Like many things, resume styles evolve over the years. In this blog, we'll focus on best practices for the classic style, whether you're interested in sales or other customer-facing roles such as Customer Success or Customer Experience. Stay tuned for our upcoming series on Resume Guides when we dive into variations, but for now, we'll review tips and tricks for the most basic format. Finally, we have a downloadable guide for you with a template to help your sales role job search.
Generally, there are five sections in a solid sales resume:
Include the basic information to get a hold of you. Use your first and last name, and if relevant, a nickname. Keep it professional, of course, but if the legal name you use on your taxes, for example, is Elizabeth, but include both if you're known as and sign emails as "Beth."
Listing your entire address is unnecessary. Sadly, some people find themselves on mailing lists for years after including their whole mailing address on random job boards, for example. Include a primary phone number, and because sales is a relationship-building, networking type industry, your LinkedIn profile link.
Because so many sales roles are remote, simply list your:
Focus on your relevant experience here - some people choose to title this section, "Relevant Experience," for instance. Don't list every duty you ever performed. Are you pursuing a specific role? Use it to reiterate any overlap. This helps humans (and machines) quickly identify good matches! Be sure to write your prior roles in past tense and your current role in present tense.
Overall, be succinct and list in consistent order for each company:
Did you attend university? If so, include your degree, school, and graduation year. Was your GPA exceptional? You may include it, but otherwise leave it out. Graduating soon? List the date as "Anticipated."
Also, if you're 10 or more years from graduation, you can leave the year off. It's not a big deal. Take a similar view toward campus clubs and jobs. After a few years, very few recruiters or hiring managers will be influenced by your part-time job in the psychology department or that you were Vice President for a greek organization.
If you have a degree in something unrelated to sales or business, this is fine. A degree of any sort is an accomplishment, don't worry if it was in Art History or Gender Studies. Reflect on what your studies taught you that you may apply to the sales or other customer experience role.
If you've pivoted to a new career thanks to bootcamps or online courses, list your certifications and other relevant credentials.
Related: Hired Partner Sales Impact Academy provides training for sales teams.
For some people, this section comes before the education one. Talent acquisition teams (or ATS software) often check this first. Focus on your strongest skills. List your top skills in order of expertise, frequency, and relevancy. These may include soft skills as well as "hard" ones, such as Salesforce's CRM, Sales Cloud, Hubspot, or Outreach.
Are you involved in philanthropy, your community, or other volunteer activities? Include it in this section. It's an opportunity to provide insight into related skills or desired character traits. In addition, they often help candidates create opportunities to stand out and provide common ground in interviews or conversation starters. For example, maybe you are:
Get more helpful tips and tools including a list of sales role action verbs when you download the Sales Resume Guide. Using action verbs help your resume use more active than passive language. Active language is preferred and increases the readability. Finally, there's also a downloadable sample resume in the guide to give you a head start on formatting.