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The Winning Sales Pitch! – How to Create An Effective Sales Resumé

Finding a suitable candidate for a sales position is a tough job! Ask any hiring manager and you will get the same feedback. “We get a lot of applications but taking a decision on a candidate’s potential for revenue generation is very difficult.”

Here is a list of essentials that every sales professional must show on their resume. The following is a perspective from a hiring and employer’s point of view.

1) Consistency In Revenue Generation.

Consistency in revenue generation is very important for all companies.The common mistake that most job seekers make is that they think that highlighting their key achievements or brilliant breakthroughs only is good enough. It is not enough.

Your CV must also communicate your ability to consistently bring in revenue for the company and contribute towards the growth of the company.

Let’s say you signed a million dollar contract or got a high value sale. That shows that you are competent and successful. But the question that arises is whether that is a fluke or can you do it again and again and again?

# The most effective way to show consistency in revenue generation is through your achievements in all the companies you have worked for. Your current job is important but to show consistency you need to show your achievements and contributions in all the posts you held from the beginning of your career till now.

2) Specialization Of Product Or Services

Sales and marketing is a highly specialized function. Whether you are a junior person or at a senior management level, your knowledge of the market and the product is important to a company. This helps in reducing the training period and also ensures that you have the potential to reduce the gestation period to produce results that everyone has when they join a new company.

The truth is that most companies are usually very clear about what they want – They want to know what your expertise and contacts are.

Most job seekers presume that the ability to successfully sell a product is all that’s important and if they manage to show that then a company will believe you have the ability to sell anything. This is not true. Success in sales has a basis in your experience in handling a product, territory or clientele. This is your background and specialization and this is what one looks for while screening a CV.

# Make sure you are very clear about showing your specialization.

You can show it in the following ways:

I) Product

The products that you have managed are very important. Most job seekers make the mistake of generalizing too much. For example, saying you sell generators is not enough, they come with various capacities which also determines the end user- Eg. household, cement plant or airfield.

Or for example only mentioning that you sell insurance is vague because insurance is also of various types. Do not make the person who is reading your CV have to guess the nature of the job you were performing. Spell it out and clearly explain what products you have handled.

I have also noticed that often very senior professionals make the mistake of presuming that because they are so senior and have good experience, that they need not spell out the product – since they only need to handle a managerial function of directing a sales team, and that their job is directing and not frontline selling. This is counterproductive as hiring managers will most definitely want senior managers with relevant work experience.

Look at it like this. If I am a hiring manager then I will be looking for specific experience with a specific product. So if my company is selling paints to builders and construction companies then I would prefer someone who has done this job over someone who is selling telecom services to builders and construction companies. I would also reject the CV if it just says I sell paints because I cannot figure out if you are doing direct sales to builders or just to your dealer network and stockists.

And never presume that just because the company you are working for is famous that everyone can guess the product you handle. ITC is into FMCG, hotels, paperboards,packaging, agro-business & information technology. So if your CV says I am working for ITC, I still don’t know what you are selling. If your CV says I am working for Rolls Royce without mentioning that you sell Aero Engines, I might think that you are selling motor cars because that is what I know. Be clear and specific about information. Nobody will do an internet search or call you to ask.

II) Sales Channels.

If you are selling a product then a company wants to know to whom you sell it to? Most job seekers never bother to explain this.

For example FMCG, automobiles, paint, financial services, IT products, security equipment, all have specific channels of sale either through dealer networks, retail outlets, direct sales, networking…

If you say you are the General Manager Sales or a Sales Executive then I would like to know what channel of sales you can develop for my company. This is your real expertise and it also reflects your contacts. If you have experience in selling property, thermal power plants, insurance or toothpaste then how you developed, managed and generated revenue out of the sales channel is extremely important.

Also show what you have developed. For example- I developed a network of stockists in Europe to sell Herbal shampoos. Or I developed contacts in the Ministry of Power / Energy to sell high voltage power transmission products. Or I sold health insurance to the existing account holders of our bank.

What must show clearly in your CV is your knowledge, experience and success in the relevant sales and marketing channel.

III) Territory

What you sell and where you sell it is the core of any sales and marketing resume, however junior or senior you are in your job.

Did you manage sales in a particular city, region, country, and continent? Be specific about showing this. It is highly important.

If I am looking for a Territory Manager for a particular region and you have handled that region only then you may be suitable. If I want a Country Head in Europe and you have only worked in African markets then you are definitely not suitable.

But if you do not mention anything in the hope that the company will be confused enough to call you for an interview, it will not work. They will just move on to the next CV.

