Make Your Sales Resume Look Good & Easy to Read
Resume reviewers – possibly your future employers – are only human! So treat them as such. Put yourself in their place. Possibly they have had a long day. Or it’s Monday and they wish it was Friday. Or it’s Friday and they wish it was Saturday. Or they simply have a to-do list longer than your arm. Etc, etc, etc.
And they are now reviewing resumes for a new post that has become available at their company. And your resume lies in the pile amongst all the others.
So you’ve go to stand out – in a good way! You’ve got to present yourself such that your capabilities match the job requirements – we already looked at this briefly here and here. What you’ve also got to do is to make your sales resume pleasing to and easy on the eye.
When someone reads your sales resume you need them to have a good experience. It should at least not be a challenge to read, it should be a pleasure to read.
When I say ‘a pleasure to read’, I mean that your resume must be presented so that it is easy on the eye to view and easy on the brain to digest. Here are a few pointers:
• Resume Length – Try to keep your sales resume down to two pages. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever need to go beyond two pages. If you feel that there is additional information – of real value that supports your job application, then you can include it as an ‘Additional Information’ page which is separate from your resume but is enclosed with it.Just don’t forget that you should be focusing in on what the Employer is interested in, and that is NOT your whole life history – just enough to decide whether they should interview you or not.
• Font type – the best are Arial or Times New Roman font or something similar – good clear font’s not likely to blur together.
• Font size – respect the fact that the resume reviewer’s eyesight may not be perfect so the font size should not be smaller than 11pt. Font size 12pt is usually considered best. The exceptions are your Resume Headings and your Name (in the Headline).
• Keep Clutter Free and Use White Space – this will help to make your sales resume pleasant to the eyes and easier to read. To help with this in the body of your sales resume you can…
• Use bullet points – employers are busy people, so don’t expect them to have the time or patience to have to read long paragraphs of dull text. So use bullet points and short sentences to describe your work background, experience, qualifications etc.
• Simple is Best – so don’t use a colored background, fancy fonts or images on your resume.
• Printing Your Resume – use a word-processor or a Desk Top Publishing package. In this age do not ever use a typewriter as you will look old fashioned and out of date.
It’s not so difficult. When you have finished preparing your resume, have a break, then re-read it. Is it pleasant to the eye? Is the information contained easy to access and comprehend?
Excluding Information From Your Resume
There is a heck of a lot of material that people like to include in their sales resumes which is completely irrelevant or adds no value at all. Littering your resume with superfluous information can be distracting and boring and can get your resume sidelined.
A wonderful analogy comes to mind which explains how you’ll know if an item of information is relevant in your resume or not. The analogy comes from a practice called ‘space clearing’, otherwise known as ‘organizing your life‘. Space clearing is about removing clutter from your life – your person, house, finances, and yes.. even your friends!
A basic premise is ” if it ain’t beautiful and it ain’t useful then dump it “.
Ok, this may sound a bit harsh, but it is an excellent starting point.
Below I have proposed that a number of items, commonly included in resumes, that can / should be omitted in all but the most extreme conditions (such as the recruiting company asks for the information).
Here are a few of the many things that you should be mindful of:
• Photos – Yes you may be exceptionally good looking, but unless the employer specifically requested it, you should avoid attaching your picture to the resume.
• Age – It is often illegal to discriminate against people because of their age. Also, human nature being what it is, a person’s age can be negatively perceived. Why risk the trouble? Unless specifically requested, do not include your age on your resume.
• Hobbies – Unless you are really sure that some of your hobbies will support your application then avoid mentioning them.
• Jargon and slang – Jargon and slang does not have a place in your resume. Even technical jargon can be confusing so include with caution – you cannot assume that the employer will know what you are talking about and of course the initial reviewer may not be a technically literate in any case.
• The only place that technical jargon could be included – for completeness – is listed under ‘Keywords’, which we have already discussed previously.
• Other irrelevant information – includes such as political affiliation, religion and sexual preference so drop them from your resume.
Remember, if the information does not support your application and is not asked for by the recruiting company, then be wary about padding your resume with such information.