Few of us are experts at resume writing, but when you’re trying to secure that ideal Genetics Sales job you just heard about, you’ll need to up your game and prepare the perfect sales resume to get the attention of a hiring manager or genetics recruiter. What exactly is it that captures the attention of hiring managers?
Your resume needs to be professional, persuasive, and directly on point. It’s the very first glimpse a hiring manager will have of you, and as the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
Your goal with a resume is to catch the attention of a hiring manager, so that he/she will be intrigued enough to pass your resume on to the next person higher up in the hiring process. Once you get to that step, it’s likely you’ll be called in for an interview, and that will call for a whole different set of skills.
Everything you need to create the perfect sales resume is described below, so even if you’re not an expert at resume writing, make sure you include all the things a potential employer is looking for on resumes. Hopefully, your resume will stand out in some way, and you’ll get that all-important call to come in for a face-to-face interview.
A word about fonts
You might not think the font makes much difference when you’re resume building, but it’s good to keep in mind that you’re not preparing the resume for yourself – you’re preparing it for a hiring manager who will be reviewing your resume to decide whether or not you should be advanced to the next level. That means you should use a very easy to read font like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman. These fonts are easy on the eyes and allow your resume to be absorbed at a glance.
For each of the section headers, you should write them in bold so they stand out. This is especially helpful to managers who are looking for specific areas of interest, for example, your Academic Career. Many reviewers in fact, do just that – they browse down the page looking for the areas which are of specific interest to them, while glossing over other sections, or skipping them entirely.
However you choose to format your resume, make sure that the same formatting is maintained throughout the document for the sake of consistency. Never use multiple format types as that will only confuse the reader, and it just won’t look right.
Probably right at the top of your sales resume, you should include a short and to-the-point paragraph about your career objective. This will tell any hiring manager a lot about you. It will show whether you have any real ambition or drive, it will show whether you’re shooting for the moon or you prefer the status quo, and it will give the manager a glimpse into your psyche.
Your career objective should be similar to a sales pitch, and the features and benefits of a product you might sell are very similar to the skills and knowledge that you would bring with you to the job. Like every product brings benefits to the buyer, your skills, knowledge, and abilities will bring benefits to any employer that hires you, so you have to make sure the manager understands what those benefits are. You should do your best to customize this career objective section to the job description which is associated with the position.
Of course, that means you’ll need to have a copy of that job description so you have something to work with, and to synchronize your skills to. Any of the skills you reference in your career objective section should include the keywords provided in the job description you originally read and were attracted to….This will help to ensure your resume ends up somewhere near the top of the heap, especially if an application tracking system (ATS) or a search engine was used in the posting and screening for this position.
Detailed employment dates
Using months and years in your resume will alleviate concerns of gaps in your career. If you do have gaps, don’t try to hide them with creative methods. Most people do not go through continuous employment between the ages of 18 and 65, so there are going to be some times when you were simply looking and waiting for the right job to come along. If you try to avoid showing employment gaps by omitting dates and years which you were employed, it will serve as a red flag to a hiring manager, and they will be much more suspicious of what you might be hiding. There’s absolutely no shame in being out of work and on a job search, so own up to this to prevent the manager thinking something much worse about you.
Include descriptive job titles
For each job that you formerly held, include a title which describes the role you actually performed for the company. If the actual title you were given at the company is only understood by people at that company, then just craft one which adequately describes your function on the team. A functional title can be thought of as one which describes what you were responsible for, as opposed to any title which may have been used in-house by your peers or supervisors. For example, it would be much preferable to describe your job title as a Capital Equipment Sales Manager, rather than the Director of Transfiguration Titration … whatever.
Describe your job duties
For each relevant job from your past, you should include a short paragraph which describes what you were responsible for in that particular role. Don’t use bullet points for this description, as you should save them for more important things. This should be a short paragraph comprised of no more than two or three sentences, and it should allow the reader to have some understanding of your responsibilities in each of the positions you held previously.
Make reference to your sales skills
There are two main benefits you will get from referencing all the essential sales skills which you acquired on previous jobs. Keywords from your job description will have the effect of optimizing your resume, so that it will be forwarded on to hiring personnel at the next level. That’s when your resume will be reviewed by recruiters, and when you include language which recruiters understand, you’ll make it more obvious that you’re a good fit at that company — you’re worth calling in for a face-to-face interview.
Some examples of the kinds of sales skills which would be good to identify on your sales resume are product knowledge, goal setting and forecasting, attention to detail, time management, self-motivation, organization, written and verbal communication skills, closing sales, and client acquisition and retention.
List of your achievements
Next, you should add between three and five bullet points about your achievements. Note that achievements are quite different from your job responsibilities, and you’ll want a hiring manager to know what kinds of achievements you had in each of the positions you held in the past. Of special interest to a reviewer would be anything you achieved which made you stand out from your peers and which may have raised you up a level above other employees.
These achievements could be exactly the kind of reason why a hiring manager might be interested in you, and why they would want to hire you over someone else. Most really good managers are aware that past performance is typically the best predictor of future success, so by showing someone what you’re good at and why they should hire you, you’re giving them an actual reason to choose you rather than someone else.
When you do describe your achievements, make sure to use real metrics and real numbers, because business leaders understand numbers better than anything else – there’s something comforting and alluring about quantifiable things. For instance, if you achieved 115% of your specific goal on another job, this would be a good thing to include on your sales resume. Things like how you attained #1 status nationally by selling the most widgets in the state of Illinois will always stand out – or that you exceeded your quota each year by more than 20%. All these quantitative measurements are solid gold in recommending you to a hiring manager.
Length of your resume
There used to be a good deal of debate about how long your resume should be, with many people claiming anything over a page would end up in the Circular File. That perspective, thankfully, seems to finally have been put to rest, and most hiring managers do actually prefer a more detailed resume. They need that detail to inform decisions about candidates.
At the same time, your resume should not be overly long, and it shouldn’t be stuffed with irrelevant information just for the sake of making it seem more impressive. Any hiring manager worth their salt will quickly sift through all the garbage to find the points which matter, but after they do, they will be annoyed that you forced them to dig. Clarity and precision are a must.
Make your resume as long as it has to be to include all the important information described above – just don’t get carried away. A multi-page resume will require that the reviewer spend more time on it, and they’re not always in the mood to do that. Make it just long enough to provide the details about your career so it will entice someone to set up a personal call with you.
The last step
When you think you’ve included everything relevant which legitimately defines your career to this point, the last thing you should do is thoroughly proofread your resume. Don’t make a hiring manager find your grammatical errors, because that will, at the very least, be a knock against your written communication skills. Avoid using run-on sentences, check your spelling, make sure you have subject and verb agreement, and check to make sure your verb tenses are correct for the time frame you’re referring to….
Write in a concise, clear way so that people can read the resume quickly and easily. Don’t try to impress anyone by using words which you ordinarily wouldn’t – write your resume as if you were talking to someone in the room, and make every word and sentence understandable.
It is also a good idea to read your resume aloud to yourself. This will ensure it makes sense all the way through, and you’ll identify any flaws in sentence structure or phrasing. If your reviewer has to backtrack and read a sentence or paragraph multiple times, chances are you won’t be getting a phone call.
We are here for you
Whether you are interested in learning more about how to recruit the best possible talent in your space or you are seeking a new role, we are here to help. At Cerca Talent+, we employ all the best strategies and more to ensure the top candidates engage with the best companies to build incredible futures. We will tirelessly work to ensure you fulfill your goals by exceeding expectations every day. If your interested in learning more, reach out to me, Scott Rivers, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.