Not everyone can work in sales because it takes a magical combination of extroversion, confidence and likeability. But these soft skills don't come across on a resume, which must speak to other traits which matter to recruiters and hiring managers. That's according to Kevin Roeder, director of sales recruiting at LaSalle Network, a national staffing, recruiting and culture firm. Here are his words regarding what he looks for on a sales candidate's resume.
I like to see someone at a company for two or more years, showing progression within the organization. The first year of a sales role is the honeymoon year where the salesperson is getting accustomed to the role and what they're selling. In year two, they're able to show how strong of a producer they are, and it should only grow every following year because they're building on leads from the prior year.
2. Strong sales numbers.
Sales resumes should state how much revenue they either brought in or helped the company save. They should include the percentage to quota they have been able to maintain year-over-year, as well as how they ranked amongst peers. If they ranked in the top 20 percent of the sales team, how big was the sales team?
3. Internal accolades.
Any internal awards they won should be highlighted such as producer of the quarter or President's Club, as well as what needed to be achieved to win the award or get the recognition.
4. Extracurricular activities.
For fresh graduates right out of college who may not have professional experience, include any involvement in extracurricular activities and internships. While being part of associations doesn't showcase their ability to sell, it does show they took initiative to grow their networks. Athletics should also be highlighted with any stats or accomplishments while on the team. Athletes make for great sales people because they have the soft skills necessary to be successful in the role like being coachable, the ability to take the heat, working well under pressure and the ability to multitask.
5. Descriptions of each role.
In the list of accomplishments per role, candidates should use key words like results, quota number, cold calling, prospecting and competitiveness. They should explain how they developed their territories from scratch, and how the leads were generated, whether they were given to them, or if they sought them out themselves. Candidates should also include what products or services they were selling and to who.
6. Skip the objective.
Don't include an objective at the top of the resume. Instead, candidates should summarize who they are as a professional in a few sentences. An example is, "Four years of tech sales experience selling to C-level executives consistently exceeding yearly quotas." People who write an objective statement of what they're looking for pigeonhole themselves because they may not be aware of other opportunities available at the company.