Sales Resume Example & Writing Guide

This detailed guide with expert tips will show you how to make a sales resume that stands out and easily passes the ATS scan.
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Sales

Writing a professional sales resume is all about selling yourself, and that’s right up your alley.

However, when it comes to the specifics of writing a resume, you might be left with a question or two.

Still, you don’t need to worry—we've put together this handy guide to help you with everything from making a good first impression to closing the deal. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll know how to create an attention-grabbing, high-converting sales resume, so let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Your sales resume should be one page long in most cases.

  • A work experience section is often the most important in a sales resume, followed by skills and education.

  • Writing a catchy resume objective or summary can be the deciding factor between grabbing recruiters’ attention or having your resume discarded.

  • Submitting a personalized cover letter that matches your sales resume puts you ahead of the competition.

What is the Right Format to Use for a Sales Resume?

resume format

A good sales resume format will help you get your information across to recruiters in the best way possible.

There are three resume formats that have been proven over time and are much more commonly used than the rest:

Common Resume Formats

1. Chronological

  • Is suitable for the majority of candidates and, therefore, the most frequently used format out of these three.

  • Focuses on your latest (and often most important) achievements and experience.

  • Sections are systematically ordered and presented, which makes this format ATS-proof.

2. Functional

  • Emphasizes skills over experience.

  • Is perfect for candidates who want to make up for their lack of professional history by writing about their relevant abilities.

  • Might run into issues with the ATS due to its unconventional section organization.

3. Combination (Hybrid)

  • Combines chronological and functional formats into one.

  • Puts skills into focus but backs them up with extensive professional accomplishments.

  • Works well for seasoned sales representatives with lots of experience.

  • ATS-proof.

Resume Layout

resume layout

A resume layout deals with the visual aspect of your document. Its goal is to ensure that all the information you include in your sales resume is neatly presented and clearly visible. The following guidelines will help you achieve that:

Resume Layout Tips

  • You should use an adequate, resume-friendly serif or sans-serif font. Avoid over-the-top stylish and script fonts.

  • Font size for the body of text should be 10–12 pt, with section header font sizes ranging between 14–16 pt.

  • Having at least 1-inch margins on all sides and sufficient white space between the sections helps boost legibility.

  • You should use bullet lists over blocks of text whenever possible, as they express the same amount of information while being brief, concise, and more readable.

By using these sales resume tips, you’ll be able to display everything you want while keeping it to one page, which is the recommended resume length for most candidates.

What Sections Should a Sales Resume Contain?

Certain parts of your sales resume are required, while others are optional but can add tremendous value to your resume when used properly.

Here are the must-have sections:

Must-Have Sales Resume Sections

  • Contact information

  • Resume summary/objective

  • Work experience

  • Education

  • Skills

Then, there are optional sections, such as:

Optional Sales Resume Sections

  • Certifications and awards

  • Languages

And if you don’t want to create a resume from scratch, we invite you to try our resume-building tool! It offers a bunch of professional presets and handy features that allow you to change everything from your resume’s font to its layout in just a few clicks.

You can also customize and adjust the document without worrying that you’ll leave out something important. Even adding your information is as easy as it gets since you simply fill in the blanks, so you get a professional, ATS-friendly resume in a matter of minutes.

Sales Resume Contact Information

Functional Resume

Before you get to be all creative with the contents of your resume, you need to write a plain contact information section. To do that, simply include the following at the top of your sales resume:

  • Your name

  • Job title

  • Phone number

  • Email address

Optionally, you can list your location, but only if the job ad asks for it or if you’re applying for a position abroad. You could also add a link to your LinkedIn profile or a personal website, as long as it's relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Here’s what this looks like in practice:

Correct Example

Tamara Craver

Sales Representative

+ 410 808 1340

tamaracraver@example.com

linkedin.com/in/tamaracraver39

Now, everyone has heard stories of people applying for dozens of jobs and not getting a single phone call, only to realize they misspelled their phone number. So, to ensure that doesn’t happen to you, you should thoroughly spell-check and proofread this section.

Lastly, keep every bit of information professional, which means no witty job titles or funny email addresses made in high school.

Sales Resume Objective or Summary

Some recruiters skim through resumes for just a couple of seconds before moving on to the next ones, which means you have little time to grab their attention.

That’s why you want to start a resume with a captivating paragraph that can pique recruiters’ interest right away, which is what resume objectives and summaries do.

A resume summary emphasizes your most prominent workplace achievements, and it’s best used by experienced candidates.

On the other hand, a resume objective makes up for the lack of experience by focusing on your skills and career goals.

