Writing a resume can be a daunting task. Boiling down your professional experience into one page is challenging. So is representing all the different skills you’ve learned from just one position. At Betts Recruiting, we work with a lot of talented professionals looking for sales positions on how to best present themselves in their search. Check out our template and tips for the best resume format for sales positions.
As you browse, remember that a great resume is just one of many ways to strut your professional stuff. There’s nothing like a great LinkedIn profile for making new connections and advancing your career. And Betts Connect is empowering professionals like you to match with top companies like never before.
Tips for the best resume format
1. Pick a legible font
Getting too creative with your resume can affect how much of it a hiring manager will read. There’s no need to be fancy. Keep things straightforward. All a hiring manager wants your resume to do is convey the necessary information about your credentials quickly and clearly, and unconventional font types or layouts distract from that goal. Personality is, of course, important, but the place for it is your cover letter or interview.
TL;DR: No Comic Sans!
2. Keep your contact information up-to-date
Don’t forget to update job titles, as well as contact information like phone numbers, email addresses, and other key info. The last thing you want is for a hiring manager to be impressed with your qualifications but have a hard time getting in touch with you. The only worse thing could be a hiring manager disregarding your resume, thinking you live across the country, because you forgot to update your resume after you moved.
The last thing you want is for a hiring manager to be impressed with your qualifications but have a hard time getting in touch with you.
This seems obvious, and easy to remember. But it’s a common oversight. We get it – when you’re moving, or if you’ve lost your phone and need to change your number, you’ve got more immediate logistical concerns than updating your resume. It could be years before you’re even on the job market again. Getting in the habit of checking up on your resume every month or so is a great way to make sure you account for all the changes in your busy life.
3. Don’t shy away from italics and bold
Use these easy methods to keep your resume organized. Italics and bold text make it much easier to differentiate sections, and subsections, of your resume. Just make sure that you use them in a systematized way – for example: bold caps for sections (Experience, Education, etc.), bold for entries (Job 1, Job 2, etc.), italic for time periods (June 2013 – August 2015, August 2016 – present, etc.)
4. Aim for brevity
Hiring managers have to read tons of resumes. Keep yours to one page – or, if necessary, just a bit more – to ensure it gets read. Your volunteer gig at a daycare center between high school and college probably isn’t relevant to the sales role you’re applying to – best to leave it out. And that section at the bottom where you list your hobbies? That’s what we call a nice to have, not a need to have.
5. Don’t leave unnecessary white space
The best resume format will utilize the entire page. There are always ways to mess with line spacing and borders to make your resume look full. But that, of course, should be a last resort. The best approach is to actually offer enough content to fill out a complete resume. Conspicuous white space tells the reader that you simply don’t have much to say. For recent college grads without much work experience, internships and volunteer experience are absolutely valid ways to fill out your resume.
6. Focus your information
Don’t use the same resume for sales and marketing. Take out any unnecessary information that doesn’t pertain to the position you’re applying for (or deemphasize it by moving it to the bottom sections). If you’re looking for a sales role, then it should be clear from the outset of your resume that you’re a salesperson through-and-through.
The more focused your resume is, the more hiring managers will see you as someone truly devoted to a specific skillset and line of work. Besides, if your resume doesn’t speak specifically enough to a certain role, someone else’s will.
7. Check for visual or spatial errors
If you can’t even be bothered to use consistent margins in your resume, what will the highly sensitive emails you write to prospects look like?
Line up your bullet points and make sure your dashes are the same length to avoid any sloppy errors. While trying to convey personality through unconventional fonts may be a no-no, as we discussed earlier, it is in fact important for your resume to deliver a positive visual experience. It should be organized and consistently formatted.
A sloppy or disorganized resume makes you look like a sloppy and disorganized – or even lazy – worker, and if that sounds cliche, it’s only because it’s true. If you can’t even be bothered to use consistent margins in your resume, what will the highly sensitive emails you write to prospects look like?
8. Spell check your resume
Spelling mistakes are immediate indicators to hiring managers of a lack of attention to detail. And with built-in, automatic spell check in just about every word processor available today, it’s never been easier to make sure you deliver an error-free doc. No excuses!
9. PDF it
Don’t send your resume in an editable form, as this can mess up spacing or text in the transfer. The last thing you want is to toil away at building a perfect, beautiful resume, just to have the hiring manager open it and see chaos on the page.
Having a solid resume is still a crucial part of the job search. Leveraging the best resume format is key for achieving this goal. Follow these tips and make sure your resume is solid.