How would you like to dramatically increase the number of sales job interviews that you get?
I thought so! You’re interested arn’t you? This is one of the most important points that I took away from the book How to Write a Killer Sales Resume. Take note…
One Size Does Not Fit All – Customize Your Sales Resume!
Generic resumes (i.e. un-targeted) – don’t work (note caveat below*). Why? Simply because when you apply for a sales job (or any job actually) then you must make your sales resume address the ‘specific’ requirements of the vacancy.
When you present your attributes for a vacancy (i.e. your skills, experience, qualifications etc) in your resume ‘to fit’ the vacancy with ‘language’ that the reviewer ‘relates to’, then you automatically step up into the role.
That said preparing a ‘generic’ sales resume (a ‘general’ sales resume) that captures all of your skills, experience and qualifications that you could ever plant on your resume is a good starting point. You can then customize your generic resume on a case by case basis according to the requirements of each job that you apply for.
Customizing your sales resume is a bit of an art, but done well the payback is great – payback in the form of extra job interviews!
Customizing your sales resume properly for each job will, as I can testify, dramatically improve your strike rate (the amount of interviews versus the number of resumes you send out / jobs applied for). And apparently it’s not uncommon for strike rates to improve by as much as 500% or more taking the ‘customized’ approach. And sales being so competitive, you need every bit of help that you can get!
For sure, when I was creating bespoke sales resumes the process does involve a bit of extra work, then again I started to get more interviews! So it was worth it.
* The exception when you won’t and can’t send out a customized resume, where a generic resume is perfectly acceptable is when you are sending out your resume on a speculative basis. For example if you are sending out your sales resume to headhunters and recruitment consultants or posting to job bulletin boards etc, etc.
So a generic resume and a targeted resume both have their place. This is a quick and simple way to do both that I learnt from the book:
Step 1 – Create Your Generic Sales Resume
That way you all the hard work once! You start off by creating your generic catch-all sales resume. It’s got to capture all of your most relevant skills, achievements, awards, qualifications and executive & sales experience.
You will need to present your data such that it conveys that you are a motivated, experienced and talented professional that can deliver explosive results! It’s all in the book.
There are even a few tactics which are a bit sneaky that you can employ that’ll really make you shine.
Now, your generic sales resume is already better than most of all the other resumes out there already. BUT the icing on the cake is step 2…
Step 2 – Tweak Your Sales Resume ‘To Fit’ Each Job That You Apply For
According to Chris, something like 95% candidates just don’t do this. That gives you and me a great lead on all the other candidates!
Using your generic resume (step 1) as a template, you then ‘tailor’ and ‘optimize’ your sales resume for each different job that you apply for!
And from what I learnt there are a ton of ways to do this. What surprised me mostly was how obvious a lot of this stuff is. And the thing is, once you know what to do, then it’s as simple as A B C to replicate each time you apply for a new sales position.