How do you stand out from the crowd when every sales candidate looks the same from a distance? It starts with your resume and ensuring yours makes the right first impression.

Make sure your resume flows well. Don’t bury the lede by detailing your current position below a mountain of education and previous experience. Start with your current job and work backward from there, making sure to include important information up-top like:

  • Current position title
  • Dates of employment
  • Responsibilities
  • Use descriptive action words and phrases like developed, created from scratch, built a territory, cold prospect, calls a day, etc
  • Details relevant to the position you’re interviewing for

That last bullet point is so important, it deserves a closer look.

Tailor your resume to the position. While that’s not earth-shattering advice, far too many candidates use a generic, one-size-fits-all resume – 54% to be exact.  And that makes differentiating yourself much harder than it needs to be.

For example, if you know an open sales position requires building a book of business from scratch, then be sure to highlight that sort of experience on your resume. I’m not saying you have to reinvent the resume wheel every time, but be sure to focus on anything relevant for the job.

Flaunt your success. Numbers are always important in sales, no matter the industry. That means numbers are vital to an effective sales resume as well. So don’t be afraid to tout your accomplishments, using specific proof of success whenever possible.

Did you win a particular sales award? Or maybe hit 150% of your sales quota? That’s the type of information that speaks to your potential and helps you stand out to a hiring manager or recruiting specialist.

Keep it concise. A wall of solid text is off-putting and sometimes even overwhelming for the reader. That’s especially true for an HR rep tasked with screening dozens, sometimes hundreds of resumes in one sitting.

Obviously, ‘off-putting and ‘overwhelming’ aren’t adjectives you want to associate with your resume. Instead, think of it as a single-page elevator pitch on your background and relevant work experience, not your life story.

Sweat the details. Even the best salespeople aren’t often detail-oriented. And that’s definitely something that can work against you when you’re a candidate for an open sales position, especially on your resume.

Small details like spelling, grammar, or even job gaps really stick out to a hiring manager. Therefore, if your resume has typos, errors, or anything confusing, the chances of earning a first interview sink like a stone.

From a broader perspective, don’t forget the entire process – from your resume to the final interview – is an opportunity to sell yourself. That’s become an unofficial motto here at Pursuit and the surest way to separate from the pack, no matter how crowded the hiring funnel might be.