In some ways, sales representatives have an easier job quantifying their skills than many people in other positions. If you come in at or over sales goals; if you bring in hundreds or thousands of dollars of new business; if you have a high closing rate, you are already well on the way to convincing a company to hire you in a sales position.
If your measurable skills are confidential, give percentages or ranges (for example, “reached 130% over sales goal by closing a multimillion-dollar deal”). You should be sure to mention any awards you have received. Awards testify to your ability without requiring specific numbers.
You may be expected to have familiarity with a particular product or service (for example, new or legacy software, pharmaceuticals, or financial packages) or familiarity with a territory, industry, and specific type of client. You may need skill in certain software programs such as Salesforce.com.
But good numbers and experience in preferred areas are not the only accomplishments that recruiters and hiring managers expect in a stellar sales representative. They are also interested in soft skills such as:
- Your ability to communicate the customers
- The depth and speed of your understanding of products and services
- Your ability to adapt to the company culture
- Your networking and pipeline development skills
- Your ability to work with a team (remember: if your successes occurred as part of a team, they are still your successes)
- Your negotiation and closing skills.
For sales reps, these soft skills—especially the ability to connect with current and potential customers—are just as important as measurable skills. Sales reps need to be good representatives of the company’s products, services, and culture at every interaction.
As always, customize your resume for the position you want by carefully reading job postings and advertisements for the keywords and key accomplishments that should find a place in your resume. That way your resume covers both the measurable skills and the soft skills that companies are demanding.
I have written resumes for sales representatives in many fields, including technology, pharmaceutical, healthcare, and finance/insurance. Please contact me if you need help positioning yourself as the sales rep that any company would be happy to hire.