Entry-Level Sales Resume Objective

resume objective

If you’re an entry-level candidate, you likely don’t have much professional sales experience. Nevertheless, you can still make a compelling introduction to your resume with a resume objective.

You should talk about your skills and career goals to show that you have drive and potential even though you don’t have an extensive work history. Be brief and precise, and feel free to leverage any experience obtained through internships, volunteering, school projects, and similar activities.

Here’s a good example:

Good Example

“Highly-motivated sales associate with vast knowledge of consumer electronics. As an intern, worked directly with customers to identify their needs, find the best products for them, and promote brand loyalty programs. Seeking an opportunity to become a KPI-focused sales representative at [ABC Tech].”

For comparison, let’s strip this sales resume objective of all the specific details and valuable information to see what a bad objective looks like:

Bad Example

“New sales associate looking to join your team to gain first-hand experience.”

Sales Resume Summary

resume summary

Writing a good sales resume summary is all about condensing the highlights of your professional career into 2–4 sentences. You should add some of your most remarkable accomplishments to it to spark hiring managers’ interest and entice them to keep reading.

Let’s start with a good example:

Good Example

“Goal-oriented sales representative with 6+ years of experience and over $1.5M in sales. Passionate about data analysis and performance increase through empathy, attentiveness, and innovation. Notable achievements include increasing leads by 19% in 2021 for [XYZ Company] by creating tools that identify potential customers. Looking to leverage my skills and expertise to assist your growing brand with national aspirations at [ABC Company].”

Now check out a poorly written example that features no substantial data:

Bad Example

“Experienced sales representative with refined people skills looking to join your company and help you grow your brand.”

With no concrete results and achievements shown, this resume summary is pretty much on par with an entry-level candidate’s resume objective.

Sales Resume Work Experience

work experience resume

Nothing beats work experience when it comes to perfecting your sales prowess, which is why recruiters usually spend most of their time examining this section. That’s why you should make it the primary focus of your resume.

General Tips

For best results, you should use the following format when adding work experience to your sales resume:

  • Job title

  • Company

  • Dates

  • Results and achievements

While adding the first three items on this list is fairly straightforward, the fourth point is the one you want to focus on to make your work experience section pop.

For starters, this part of your sales resume should have bullet points for legibility. Add 3–5 for every previous job you include. Also, while mentioning responsibilities is acceptable, you want to get the most out of the results and achievements you have obtained.

Sales is all about numbers and results. When you use exact numbers and percentages to back up what you've done, it makes your accomplishments much more solid and impressive.

Similarly, compelling action verbs and power words are some of the best things that make your sales resume stand out. They do for your resume the same thing a good copy does for a product—grab attention, positively affect the consumer (in this case, the recruiter), and boost conversion rates.

For example, instead of using terms like:

  • Made

  • Organized

  • Led

you should try going with:

  • Conceptualized

  • Spearheaded

  • Influenced

Sales Representative With No Experience

no experience resume

If you don’t have any professional history, you can always include other types of experience in your resume. Academic projects, internships, volunteer work, and freelance work relevant to the job you’re applying for are all welcome on your job application. You could even consider mentioning relevant hobbies or extracurricular activities that have something to do with the field you want to work in.

Let’s examine the work experience section of a candidate who leveraged their internship to create a professional section:

Correct Example

Work Experience Ticket Sales Intern MovieWorks South Portland, ME January 2022–August 2022

  • Increased the number of annual memberships by 19% by utilizing a customer-centric approach.

  • Helped customers make reservations and buy tickets over the phone.

  • Exceeded projected quarterly goals by 25% by upselling 3D projection tickets.

The applicant made the most of their few months of internship by using a bullet list with measurable results that were supported by numbers.

Experienced Sales Representative

Those who have a lot of work experience should highlight only the most relevant and impressive achievements.

If you decide to include more than one previous job, you should do so in reverse-chronological order. However, keep in mind that the jobs you had a long time ago probably aren’t as relevant or important anymore.

Here’s a brief but information-packed and highly impactful work experience section from a senior sales associate:

Correct Example

Work Experience Senior Sales Associate FlairCo Rock Hill, SC October 2019–Current

  • Conceptualized sales initiatives to increase lead generation by 12% every quarter.

  • Utilizing an empathic approach with customers resulted in a 35% increase in the close rate.

  • Switched priority to sales of high-margin products, resulting in a 3% gross margin increase year-on-year.

Sales Resume Education Section

education resume

Education might not be as important as professional history, but it’s great at adding credibility to your resume.

This section is especially important if you have little to no work experience.

