Are you tired of your sales associate resume getting lost in the sea of “results-driven” and “goal-oriented” jargon? Have you noticed how too many resumes end up filled with generic buzzwords and phrases that fail to stand out?
Fear not, fellow sellers of goods and services, for we are here to help you spice up your job application with a combination of professionalism and wit. A touch of personality can help your resume stand out and showcase your unique skills and accomplishments in the best way possible.
You’re a sales master, so crafting the perfect sales associate resume to promote yourself properly should come naturally to you. This article is simply going to give you a nudge in the right direction.
A one-page chronologicalsales associate resume is the most common format-layout combination.
Make your work experience section stand out by using bullet points for conciseness, numbers for quantification, and power words for noteworthiness.
If you have a modest work history, you can describe academic accomplishments, volunteer work, internships, and similar activities to make up for it.
Show dedication and willingness to go the extra mile by writing a job-specific cover letter to submit with your resume.
What is the Right Format to Use for a Sales Associate Resume?
The easier your sales associate resume conveys information to the reader, the better it is. That’s why you should decide on which format to use for your resume before you delve into details.
A resume format dictates the order of sections in your document and the organization of information in them. There are a select number of proven formats that have been tried, tested, and optimized to show recruiters exactly what they want, when they want it.
The most popular format of the bunch and the one the majority of candidates use is the chronological resume format. It’s the go-to configuration for applicants with steady work histories who have one or more jobs within the same industry to show.
The chronological resume format highlights your latest job, as it’s often the most important one. Moreover, it lists the rest in reverse-chronological order, creating an orderly view of your professional experiences. Another upside to this format is that it works well with the ATS.
If you’re an entry-level candidate with little to no work history, you can opt for a functional resume format. It makes your skill section pop, showing them as your biggest strengths and drawing attention away from your work history.
Finally, highly experienced sales associates who can take advantage of the combination—or hybrid—resume format. This format also focuses on skills but also backs up each one with impressive workplace accomplishments. It’s also great for applicants who are changing careers and want to highlight some of their transferable skills.
Now that we’ve established what a resume format is and how to get the most out of it, let’s do the same with the visual part of your resume. The goal of a strong resume layout is to make your document visually appealing and easy to scan, read, and take information from.
This is crucial both for making a good first impression and creating an overall pleasant reading experience for recruiters and potential employers. Here are the parameters to consider when working on the layout of your sales associate resume:
Length. Most resumes should be one page long unless the candidate has decades of experience.
Font choice. Resume-friendly fonts should be clean, professional, and easy to read. Think Arial or Helvetica, not Comic Sans or Papyrus.
Font size. In general, the regular text size should be 10–12 pt, with headings being 2–4 pt larger to create a visual hierarchy.
Line spacing. Single-spaced paragraphs are neither dense and hard to read nor loose and visually uncomfortable.
Margins. Having at least one-inch margins on all sides of your resume will make the document look neat and professional.
White space. Enough space between the sections helps you separate different parts of your resume and contributes to its readability.
File type. In most cases, you should submit your sales associate resume as a PDF file, though some job ads might ask for a Word file. Keep in mind that applicant tracking systems generally can’t parse image file types such as JPG or PNG.
What Sections Should a Sales Associate Resume Contain?
With the format and layout out of the way, let’s talk about the actual contents of your sales associate resume. There are two types of sections each resume should have.
Mandatory sections represent the crux of the document. There are 5 of them, and they are:
Optional sections build on mandatory ones to add more value to your resume, make it more personal, and help it stand out from the competition. There are many sections that you could include in your resume based on your needs and circumstances, including:
Licenses and certifications
Hobbies and interests
With this newfound knowledge, you can start working on an outline for your resume immediately. But before you start writing your sales associate resume from scratch, you should give our resume builder a try. It can help you speed things up and ensure you don’t make any mistakes or forget to include something important.
Our resume builder comes with plenty of ready-made templates and configurations for every industry. Whether you're looking for a customer service sales associate resume sample or a template for a retail clothing sales associate resume, you'll find it here.
Once you’ve made your pick, you can change fonts and colors, add and remove sections, fill in the blanks with your information, and your resume will be finished in no time!
Sales Associate Resume Contact Information
Contact information is a basic section that every resume should start with. Should recruiters like what they see in your resume, they are going to use the details from this section to get in touch with you. This is what it needs to contain:
These are essential bits, but you can always include additional pieces of information, such as:
Your LinkedIn profile
Your title doesn’t just describe your specific role; it also serves as a keyword for the ATS. That’s why it should precisely match the requirements listed in the job ad. Speaking of accuracy and precision, you also want to double-check your phone number and email address to ensure there are no typos.
Moreover, your email address needs to be in a professional format. Something along the lines of “firstname.lastname@example.org” looks far better in a business environment than “email@example.com.”
As for the optional details, adding your location is an outdated practice. You should only include it if the job ad asks for it or if you’re applying for a position abroad. Even then, simply listing your city and state is enough.
