Sales careers can be found all over the UK. Companies across the country rely on their sales force to promote their business, bring in new customers and drum up sales. And for many companies this is the most important part of their business.
Sales staff are required on a regular basis – a quick search on Google will demonstrate just how many sales opportunities are out there. Whether you have worked in sales before and want to create a bespoke CV to send to an employer or you’re interested in making a career change and applying for a sales job, read on to gain some CV writing tips:
What Is a Sales Role?
Sales roles vary depending on the company you work for and the type of sales you are involved in – most share the same responsibilities though. You’ll usually be tasked with speaking to potential customers (either via the telephone or face-to-face), learning product/service information so you can inform customers about them, using your skills of persuasion to sell to customers, negotiating, writing up quotes and hitting targets.
There are so many different roles out there but job roles can include working in telesales and canvassing/cold calling prospective customers, working on the road and travelling to customers, working at company events or managing and selling to existing clientele.
What Key Skills Are Required?
There are a variety of key skills that would be beneficial for a career in sales. Good rapport building skills, negotiation skills, problem solving, innovation, good telephone manner, target driven and the ability to work alone as well as in a sales team are just a few of the skills an employer might be looking for if advertising for this role.
What Qualifications Are Required?
You don’t actually need any specific qualifications to work in sales. Most companies require some previous experience and a basic level of education like GCSEs and A Levels. If you have a degree it can be advantageous but it’s not essential. A lot of companies offer in-house training and you can also attend sales training courses and gain qualifications and certifications – some people do this whilst working to add to their career portfolio.
CV Writing Tips:
- Show previous experience. When writing your CV and applying for a sales role you should try to show the employer that you have previous experience with talking to customers and building client rapport. If you have previous sales experience then ensure you include it and list the company name, the job title and your general responsibilities. When listing your responsibilities and your previous job role, you should try to personalise it to the job role you are applying for. Look at the job description to pinpoint exactly what the role entails and reflect your experience in the work experience section of your CV. For example, if the employer is looking for someone to ‘manage client relationships over the telephone’ look at your own work experience and highlight times where you have dealt with customers on the telephone. Showing an employer this will build confidence in your application and will demonstrate you can already do the job. If you are lacking previous sales experience then try to identify roles where you have completed similar tasks and responsibilities. So, using the example above, if you can show another role where you have liaised with customers on the telephone then an employer is going to want to find out more about your application and what you can bring to the role. If an employer can’t see some transferable skills on your CV then they may dismiss your CV.
- Highlight your key skills. As mentioned above, there are quite a few key skills that are seen as desirable by employers hiring sales candidates. Whilst many of them aren’t essential, you’ll massively increase your chances of securing a job interview if you can show an employer that you possess desirable skills. Use the key skills section of your CV to bullet-point the skills you feel you have and the skills you feel that are relevant to the role. This will mean an employer can quickly scan through your CV and pick out the key information more easily.
- Include figures. Sales roles are normally focused around hitting targets and making sales so showing that you have at least a little experience in this can be vital for your CV success rate. If you have worked in a previous sales role then highlight your sales figures, OTE or any company goals you achieved in the achievements section of your CV. If you do not have experience in sales, try to outline other figures that might be of interest. For instance, outlining details of customer retention figures you helped to achieve, the number of customer phone calls you took in an average day or a project you worked on that can show your negotiation and team work skills.
- Show you are dedicated to targets. This is a vital part of a sales role – the main motivation in a sales driven role is monetary and is normally about hitting targets to gain commission. You can show you are target driven in your career objective – just outline your ambitions and why you want to progress.
- Show you are ambitious. Ambition is a popular quality with employers – an employer looking to hire for a vacancy wants to know that the candidate they select will have the desire to succeed in the role and can help them grow their business. You can show your ambition in the hobbies section of your CV – whether you play for a sports team and have won a trophy or you have completed a marathon for charity – this is a great section to show off your ambition and demonstrate your personality too.