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Are you attracted by the thrill of controlling your own destiny?

Do you hate looking at little numbers all day and want to actually talk to people?

Excited by the prospect to make as much money as you can?

If so, sales or marketing might be a good career choice for you. Now is the time to get in – according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, wholesale and manufacturing sales representative jobs will grow by 7% from 2014-2024. You ultimately want to look for careers that will give you long term sustained success – working in sales is currently one of those opportunities. If you decide that you would like to work in the world of business, you will have to have to craft the perfect résumé that will not only impress hiring managers, but marketing directors and sales experts too.

I spend a good deal of time looking through résumés. There are many others who have far further experience in résumé crafting than I, but I will give you some tips based on the best résumés that I have seen which have ultimately led to job opportunities.

Highlight Education, But Don’t Make it the Focal Point

A lot of employers who are looking for sales representatives who possess a certain skill set, such as teamwork, persuasiveness, discipline, ambition, and motivation. If one possesses these skills and attributes, they are the perfect candidate for sales or marketing. Because of this, a high school diploma is usually required. Sure, there are certain instances where a college degree is required (biotech sales, etc), but for the most part, employers are not too worried about your education. It’s icing on the cake, but it’s not a make or break moment. You should absolutely include it, but keep it to one or two lines maximum.

Numerically Break Down Positive Results

In lieu of education, a lot of employers are looking for candidates who have had success in the past. In sales and marketing, experience is the best way to learn and get better. Those who have achieved success before are more likely to be successful again. Therefore, you should always include your successes in your past experience. Be careful though – sales hiring managers are looking for tangible proof that you are good. Don’t offer vague statements – give them hard data and facts. For example, rather than just saying something like “More than doubled the sales volume,” say “Increased sales revenue by 128%, a 561k increase from the year before.”

Highlight Awards

Just like with the previous tip, sales managers like to hire those who have been given awards for their successes. It means they were distinguished from their peers as someone who is among the best. Otherwise, how would we know that a 128% increase is good relative to everyone else? Sales leaders are looking for those who are top performers in their field. Include any awards, such as “Sales Executive of Quarter 3 2014” or “MVP Sales Executive of the Year.”

Keep it Clean and Organized

I have seen many résumés that are jam packed with great experience and results but are just messy. Weird formatting, hard-to-read fonts, and packing too much on one page can be distracting for people who sift through hundreds of résumés every day. It’s OK to have a résumé that is “different,” but just make sure it is easy to navigate and not too confusing. I have never refused someone a position because of a messy résumé, but you ultimately want to make it easy for a hiring manager to quickly see your accomplishments without having to search for them.

Take advantage of these four tips when creating your résumé and you will surely impress the hiring managers.

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Author: Jason Karaman

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