On the other hand, a LinkedIn profile is something recruiters generally want to see. It allows them to learn more about you, which is why you should try to add this part whenever possible.
Let’s put all that into practice and see an example of a contact information section:
Contact Information Example
+ 619 823 1046
San Diego, CA
Sales Associate Resume Objective or Summary
We touched on the importance of first impressions. Just like they are crucial in sales, they are vital in resume building, too. That’s why you want to start your resume with a highly impactful and catchy paragraph that emphasizes your key strengths in 2–4 sentences. This section is called a resume objective or summary, and you’ll use one or the other depending on your circumstances.
As a new sales associate who doesn’t have a lot of (if any) professional experience to showcase, you should write an objective for your resume. Its purpose is to show your potential to recruiters by leveraging your skills, motivation, and career goals.
On the flip side, experienced sales associates should go with resume summaries. As the name suggests, a summary’s goal is to spark the recruiter’s interest by putting your most prominent professional accomplishments on display. Give them a taste of what you’re capable of, and they’ll keep going through your resume to find out as much as they can about you.
Sales Associate Resume Objective
There are several highly valuable bits of information that can make your sales associate resume objective strong. You should mention a relevant degree if you have one, as well as a couple of highly sought-after skills in the field.
You’ll also gain bonus points with recruiters if you display a clear intent to work for their company in particular. It can also be highly beneficial if you mention your long-term goals that align with theirs.
Lastly, feel free to mention any relevant experience in the sales or customer service industry that can make you look like a better fit for their organization.
Here’s a good example:
“Diligent recent graduate with a BA in Communication. Looking to leverage the refined interpersonal and communication skills obtained working as a hotel receptionist to successfully fill the position of an entry-level sales associate at [your company]. Eager to ensure customer satisfaction while learning about retail business processes.”
And here’s a bad example for comparison:
“I have recently finished college with a major in communications, and I’m looking for a job to put my skills into practice.”
Sales Associate Resume Summary
When you’re writing a sales associate resume summary, it’s usually a good idea to start with the years of experience that you have in the field. From there, you can continue by showcasing a couple of your most relevant sales skills before pointing out one or two notable work-related achievements.
Here’s an example of a well-written resume summary:
“Customer-oriented sales professional with more than 5 years of experience in the field. Proven collaboration, communication, and persuasion skills. Notable achievements include utilizing a user-centric approach, which resulted in exceeding sales targets by 7% and generating $420,000 in new revenue. Seeking a senior position to help your company maximize revenue.”
If you fail to include the important details in your resume summary, you’ll end up with a bland-looking one, like in the following example:
“Sales associate with years of professional experience looking for a challenging position where I can utilize my skills and knowledge."
Sales Associate Resume Work Experience
Past professional activities often offer a good insight into a candidate’s potential. That’s why the work experience section is generally the most important one in a resume and why recruiters spend a lot of time examining it carefully. Let’s find out how you can get the most out of it.
Before we dive into the fine details of your work experience section, let’s start with a basic structure to follow:
Company and its location
Start and end dates of employment
Bullet list of achievements and results obtained
You should follow this structure for every previous job that you list in this section, which should be done in reverse-chronological order. However, don’t just add any role, part-time gig, or side hustle to your work history section. Your past experiences need to be related to the position that you’re applying for.
Here are a few tips that will help you make those experiences truly stand out and portray yourself as a capable individual:
Focus on achievements and results over everyday tasks. You want to show your excellence, which is why you should emphasize impressive accomplishments instead of the daily assignments that any employee can do.
Use bullet lists since they convey the same amount of information as paragraphs while being much more concise and easy to read. Having 3–5 bullet points for each previous job helps you show enough competence without overburdening the whole section with too much content.
Include numbers, percentages, and statistics to add tangible value to your results and achievements. Use them to showcase the times when you exceeded KPI goals and convince recruiters and potential employers that you can do the same at their company.
Utilize action verbs and power words to make your work experience section (and your entire sales associate resume) stand out. By implementing terms such as “coordinated,” “evaluated,” “conducted,” and “identified,” you’ll stand out from the crowd of other candidates who cram their resumes with overused, everyday words.
Sales Associate With No Experience
Even if you’re only starting your career, you can still make a catchy and professional resume. All the general rules and guidelines apply when you’re writing a sales associate resume with no experience. The difference is that you’ll look into alternative activities instead of sales work.
For instance, you can create a work experience section out of information about your internship or volunteer work. Moreover, a previous job that requires skills and competencies similar to those of a sales associate can also come in handy.
Let’s take a look at an example where a candidate showcased their experience working as a cashier to indicate their potential:
March 2021–February 2022
Collaborated with the store manager on devising and implementing new sales strategies and promotions, resulting in a 13% increase in sales revenue.
Assisted customers in quickly finding desired items, leveraging upselling techniques to generate additional 11% in revenue.
Maintained a 99% customer satisfaction feedback survey rate by utilizing refined customer service skills.
Experienced Sales Associate
Experienced sales associates will generally have a lot of accomplishments and results to show to recruiters. Even if you belong to this group, you should follow the outlined formula and not overdo it with every minor achievement. That could produce a counter-effect and reduce the overall quality of your work experience section.
