How to sell your sales CV
They say you cant sell a salesman. Well you’re going to have to ignore that saying if you want to put together a winning sales CV that will get you an interview opportunity. There are some key challenges you face if this is your aim:
They’ve heard it all before
Salespeople are used to big claims. They’re usually the ones making them after all. This means they are unlikely to be as impressed by big words as others may be. Claims you make will be scrutinized and they will be sure to test whether or not you have what it takes to back them up.
Targets, target, targets!
Sales is essentially all about targets, either you hit them or you didn’t. the figures don’t lie. There will no place to hide underperformance on a sales CV. Can you demonstrate a track record of achievement?
I know, I know. You’ve been taught to sell the sizzle, not the sausage. However sometimes you can focus so hard on selling yourself and your achievements that it raises the question of why you actually want the job you are applying for. Remember your sales CV will be judged by salespeople if you are going to get hired. Salespeople appreciate the truth that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Here is a rather crude example from my experience; an applicant described at length in their CV how everything they had ever done had been a success. The hiring manager raised the question that if this was the case why was a 35 year old man with the Midas touch applying for a £12000 per annum position at the “bottom“ of the organisational ladder? Perhaps this was a case of not quantifying exactly what had been achieved and relying on grand statements. Beware.
Solutions to the challenges of the sales CV
There is only really one solution to the challenges above; Keep it real
Real means to talk in actual facts. Remember, they will be most impressed by the cold hard facts of your performance. This time the statistics don’t lie. Its your actions, not your words. So for every grandiose, bold, hyperbolic claim, make sure you have some figures to back yourself up. Did you grow a team? Give them the numbers. Hit target? Give them the numbers. Made record sales? ……yep, give them those numbers.
to help you think about the achievements in your role and how you will get them down on paper.
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