To add the necessary education details to your resume, you should follow this format:

Sales Resume Education Section Format

  • Your degree

  • Name and location of the institution that issued it

  • Years of attendance

Here's what that looks like when put into practice:

Correct Example

Education

Bachelor of Arts in Communication

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

2016–2020

  • Honors: Cum Laude

  • GPA: 3.75

You can also add your high school diploma, but only if it’s your highest one. Otherwise, it’s considered obsolete information.

On the same note, it's a good idea to include your degree in your sales resume even if you don't have it yet. You can either omit the graduation date and put “current” instead or write “expected” next to it if the date is set.

Sales Resume Skills

skills to put on resume

Since work experience is the bread and butter of a sales resume, many candidates think that they should simply create a list of skills to add to their sales resume. However, there’s a bit more to it.

One of the best ways to approach this part of your resume is to research the job ad. Sales is a vast field, and there are many different skills involved, which is why it’s crucial to list those relevant to the position you’re applying for.

Once you have a list of skills recruiters are looking for, you’re halfway there. All that remains is to choose the ones you believe you possess and put them in the skills section. 

Also, you should talk about some of the most important ones in other parts of your resume. You can show off a skill or two in your resume's objective or summary and in the section about your work experience. The benefits of this approach are two-fold:

  1. Skills act as keywords for the ATS and help you pass the scan easier.

  2. Including skills next to relevant accomplishments makes them more convincing in the eyes of recruiters.

Sales Skills

Here are some of the best sales resume skills to add to your document:

  • Product knowledge

  • Lead prospecting

  • Lead qualification

  • Customer needs analysis

  • Contract negotiation

  • Client relationship management

  • Presentation skills

  • Closing sales

  • Time management

  • Teamwork

  • Empathy

  • Listening

  • Persuasion

  • Problem-solving

  • Flexibility

Sales Resume Optional Sections

Optional sections help you emphasize certain skills, qualifications, and accomplishments you haven’t already mentioned in other parts of your resume. They are also perfect when you want to add a dose of personalization to your sales resume.

Certifications & Awards

What better way to show how serious you are about your work than to list relevant certifications and awards?

These two can be amazing assets to your resume, as they:

  • Show that you like to exceed expectations

  • Add more credibility to your skills and knowledge

  • May serve as an extension of your education/work experience section. 

You should list them in order of importance, along with the date you received them and the issuing organization. Here’s an example:

Correct Example

Languages

Communication is key in sales. That makes knowledge of foreign languages a vital skill if you’re working with international clients and associates.

When adding this section to your resume, you should list languages based on your levels of fluency, starting with the one you’re most proficient in.

Speaking of that, here are the proficiency levels you can use to describe your language knowledge:

Language Proficiency Levels

  • Native/Bilingual

  • Fluent

  • Proficient

  • Intermediate

  • Basic/Beginner

Should You Submit a Cover Letter With Your Sales Resume?

cover letter

Unless a job ad specifically asks you not to write a cover letter, you should definitely submit it with your resume using the following format:

Cover Letter Format

  1. Your contact details

  2. The recruiter’s or hiring department’s information

  3. Opening paragraph—specific to the job ad, highlighting your key skills and achievements

  4. Body of the letter (1–3 paragraphs)—where you expand on why you’re the best person for the job through more of your professional accomplishments and results obtained

  5. Closing paragraph—that features a call to action

  6. Formal sign-off

Expert Tips for Creating a Sales Resume

To wrap up this comprehensive guide with a bang, here are several expert tips that will help you tweak your sales resume to perfection:

  • It’s often better to finish the rest of your resume before writing a resume summary or objective. That way, it’ll be easier to actually summarize your resume and extract key points to add to this introductory paragraph.

  • Speaking of objectives and summaries, you shouldn’t use personal pronouns while writing them. The focus should be on the company you’re applying to, and all the benefits you can bring to their team.

  • Since most resumes should be one page long, you can use a cover letter to give recruiters more information about you, instead of merely repeating what you already included in your resume.

  • By creating a professional sales resume with a clear structure and without mistakes or spelling errors, you indirectly highlight your organizational skills and attention to detail.

Closing Thoughts

Congratulations!

You’re now armed with knowledge and ready to sell yourself with an impeccable sales resume. If you follow the guide from start to finish to create a resume from scratch, you’ll have a job lined up for you in no time

Sheila Kravitz
Sheila Kravitz
Content Writer & Head Editor
By day, Sheila Kravitz writes stellar content and works as a head editor. At night, she spends her time winning at trivia nights or playing Dungeons & Dragons with her friends. Whether she’s writing or editing, she gives her maximum effort and ensures no error gets past her watchful eyes. When she’s doing none of the above, Sheila likes to spend time with her cats and her partner, endlessly watching crime documentaries on Netflix.

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