How To Write An Effective B2B Sales Resume

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Wondering how to write an effective b2b sales resume? If you are looking for a new sales job, perhaps you should be.

How to Write a B2B Sales Resume by B2B Sales Connections

Over the years, I have seen hundreds, maybe even thousands of B2B sales resumes. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them did nothing to help the applicants obtain employment.  In fact, in most cases, it did the exact opposite!

What is the Purpose of a Resume?

The purpose of your resume is to move you to the next step in the hiring process.  That could be the initial interview, or it could be to complete personality, compatibility or skills test. No matter what it is, if your resume moves you forward, it was effective. 

So why are even the best B2B sales professionals being passed over by their desired employers?  Most times it is because the sales professional, in an attempt to sell themselves on their resumes, never proved to the potential employer that they could actually sell their product or service!

A Sales Resume Must Be Accomplishement Based

A sales resume must be accomplishment based. Anyone can say that they are an 'overachiever' or a 'sales superstar'. However, if you do not quantify your successes, you are actually raising hiring red flags as opposed to lowering them. By not showing your numbers, the recruiter thinks, 'Is this candidate trying to hide less than stellar sales results?'

Simply put, the key to how to write a b2b sales resume is to list your sales accomplishments.

How to Highlight Your Sales Accomplishments

To highlight your accomplishments, each listing in your employment section should discuss specific areas. This includes your responsibilities, your achievements, and the skills you developed while holding this position.

In the achievement section, you can also focus on your daily activities as a B2B sales professional, as many sales managers believe that consistent daily activity is an accomplishment! This format is a very effective way to show your potential employer what you have done, how well you have done it, and whether the skills you have learned are transferable to their company.

How to Write an Effective B2B Sales Resume (With Template and Example)

    Make Your Resume Scannable

    The format of the resume itself must not just be readable, it must be able to be scanned. In other words, the reader should be able to scan your resume in just a few seconds and still know where you have worked, and the positions that you held. This is accomplished by the spacing and font formatting that you use.

    Include the Right Keywords

    Do recruiters use a keyword search when reviewing resumes? You bet they do! If you were a recruiter, and had 400 email resumes in your inbox each morning, you would hit 'control F' keys to find and quickly weed through them too. In fact, to speed up the resume review process even further, many companies and HR departments are now using software to scan the resumes they receive.

    Here is a list of the must use keywords for an effective B2B sales resume.

    Should You Include Volunteer Experience On Your Sales Resume?

    Should you include your volunteer experience on your resume? Absolutely! Since a recent LinkedIn Poll showed that 41% of hiring managers consider volunteer experience equally valuable as paid work, the question really becomes why not!

    If you are just entering the workforce and you keep hearing, 'No one will hire me without experience and I can't get experience if no one will hire me?', then volunteering could be the key to getting your career started on the right path. For more information on how to get started, check out No experience – It won't stop you from getting a job if you know this job hunting secret by Robert J. Weese.

    How to Write A B2B Sales Resume – Include the Right Volunteer Experience

    If you are an experienced job searcher and you are not sure what volunteering experience you should include on your resume and what you should leave out, check out Should you include volunteer experience on your resume? by Katherine Reynolds Lewis.

    Access 100+ job boards and search thousands of sales jobs, all in one place on the B2B Sales Connections Job Board!

    7 Things You Should Not Do On a Resume

    How to Write a B2B Sales Resume Mistake 1 – Make your contact information hard to find 

    Your contact information, including name, address, phone and email, must be front and center on page 1.  Only list a phone number and email address that you want potential employers to use.  Ensure that there is the ability to leave voice mail and check your spam folders.  A recruiter will rarely call back twice!

    How to Write a B2B Sales Resume Mistake 2 -Not correct spelling mistakes  

    Not a day goes by when I don't receive a resume with a spelling mistake on it. Some of them are even from Vice Presidents! Studies show that spelling mistakes could automatically eliminate you from consideration. After all, nothing says that you do not pay attention to details louder than having spelling mistakes in your resume! 'Fore and four', 'two and too' and 'your and you're' are not interchangeable.  Spell checkers however will not catch these types of errors. Therefore, you must find them the old fashioned way with proof reading.  Check out these funny resume spelling mistake examples from the real world.

