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Advice for Creating a Sales Resume

06.14.12   |   Job Search & Career   |   Sean Cashman, Senior Consultant at Treeline Incorporated

What is Your Resume Telling People?


What is your resume telling people? I know what you are saying - "My resume is stellar!! It is telling them about all the successes and accomplishments with each role I have held throughout my career"...but what is your resume telling people about you?! Is it really articulating all the bells and whistles about your back ground? Is it accurately representing you? Your resume is your marketing material and if you are not painting a clear picture of who you are and what you can bring to the table, companies will not call you.

In this market it is more important than ever for you to be upfront and honest about what is on your resume. If you misrepresent yourself in even the slightest way, you are in danger of being quickly disqualified from a potential opportunity. I am not saying that you can't omit that short stint with a company 10 years ago, but be prepared to talk about it and why it is not on your resume.

What I want to discuss is what your resume is telling people. Is it telling people about who you are and what you have done in your career OR is it telling them what you want to be? One of the biggest crimes that most candidates commit is that they position themselves in this market as something they are not and potential employers do not know what to make of them. A perfect example is a candidate who has been an individual contributor for most of their career - gets promoted to a management role for a short period of time with limited success and now only wants to talk about their leadership experience. This is a very limiting way to approach your search.

When you are looking for a new role, play to your strengths. If you are a top producing sales professional, you should be talking about your activity, your quota attainment, your ranking, sales awards, etc. You should not be talking about how you trained 3 sales reps and that you are cut out for management. This will create confusion for the hiring manager and s/he will not even bother interviewing you.

Play to your strengths and good things will happen. If you want a management position, but you only have limited leadership experience - you should still be considering individual contributor roles but with companies that are offering upward mobility, early stages of growth, and even start ups. These types of opportunities will get you to where you ultimately want to go and you will get there by allowing your resume to accurately represent you - Make sure your resume is telling people the right things.

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