How to Write an Effective Sales CV (+ Example)

As a sales professional, you will know how important first impressions are. With that in mind, your CV needs to demonstrate a positive representation of you to the hiring manager or recruiter.

Just like your role in sales, your CV needs to be your personal pitch, highlighting key achievements, experiences, solid sales techniques and communication skills in a persuasive, professional and exciting way.

In this article, we share some great tips to help you create an outstanding CV that will enable you to stand shoulders above other sales candidates.

 

Open with a direct pitch

Think of this as an elevator pitch, but for yourself.

Start your CV with an opening statement. This is a short and punchy summary of your career objectives, key achievements, and the core skills/ attributes you can offer to the business.

If it’s weak, not only will hiring managers doubt your abilities, but they’ll also stop reading altogether. Craft something outstanding and you’ll be on your way to getting those all-important interviews.

A pen with text which reads: Hint. Tailor your opening statement to the job you're applying for, including key words from the job description, to appear at the top of their search results.

Remember to tailor this section of your CV to the job you’re applying for and include keywords from the job description, that way you’ll be at the top of search results on their talent identification software.

Answer these questions and you’ll be set.

  • Who are you?
  • What can you offer to the employer?
  • What are your career goals?

 

Exhibit your achievements

Always display this under your summary, it’s one of the most important parts.

As a sales professional, results are monitored by targets and other metrics, so including detail of revenue you’ve generated, and achievements in each role is essential in your CV. Recruiters and hiring managers will be looking for this, during the initial application review stages.

Two boxes, one is labelled Do Say and the other is labelled Don't Say. Don't Say reads: I managed a sales team. Do Say reads: I actively managed a sales team of 5 field representatives, that collectively generated 3 million pounds in new revenue throughout 2019. 

Detail is key! Instead of stating that you’ve “managed a sales team” change it to, “actively managed a sales team of 5 field sales representatives, that collectively generated £3 million in new revenue throughout 2019.” This will create maximum impact, and you’re actually stating a number of skills and achievements in one sentence.

 

Sell your skills

As a sales professional, employers require specific abilities, many are specialist sales techniques, and others are soft skills that enable you to successfully build relationships. Highlight these throughout your CV.

Keep in mind the four skills below, these are essential to your sales career and need to be highlighted.

Relationship building – demonstrate to the prospective employer that you have the ability to turn leads into sales and build long-lasting, trusted relationships.

Resilience – show that you’re able to accept setbacks, recover quickly from disappointments, adapt well to change, and effectively respond to challenges.

Product knowledge – demonstrate specific product knowledge to support your excellent customer service approach, increasing sales and brand reputation.

Converting a sale – the ultimate goal for any sales professional is to convert a lead into a deal, so ensure that your CV provides solid examples of where and how you’ve done this.

Here are a number of other essential hard and soft skills, you should consider and demonstrate throughout your CV:

Hard skills:

  • Proficiency in using sales software/CRM technology
  • Customer retention
  • Data analysis
  • Sales pitch development and demos
  • Conflict management & resolution

Soft skills:

  • Clear and accurate verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Time management
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Adaptability
  • Growth mindset
  • Empathy
  • Active listener
  • Maintaining relationships

 

Showcase your experience

This section is the star of your CV. This is the part you can get to the nitty-gritty of your experience, to demonstrate where you’ve perfected your sales skills and abilities.

 Most recent is selected on a search filter, with test that reads: Hint. Always order your job roles from most to least recent.

Always order your job roles from most to least recent, and include job title, name of employer and dates of employment.

For each job role, include 4 to 6 bullet points, describing your responsibilities, and your accomplishments throughout your time of employment. Ensure you highlight experiences that are relevant to the role you’re applying for.

Also use this an opportunity to include more appealing verbs, instead of “responsible for” use “successfully negotiated, collaborated, implemented”.

An infographic titled How to Use the PAR Interview Technique. There are three huge letters beneath it spelling PAR. Underneath P is the title Problem with text which reads: What was the problem you encountered? Underneath A the title is Action and the text reads: What action(s) did you take to resolve the problem. Finally R reads: Result, what result did you achieve through these actions?

It’s key to demonstrate how well you undertook the role, use the PAR (Problem-Action-Result) technique to structure your bullet points.

 

Industry experience

If you’re progressing your career into a specific industry, you need to demonstrate, both the experience and knowledge you’ve gained from within it.

There are a few essential elements to include, these are as follows:

  • What industries you’ve sold into  
  • The types of products you’ve sold
  • The types of customers you’ve sold to (e.g., consumers, emerging businesses, healthcare organizations)
  • Who you’ve worked with (engineers, product designers, managers, C-level executives)
  • Length of your average sales cycle
  • Quota achievement
  • Sales Vs Target performance, average value of deal, number of calls expectations or customer meetings per week

 

Customer experience

A customer's overall experience with a brand, positive or negative, is a major contributor to both long-term loyalty and sales. As a sales professional, you need to demonstrate to the prospective employer your ability to work with customers, effectively find solutions and ultimately, build long-lasting relationships that convert to repeat sales.

Include examples of your customer-focused approach and where you’ve successfully established relationships, throughout each role listed in your CV.

A smiling man in a suit sat at a table with two customers.

 

Qualifications and training

Split your qualifications and training into two parts, core (traditional qualifications, degree, A-levels etc) and additional (essential training or courses needed in sales).

In sales, it’s essential to keep on top of the competition, new technologies, consumer trends and behaviours, processes and new and tactful sales techniques. By demonstrating you’re a proactive learner in your CV, hiring managers will trust that you’re an expert in the field.

A person sat at a laptop with headphones on smiling.

 

CV Example


John Doe

Profile:

4-5 lines summarizing you and your background

 

Education:

2013 – CIM – Current Study

2008 – 2012 Sheffield Hallam University

1st Class Honors Marketing Degree

2006 – 2008 A-Levels (Business Studies – B, Media – A, English Literature – B)

2001 – 2006 GCSE’s (10 GCSE’s A* - B including English, Maths & Science)

 

Employment History:

Jayne Doe Manufacturing – May 2012 – Present

Jayne Doe Manufacturing are a £6m turnover business in South Yorkshire. They are a specialist steel tooling business with key OEM clients including Automotive, Aerospace and Engineering.

Sales Manager

Key Responsibilities:

  • Reporting into the Sales Director, I took full responsibility for a xxx
  • Responsible for xxx product range and increasing xxxx
  • Key Customer base includes: xxxxx
  • To meet regional sales financial objectives by forecasting requirements; preparing an annual budget; analysing variances; initiating corrective actions.
  • Forecasting monthly, quarterly and annual sales goals and identifying trends
  • Maintains and expands customer base by building and maintaining rapport with key customers; identifying new customer opportunities.
  • Acquiring a thorough understanding of key customer needs and requirements
  • Resolving key client issues and complaints as fast and efficient as possible
  • Interacting and coordinating with the wider sales team and other departments working on the same customer account to make sure the goals are aligned.
  • Planning and presenting reports on account progress, goals, and quarterly initiatives to share with Sales Director

Key Achievements:

  • Won Sales person of the year 2 years running
  • Yearly target was xxx and I hit xx in 2014 xx in 2015 xx 2016 xx in 2017 xx in 2018 and xx in 2019
  • Won 2 major customers which were xxx

 

Contact us

Our successful Sales division work with a range of sectors, from Blue-Chips to Green-Fields, publicly quoted to privately backed and not-for-profit organisations.

We currently have a number of fantastic and exciting opportunities across the UK.

Submit your CV to find out how we can help you take the next step in your sales career.

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