3) Achievements:

Many job-seekers tend to isolate their achievements and put them in a list on top of the resume. You must ensure your achievements are listed along side your experience as well, so that it gives hiring managers a complete picture.

When you show achievements on your CV, you have to be specific to the role that you handled for that particular job to which the achievement belongs.

For example: You say you successfully sold – 2 million dollars of soap in Japan or India through distributors, That’s good – but if you add the fact that you did this for a new brand of luxury soap that the company launched, it improves the perspective and adds to the achievement. Or if you are selling services for bridge construction specify the kind of bridge- over swimming pools, lakes or seas? And tell them where you sold it and what revenue generation was achieved. Achievements are about the real work that you have done.

Achievements have to presented in a factual manner. For example: By how much did you increase revenue? How did your marketing strategy make an impact on the company you worked for? Quantify your achievements, include detailed facts and figures.

And remember that self praise is your opinion about yourself. It does not impress any one. Your CV clearly needs to prove how and why your are the best choice for the company.

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Please remember that Sales positions have a lot competition. This is also a function that is quantifiable, so it has to be performance driven. Delivery, performance and revenue generation is very crucial to an organization. Your CV must be able to show these aspects.

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Is your resume showing your expertise as a sales professional? Send your resume for a FREE professional evaluation and feedback now to limasehgal@gmail.com and get tips on how to improve your CV.

Also feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/limasehgal?trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile for regular CV tips, vacancies, interview tips and advice on how to conduct a successful job search.

Lima Sehgal is a Publisher, Author, Career and Resume Development Specialist.

Other Contact details include: skype: lima.sehgal Or WhatsApp: 0091- 8130680957

7 Things Recruiters MUST See On Your CV

Most of us have gone through the heartbreak of getting rejected for a job opening that we felt we were ideally tailor-made for. This may be because your CV failed to reflect the qualities that hiring managers hunt for.

That is why it is very important to identify what companies are looking for in a potential candidate. If you want to succeed at getting shortlisted for interviews, you have to see your CV not from your own perspective but from an employer’s perspective.

Here are 7 things recruiters MUST see on your CV and how you can succeed at showing it to them.

1) Suitability

You need to be a good match for the job posting to get shortlisted. Your CV must show that you have work experience which relates to the job for which you are applying. What companies are searching for is this – Can you produce the required results for the post you are being hired for?

Unless your CV points in this direction quickly and accurately, the person who is shortlisting will skip your CV and go to the next CV in the pile.

Your suitability can be shown through your work experience and achievements. Your CV must show your knowledge, understanding and hard core experience in producing results in the shortest possible time.

# To help a recruiter notice your suitability quickly, show it right on top.

Make a short overview/ summary right on top of your CV with 3 to 5 bullet points expressing how many years of experience you have, your designation and your core expertise.

Once they glimpse your suitability it helps them connect with you and encourages them to read your CV further.

2) Real Experience

Experience is about the functions you have handled in your job during your career. However, job seekers fail to show this effectively and tend to give a detailed report on every single thing they do. Hiring managers find this utterly boring to read and they usually skip it. This is a crucial aspect of the CV, and must be effectively shown.

To show your experience more effectively, stop giving obvious job descriptions. For example: “I am a sales person and I sell” OR “I am an accountant, I do accounting” OR “I am an architect, I design buildings”– along with all the jargon that goes with it. None of these statements say anything about what makes you good at your work or what makes you perfect for the job.

What you really need to do is to show how your experience qualifies you for the job. Talk about your real accomplishments!

Instead of saying, I am a civil engineer, give details of what you have actually built – “a 2 km long bridge across the river OR “a township spread over 400 acres” OR “A school building in the neighborhood”. If you are a sales executive, “I sold 1 million worth of products in 1 year” is better than “I handled sales and marketing.”

# Talk about what you have delivered. Giving relevant facts will also help in making each company / employment on your CV different, more informative and interesting to read.

3) Achievements

However good you are at your work, it does not matter unless you show you are able to produce results and achieve the company’s goals and targets.

Saying “I am good” does not matter – that’s your opinion. You have to prove why you are good.

A lot of job seekers only give a list of awards, achievements and appreciations from the company. For Example- “Got Best Salesman reward and won a trip to Honolulu” OR “I was given a letter of appreciation & increment for introducing cost saving methods”.

A better way to convey your achievements is to say “Won trip to Honolulu because I sold XXXX worth of products, more than anybody else”.

