Getting a job in sales is about inspiring confidence in your ability to set meetings and close deals. Both of those things lead to the only metric that really matters: dollars of product/service sold.
That’s why numbers are the most important aspect of any sales resume. It doesn’t matter if they’re sales numbers or not. You want to use as many metrics as you can to show the scale and skill associated with your performance.
Beyond that, you want to prove that you have experience in customer-facing roles and the ability to steer business conversations in the right direction. Before you panic, we want to assure you there are plenty of ways to do this without having prior experience in a sales or account management position.
Showing The Numbers 101
This step is pretty straightforward. You want to turn any written-out numbers (like “ten” or “thirty”) into actual numerals (“10,” “30,” “1,242”).
This does violate the normal conventions of written grammar, in which you only use numerals for larger numbers, but you’re looking for a job. Now’s not exactly the best time to quibble about grammar. (That is, unless you’re applying to be the copyeditor at the New Yorker, in which case, quibble away!)
But this is sales we’re talking about. It’s about showing that you can work with great volume to great success. Try turning your qualitative (descriptive) experience into numbers. Like, instead of “Data entry,” try “Organized more than 12,000 points of data for business team.”
Stuff that has nothing to do with sales or metrics can still stand out as a number.
Even a volunteer position can be turned into numbers. Take your volunteer gig as a political canvasser and transform it into hard numbers: “Executed on door-knocking campaign with more than 700 households visited” and “Raised $3,000 for the campaign of John Politics, Sr.”
The same can be done with club leadership experience. A great way to turn your extracurricular experience into relevant data for your resume would be to follow something like this example:
President of College Democrats
- Managed club with more than 30 annual meetings, 50+ members, and 5 annual conference events
- Oversaw administration of $10,000 budget
- Raised $12,000 for political causes, future club events, and speaker series
Numbers are a way of breaking up the long text of resumes and showing that you’re already thinking like a sales professional.
Show That You’re All About The Customer
Experience interacting with clients, customers, and potential money-spenders of any kind is really important for sales.
This can come in the form of a customer service or retail sales position, of course. But also jobs like cashier, technician, or even manual labor can be translated to customer service experience. Even something like a camp counselor can be great, because you had clients (the campers) and their parents (the customers).
If you phrase this type of experience (which is really common among college students and recent grads) the right way, then you can turn an irrelevant data point into a huge value-add for your resume.
A lot of sales positions involve cold-calling (making a phone call to people not necessarily expecting one), lead generation (tracking down the right people to buy your product, finding their info), and being persistent. There are ways that people in all types of positions do this
You’ve Got Six Seconds To Shine
Your resume has got an average of six seconds in front of a recruiter or hiring manager. And even that might even be a generous estimate.
You’ve got to hit these two points hard and fast if you want to get them interested. Put the numbers on early and often, because they interest sales recruiters in a big way. Plus, use the more text-heavy bullets to showcase your customer-centric attitude.
The best part is, if you can do this, you’ve just hooked your first customer. The rest is smooth sailing from there.
Ready to prep for all those interviews, negotiations, and first days of work to come? Check out more career tips at the WayUp Guide.