Working in Sales: Your Sales Resume

Let’s face it, the resume itself often consists of puffed-up information about past experiences (all good of course) that a sales manager may or may not pay attention to. The fact is that most resumes are boring and the majority are unrealistic. 

Before we get into any specifics about resume design and creation let’s talk about what we are trying to accomplish in the first place when submitting a resume. There is really only one question that should be asked: why would someone want to hire you?

What the sales manager really wants to know is why they should take a chance on you.

These days a resume is rarely read word for word. They are often viewed with a preconceived notion that the information provided may not be 100% truthful. Oh and let’s not forget about artificial intelligence (AI) automation. Resumes are often being scanned by AI and discarded before a human ever lays eyes on them.

With that context in mind, I’m going to share a proven strategy to land a sales interview 95% of the time. Your resume is a requirement here but as you’ll learn it is not as important as what happens after you submit the resume. This will require action on your part so take the time to consume these ideas and then execute.

Let’s start with what the hiring sales manager is looking for. 

The number one attribute in successful salespeople is…achievement drive. Winners have to win. How are you able to demonstrate a history of winning on your sales resume? 

Your past sales results probably come to mind first (and they should), but what if you’re brand new to sales and don’t have specific experience working in sales? Expand your thinking here. Share examples of other areas where you’ve created success. Where were you a top-performer in a non-sales role? Maybe you’ve led a group of people to fix up a run-down school in an underprivileged area. Or you were captain of a sports team. Or class valedictorian.  You’re looking for anything that demonstrates you’re a winner, that you have achievement drive running through your blood.

Once you’ve completed your sales resume, it’s time for submission. You have a couple of options here. You can start sending your resume out to as many job postings you can find, or you can search for specific opportunities. There isn’t a wrong answer here but I recommend the latter approach.

Here’s what that looks like.

Start by making a targeted list of organizations you’d like to work for. You can come up with your own criteria here. Create a document or spreadsheet to house this information. Keep in mind, this will be a “living” list, meaning that it will never actually be complete. You will be adding, subtracting, and updating it along the way.

Once you have the list compiled you can begin by looking for the specific people that you want viewing your resume. I recommend starting as high as possible in the sales chain of command. Add these names to your list. Gather as much contact information as you can here because you want to deliver a personal message to them.

Create and email a 30-second video introduction to share with that key contact. This video should include:

  • Your name
  • Your purpose (you recently submitted a resume)
  • Demonstrate that you know something about their organization
  • Why you are confident that hiring you would accelerate their desired results

Your video message should be followed up with a phone call if they don’t reply directly to you. I like giving them a couple of days to view the video. Pick up the phone on day three after the video was sent and call them. Send an email to follow up on all voicemails. Then call them again in two days if they don’t respond.

This might sound like overkill, but think it through. What are you doing with your repeated attempts at contact? You are demonstrating your tenacity and your achievement drive, the very things that a sales manager wants to see! 

This will be well worth your time. You’ll immediately be placed at the top of the stack for qualified candidates because no one else is doing this. Right from the start, you are demonstrating achievement drive, persistence, and communication skills. You are also proving that you know how to prospect.

Don’t get me wrong here, your resume should be very easy to read and 100% truthful. Your actions after resume submission tend to speak louder than the actual words on paper. Submit a good resume and follow up by using the process I’ve outlined above. I’m 100% confident you’ll land more interviews and find an organization that values your skills.

Until next time, learn more to earn more!


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About the Author: Jeff Shore

Jeff Shore is the Founder and President of Shore Consulting, Inc. a company specializing in field-tested and proven consumer psychology-based sales training programs.

Jeff is a top-selling author, host of the popular sales podcast, The Buyer’s Mind, and an award-winning keynote speaker. He holds the prestigious Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and is a member of the NSA’s exclusive Million Dollar Speaker’s Group.

With over 30 years of real-world, frontline experience, Jeff’s advanced sales strategies spring from extensive research into the psychology of buying and selling. He teaches salespeople how to climb inside the mind of their customers to sell the way their buyers want to buy. Using these modern, game-changing techniques, Jeff Shore’s clients generated over $30 billion in sales last year.