Looking Good On Paper

Congratulations! You’re in the new year. You’ve met your goal and are going on your Club Trip in 4 weeks. The timing couldn’t be better, so that’s the reason you’ve decided that it’s time to go home – you’re at the top.

Go to your resume and take a close look. Do you think you could be hired? If you’re like the majority of salespeople, you’d just like to get the chance to talk with someone because they’ll be able to recognize a star. And in the event that they don’t, then you’re not going to want to work in the first place.

Hmm… However, that’s not the way it operates. The process begins with the resume. The purpose of the resume is to catch and hold the attention of your future boss. They need someone similar to you to put them on the map since the candidate didn’t join the Club this year, and his boss just informed him that you have one more chance to prove his worth.

When you are evaluating your resume, take note of these tips shared by recruiters that specialize in attracting and representing people exactly like you, The Quota Killers. All Stars. Bag Carriers. Door Knockers. Individual Contributors. Sales Professionals. You.

(1) Understand your audience

You are a Sales Person. Your target audience is the VP of Sales or the CEO if you happen to be working on a start-up. In any case, your target customers are busy with a sense of mission and their success is directly tied to the performance of the company’s sales staff they create.

The truth is that the vast majority of audiences (your recruiter as well) do not look through resumes. They look through them, searching for clues, such as percents, dollar signs or references to trips to clubs or awarding over-achievers or names of big deals with customers or strategic partners who have signed.

These nuggets allow the audience to quickly develop a list of candidates who (a) possess a thorough understanding of their situation from the perspective of a solution type or account or industry perspective and (b) will likely succeed again by virtue of their prior performance.

What exactly does this mean in the context of writing resumes?

Avoid telling stories and writing in paragraphs
Use bullet points
Limit the document to 2 pages or three if needed.
Note specific and tangible achievements whenever you can: refer to the next section

(2) Resumes are not an employment description. Know the distinction.

An error that is common occurs when a large portion of a resume’s contents detail tasks. Examine your resume. Does it explain the tasks you are accountable to do, or do you provide details of what you’ve accomplished?

Think about this example:

Two sales representatives from the same firm are looking for new jobs. Both submit their CVs to the identical US software provider based in Canada, seeking their first Canadian new hire to break into the job market. Both sales representatives provide a resume that outlines the responsibilities they have, and it could appear like this:

Responsible for enterprise software sales, HR Payroll, payroll, financials distribution, and manufacturing management.

Knows the Canadian manufacturing sector in the mid-market, including processes and discrete manufacturing.
Regularly using Salesforce.com makes sure that the company is accurate and prompt in the entry of potential customers.
Responsible for achieving a quota of $1.8M in licensing revenue.
What do you know which of the salespeople applying for the job was more efficient?

Take this as an example. Consider this scenario: The first sales rep is motivated to quit since he hasn’t made his goal in the last three quarters and is worried about the possibility of being dismissed. The second sales representative is the highest ranking representative in the area and is motivated to quit to pursue a more aggressive comp plan and also the opportunity to place an unknown business on the map of Canada.

If you had been the 2nd sales representative, Would you like to be misidentified as the first?

Net/Net: If your target audience does not see statistics, facts, or accomplishments or brags about your accomplishments, they might think that you don’t have them. Don’t get involved in a situation of misidentification.

(3) Noise and Clutter

A term that is used in photography to assess the sharpness or quality of an image. It is known as “noise”. The word “noise” or “clutter,” as I prefer to refer to it, can distract the viewer and affects the overall appearance of a resume, causing it to lose sharpness or look amateur. Sometimes, the clutter or noise is apparent when you scan the resume. Other times, it needs a meticulous or editorial eye.

Sometimes, a salesperson may decide to deliberately add clutter as a way to display their creative flair or, even more ominously, utilize it as an attempt to deflect viewers from noticing what’s missing: statistics and facts. Nobody expects a resume for a salesperson to be extremely stylized, which is why the majority of VPS and Recruiters mark these resumes right away and scrutinize them further in the hope that their suspicions are not true.

Examples of clutter and noise:

Clip art, image circles, and graphs/bar graphs are moving images.
The excessive use of text boxes or resume templates in which an online view displays all the contents in boxes. This creates a very difficult reading.
Many font designs, various font sizes, overly and inconsistency with the bolding or underlining inconsistency of line spacing and indentation and excessive use for coloured texts.

(4) The Content

We’ve already mentioned that the contents of a resume should be focused on accomplishments and bulleted to ensure that the CEO or VP can better identify you as the best performer they’ve been looking for! What else?

Be aware of not creating an excessive amount of white space around the text. Certain older resume templates have the content indented to about 1/3 space on the webpage. The use of this style causes the content to use more lines and allows you to quickly include pages on a resume.

Avoid lengthy openings which might be referred to as “Objective”, “Summary”, “Executive Overview”, and “High Lites”. This will cause the information that is important to be moved further down the page and could lead to duplication of information or data. Your customers will want to know what you did for each employer, so ensure that they are able to understand.

When describing the employer’s name, don’t begin with the date. Always start by naming the employer first. The length of tenure is an example of what someone would consider acceptable. Are you considered a job-hopper and thus the high risk for them since you’ve had three employers since 2002? Do they think you’re a risk-taker who is too cautious and a “comfort seeker” because you’ve been in a place for six years? Do not let this kind of information become the very first impression anyone notices. Start with your employer’s name. It’s the first thing they’re looking for. This alone can be a good indicator of the kind of salesperson you’re.

Do not write with the primary person” I did,” won, I bought, my accounts and my territory. Also, avoid writing in the third person that says: He bought she won, her accounts.

Avoid using buzzwords or acronyms that are specific to your company. Acronyms for industry such as ERP, CRM ERP or BI work.

Fresh graduates typically place their educational background on top of their resumes since they do not have any prior work experience, and they hope they can get established. Education should be on the final page.

Resume writers debate whether sections like “Hobbies” and “Interests” are appropriate on resumes as well and ought to be part of it. This is an entirely subjective issue. I often include it when I require filler to prevent the final webpage of your resume from being covered with white spaces.

(5) Don’t Take It Personally

You’ve finished your resume, and you’re critiquing it. You’re likely to think that it’s nice, don’t think so? because it’s about you! That’s why you must get an opinion that is important – since your resume may be being read by the sales VP, there are five others, and he has only the time to look through 3 resumes today and then interview two more next week.

Find out the viewpoint of someone you trust to offer objective advice, who has a good understanding of the industry and the work you do. Maybe it’s an Executive that you’ve worked with before. Maybe it’s a recruiter you’ve previously worked with.

Many individuals find an ideal resume format early on in their careers and then stick to it. But, the changing conditions in the market, as well as the consolidation of the high-tech industry as well as the rapid pace of internet-based communication have raised the level of competition among those seeking coveted jobs like the one mentioned in the article earlier. It might be time to reevaluate your resume.

Writing services or resume consultants could provide an objective solution for capturing your career. They typically offer assistance to candidates across all fields and every position. Yesterday she wrote a cover letter for the manager of patient Care at a major urban hospital. Tomorrow, she’ll be an engineer who hopes to join an important construction firm. However, she’s focused on the Sales Executive with a goal income of $230K.

If you’re looking for such a service, be sure to ask questions.

Are they aware of your target customer’s needs, and how will you be judged in relation to their needs?
Do they know what it takes to be an effective salesperson and what information and statistics must be included?
Do they have an inventory of sales resumes that show that they are able to do this? Or is the portfolio comprised mostly of resumes with a stylized design that are written in paragraph format or with filler content noise and printed on premium paper?
Does their work benefit you in the either long or short-term when they design your resume?