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How to Create an Effective Sales Resume

When crafting a sales resume, you are essentially creating a pitch that will provide prospective employers with a first glance into who you are. This is why it is crucial to showcase your strengths and achievements in a concise, persuasive, and professional way in order to make an outstanding first impression. One of the most important skills as a sales professional is the ability to effectively communicate so you want to ensure you are reflecting your experience, skills and highlighting your sales results through your resume. Better yet, ask yourself what sets you apart from other sales professionals? Here is a guideline that will help you create an effective sales resume that will highlight the most important aspects of your resume, make it easy to read, and most importantly grab the attention of the hiring manager!


  1. Layout/Format
    In order for your resume to achieve an appropriate flow, it needs to be extremely well formatted with an organized layout. Let’s take a look at some tips on how to frame your work.

    • Use the same text size and font throughout – 11 point font size with an easy-to-read font. Some suggestions are Times New Roman or Calibri.
    • Ensure indenting is consistent and margins are aligned – 1-inch margins on all sides are standard.
    • Write a short and clear objective at the very top – Are you looking for an inside sales position? Remote work options?
    • Include your educational background and do not be afraid to include graduation dates as this will communicate your level of seniority in your field.
    • Make sure the content is in bullet form and to the point.
    • Follow this format: objective, title, company, what type of products, solutions, or services you sold, job responsibilities, top accomplishments.
  2. Content
    Your resume content will ultimately be what will determine if the hiring manager will contact you for the next steps in the application process. For this reason, it is critical that you construct a well-written list of experiences. If you are a younger applicant with numerous experiences while in school, make sure to clearly state this to avoid the reader assuming you jumped around between jobs.

    • Include 1-2 sentences on what the company does – This is important because recruiters/employers will get a sense of your industry background.
    • Highlight your significant achievements in each role.
    • Technical skills are very important so make sure to include them where applicable
  3. Proof-read
    Proofread, proofread, proofread! You would be surprised how often hiring managers come across resumes with grammatical mistakes. It can certainly discredit the rest of your resume and implies you have not put in the time and effort to ensure it is completely and utterly polished. After all, it’s a reflection of you and your attention to detail. Once you have taken the time to edit everything on your own, run it through Grammarly or have friends and family review it. A second pair of eyes is always useful in catching small errors you may have missed.
  4. What to Avoid
    When it comes to things to avoid, there are a few simple unwritten rules that need to be taken into consideration. To start off, there is no need to include “fluff” on your resume. This accounts for all the unnecessary information regarding who you are or what you’re good at. The reader can extract your main skills through your highlighted achievements, background, and experiences. You also want to make sure you don’t exceed two pages, otherwise, it is likely the rest of the information will be overlooked. On the other end of the spectrum, you also do not want to jam everything onto one page and make it hard to read.


Keep in mind the average recruiter/employer spends less than a minute looking at a resume so the content layout will determine how much of the information on your resume will be absorbed by the reader in that amount of time. Always remember, you don’t want to make the reader work for it to determine if you are a good fit.


Author: Bryan Payne is the Chief Talent Scout and Founding Partner at Just Sales Jobs with over 25-years of experience in sales and leading high-performance sales teams. Bryan and his team specialize in recruiting top talent within the Greater Toronto Area to Kitchener Waterloo. You can reach him at bp@justsalesjobs.com 

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