Why Sales People Write the Best Resumes & the 3 Things You Can Learn From Them
Having worked on many different resumes across all different industries, the people I find to be consistently on point and that prepare a strong resume are sales professionals. You could argue that they sell for a living so of course they should be able to sell themselves. Selling yourself is a totally different animal yet they still write a cohesive, compelling document that outlines their achievements in a way that's understandable to a hiring manager. Here's what they do better than most and how you can implement it into your own resume:
1. They Brag
The time and place to brag about your achievements is on your resume. It is your job to articulate the value you created by holding your position. This is not the time to be stingy with yourself or give credit away; this is the time to show you are more than a list of duties. Bragging here doesn’t make you seem like a jerk, it makes you seem like you took inventory of your employment and highlighted your work in a way that shows you did your job and you did it well. Leave the ‘Responsible for’s to another person to babble about (more on ‘Responsible For’ in this blog).
2. They Quantify
Sales people will tell you how much they sold, to whom, and exactly how much revenue they brought in. It is in the very nature of what they do and what makes them good at it. Not every role lends itself to clear, quantifiable, achievements as much as a sales role, but there are still ways to give your work scope.
Every job has some sort of way to quantify the work. If you are in IT support, state how many tickets you resolved daily. If you are in Operations, share the productivity numbers you have impacted. If you are in Customer Service, state how many calls you specifically resolve in a week. There are ways to give a potential employer an idea of what you handle on a regular basis and this helps them visualize you doing the same thing for them.
3. They Pitch Themselves
When you have quantifiable stats on your work and clearly identify your value, it is easy to pitch yourself for a job. Right off the bat, a sales person will tell you what makes them different and why they are the perfect fit for the job to which they are applying. Their summaries are concise, specific and hit all the key factors involved with their job and the one they are seeking. They don’t waste time on concepts, skills, or history irrelevant to the job; they are pitching their very best at all times. You should be doing the same!
Look at what makes you the great professional you are and gather the proof you have to back it up. That’s your pitch. Leave the secondary facts for another day. Your summary should focus just on this core information. Your pitch (summary) is your calling card on a resume and should be treated that way.
Learn from these pros and give yourself permission to write proudly about your career. If you can’t speak highly of your work, don’t expect anyone else to do it for you!