The great Winston Churchill once said, "Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It is courage that counts." For those looking to take their sales careers to the next level, applying for their first management position is an inevitable opportunity to combat their fears – and gain that vital interview. Regardless of the industry, when candidates look to elevate their sales career, they'll have to write and submit a powerful sales manager resume.
The daily job duties of sales managers are incredibly diverse – mainly based on the industry, the company, and the specific scope of the position. However, the task of a sales manager is simply put – to sell products, goods, or services – period. They can be responsible for specific territories, product categories, or managing a team of sales associates and sales representatives.
With all these variables to consider, it's no wonder why many would-be candidates struggle to write an impactful sales manager resume. Believe it or not, a sales lead resume is easier to write than you'd think. Like any other project, having the insight and a structured plan of attack can significantly reduce the time, stress, and frustration that comes with trying to determine what skills for sales manager resume writing to include.
That's what we'll tackle in the article below. Our primary objective is to provide you with the tips and tools to write a stunning and convincing sales manager job description resume. We'll provide you with a sales manager resume sample to review, tips on organizing your content, deciding what skills you need to include, and those creative action verbs that hiring managers, recruiters, and automated software programs love to see.
Sales Manager Resume Sample
Sales managers need to be exceptional communicators – both spoken and written, have fantastic time management skills, hold people accountable, and possess excellent follow-up ability. Sometimes they will be asked to set sales goals, create schedules, forecasting, implementing sales programs, assign leads, possibly work with a regional sales manager and even hire entry-level sales associates. They also need to be exceptional closers – like that, in the end, will be how their performance is judged.
That is a lot of experience and skills to pack into a single resume. Add any required certifications, and your professional resume may seem to be an endless challenge. However, this doesn't mean the finished territory sales manager resume needs to be more than two pages. As you can see with the sales manager's samples below, everything can fit nicely on two pages.
Take some time to read the sales manager resume examples – for our mythical sales manager candidate Allison. She is applying for a sales manager position in her new hometown of Denver, Colorado. Please continue to the sections below when you've completed the resume review. We will provide you with a detailed outline and offer some practical tips to help you organize, structure, write, and format the finished resume.
It is pretty simple to see that our candidate Allison will make an exceptional sales manager for the team at Luxury Detail Products for one simple reason – her attention to detail. This is proven in her resume format mainly due to a few critical factors that are easy to notice.
First, the entire resume is clean, neat, organized, and flows from start to finish. Second, her sales manager resume objective opens with a personalized opening sentence – stating her objective of joining the team at Luxury Detail Products. Third, her work history section displays relevant experience of three jobs – in the automotive industry. Finally, her references are from those previous jobs – meaning she's ethical, left previous positions on a positive note, and holds the respect of former employers.
When equally qualified candidates are considered for an interview, this extraordinary attention to detail and personalization on a resume makes a huge difference. Hiring managers and recruiting agencies respect individuals who go out of their way to showcase the passion, sales manager skills, and a desire to join their team.
How to Write a Good Retail Sales Manager Resume in 2023: Sales Manager Resume Description & Guide
We've touched on what skills and experience should be included in an impactful retail sales manager resume – but how do you put it all together? What sections should be included in a resume – and in which order?
For starters, a great sales manager resume needs to articulate a few crucial details:
- The candidate has the experience required to not only sell effectively, but manage others, set sales goals, and find creative ways of obtaining those expectations.
- The salesperson need to have the proper education required for the position.
- Must showcase exceptional communication skills – especially in today's digital age of electronic communication.
To articulate these facts, you'll have to include a few important sections on your resume. Although each company might require different information on your sales manager skills resume, most should include the following sections.
- Personal contact information – This will include your basic contact details – and MUST match the same information you've listed on the job application and cover letter.