    How to Write a B2B Sales Resume Mistake 3 –Make it longer than 2 pages  

    Managers and recruiters are extremely busy people. The task of reading resumes is a necessary evil on their road to success.  As such, no matter what, the length of your resume must not exceed two pages.  I don't need the annual report from every company that you worked for.  I just need to know your responsibilities, your achievements, and the skills you developed while holding this position.  If your resume is longer than 2 pages, edit it.  Anything longer is not being read anyways, so what's the point?

    How to Write a B2B Sales Resume Mistake 4 -Not leading with your best  

    The main headings of your resume should be:  Employment History, Education, Other Skills and Activities.  If your education is your best, lead with it, but if your employment history is your greatest asset, put it first.  In my opinion, your future career goals are to be discussed in an interview, not listed as the lead on your resume.  Besides, for a recruiter, after reading resumes for hours, everyone's career goals start to sound the same!

    How to Write a B2B Sales Resume Mistake 5 –Submitting obscure file formats 

    As most resumes are submitted by email, you must create and submit it using a file format that the employer can read.  Sometimes this is specified in the job ad itself.  If not, then use Microsoft Word .doc or Adobe .pdf format.  If this is not possible, then use rich text .rtf format.  Virtually every word processing program can create and read this file format.

    How to Write a B2B Sales Resume Mistake 6 –Make it hard to read 

    Too many fancy fonts, not leaving any white space in the margins, or adding animation to be funny do nothing to enhance your resume.  All it does is distract the reader from the information they are trying to assess.

    How to Write a B2B Sales Resume Mistake 7 –Address it to the wrong person 

    There is no excuse for this!  Yesterday I received a resume addressed to 'Sunsan'.  Addressing your resume to the wrong person or misspelling the company or contact name is guaranteed to have your resume filed in the round filing cabinet otherwise known as the garbage can!

    How to Write An Effective B2B Sales Resume

    To download a free copy of our white paper How To Write An Effective B2B Sales Resume, visit the B2B Sales Connections Free Download Centre.  It goes into great detail on all the important points on how to write an effective b2b sales resume discussed in this post.

    The white paper also includes a resume template that encompasses the suggestions discussed.  It is the same format that I have used successfully for many years.  It was given to me by one of my university professors as it had worked for him for many years. 

    More importantly, as a sales manager, if I received a resume in this format, I would be reaching for the phone to set up an interview before I reached the end of page two! And since I would be, you better make sure you prepare for your sales interview.

    Job Search Tracking Worksheet

      While you're there, be sure to download our Free Job Search Tracking Sheet! This is critical if you want to start searching the hidden job market.

      How to Make an Effective B2B Sales Resume Even More Effective? Always Use a Cover Letter

      One last note. Studies show job seekers who apply to online job ads with both a resume and cover letter are 5 times more successful in landing interviews when compared to candidates who only include a resume. Not sure how to write a cover letter when applying for a sales position? Here’s a gender neutral cover letter template that works.

      Are You Looking to Make A Career Change?

      Are you looking to make a career change? For detailed instructions, step by step, on how to find your perfect sales job, (and by perfect, we mean perfect for YOU), check out our eBook, How to Find Your Dream Sales Job – The future is yours to create! How to write a resume to grab the attention of sales recruiters, a gender neutral cover letter template, what you need to include in your LinkedIn profile, how to prepare for a sales interview, what to wear, how to access the hidden job market, how to evaluate a job offer, how to resign from your current job …. IT'S ALL IN THIS BOOK!

      Tired of looking through countless and irrelevant job ads? Check out the new and improved B2B Sales Connections Job Board! Search thousands of jobs for any location from all over the internet. You can even create job alerts to have the latest sales jobs delivered right to your inbox!

      Aim Higher!

      Susan A. EnnsB2B Sales Coach and Author
      Schedule a free sales coaching strategy session with Susan here.

      “… what I can tell anyone, is simply this – If you want to learn and understand sales, talk to Susan.”

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