How to Write a Sales Management Resume: Examples & Templates
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average annual salary of sales managers is currently around $130k, and the advertised required experience is most often in sales.
Well, wouldn’t you know, sales experience is pretty common (“I used to sell t-shirts at the mall!”), and that salary range is appealing. The result? Companies are being flooded by candidates applying for sales manager jobs.
Whether you’re an experienced sales manager looking for a new position or a sales rep moving into management, you need to do everything possible to stand out from the rest. Your cover letter and resume are vital to distinguishing yourself in a crowded marketplace. Transparency and accuracy are essential as you display your career know-how, achievement of sales goals utilizing proven sales strategies, and work experience. You need to demonstrate critical accomplishments and years of expertise with confidence, not arrogance. If you’ve run remote sales teams, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a great way to showcase your talent in leadership, flexibility, and accountability. This will provide any prospective employer with far more critical data about you as a candidate than they could glean from just a job title.
In this article, we will examine how you can optimize your cover letter, resume, and social media accounts to show a promising track record and catch the attention of recruiters and hiring managers.
What Makes a Sales Management Resume Stand Out?
Whether you’re a regional sales manager or a brand-new sales rep, you’re familiar with the sales funnel. This funnel idea is exactly the same for recruiters and hiring managers moving applicants through the system.
At the top of the funnel, you have all applicants who need to be qualified before becoming actual candidates. Most often, this process utilizes an applicant tracking system, or qualification filter, to score applicant resumes and narrow down the lead pool. To make it past this step, ensure your resume and cover letter are targeted for the position using many of the same keywords used in the job description.
Once past this step, your cover letter and resume will be reviewed by an actual human. This is where you need to stand out. Don’t recycle cover letters and resumes by merely editing objectives. Avoid run-of-the-mill resume templates. Instead, use formatting that quickly highlights your qualifications at a moment’s glance.
Utilizing a high-quality resume design program can successfully highlight career accomplishments, work experience, certifications, and social media links. Consider templates from easy-to-use design sites like Canva, Adobe Express, or Microsoft Publisher to provide the competitive edge you’ll need.
There will always be some debate about how many pages a good resume should be. While it’s now acceptable to go beyond the previous “one-page” resume standard, it is essential to include impressive points on the first page, and ideal to limit your resume to no more than three pages at the absolute max. Otherwise, your highlights get lost in the mix, and hiring managers may give up on trying to find them.
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Building a Sales Management Resume (+ Resume Format Tips)
The layout and design of a resume are important, but the flow of information is even more crucial.
In this section, we will discuss the optimal formatting of a sales manager position resume. This is the ultimate blueprint for how to construct a sales manager resume.
Since many companies require their positions to be applied for online, utilize a resume format that is easily transferrable to different job search platforms such as Linkedin.
Objective or Summary
Resumes used to include objectives that candidates would tailor to make their goals more closely match the job description. The current trend is to utilize objectives to give a summary of your qualifications and experience, including your goals, and the value you will add to the organization.
Highly successful sales leader whose annual individual sales brought in $300k and whose direct-report sales team generated $1.5m in the SaaS industry. Seeking a sales manager position where I can use my coaching, analytical, and relationship-building skills to motivate and develop a winning sales team.
Provide digital contact details along with your name, email address, and telephone number. While it is no longer necessary to list your home address, include your city and state if the position is local. In a professional resume, always provide your LinkedIn URL by editing your public profile to avoid the less personalized default URL link. For some added flair, you can incorporate relevant linked social media icons.
Provide only your latest degree, unless the company has asked for a complete educational background or requires an additional relevant degree. For example, when applying for a sales manager position at a company selling hospitality software systems, include your more recent Master of Business Administration, along with your very relevant bachelor’s degree in hospitality management. Showcase your leadership skills by listing any positions that you held in a professional organization as well as recent and relevant college/university organizations. Always mention any noteworthy academic honors or achievements.
Special Certificates, Licenses, or Credentials
Specialized credentials and certificates should appear in a separate section. Include the initial completion date, the latest recertification date, if relevant, and the training/credential provider.
- Certified Inbound Marketing Specialist, HubSpot Academy (May 2019, Recertified May 2023)
- Licensed Automotive Salesperson, Pennsylvania Licensing Bureau (June 2022-May 2024)
In the skills section, start with any endorsed LinkedIn sales manager skills. Next, write down all the key skills that you have which are required for the position found in the job description. Your focus should be on displaying your most relevant skills in which you have the highest competency. Finally, present them as a bullet point list using parallel construction in phrasing.
Avoid using vague concepts in the skills section. It is more helpful to be specific and provide concrete examples than to say you have something more generic like people skills. While it is not necessary to list basic skills, it is worth mentioning if you have credentialed expertise in any Microsoft programs. Finally, to hone in featured technical skills, always mention any of the company’s specific requirements, such as proven competency in Salesforce or Close CRM.
While your cover letter should speak to your experience in a narrative form, your resume should support it with specific details. Provide the following information under each of your recent relevant employers.
