How to Write a Sales Resume

Most every adult, employed and unemployed, has a resume. Some have resumes that are polished and always ready to be used as a job-hunting tool while others have resumes that would be better suited as origami practice.

While no two resumes should ever be exactly the same, there are several items that a good sales resume must contain.

Your Information

Let's see that resume...
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While it may seem obvious to have your personal information on your resume, many job seekers are more concerned about how "pretty" their resume appears rather than how easy it is for a hiring manager to find the information he is looking for. Your personal information needs to be easy to locate on your resume.

This section should include your name, address and 2 or 3 methods of contact. The last thing you want is to provide a hiring manager only one 1 way to contact you. Include your cell number, home number, email, Skype name and any social networking sites that you are comfortable sharing with a hiring manager.


While many may debate the importance of adding an "Objective" section to a resume, many hiring managers look for this section to quickly filter out candidates. If an objective section includes little information or, at times, too precise of an objective, a hiring manager who has a desk covered with received resumes may simply toss your resume aside.

The objective section should be concise, clear and targeted to the position you are interested in. However, entering information like "my objective is to find a career in sales with a Fortune 100 company whose focus is to advance environmentally friendly products and services to American based businesses whose CEO's first name contains a silent letter," is probably too specific and limiting to be included.

Relevant Work Experience

Having had 14 jobs in the last few years does not send the message that you are someone who employers like to hire. Instead, it may be viewed as someone who gets fired a lot or who is a perpetual job hunter. Including every position that you've ever held on a resume is overkill and can be a death rattle for your resume.

A good sales resume highlights the relevant work experience that qualifies you for the position for which you are applying. Including information about your 6-month stint as a circus clown does not serve any purpose and will not do anything to increase your chances of landing a sales position.

If you have had numerous sales jobs in the past, include those that are most relevant to the position(s) you are applying for. If you have gaps in your resume's time-frame, expect to address these during your interview.

Why You?

While you may not want to include a resume section heading titled "Why Hire Me," your resume does need to answer a simple question that will be in the mind of the hiring manager's mind: "Why should I hire this person?"

Every hiring manager listens to the same radio station while reviewing resumes. That station is WIIFM, which stands for "What's in it for ME!" In other words, your resume has to provide reasons why the hiring manager should set up an interview with you and should seriously consider hiring you.‚Äč

To address the "why you" section, you should include skills, life experiences, education, awards, accomplishments and any other "relevant" information that puts you in the best light possible. If you've won sales awards, attended well-respected sales seminars, written a book, taken sales or business courses in college, swam the English channel or accomplished anything job-hunting in your personal or professional career, include it in your resume.

Be careful, however, not to include too much in this section. A good tip would be to include everything that makes you a wonderful choice, then have a friend or co-worker cross out at least 50% of your entries. If you haven't accomplished much in your career, highlight attributes that suggest that you will accomplish great things. In Herman Hesse's novel Siddhartha, the main character tells a potential employer that he can go for days without food. While this may not be the most marketable skill for a sales professional, it does suggest willpower and self-control. You never know what a hiring manager is looking for!