“I would like to move to a sales job. How do I write a sales resume, when I have no sales experience? I have helped our company’s sales team with client communications and client accounts. Should I put that in my new resume to help?”
Before you begin writing a sales resume, first think about what the transferrable sales abilities you possess that are specific to sales jobs.
You mentioned in your question that you have helped your company’s sales team.
So, the goal is to identify the specific sales skills you have — as well as anything you’ve done in other areas that are sales related (e.g. social media, advertising).
Not sure of all that’s considered “sales related”? Are you curious about what hidden sales experience you have?
Here are 7 questions to answer to identify your sales abilities to help flesh out your sales resume:
1. Are you involved with customer service/relations, account management, and relationship building?
2. Do you help the sales department with sales reporting? Sales goal tracking?
3. Any participation with conceptualizing sales presentation ideas, developing outlines, or putting together presentations?
4. Do you have involvement with social media sales strategies? How about multimedia marketing (e.g. video)? PPC advertising? How about traditional marketing strategies, such as (e.g. sales flyers) and corporate communications (e.g. company newsletters)?
5. Have you helped save a client relationship/account?
6. Do you assist with cross-selling, up-selling, or down-selling? Any selling tools (e.g. CRM) you use to do this?
7. What about the company’s CRM? Have you set up email drip campaigns or broadcasts?
Once you start answering questions like these, you’ll uncover relevant, transferable skills to beef up your sales resume further.
Remember, it’s not whether you’ve done these but also that you supported these.
Your sales resume could include sentences like these:
- Processed routine CRM updates, adding and removing clients from various email campaigns, under the VP of Sales guidance.
- Collect PPC data from Facebook and Twitter and provide an in-depth report used by management to identify additional advertising opportunities.
- Serve as first point-of-contact for customer issues, answering emails and phone calls, as part of the account management team.
Here are more skills you might have:
- Scheduled Sales Calls
- Performed Customer Support
- Handled Certain Client Projects
- Processed Client Communications
- Reported on Sales Activities
- Supported New Product/Service Innovation
What if you want to gain sales skills and experience?
Okay, let’s say none of the above applies to you.
Maybe you’re in a job that has ZERO involvement with sales and therefore you have NOTHING to include in a sales resume.
Are you wondering how to gain sales experience?
Let me first say that getting a job in sales with no existing experience isn’t difficult.
In fact, there are companies out there that don’t require much (if any) sales experience from new hires. These companies often have proprietary sales training programs they send new hires through.
Cintas is a company that comes to mind. This company provides new sales reps with an impressive training program that has received high marks from employees. In fact, I’ve written sales resumes for several former Cintas sales reps.
And, they were all impressed with Cintas’ sales training program.
Embrace your lack of sales experience
Start by reviewing the job openings that say “no sales experience” required.
You can further fine-tune these results in Indeed’s search box by adding your zip code or city/state.
Once you’ve exhausted the above search query, here’s an Indeed list of inside sales jobs.
Inside sales generally don’t require previous selling experience and therefore can be easy to obtain.
Keywords For Sales Resumes
When you’re ready to begin writing your first sales resume, it’s important to weave relevant keywords/key phrases into your content.
This is important even when you don’t a LICK of sales experience because of ATS systems. ATS stands for applicant tracking systems.
Here are keywords/key phrases (skills) that are generally found in sales job descriptions and therefore may be applicable to your sales resume:
◊ Client Account Management
◊ Customer Service/Customer Relations
◊ Account Development
◊ Competitive Product Positioning
◊ Direct Mail Marketing
◊ Customer-Centric Sales Presentations
◊ Sales Lifecycle Management
◊ Public Relations
◊ Sales Forecasting/KPIs
◊ New Product Introductions
◊ Multimedia Marketing Communications
◊ Multi-Channel Sales Growth
◊ Business Development/New Sales
◊ Corporate Communications
◊ Sales Team Support
◊ Product Line Introductions
◊ Market Research, Analysis, and Reporting
◊ Cold-Calling/Lead Development
Example Resume Content for Your Sales Resume
Transitioning from one career or industry to sales can be challenging.
Yet, certainly very doable.
You just need to change your mindset a bit when it comes to your sales resume.
For example, let’s say your job was in a call center. In a roundabout way, you’re involved in the sales process.
Therefore, you can insert select sales skills and tasks into your resume that will benefit your new focus.
A sample sentence could be, “Remedied client inquiries and complaints, which subsequently generated a high repeat and referral business.”
This sentence would be even better if you can guesstimate an amount of repeat/referral business that your efforts help sustain.
Or better yet, provide sales figures for the sales department you support or offer brush-stroke details within your resume.
With sales figures in hand, you could expand the sentence even further with something like this:
“Remedied client account inquiries and issues, supporting more than $935,000 in new business — up 13% from 2015.”
As you can see, any time you can add numbers and percentages in your sales resume, you’re fleshing out the sales experience you do have.
Therefore, stacking the odds in your favor to ensuring your resume produces top results for you.
Okay, now let’s talk about the summary of your resume.
Quite arguably this is the most troublesome area for most to write for those with no experience.
Because you’ve never held a sales role, you’ll want to take a slightly different approach when writing your resume.
For example, your resume summary could use sentences like these:
- Experienced supporting a sales team, which will translate well when taking on new job requirements, such as prospect sourcing, cold calling, relationship building, and prospect/client follow-up.
Did you see what I did there?
I started by mentioning that you’ve supported a sales team. Then, I was able to bend the rest of the sentence so I could integrate more sales-specific skills into the content; e.g. prospect sourcing, etc.
Pretty cool, right?
Here are some additional resume summary sentences to consider:
- Able to produce solutions-based customer presentations that outline best practices for clients to additional revenue.
- Advanced skill level for creating PowerPoint presentations and using SalesForce/other CRMs.
- Educated at the retail level, which is a heavy customer-facing role. Learned how to identify and resolve issues before the customer recognized there was an issue.
There you go.
The above outlines just about everything you need to know about writing a sales resume, even when you have no sales experience.
As your sales career progresses, you’ll identify quickly that there are other more advanced jobs in sales to pursue, such as:
- Account Executive
- Sales Manager
- VP of Sales
- Director of Sales
- Sales Trainer
Sales is an ideal job role especially when you craft your selling skills and begin earning higher salaries and commissions.
The average commission for sales reps is up to 15% of gross sales.
Not bad, right?