1. Keep the Formatting Simple
HR Staff and Recruiters are busy people. They go through hundreds of job applications each day; they certainly don’t have the time to decipher your skills from an overly designed resume – beautiful as it may be. Keep it simple by using basic fonts like Times New Roman, Helvetica and Arial etc. Avoid photos, colours, tables, and other artifacts. Be direct to the point about your skills and accomplishments, and keep formatting consistent and ideally in word format. Many Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) & Recruitment CRM’s use resume parsing technology to add your CVB to their database. If your resume cannot be parsed due to formatting issues you simply won’t get considered for that dream job.
2. Use the right Keywords
Because looking through resumes can be a tedious job, human resources and recruitment teams have turned to technology to make the process easier. Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) often uses keyword searches to help identify job seekers for specific roles. Often these can be industry or niche-specific (Banking, SaaS, Whole Foods etc…) and the wrong word in your resume can make all the difference in whether you get selected for an interview or not.
Don’t get caught out here, make sure you include the right keywords that get you pre-qualified. To do this, it’s advisable to search for similar job posts on job boards such as Seek, Indeed, Jora, , Adzuna, CareerOne and LinkedIn and look for keywords pertaining to the skills they require. You don’t want to copy it word for word though. Instead, sprinkle it throughout your resume. Be realistic and don’t lie about a skill for the sake of adding the keyword. Doing this prevents bots from weeding you out and will most likely land you that interview.
3. Talk about the tech
Good housekeeping matters. With more and more sales roles becoming remote or at least partially remote, employers are increasingly focused on CRM data. It’s useful to list the CRM software you have experience with. Employers want salespeople who can hit the ground running, can properly manage their client/lead lists and provide accurate reporting. With large volumes of resumes being received for each role, HR teams and employers are often looking for reasons to discount a job application – not mentioning the CRM software you can use could go against you.
4. Only Include Experience That Matters
Sure, you made a killing selling cupcakes in school but will that matter at the job you’re applying for? No. Whilst it’s tempting to add every work experience you’ve had, people are busy and only want to see the experience that is relevant to the job you’re applying for. Review the job requirements and only include work experience that the employer will care about.
5. Tell employers ‘how’ you are successful
You could be the top-performing sales rep in Australia but if your resume reads like a shopping list of responsibilities you’re not going to get a look in.
Employers want to know how you consistently deliver the numbers month on month and your resume should tell them (succinctly). Provide examples of how you;
- Identified new leads & nurtured existing ones
- How you leverage your network to make sales
- Handled objections and overcame obstacles to close the sale
6. Social Selling
Gone are the days of ‘door knocking’ to generate new business leads. With 60% of sales decisions being made online before a discussion with a sales rep even takes place, those that have mastered the art of social selling are in high demand. We’d recommend including any experience you have with social selling within the experience for past or current roles. If you’ve written company blogs, contributed to online sales tools, hosted webinars or created videos that are included in sales emails – make sure you mention this. Employers are not only looking for good sales skills but people who can innovate and find new ways to attract, engage and generate new sales opportunities.
7. Soft Skills matter
So you can sell ice to the Eskimos – that will certainly get you on the radar for most sales jobs but in 2022 it’s soft skills that are the most important differentiator. More and more businesses are focusing on culture, diversity and inclusivity and with comes less tolerance for salespeople who can’t also work well with the rest of the business and positively contribute to the company culture. Moreover, employers are seeking salespeople who can demonstrate the necessary skills to motivate, mentor and lead others. Including these skills on your resume and LinkedIn profile can definitely improve your chances of getting noticed.