- Resume Summary – Sales managers understand how crucial a well-written elevator pitch is for closing a deal. The resume summary is essentially your elevator pitch for the job you're hoping to obtain. It’s important to touch on your ability to implement sales strategies, account management, and possibly business development or business administration experience (depending on the specific job).
- Work History – The work experience section can be the make it or break it section for a sales management position. The key is to choose relevant experience specific to the job or industry you hope to join and showcase leadership skills within the content.
- Education – In the education section, you should list the highest school level you've completed.
- References – The references you choose should include (2) individuals who can testify to your leadership of sales teams and (1) who will vouch for personality and character.
- Skills – The skills you list on the resume should be those that help you become an exceptional sales manager.
The primary sections listed above should be included on any sales manager resume. However, it is critical to review each job posting – as it will guide you to any required sections outside of these top six. To keep you organized and help build out the content within your resume, we recommend using a master resume. This is essentially a working word document that allows you to draft content, edit for spelling and grammar, and fine-tune the formatting.
Start by opening a new word document or your preferred writing software to begin your resume writing. List the primary sections and bold type them on the document. At that point, you'll be ready to insert the relevant content in each section.
Let's break down each of the sections listed above.
Section #1 – List Your Contact Information
Accuracy and attention to detail are two critical skills that every sales manager must possess. The first item on the resume is your chance to prove that you have what it takes. Your application and a cover letter that you submit during your job search will also include your contact details.
The critical item to remember is to be consistent with all three documents. If the contact information on your resume is not the same as the application and cover letter, this can cause hiring managers to take notice of a lack of attention to detail.
How to Format This Section
The personal information section of the resume – and all application-specific documents should include your full name, the complete mailing address, email, and mobile phone number. Unless you have been asked, don't list your social media pages – like Facebook or LinkedIn. Keep it simple is the name of the game.
Section #2 – Resume Summary
Retail sales managers must be convincing, articulate, and persuasive. However, the best sales professionals know the value of customizing a pitch to their intended audience. The sales manager resume summary statement is your chance to customize a sales pitch to a hiring manager or HR firm to have them contact you for an interview.
The sample resume posted above is an excellent example of a personalized resume summary. The opening sentence is targeted directly to the company that Allison has applied to. You can be confident that each resume she submits will be just as personal. The summary then continues with an overview of her extensive work history as a sales manager, dedication to customer satisfaction, and hard and soft skills that permit her to close deals and lead others.
How to Format this Section
A resume summary should be four or five well-written sentences, about 150 to 200 words, with a professional – yet conversational tone. Before you consider this section finished, read it aloud several times. The goal is to write this section as if you were speaking directly to a hiring manager during an interview. This is a critical section for all area sales manager resumes - so take your time.
Section #3 – Work History
The best job candidate is one with a good work history that fits the position. Sales managers need to have previous experience in the industry they serve, mainly because they understand the customer, products, and challenges within that consumer segment. The work history section of a professional sales manager resume is the place to document that relevant experience and showcase some specific 'wins' you've achieved over the years.
As the contact information – consistency within the resume is vital. We recommend matching the same previous employment that was documented on your application. However, the application is often limited in space, so you cannot expand on your scope, tasks, or success stories.
This is the intent of the resume – to provide additional information that will not fit on an application. You'll need to list the company's name, location, dates of employment, job title, and a few vital bullet points of critical accomplishments on your sales manager resume.
As you can see in the sample resume section posted above, Allison has listed three previous jobs – where she has served as a sales manager and initially, a sales associate. The bullet points sprinkle several action verbs or critical skills that employers actively seek in sales managers.
These terms include strong communication skills, understanding marketing strategies, merchandising, new product development, metrics, problem-solving, time management, customer service, and conflict resolution. While a perfect resume is the one that fits the application best, one that can infuse these terms above will be noticed among other candidates.
How to Format this Section
It is best practice for resume writing to list previous work experience in reverse chronological order – from the most recent position to the oldest. We'd recommend adding three of your recent – but relevant job positions for a sales manager position. If you only have two previous jobs where you have managed sales staff and created sales plans, that's completely acceptable.
