A successful job search requires extensive research, and one of the most effective research methods is to use top keywords to your advantage. One of the main ways that applicant tracking systems (ATS) judge candidates is by using resume keywords. These are the specifics that vary from job to job, such as educational requirements, software programs, and more. The higher the number of keyword matches between your resume and the job posting, the higher your resume is ranked.

The above word cloud above was generated using the text from 10 sales associate job postings. The larger the word is, the more times it appeared in the postings.

Keywords for sales resume

  • Accounts
  • Business
  • Calls
  • Clients
  • Closing
  • CMS
  • Communication
  • CRM
  • Develop
  • Driven
  • Experienced
  • Goals
  • Identifying
  • Leads
  • Motivated
  • Products
  • Relationships
  • Sales
  • Team
  • Verbal

Keyword notes

First, a quick note: “CMS” stands for “content management system,” and “CRM” stands for “customer relationship management.” These tools are an absolute necessity for many sales jobs today. If you aren’t familiar with them, find a Skillshare class to learn the basics. Salesforce is a well-known CRM, and WordPress is a well-known CMS.

The main thing that stood out about this word cloud is that “driven” and “motivated” both appear—even though they are synonyms. The trait is so important to sales careers that it showed up among the most common words twice.

If you’re applying for sales jobs, your resume needs to demonstrate that you are motivated and driven. Synonyms to watch for in job postings, or to use yourself, include:

  • Ambitious
  • Determined
  • Enthusiastic
  • Persistent
  • Tenacious

The important thing to remember about using adjectives to describe yourself on your resume is that they’re meaningless on their own. But they’re powerful if you can put them in context. To highlight soft skills on your resume, work them in to your accomplishment statements. Anchored by evidence, your soft skills become powerful.

Targeting your resume keywords for sales

Check out Jobscan’s list of the top 500 resume keywords. To personalize your keywords, try Jobscan’s skills comparison tool. Just upload your resume and paste into a job description to see which resume keywords you’re missing (among many other resume checks).

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Trista Winnie

Trista Winnie has been writing and editing professionally for nearly a decade, primarily covering the job search, investing, engineering, and health.

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