Chapter 2 of our Sales Resume Series: Sales Development Rep (SDR) Resume guidance.
As a sales development representative (SDR), you know all about identifying high quality leads worth pursuing. When it comes time to write yourself a new resume, however, you’ll be switching roles. Now you’re the prospect being assessed, and it’s your resume’s job to tell hiring managers why they should keep reading.
In other words, your resume matters! The first step toward landing your dream SDR position is writing a fantastic, attention-grabbing CV. Don’t know where to start? Read on to learn some key elements to help you write a winning sales development representative resume. Also, be sure to create a free profile on Hired and have companies apply to interview you!
Many sales job seekers tend to see their resume as nothing more than a simple record of their employment history. This is a big mistake.
If you want to imagine your resume as anything, consider it your own personal advertisement. This is your opportunity to show employers what you bring to the table. With this in mind, let’s touch on a few resume essentials.
Attention spans have never been shorter, which means your resume needs to be brief. Recruiters and hiring managers alike don’t have time to read a novel while searching for new candidates.
What are the career accomplishments you’re most proud of? These should be front and center on your resume. Instead of listing boring daily duties, write down your biggest accomplishments and successes.
Following this rule will help you avoid one of the most common resume errors out there. Don’t simply tell readers that you increased sales or incoming leads, show them. Cite numbers, statistics, and metrics. The more specific, the better.
Creativity is almost always a good idea, but resume writing isn’t the time to start acting like Van Gogh. It may seem boring, but stick with regular old black and white – don’t use any flashy colors. Similarly, don’t divide your resume into various columns.
Such aesthetic changes will ultimately confuse humans and AI systems scanning over your resume. It may seem inconsequential, but if a recruiter needs an extra five seconds to find a candidate’s name or current job on a resume, in most cases they’re going to throw the CV in the trash. Make it easy for humans (or machines) to find the information needed to move you forward in the hiring process.
Now that we’ve gone over the big picture, let’s focus on the smaller details. Following a format will make writing your resume much easier and help you land more interviews faster. Or, you can have Leet Resumes write your resume for free.
To start, you’re going to want to provide your name and contact information at the very top of the page. Your name should be in bigger text than the rest of the document, and don’t use any nicknames or aliases! Whatever name is on your tax return should be on your resume.
Same goes for your email address. Keep all of your contact information professional. Adding your physical address is optional, but if you do, be sure to indicate the specific city or region you want to work in. Your social media profiles are unnecessary, besides maybe LinkedIn. Even then you should only include it if you check the platform on a daily basis.
Once you’ve covered your basic contact information, it’s time to move on to the professional headline. Here is where you can really start to tap into your sales skills. With just a few words (three to five), your professional headline will set the tone for the rest of the resume.
The idea is to sum up your career thus far in a matter of seconds. An easy way to formulate your own professional headline is by starting with an attractive adjective, followed by your current title. For example, “Tenacious Sales Development Professional.”
Once you’ve got a snappy professional headline, the next area of your resume should be the professional summary. This section can be anywhere from two to four lines in length, depending on your experience level. Because SDR is usually an entry level position, it’s totally fine to just stick with two lines for your resume.
Each line tells the reader something new about you, your career, and your job search:
Line 1 should list job titles you would accept for your next position, such as “Senior Sales Development Representative.”
Line 2 will feature your sales skills, such as researching prospects and outreach.
While optional, lines 3 and 4 are for listing relevant career achievements and promotions, respectively.
Unsure if your resume’s professional summary needs a third or fourth line? You can always have Leet Resumes write your resume for you – for free!
Now you can move on to the meat and potatoes of your resume: Your work experience.
As touched on earlier, if you want this section to really stand out it’s imperative to focus on, and show, your successes. Ask yourself, if your career were a video game, what would be your high score? Whatever your personal answer is to that question, put it on your resume.
Perhaps at your current position you’ve increased sales by 20% in comparison to last year. Well, don’t simply say that you are “in charge of sales development and lead prospecting.” Show the reader just how much you’ve increased sales, improved the sales pipeline, etc, using legitimate numbers and data.
Here’s a few other key considerations to keep in mind:
Your most recent, and in many cases current, job should be the first position listed on your resume, followed by your second most recent gig, and so on.
Many job seekers feel compelled to hide gaps in their work history, but attempting to deceive on a resume is a sure-fire way to be shown the door. The truth, no matter how messy, is always the better option. Many companies are far more understanding about employment gaps than most assume. If your resume is strong (likely, thanks to this article!), you’ll have an opportunity to explain your break from work.
The same goes when it comes to job titles. Employers can and often do look into candidates’ backgrounds, and it’s possible your old boss or manager will get a call to vouch for the accuracy of your resume.
Each job listed in this section of your resume should feature a few bullet points documenting your biggest successes, achievements, and accomplishments working as a sales development representative.
An easy hack for this area is to start every bullet point with an action verb (increased, strengthened, improved). This helps readers immediately see you as a go-getter, not just another passive job candidate for the denial bin.
The rest of your resume will be filled out by the education and keywords sections. The education part is straightforward, just list any degrees or relevant certificates you’ve earned, as well as the schools you attended.
If you’re still in school, it’s best to leave it off of your resume. The only exception would be if you’re due to graduate in a few months. Even then, be sure to add your expected graduation date.
The last part of your resume, known as the keyword section, is for simply listing your sales skills and any awards you’ve earned. This area may sound a bit repetitive, but many recruiters have a “checklist” of skills, or keywords, that they look for on resumes while deciding who to contact. The more relevant keywords you include, the better your chances of being selected for an interview.
Sculpting the perfect SDR resume is just one aspect of finding the sales development representative position you’ve always wanted. What are you waiting for?
Author Marc Cenedella is Founder at Leet Resumes, the largest free resume writing service in the world, and the author of seven Amazon Careers #1 Best Sellers on resume writing, interviews, and job search.
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