Section #4 – Education
It's rare for a sales manager position to require advanced education. In most cases, a high school diploma is acceptable. In lieu of higher education degrees, a candidate may substitute years of experience. There isn't a black and white formula to equate years vs. a specific degree.
The good news – most employers will do the conversion for you by stating – "A bachelor's degree or 10-years of relevant experience". Regardless of their educational requirements, this section is mainly intended for you to list your highest completed level of education. If you have a high school diploma and are currently enrolled in college – working toward your bachelor's degree, you'll only document the completed high school diploma.
How to Format This Section
On Allison's sample resume for a sales manager job, you'll notice that she has followed our advice above. She noted the location of her high school, its name, the date of graduation, and the high school diploma earned. With education on a resume for a sales manager – keep it simple.
Section #5 – References
A final section included on both a resume and application is references. Strong references that speak and verify your experience as an exceptional closer and leader are those you want to select. For a management position, it's a great idea to select a total of three references. Two of them should be professional – meaning they need to provide credibility to your application and sales management abilities. The third should be a personal reference – or an individual who can speak clearly to your character.
You'll notice in Allison's resume that she has done this. Her first two references are former employers. This sends a few essential signals to the company that you're actively hoping to join. First, you've left a good impression on your former employer – and second, you left the job on good terms. Her final reference is a personal one – a former teacher in high school.
How to Format This Section
Using a sales manager resume template will help you with the formatting of every section. A reference listing on a resume should be basic – just their name and where you know them from. Due to privacy reasons, you don't want to document personal reference contact information on a resume. Write "available on request" so that the company can contact them if they receive their information directly.
Section #6 – Skills
Showcasing the right skills on a resume is more about checking a box than making an impression. To be honest, most of today's employers don't look at the skills that a candidate claims to possess. However, the skills section does provide a great resource. Many of today's hiring firms or online job posting websites use automated software solutions – that check for keywords and forward candidates for consideration.
The skills section of the resume is easy to ensure those keywords or hard and soft skills are discovered in your resume. Using a resume builder or template can help you list the applicable skills and assign a ranking or' ability level'. You can see this in Allison's sample resume that she has listed the skills and applied her experience level beside them.
How to Format This Section
For a sales manager resume, choosing your top five to seven hard or soft skills is recommended. Those you should consider would include the same as listed on the resume sample above. It's also good to format them as the last section on the resume – or a sidebar when using a resume builder.
Other Sales Resume Templates
Writing a stunning resume takes time, organization, patience, and creative wordsmithing. Some people learn better by reading step-by-step instructions, such as the sections above. Others prefer to review sample resumes – like Allison's we posted in this article. For those who would prefer to review professionally written resumes in similar sales industries, we're here to help.
Feel free to review the group of sales-related resumes. Take notes, so you can incorporate some of the techniques, language, or formatting ideas that will help amplify your resume. This will help you write the best resume – which will give you a better chance to obtain that vital interview.
Final Points on Writing Resumes for Sales Managers
We've given you a clear path and roadmap to follow with the information above. The key is to incorporate these tools and tips into a resume writing plan of attack that fits your style best. We recommend creating a cover letter that you'll attach with the resume that can introduce your candidacy to the future employer.
So – to provide a recap - here are some specific tips to remember when organizing and writing a resume for sales managers.
- Make sure the resume has a smooth flow – from start to finish.
- Always write your resume on a plain white background with black font.
- Edit the document SEVERAL TIMES. An excellent online tool we recommend is Grammarly.com.
- Ensure its well-spaced, organized, and professional.
- Finally, read it aloud a few times before you're ready to paste the content into a resume builder or template.
Always remember – writing an engaging resume will take a lot of time. The best way to reduce errors is to build out that master resume first. This will give you the foundational content that you can optimize and fine-tune.