Instead, mention the feats that demonstrate your seniority. Have you helped your company gain more customers or generate more revenue? Did you maybe train and mentor new recruits? All of that will paint you as a senior in the field and a highly competent candidate.
Here’s a good example:
Senior Sales Associate
Senior Sales Associate
New York, NY
Consistently exceeded monthly sales targets by up to 21%, resulting in more than $1.7 million in revenue generated over the past 4 years.
Established and cultivated relationships with over 150 clients, boosting repeat business by 30%.
Leveraged extensive product knowledge and used upselling techniques to increase the value of an average transaction by 17%.
Tracked customer interactions using CRM software to boost their retention rates by 23%.
Mentored 5 new sales associates, increasing their sales performance by 45% within their first 3 months.
Sales Associate Resume Education Section
The purpose of your education section is to add trustworthiness to your skills and make you more reliable in the eyes of recruiters. So even though you don’t need a degree to have a stellar career as a sales associate, listing one will certainly increase your chances with recruiters.
Just like with the majority of other sections of your sales associate resume, there’s a clear format to follow when you want to add your diploma:
The institution issuing it
Years of attendance
(Optional) Notable achievements and results
As you can see, the formula is rather similar to the one you should use when writing your work experience section. Not only that, but these two sections are often interlinked.
For starters, they complement each other to portray you as a capable and qualified individual. Moreover, if you have a modest work history, you can put more emphasis on your education by including optional details such as extracurricular activities, school projects, abroad studies, relevant coursework, and more.
Let’s see an example:
Education Section Example
BA in Communication
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Relevant coursework: Sales Fundamentals, Negotiation Skills, Business Communications, Digital Marketing, Sales Management, Psychology of Selling
It’s common practice to only list your highest degree, though you can, for example, add both your master’s and bachelor’s degrees. There’s no need to include your high school diploma, though, unless it’s your latest.
On the other hand, you should add your college information even if you’re still a student. You can either put an expected graduation date and mark it as such or simply place “current” instead.
Sales Associate Resume Skills
Relevant skills are a must-have tool under any sales representative’s belt. A list of such abilities on a resume can easily differentiate you from other candidates.
By carefully examining the job ad and looking into the company that you’re applying to, you’ll find out what works for the specific employer. That will usually be a specific collection of both technical and transferable abilities. That’s why you want to make sure that you feature a strong collection of both hard and soft sales associate resume skills.
After adding a concise catalog of your abilities to your resume, you should also demonstrate your skill set for maximum effect. That’s why it’s essential to include a couple of your vital abilities throughout your resume.
Your work experience section bullet list is the perfect place for this, and so is your objective or summary. Put a skill or two next to a relevant accomplishment or a result obtained, and you’ll prove them to recruiters.
Here are some of the technical, hard skills to add to your sales associate resume:
Soft skills are transferable and interpersonal, often boosting your effectiveness as a sales associate. Some of the most desired ones in this field include:
Sales Associate Resume Optional Sections
Optional sections can be highly impactful, as they allow you to personalize your resume and add valuable information that can help you stand out from the competition.
Licenses & Certifications
There are many reasons why listing licenses and certifications can be tremendously important for your resume. For starters, they show commitment since you’ve taken the time and effort to obtain them, which then gives you more credibility with recruiters.
This is one of the easiest ways to get a competitive advantage when applying for a job. Not only that, but licenses and certifications can even be legal requirements for certain positions.
In today’s global economy, an increasing number of businesses operate in different regions with diverse languages and cultures. Therefore, proficiency in foreign languages not only improves your communication in these markets but also gives you cultural understanding, helping you better understand customers’ needs and preferences.
Hobbies & Interests
By talking about your hobbies and interests, you can easily build rapport with recruiters and potential employers. They make you more than just another candidate. Furthermore, they are great conversation starters for when you get to an interview.
Should You Submit a Cover Letter With Your Sales Associate Resume?
If you want to maximize your chances of success, you’ll write a position-specific cover letter to submit with your resume. You should use it to talk about your drive and motivation, showcase more of your skills and accomplishments, and create a more personal connection with the recruiter.
Expert Tips for Creating a Sales Associate Resume
These final few expert tips will help turn your resume from great to magnificent:
Since an objective or summary represents a short description of your sales associate resume, it’s often best to write them last.
You can use software like Grammarly to help spell-check your resume. Moreover, you should ask a friend to give it a read before you submit it.
Use a cover letter to give more valuable information to recruiters instead of just repeating what you already said in your resume.
Turn your LinkedIn profile and email address into hyperlinkswhen submitting a soft copy of your resume.
In conclusion, a great resume is not just a laundry list of your skills and accomplishments but a reflection of who you are as a person. While it’s imperative to demonstrate that you’re a results-driven professional, don’t forget to show your sociable side.
In the world of sales, humor and relationship-building abilities go a long way. So don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Good luck, and may your resumes be as memorable as your sales pitches!