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What to include on the ideal sales CV

You may know that your future lies in sales. You may even have found the perfect job vacancy. But the first step is always convincing a potential new boss to talk to you in the first place. Your CV is where it’s at. Think of your CV as the way to get your foot in the door so you can be selected for interviewing. So it has to be crafted for the exact role you’re applying for.

Tailor your experience for every role you apply for

Making sure your skills reflect the role you’re applying for is vital. The best way to do this is to carefully research the company before applying. Note down their products, services, attitude and general vibe. These days it’s simple to find out lots about the company you’d like to work for with a quick Google search. Check whether they have Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and don’t forget to utilise LinkedIn. Armed with your background research and the job description, adjust your experience to reflect the products and services they sell. It may mean a slight tweak of your core CV or you may find yourself completely rewriting paragraphs to better reflect specifics. If a job description isn’t on the original advert, contact HR or, if applying through an agency, the recruitment consultant to get as much information on the role as you can.

Be specific about your skills

Avoid the urge to list your skills and experience without qualifying details as this won’t tell the employer or recruiter anything about you. The trick is to reflect what you feel they want using your experience, skills and employment or education history. Time spent on this part of your CV is never wasted, and can help you stand out from the crowd. Remember that many employers and agencies give CVs more than around 30 seconds of time at first glance, so you need to be able to communicate succinctly and well. Pay a lot of attention to a personal statement at the head of the CV, particularly if you don’t have a lot of work experience. Here is where you would be able to convey your skills, attributes and relevant qualities, regardless of whether you have already worked in sales or are fresh out of university.

Think about transferable skills

If you’re concerned your experience isn’t relevant, have a think about transferable skills. For example, if you have worked in hospitality while studying, you can extract team working, customer service and much more, all of which would be relevant to a sales position. Presentation and communication skills can come from your experience while at school, college or university. Employers do take on board skills acquired in different sectors and during education, particularly if you have projects you can use as examples. Your statement should show what you achieved in some kind of measurable terms, whether that’s grades, targets that you have hit, events you have worked at or any other value you added to your past roles. Finally, make sure you spellcheck and proofread - after all this effort you don’t want to lose out on an interview because of a typo or mistake that can easily be rectified. Ask someone else to read your CV before you submit it to cover all bases. Good luck!