CV Tips for Sales People

Keep social media sites clean while you are job hunting – but what does this mean in practice?When writing a sales role directed CV, there are a number of key feature which should be present to showcase your knowledge, skills and abilities. These can be presented in various ways and are dependent on the role, company and industry you are applying for. The more senior the role the more necessary the features discussed in this article will be in your CV.

Target driven:

Targets are part and parcel of working in sales and you need to demonstrate that you are experienced and comfortable working in that environment. Even better if you can show that working to targets and deadlines energises you.

Proven track record of achieving targets:

If you can state that you consistently achieve ambitious or challenging targets, the reviewer of your CV will very well receive this. The longer your history of this the better, and always worth mentioning.

Sales personality traits:

 It is always good to show that this is your chosen profession and that you have a passion for Sales. It is a very difficult role if you cannot take rejection or have a lack confidence or assertion. Some of the core competencies that would be most prominent on a sales person CV would be:

  • Confidence
  • Assertion
  • Rapport/relationship building skills
  • Energetic
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Driven
  • Results driven
  • Thinking outside the box

Relationship building skills:

Sales is all about building relationships and fostering those to achieve your targets. For this reason, showing this core competence throughout your CV will increase your success of being called for interview. If you have a strong network and/or existing client base this would also be very attractive on a CV.

Key Achievements-ideally in numbers:

To remove the guesswork of your potential value to the prospective employer, tangible achievements work best. Where possible add these to your CV. Any awards won like Salesperson of the year, highest performer awards, etc. look great on a Sales CV.

If you can state the numbers it looks even better. For example – increased sales by 15%. Exceeded targets by 20%, increased client base by 10%, generated €1,000,000 etc.

Ideas for clients’ acquisition/income generation:

It is common to have to present on how you plan on generating sales as part of the recruitment process for Sales roles. This will test your ability to generate leads and build your client base/hit targets. In advance of this testing stage, you can also demonstrate this in your CV through describing previous successes in this area – for example, any projects you have been part of that have been a success, any ideas you brought to the organisation that have come to fruition and generated income, how you opened up a new market segment through your own efforts etc.

Knowledge of the industry in which you are applying:

You will see in the job specification that knowledge of the industry is a distinct advantage when applying for the role. Display how you know the industry if you have worked in it in the past.

If you have not, show transferable skills such as an ability to get up to speed quickly and technical skills in one area that show a competence for learning in a new area. You can also show a general interest in the area in your cover letter by doing your research. Research the industry/company and try and use their terminology where possible throughout your application process. and teamwork skills:

Sales roles operate within organisational structures and many under strict risk and compliance perimeters. You need to be able to show an understanding of this and experience in that area. It is beneficial to show that you are accustomed to working with other departments and as part of the sales team also.


All in all you want to exhibit that you can add value to the company through generating sustainable income generation and expand their client base.

Written by Gillian Knight, MD of Kala Management Solutions We offer consultancy services on all aspects HR including Recruitment and Selection. For further information on our services please mail or go to for more details or call 01 619 02 82.    Send article as PDF   

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