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Why don’t most sales resumes close the sale?
They say a lot of what they’ve done.
But they don’t prove sales skills.
You can do it if you brainstorm the right sales achievements first.
In this guide:
- A sales resume sample better than most.
- How to make a good sales job description for resumes.
- How to write a resume for sales that Zig Ziglar would be proud of.
- Why you can’t just list sales skills (and what to do instead).
Sales Resume Sample You Can Copy and Use
High-performing sales rep with 5+ years of experience. Seeking to raise Merck's sales revenue with solid relationship-building and customer education skills. At Rozer, fostered relationships with 120+ physicians, beating all sales targets by 15% and closing 22% more sales in each period.
Outside Sales Representative
- Outside sales rep for 200+ clients in a large pharmaceutical business.
- Beat sales targets by 15% in each period.
- Developed relationships with 120+ physicians.
- Closed 22% more sales than other reps in the department.
- Scored 98% or better in quarterly product knowledge quizzes.
- Conducted 30+ in-person meetings per week.
Inside Sales Representative
- Handled Southwestern territory for recreational vehicle sales business.
- Maintained deep product knowledge of all 28 models.
- Beat sales targets by 18%+ in every quarter.
- Performed regular customer needs analysis, raising repeat business 28%.
Sales Representative Experience
- As bookkeeper for distribution company, built relationships with 150 customers.
- Collaborated with 25 other staff members to raise revenue by 20%.
- In telemarketing job, closed 20 sales per day on average.
- Maintained high-level product knowledge for 700-item catalog.
BS in Chemistry, Texas State University
- Maintained a 3.9 GPA in all core chemistry classes.
- Pursued a passion for sales electives.
- Student Leader, Student Activities Staff
- CNPR Pharmaceutical Sales Rep — NAPSR
- Built relationships to secure $100K funding for local school.
- Active member, NAPSR.
- Participate in regular sales meetups.
- Leader, weekly cycling group, raised membership 150%.
2019 Hubspot, "Building Deep Customer Relationships"
2018 Fast Company, "How I Closed 10% More Sales with 10% Less Effort"
2018 Clinical Trials Conference, led session on Alzheimer's drug testing
2017 Regulatory Affairs Conference
Hard Skills: Relationship building, closing sales, customer needs analysis, product knowledge
Soft Skills: Interpersonal skills, listening, communication, time management, collaboration, goal-oriented
Need something slightly different? See our other guides:
- Sales Representative Resume
- Sales Associate Resume
- Sales Manager Resume
- Customer Service Resume
- Retail Resume
- Call Center Resume
Now here’s how to write a sales resume they’ll love:
1. Start With the Best Sales Resume Format
Salespeople sell goods and services for companies. They must develop strong relationships with customers, see to client needs, and possess in-depth product knowledge. That’s why a sales resume has to show evidence you’ve used those skills in the everyday business world.
But a poorly-formatted resume for sales is no sale at all.
Stay presentable with these tips:
Sales Resume Format
- Lead off with the reverse-chronological format.
- Use good resume fonts like Verdana or Cambria in 10–12pt.
- Include white space and use 1-inch margins.
- Write a one-page resume unless you’re Larry Ellison.
- Use these resume sections: Header, Objective, Experience, Education, Skills, and “Additional” sections.
Expert Hint: Save your resume as a PDF. They keep clean formatting on all devices. But check the job posting to see if PDFs are a no-no.
2. Write a Sales Resume Objective or Summary
I’ve got some bad news.
The hiring manager’s desk overflows with applications.
Many are quite good.
How can you make sure she reads yours carefully?
- One adjective (high-performing, personable, efficient)
- Job title (Sales Rep)
- Years of experience (5+, 7+)
- How you’ll help (raise sales revenue)
- Best few achievements (fostered relationships with 120+ physicians)
These outside sales resume examples show how:
Sales Resume Summary—Example
North, meet South.
The first of those resume samples is a modern-day Billy Mays. It shows you know the art of selling.
The second sounds like empty bragging. (Hint: it’s the numbers—or their lack!)
Writing an entry-level resume for sales jobs?
It’s not hard.
Just use sales-accomplishments from non sales jobs, like this:
Sales Resume Objective—Example
Okay, you’re no Don Draper. But that first entry-level sales example does the job.
Expert Hint: Use the company name in your sales skills resume summary or objective. That gives a hint that you’re not just applying to every job you see with blinders on.
3. Write the Best Sales Job Description
A career in sales is massive.
How do you fit that big career onto a single sheet of paper?
You don’t. You just put the parts they really care about.
How to write a sales job description:
- Look at the online job ad to find what the employer wants.
- Jot down the sales duties and skills they mention.
- Write some times you used those skills.
- Put the results you achieved in your sales resume.
- Add numbers that show your actions mattered.
These outside sales resume examples show how:
Sales Job Description for Resume [Sample]
The first of those sales resume examples can’t be oversold. It shows specific skills the hiring team is searching for, with detailed numbers.
Writing an entry-level sales skills resume? See this:
Entry-Level Sales Resume Job Description [Sample]
The second inside sales resume example shows you didn’t have a resume gap. But it also doesn’t show you built sales skills during those non-sales jobs.
20 Most ImportantSkills for a Sales Resume
Customer Needs Analysis
Expert Tip: Always pick your skills directly from the job ad. The sales skills above are a nice start, but if the posting doesn’t mention them, consider skipping them.
4. Turn Boring Education to a Reason to Hire You
A resume for sales jobs doesn’t need a PhD.
But don’t blow it.
If you don’t use your schooling to prove key skills, you’re throwing away leverage.
Use your resume’s education section to add more proof-of-skills.
These medical inside sales resume examples show how:
You were building sales and leadership skills, way back in school.
Expert Hint: If you did special projects in school or had some publications, show it in your sales resume. If you graduated a long time ago, make your education section short.
6. Build Your Sales Resume With Bonus Sections
You’re not done.
A sales resume has to show you’ve got “it.”
Do that with other sections in your resume:
- Additional Activities
- Freelance Work
- Awards & Honors
- Volunteer Experience
- Continuing Education
- Foreign Languages
- Professional Associations
These two pharmaceutical sales resume examples show how:
Sales Resume—Extra Sections
The first of those medical sales resume samples could get you in at Pfizer.
It works because it uses “other” sections to demonstrate more sales skills.
Expert Hint: Write a cover letter. Nearly half the sales hiring teams out there won’t read your resume without a sales cover letter attached. Make it passionate and show you’ll fit the job.
For a sales resume that gets jobs:
- Use the sales resume template up top. It connects you to the hiring team by tapping their needs.
- Put sales achievements in your resume objective, experience, education, and “other” sections to prove you’re no Tommy Boy.
- List the best sales skills. They’re written in the job posting, in the sales job description.
- Write a sales cover letter. Use it to show you understand the job’s needs. Then show a few key sales achievements, so they’ll know you fit.
Got questions on how to write a great resume for sales jobs? Not sure how to show sales on a resume? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply!