As a hiring sales manager, I have seen thousands of resumes and I have came to realize that mostly all resumes are basically the same. If you take away the names, sales resumes start to look the same and this article will share with you the resumes that stood out from the others, which resulted in me granting an interview or extending a job offer.
A cover letter is very important to supplement your resume. I actually will decide upon which resume I select to read based on a well written cover letter. Now a cover letter will help a resume stand out by helping me as a hiring sales manager understand more about you as a professional and why you are applying for the position and why I should read your resume and call you for an interview.
If we have talked before during a phone interview or if you talked to others in the candidate selection process and picked up key points, be sure to include this in the cover letter as it helps support your resume.
PERSONALIZE AND CUSTOMIZE
A resume is a one to two page document that highlights your experience and education, the same as the thousands of other sales professionals out there. One of the best way to have your resume stand out it to "personalize" the resume. I don't mean the actual document itself, but if you can present and explain your resume before the hiring sales manager sees it, or have a referral hand deliver the resume with their reference and comments, it makes the resume much more important and will get read. Let me ask you, if a colleague of yours asks you to consider a candidate that they feel would be perfect for the position and hands you a resume and gives their recommendations would you be much more likely to read the resume versus having a resume come in by a job post?
Customization is also very important and what I mean by this is not adding flashy and colorful items on the document. What I mean is to fully customize the resume to match the sales job you are applying for. Look over each line and edit to support you as the best candidate for the position. I have seen generic sales resumes that are probably sent to many different sales jobs, and when a resume is customized and focused, I know that the candidate is serious and wants the position versus doing a shotgun approach and hoping something will catch.