Sales Resume Examples, Skills and Keywords

There are several types of positions in the sales world, each with its own responsibilities. Here's how to write a sales resume that sells your skills and gets you the job you want.

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Sales resume samples

Salespeople are a critical part of keeping businesses profitable. They answer customer questions about products, suggest solutions to customer problems, and bring in sales for their employers. A great salesperson needs to have excellent interpersonal skills and knowledge about their products. However, the various types of sales positions have unique responsibilities beyond just selling things.

If you’re considering a career in sales, it helps if you understand what’s expected of different sales roles. You need to target your resume to the demands of a specific job, not just the field in general. Submitting a resume that shows you’ve done your research is a great way to introduce yourself to potential employers.

In many ways, applying for a job is just a matter of selling your skills. You may be qualified for several sales roles, but your resume should target one at a time. If you were trying to sell a product to a businessman, you’d focus on different details than if you were selling to a young family. You should adjust your focus the same way when you’re applying to other jobs.

The best way to learn how to sell is to study the techniques of other salespeople. You can learn how to write an excellent resume for the three most popular sales positions by reading these sales resume examples.

Sales associate resume example

Sales associate roles are an easy way to start your career in the industry. You can find them at most retail stores. A sales associate is generally responsible for managing the store floor, keeping products stocked, checking out customers, and encouraging customers to sign up for reward cards. Great sales associates use their customer service and multitasking skills to help keep the store running smoothly. They connect with in-store customers and help them find the products they need while still completing other assigned tasks. A sales associate job is the first rung on the ladder to higher sales positions. This sales associate resume shows how you can highlight your communication skills to make a good impression.

Sales manager resume example

Sales managers are in charge of the general sales team and strategies. They find new staff, manage current salespeople, and implement strategies to increase revenue. A sales manager will help resolve customer complaints and support their team. Still, they usually focus heavily on administrative tasks instead of making sales themselves. ‌ To succeed in the position, sales managers need to understand their company's products, target audience, and marketing strategies. Some sales managers are promoted from lower sales roles, while others move into the field after managing related departments. ‌ This sales manager resume shows how you can use your experience in different positions to prove that you're qualified for the role.

Sales representative resume example

Sales representatives are responsible for end-to-end client management. They research and reach out to new leads, negotiate with potential customers, close deals, and support customers after a sale. Depending on the business, a sales representative may also represent their company at trade shows or network with stakeholders. Many sales representatives earn commissions, so their compensation is directly connected to their ability to close deals. That means they need an in-depth understanding of the products and services they offer, along with time-management and communication skills. This sales representative resume example uses hard numbers to demonstrate the writer's previous achievements in sales.

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Sales resume skills and keywords

Sometimes, all it takes to make or break a sale is using the right words. The same goes for your resume. Employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter out candidates who don’t include the right sales resume keywords in their applications. Mentioning the right keywords and sales skills in your resume can help you get an interview so you can sell yourself in person.

Top 30 for sales roles

  • Interpersonal skills
  • ‌Public speaking
  • ‌Verbal and written communication
  • ‌Relationship building
  • ‌Resilience
  • ‌Persistence
  • ‌Independence
  • ‌Time management
  • ‌Multitasking
  • ‌Recruiting
  • ‌Research
  • ‌Storytelling
  • ‌Prospecting
  • ‌Negotiation
  • ‌Collaboration
  • ‌Social selling
  • ‌Curiosity
  • ‌Active listening
  • ‌Product knowledge
  • ‌Problem-solving
  • ‌Customer service
  • ‌Adaptability
  • ‌Coaching
  • ‌Empathy
  • ‌Closing
  • ‌Computer literacy
  • ‌CRM software
  • ‌Conflict resolution
  • ‌Confidence
  • ‌Work ethic

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Salary expectations for popular sales roles

There’s always demand for excellent sales staff. While entry-level sales positions may not have the highest base salary, they often offer commission. More importantly, once you gain experience in the field, you quickly become eligible for higher salaries.

$30,373
Sales associate
$55,976
Sales representative
$118,885
Sales manager

Education and certification requirements for sales resumes

Entry-level sales positions rarely have strict education requirements. In most cases, you can begin your career in sales with a high school diploma. However, certain degrees and certifications can help you advance more quickly or demand a higher salary.

For example, many salespeople have associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in:

  • Marketing
  • Communications‌
  • Business
  • Psychology

These degrees give you a better understanding of how people operate and how to convince them to make a purchase. They also give you better written and verbal communication skills, which are crucial to modern sales flows.

You can also get sales certifications that may make you a more attractive candidate. For example, companies specializing in consultative selling may look for Certified Professional Sales Consultant (CPSC) certificates.

Finally, if you want to work in regulated fields like real estate or insurance, you’ll need industry-specific licenses. The specific license you need will depend on your state. Many employers are willing to fund the licensure process if you have a strong track record in sales.