A lot of our team spends hours every day pouring over sales resumes. Some of us previously had careers doing that. Between our experience and our professional research, we know better than most what kind of information helps a sales resume, and what can hurt it. Below, our first infographic on the do's and dont's of sales resumes.
At this point, most people know the importance of a value proposition in a quality resume. Paul explains that to truly demonstrate your usefulness to a prospective employer, you need numbers. A resume that lacks statistics or quantified accomplishments implies the same thing about your career.
Vague or missing role descriptions
What’s even worse than a lack of numbers? A lack of words. According to Paul, an undescriptive resume is a colossal red flag. If your description of your role in a company doesn’t tell a complete story, the recipient will be confused or suspicious. Either way, a resume with vague descriptions is probably headed to the recycling bin.
“Jumpiness” (suspicious departures)
In Paul’s words, one of the most worrying signals a candidate can give is a resume with inconsistent and “jumpy” work dates. If you’ve been fired or had a stretch of unemployment, that doesn’t necessarily make you unemployable. It does, however, mean that you need a good and honest explanation of what happened. Hiding your past issues or half-assing an excuse is a much bigger problem. Jumpy resumes make managers distrustful, and distrustful managers don’t call you back.
Inflated job titles
As a sales veteran, Paul knows that his industry is notorious for giving grandiose names to average jobs. However, he believes that managers and recruiters are growing less tolerant of this trick over time. Put yourself in their shoes– if a candidate calling themselves a “sales director” turned out to be an entry-level rep “directing” one or two accounts, you’d probably think of them as dishonest. Even if your noble-sounding title is the actual name of your position, consider whether it could be misleading to a resume reader.
The average resume is viewed for less than ten seconds by its recipient. As a result, recruiters and hiring managers look for quick and obvious ways to separate the wheat from the chaff. Just because you’ve checked your resume for spelling and grammar, it doesn’t mean that you’re ready to send it. According to Paul, your resume isn’t finished until you’ve made sure to avoid these four pitfalls.