For those with the right skills and aptitude, a sales career can be one of the most invigorating and rewarding options on the market, with the promise of steady progression, generous financial recompense and an opportunity to form personal connections with customers and colleagues alike.
However, getting a job in sales requires a specific approach to tailoring your CV if you really want to mark yourself as the outstanding candidate and land the role of your dreams. Here are a few basic but invaluable tips that will let prospective bosses know you have what it takes to succeed in this fast-paced world.
Demonstrate your personal skills and attributes
Being a great salesperson isn't something that just anyone can do. It can be a demanding job that requires mental flexibility, tenacity and an ability to think on your feet, while top-notch interpersonal and communication skills are also an absolute must.
Moreover, salespeople need to understand the needs of the business and be geared to work towards the company's goals, meaning they should be target-driven, financially motivated and endowed with an entrepreneurial spirit. Communicating this via your CV should be considered a top priority.
Be specific about your achievements
The best way of making it clear what you can offer a prospective employer is to be specific and precise about the value you've delivered in previous roles. Resist the temptation to resort to vague allusions about "exceeding goals", or to waste space by going into too much detail about job descriptions - instead, offer cold, hard facts that offer concrete proof of your talents.
This might include the percentage by which you were able to exceed your targets and the company's market share growth under your stewardship, or examples of new client wins and sales increases attributable to you. The more specifics you have to hand, the stronger your CV will be.
Highlight your awards
If you've won awards and honours for your salesmanship, make sure to highlight them prominently in your CV, particularly if there are plenty of them. Once again, specifics are desirable, as this will allow employers to see at a glance why you were chosen for your honours.
On the other hand, you don't want to risk overselling yourself based on minor accolades - a few salesman of the month prizes spread over years won't look all that impressive unless they're backed up by a wider pattern of achievement.
Showcase your progression
Although bosses will want to see evidence that you're already an accomplished seller, it's also important that you show you're motivated and keen to carry on growing. That's why demonstrating your career progression is vital - try and write your CV in a way that illustrates areas in which you've taken on greater responsibility over time, or shown the ability to gradually improve upon your performance. That way, future employers will feel that your best is still to come.
Take a targeted approach
Just like in sales, writing a CV is all about knowing your audience. You need to make sure that you're able to demonstrate how your skillset can benefit the company you're applying to specifically, and that means tweaking the text with different organisations in mind.
For smaller firms, you might want to show how you're able to compete with the big boys, drive growth and open up new markets, while a larger business might be more interested to know about your experience of working with major-scale budgets, teams and contracts. With the proper research, you'll be able to make employers feel you're tailor-made for their position.
By bearing all of these ideas in mind, you'll be able to put yourself ahead of the chasing pack and land a job worthy of your time and talent.