As a skill, the ability to sell is one of the most impressive and important to learn as a professional. It’s been said that if you know how to sell, you’ll always have a job. But the ability to sell doesn’t negate the need for a top quality professional resume when on an active job search. Here are three sales resume mistakes to avoid:
1. Lack of Quantitative Information
As a job function, sales is metric-heavy and numbers-based. Whether you have been successful or not in the past with your sales roles, it is important to include as much quantitative information as possible. Mention your quota, and whether you have been able to match or exceed it year over year. What about key performance indicators? Make note of how many dials or interactions you needed to hit each month as a target. Quantitative information bolsters the aesthetics of your resume, and help hiring managers determine whether you have an understanding of the demands of a sales role going forward.
2. Steer Clear of a Hybrid Resume Format
The cut-throat and bottom-line nature of sales can often mean that even the most successful and skilled salesperson can have stumbling blocks throughout their career. If you do have short stints at various companies, it can be tempting to lean towards utilizing a functional or hybrid resume format. Do your utmost to avoid using either of these formats, especially if you have a number of years of experience under your belt. The hybrid resume format, especially, can confuse hiring managers who are looking at dates and timeline. Any distraction or obstacle during the review stage can be detrimental for a sales position candidacy.
3. Keep Your Resume Short and Succinct
Insights from our partner recruiters and research group indicate that hiring managers like nothing less than to parse through a resume that is more than two pages long. For the most part, unless you’re in academia where a CV is necessary, most careers can be intelligently laid out on a well-formatted, professional resume of no more than two pages. This is especially true with sales resumes, where much of your accomplishments will be numbers-driven.