Every employer wants detailed information about any prospects’ years of experience in sales. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average work experience for a sales manager is less than five years. With members of the sales force frequently looking for new positions, it is essential to demonstrate success both as a salesperson, and sales manager.
That said, if your employment history is quite long, it may be preferable to include a line such as “See a comprehensive list of my previous projects on LinkedIn” with an embedded LinkedIn URL listing.
List each company with the dates you worked there including the month and year, along with a short job description of one to two sentences. Then create bullet points under each heading. Also, include each position’s impact and results. This should describe key accomplishments around non-sales activities, such as collaborations with other team members that highlight your communication skills or demonstrates people management, and employee retention.
Regional Sales Manager, The Enterprise Company (Aug. 2013 to May 2017)
I led a sales team of 12 sales representatives responsible for selling food products to hospital cafeterias. I increased its overall revenue to 135% of the previous year while holding its expenses at just 110% during the same period.
When describing your sales experience, include sales manager skills, especially pertaining to sales operations knowledge. This can be comprised of analyzing metrics, forecasting, and prospecting, as well as merchandising, cold calling, and teamwork on marketing strategies. Also list any experience in managing team members such as setting up sales plans with sales goals, CRM management, or handling customer satisfaction initiatives. If the position was in a retail sales environment, discuss merchandising, pricing, facilities management, sales associate coaching, and personal selling.
As a sales manager, I used my experience as a top-performing salesperson to coach sales team members on all areas of performance: lead qualification, cold calling, final negotiations, and closing the deal. By regular metrics analysis, my new sales processes generated a 35% increase in closed sales over 60 days, which the team consistently maintained under my direction.
Sales Accomplishments Section
The perfect resume for a sales manager position must show that you are both a thoroughly effective manager and an exceedingly high-yielding sales professional. The Sales Accomplishment Section demonstrates your expertise in the industry and staying in power as a top performer. This is done by noting the top sales targets that were achieved and maintained over time. Explain where you’ve previously worked in inside sales, outside sales, or sales operations.
As a salesperson at XYZ Corp., I hit target goals every month and stretch goals at 150% of the target in 11 out of the 12 months during the year.
Sales Manager Resume Templates
Resume creation now requires a fairly precise formula to be effective. To get your resume noticed, the template that you choose must be able to display the essential points you wish to feature along with a design that reflects your unique personality. While there is a seemingly endless number of resume templates out there, below are some of the most job-winning companies. These template resources can be explored either for free or for a small fee with some even including specifically designed sales manager resume samples.
- Canva: Canva is an excellent resource for creating high-quality designs with more than 3,000 resume template options. Some templates are available for free while others require a paid subscription.
- Adobe Express: Adobe Express is another top choice for browser-editor-based design with around 700 resume templates. There are both free and premium options.
- Template.net: If you’re adept in Microsoft Office, Template.net has free and premium resume templates to work with these programs. This site also provides an excellent supply of sales manager resume examples.
- Fiverr: Freelance marketplace Fiverr allows you to first submit generic resume information, then hire a designer to create an effective and competitive final format. For some added confidence, and for an additional fee, you can hire a freelancer to review your resume.
Whichever resource you choose, incorporate the following design tips. If your resume will be printed by the company, extensive use of dark colors will not reproduce as well as using black and white. Use consistent font variations throughout your resume when specifying headings, job titles, etc. When incorporating a photo, hire a professional photographer to make the best first impression. Avoid using photos that you have taken yourself. They will not look as good online or in print as they do on your phone.
Once you have the final version of your resume in hand, you’ll be eager to send it and get your application in. Don’t!
Instead, review the following:
- Spell check your resume. Ask a friend or colleague to review it. Then check it again yourself
- Read the entire resume out loud. Rephrase anything that sounds awkward or wordy
- Check each bullet point for parallel construction
- Use a free service like Grammarly to perfect your cover letter and resume
- Whenever possible, hire a professional resume reviewer or a career coach to help
- Finally, update your website, online portfolio, and LinkedIn profile with your new resume
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for sales management positions is incredibly competitive, which is only expected to continue through 2031. Consequently, hiring managers receive hundreds of resumes. Make yours more attractive to stand out:
- Review the sales manager job description for key terms to include
- Specifically demonstrated problem-solving, leadership, people management, and sales skills
- Avoid overused and lackluster resume templates
- Instead, create a resume that results in a positive first impression
- Customize each resume and cover letter for each position
- Update all online and social media accounts with this new information, including LinkedIn
To attain a top-level sales manager position, it is evident that candidates must supply an exceptional resume. Once you achieve this, you’ll need to remain competitive.
Our team at Close has extensive expertise in sales. We’ve assembled sales resource bundles and ample resources for start-ups to well-established companies, and everyone in between.
As a sales manager, you’ll want to know the latest tools to make your team more productive and successful. Our top-rated cloud-based CRM platform is a perfect example of the type of software you’ll want on your side. Go ahead and watch a short demo or try a free 14-day test drive, and see everything Close CRM can do for your sales team.