sales lead”

Say:

“Achieved over $250,000 in sales for every fiscal quarter.”

Simply put, the first statement is way too vague. It shows you were in charge of sales, but it doesn’t say whether you actually sold anything or not. 

The second statement shows that you managed to sell A LOT, and consistently too. Hard numbers that prove your skills – can’t argue with that!

What if You Don’t Have Work Experience?

Maybe you’re a graduate looking for your first sales job?

Or maybe, you have experience in sales-related jobs, but never as a sales representative?

Don’t worry –

Simply list all previous job responsibilities that are most relevant to the job description.

Even though you haven’t held an official sales representative job title, it doesn’t mean you don’t have relevant experience or skills.

Are you recent graduate? Make sure to check out our student resume guide!

Use Action Words to Make Your Sales Resume POP!

  • “Made”
  • “Worked”
  • “Managed”

…are all common words that the recruiter sees time and time again.

However, you want to separate your resume from the competition, which means using power words to make your achievements stand out:

  • Conceptualized
  • Determined
  • Formulated
  • Initiated
  • Spearheaded

How to Correctly List your Education

Next, it’s time to talk about your education.

Depending on the job you apply for, you may require a degree or high school diploma. 

Those with impressive sales achievements may not need to impress with their education at all.

There’s nothing too complicated with this section, just list the basics in the following format:

  • Degree Type & Major
  • University Name
  • Years Studied
  • GPA, Honours and relevant courses.

Here's what it should look like:

B.A. in Strategies in Sales Management

University of Michigan

2012 - 2016

  • Relevant Courses: Sales Forecasting & Budgeting, Developing Strategic Relationships with Major Customers, Managing Sales-Related Change, Developing and Using Customer Insight
  • GPA: 3.8

We understand that you may have further questions. If so, here are the answers to some of the most frequent questions that we get:

What if I have not yet finished my studies?

  • Regardless of whether you’re a sales graduate or still studying, you should still mention every year of education to date

Should I include my high school education?

  • Just include your highest form of education, which will likely be your high school education if you didn’t go to college 

What is more important, my education or experience?

  • In the sales field, your experiences are the most important, so those go first.

Be sure to check out our guide on how to list education on a resume.

Top 15 Skills for a Sales Resume

A top sales representative is able to show their talents through the number of sales they convert.

However –

You won’t even get to that stage if don’t include the correct skills on your resume.

Here are some of the most common sales skills that the recruiter will be looking for:

  • Product Knowledge
  • Rapport Building
  • Time Management
  • Product Presentation
  • Contract Negotiation
  • Closing Sales
  • Teamwork
  • Prospecting
  • Empathy
  • Public Speaking
  • Persuasion
  • Listening 
  • Problem Solving
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Adaptable

Here’s a more comprehensive list of 100+ must-have skills this year.

What Else Can You Include?

We’ve now covered every essential resume section.

But ask yourself one question –

Have you done enough to make the sale?

You need your resume to stand out!

Adding additional sections can really round you out as a candidate.

Awards & Certifications

Have you won salesperson of the month?

Have you completed any courses to improve your sales skills?

If you said yes to any of the above, make sure to mention them in your resume!

Here’s an example:

Awards & Certificates

  • “The Art of Sales” - Coursera Certificate
  • “Public Speaking Masterclass” - MadeUpUniversity

Languages

As a sales representative, you will be communicating with a diverse clientele. 

As such, it can be useful to know other languages.

Either way, being able to speak a second language is always an impressive skill to a hiring manager, so feel free to add a language section if you have space.

Rank the languages by proficiency:

  • Native
  • Fluent
  • Proficient
  • Intermediate
  • Basic

Interests & Hobbies

This section simply requires a sentence about what you like to do when you aren’t working. 

Doing this allows the hiring manager to see what kind of person you are. 

This section also adds a more personal touch to your resume.

Here’s which hobbies & interests you may want to mention.

Include a Cover Letter with Your Resume

Want to increase your chances of getting the interview call?

Attach a cover letter with your resume.

Cover letters are still an important part of the hiring process.

You see, a cover letter is a specific and personal piece of content. 

Unlike an applicant that sends a generic resume to every company, a cover letter shows the hiring manager that you care about working for their company.

Here’s the winning formula:

You should complete the following sections:

Personal Contact Information

Your full name, profession, email, phone number, location.

Hiring Manager’s Contact Information

Full name, position, location, email

Opening Paragraph

It’s no secret that recruiters skim through applications. As such, your opening paragraph must be immensely powerful. Use concise language to mention:

  • The position you’re applying for
  • Your experience summary and best achievement to date

The Body

Once you’ve sparked the reader’s interest, you can get deeper into the following specifics:

  • Why you chose this specific company
  • What you know about the company
  • How are your top skills relevant for the job
  • Which similar industries or positions have you worked in before

Closing Paragraph

  • Don’t just end the conversation abruptly, you should:
  • Conclude the points made in the body paragraph
  • Thank the hiring manager for the opportunity
  • Finish with a call to action. This is a good way to start a conversation. A simple “At your earliest opportunity, I’d love to discuss more about how I can help company X” will work

Formal Salutations

End the letter in a professional manner. Something like, “Kind regards” or “Sincerely.

For more inspiration, read our step-by-step guide on how to write a cover letter.

Key Takeaways

Congrats!

If you combined your sales skills with the advice above, you should have successfully convinced the recruiter to give you an interview. 

Before leaving, let’s sum it all up:

  • Format your sales resume correctly. Prioritize the reverse-chronological format, and then follow the best practices on content layout
  • Start your resume with a summary or objective to hook the recruiter
  • Highlight your top sales achievements, rather than your daily duties
  • Use your sales skills to write a convincing cover letter 

Suggested Reading: