Sales CV Example & CV Writing Guide
In this post we look at a Sales CV Example set out our “ultimate” guide to writing a stand out sales CV. In the guide we highlight best CV writing practices and what should specifically be in a sales CV.
We also couldn’t help ourselves by adding the most common CV writing mistakes that people make, just to make sure the CV you create using our sales CV example meets our exacting standards!
A sales role provides you the opportunity to enjoy a career that holds endless variety and the opportunity to make a real difference your bank balance!
Even though sales experts are in high demand, there is still healthy competition for vacancies at desirable employers, making the CV writing process critical to your success.
Table of Contents
The Profile Is Your Elevator Pitch
The professional profile is an important part of any CV, but for a sales CV its vital.
Having recruited many sales individuals over the years I have come to realise that employers view the profile of a CV as a solid indicator on how good the salesperson actually is.
When you approach a potential business target, as an experienced salesperson, you naturally develop a suitable pitch highlighting features and benefits to the client.
Think of your profile as a personal sales pitch, where you highlight your features (skills) and the benefits (achievements) that you can provide the potential employer. Do this in such a way that the profile is punchy, catchy and impressive, exactly the same as an elevator pitch
Essential Sales Skills
Put yourself in the recruiters shoes. If you were to search for your CV using a search program, like google, what skills would you use as the basis of your search? Make a list of them. I’m sure your list looks something
- Product Knowledge
- Goal Setting and Forecasting
- Self Motivation
- Client Acquisition
- Client Retention
- Time Management
- Written and Verbal skills
These are the skills that you must include in your profile, key skills section and employment history. Spreading them thought the CV will increase
your relevancy to sales roles, increasing your visibility to ATS and increasing your chances of selection.
In addition to meeting ATS criteria, using the recruiters language demonstrates that you are a great fit for the role and increases your chances of being selected by a human reader too
Achievements, Include Figures!
Most people struggle to identify achievements for a CV, but in my experience people in sales don’t have this problem.
Quantifying the achievements is where a sales CV falls short.
Many sales CVs state that they secured this contract or made the shortlist for that Client. If these are high profile contracts/clients, then that’s relatively impressive however both statements are missing a massive opportunity to impress the reader.
By adding figures to these statements elevates the CV from good to a gold standard sales CV.
The human readers eye will naturally identify figures in a body of text and be drawn to statements which include numbers. Combine this with the attraction of an applicant who is stating their sales pedigree by clearly stating their achievements this way.
It doesn’t have to be revenue that is stated, although it would be expected. You could state how you regularly exceed KPIs by 20% or that your conversion rate from appointment to order is 65%.
As a salesperson, you operate in a world of numbers so it will be easy to find some impressive figures to add to your sales CV. Just try to be as specific as possible as it creates a positive impression with the reader
Power Verbs For Your Sales CV
When adding your content to the Sales CV example, remember to make the text interesting which is easily achieved with the use of power verbs. Here are some that are relevant for a sales CV
A Perfect Sales CV Example
This sales CV example highlights how all of the above criteria can be combined to produce a highly effective CV that will secure interviews for sales roles at all levels.
Practical CV Writing Guide
Name & Contact Details
There’s no point putting hours of effort into writing a winning CV only for the recruiters not to know who to contact because you failed to add either your name or contact details. Most people simply add this section to the first page but this is a mistake if your CV is longer than 1 page. If pages of your CV are separated, for whatever reason, its essential that recruiters are still able to contact you. Simply ensure that your name and contact details are at the top of EVERY page.
Are you known by another name, other than your Christian name? Don’t be tempted to use this at the top of your CV, this may cause confusion at a later date. Simply use your official name, the one stated on your passport. Only when you get invited for interview is it right to mention that you prefer people to call you by another name.
One word of warning, when adding an email address to your CV, make sure it is business appropriate. I’ve lost count ho many CVs I have received over the last 23 years that contain nicknames, are gimmicky or words that could be construed as offensive.
To catch the recruiter’s eye and entice them to read your CV further, its essential to include a professional profile at the top of your CV. This should be a paragraph of no more than 5-6 lines that contains a summary of who you are, your skill level, the experiences you hold and achievements gained throughout your career.
When scripting this section of your CV its best to avoid using clichés such as keen eye for detail. These phrases are seen time and time again by recruiters and as such hold no value in including them in the profile. Be creative with your descriptive writing, if you need help then our 167 powerful verbs may provide some inspiration.
Most people think its their employment history that sells them to a recruiter. That’s wrong. It’s the skills that the individual holds is the ticket item that secures interviews. When you read a job specification, it is simply a list of skills essential for the vacancy, whether they are hard skills or soft skills. The employment history is one way of demonstrating these skills in action.
Therefore, its essential to include a well written skills section in your CV and not just a simple list of them. Select 5 skills that are appropriate the to the vacancy and construct a skills section around them providing specific information on each and when you most effectively used them.
Providing examples of skills, supported with achievements, will elevate your CV from good to great. Who wouldn’t want that?
What sells your skills and experience to recruiters? Your achievements. They provide a quantifiable way for the recruiter to ascertain that the claims your make in your CV are genuine and not simply added to grab the recruiter’s attention.
Adding a section purely devoted to highlighting your achievements will provide the perfect stage to amplify the reasons why a recruiter should select you for an interview. To make it more effective, remember to utilise bullet points to break up any large chunks of text in an effort to improve readability..
Not everyone has an employment history, however if your do its essential to use the reverse chronological order to list your various employment positions. This means that the most recent position is at the top of the section as it will hold the most relevant experience to the role to which you are applying.
When listing your positions make sure you include the following:
- The start and finish date of each position
- The name of the employer
- The position you held with the employer
- Description of the role and responsibilities.
To make this section as clear to the reader as possible its essential that you make good use of bold text and bullet points. Both of these techniques will ensure that the key points of your experience are easily identifiable by the recruiter and increases the readability of the section.
15 Mistakes To Avoid On Your CV
Name and contact details not on all pages
If laid out correctly, the header should instantly provide the reader with your name and contact detail and it should be on every page. Don’t make the recruiter hunt for this basic information.
Adding a photo
You want your CV to be judged on the merits of your achievements, skills and work history. You do not want a recruiter to judge your suitability for a position based on your appearance at this stage. Apart from this, a photograph is very subjective and no matter how professional recruiters are, there is always room for bias as they are, after all, only human.
Missing or inappropriate email address
A CV is effectively a sales brochure of you, the professional. Why would you either omit your email address from your CV or worse still use an inappropriate email address?
No clear section headings
To increase the readability of a CV it is advisable to break the CV up into relevant sections. These sections should each have a header that is differentiated from the bulk of the CV text by using bold or underlined text, just like this article.
No bullet points
Large chunks of text are very hard to read. To increase your chances of making that first selection, you need to ensure that the pertinent information is clearly visible and the easiest way to achieve this is with the use of bullet points.
Reverse chronological order not used
Writing your CV in reverse chronological order is the most advisable order should you be using the chronological CV format. Using this order requires you to place your most recent work history at the top of the employment section of the CV and work backwards in time.
Excessive details on interests and hobbies
Listing of all your interests is unwise as it only adds to the length of your CV and could distract the reader from the more important aspects. Only include interests they demonstrate skills useful to the workplace such as team sports
Adding date of birth to personal details
Under data protection guidelines, the inclusion of a date of birth on a CV is considered unwise. Should these details fall into the wrong hands, they could be used for the basis of identity theft.
Including details of references
Include referenced on a CV adds more detail which creates more opportunity for distraction, plus you could be opening the door to the referees being plagued with calls from recruiters which could have an adverse effect on your future relationship.
Spelling mistakes typos
A CV is no place for these errors. The only way to avoid this is to proofread your CV
CV over 2 pages in length
Under no circumstances should a CV be longer than 2 pages. Keeping the CV short improves the readability and ensures that the key achievements aren’t lost amongst a wealth of waffle!
Gaps in employment history
Don’t leave gaps in your career history and qualifications unexplained. They will only create questions in the recruiters mind and stop you from getting an invitation to interview. Add an explanation to justify the disjointed nature of your CV and settle the recruiters curiosity.
Create a professional image. Ensure your CV is written in 3rd person and sticks with this throughout the CV
Unless you are working in the design industry its best not to include colour in your CV. It’s a very subjective subject and why run the risk of losing an interview because the recruiter was put off by your colour scheme.
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