Remember, achievements also include those aspects of doing a job well for which you may not have got a special recognition. For example – “Over the past 5 years in the company as a safety officer there were no accidents” OR “I met the sales target year on year” OR “I achieved a 98.9% success rate – of patients not dying after a surgery performed by me…”

# Achievements have to show how you contributed to a company goal by doing your job well or excellently. But you may or may not get a reward or appreciation for it. Simply doing a job well can also be shown as an achievement. But this must be shown in a brief and precise manner.

4) Creativity

Companies want people who can use their brains to find solutions and make contributions that benefit them. Creativity is a real asset for all employers. They are looking for people who can add surplus to the job.

So as a job seeker you must make sure that your achievements also reflect your creativity.

For example, increasing sales in your supermarket outlets by 50% each year is a good achievement – introducing uniforms for staff in your store to make them identifiable by customers shows creativity – both are good points to use. But the second achievement highlights creativity.

You can show creativity on your CV by highlighting instances where your ideas have benefited the company. For example, you have achievements that make you a good HR manager, but introducing bio-metrics or computerization is creative. Or, as a warehouse manager, you have great achievements but the fact you decided to implement a bar code system to replace manual checking in your warehouse is creative.

Even if your job is mechanical and routine, creativity can be shown. Did you find a way to do the same work in an improved manner? Creativity does not have to be a profound idea – Just one that leads to improvements.

# Being creative must also show in your achievements.

Did you think of any new ideas that resulted in reduced costs, improved processes, nurtured growth, solved problems, saved time, increased revenue?

Show it clearly on your CV.

5) Skills and Competencies

It was a good idea once upon a time to give a great list of skills – But today doing so will lead to recruiters skipping this section.

If you have a specific technical skill – like software or use of a machine or instrument –list it.

But if you are planning on listing general skills like SCM or design or sales – it’s passé. It’s redundant for an accountant to say I know accounts, trial balance preparation or bank reconciliation. Or, if you are an IT professional, it’s silly to you are an expert in MS Office, when even a school kid is an expert. If you decide to mention or list your skills then make sure it is specific to the requirements of the job applied for.

Avoid saying general things like strong negotiation skills, team player, hardworking, keen learner, self-starter … really, it’s a waste…Instead of saying that you are a team player, talk about how you handled a team of people and successfully launched a new product or achieved a deadline. It becomes real then.

# Direct attention to specific skills that are important to the employer. This may include a technology platform, a software, a methodology or a specific knowledge that is important for the post, and leave out generalities.

Or if you can show something specific for example a language, familiarity with a territory and country or a specific qualification that you think would be advantageous to the employer – show that.

6) Good Communication

Good communication skills are a basic requirement for all jobs. So, your CV must show how good a communicator you are – both verbal as well as written.

# A well written resume with good language, no grammatical errors with clear thinking and presentation reflects a person with good communication, language and written skills.

7) Confidence

You have to project yourself as a confident person and your CV is a direct platform for showing your confidence.

There are many ways to project confidence. Your expertise and success must be clear – and visible. A poorly made CV shows low self-esteem and reflects poorly on your presentation skills and professionalism. Are you proud of your CV?

Also make sure your LinkedIn profile and your CV are updated and well presented. You must look smart & professional everywhere and all the time. No one wants to hire someone who can’t take the trouble of creating a good CV.

# Confidence is an intangible quality that shows because of a smart CV. Make sure you show it.

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To know what your CV reflects to recruiters and hiring managers — get a FREE EVALUATION AND FEEDBACK of your CV, by mailing your CV to limasehgal@gmail.com, and get tips and advice on how you can improve the impact of your CV and boost your job search.

Also feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/limasehgal?trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile for regular CV tips, vacancies, interview tips and advice on how to conduct a successful job search.

7 Things You Should NEVER Include On Your CV

Job seekers tend to focus on what to include on their resume, but it is equally important to know what NOT to include on your resume.

What information to include is in your hands, but remember that even small mistakes can backfire and reflect badly on you and in turn hurt your chances of getting shortlisted.

Here are a list of things that you should NOT include on your CV.

1) Personal Information; What to include and what to exclude:

The basics of personal information that you have to include are Name, Address, Email, and Mobile. This information is necessary for a person to contact you. Make sure that all contact details are current and in working condition.

– Address
Your address has to be a place where you can be reached.

#Avoid giving an address of some remote location even if it is your permanent address. If you have no permanent address or you are changing locations frequently, do not list it. You can give an email ID instead.

– Email IDs
Your email ID must be in working condition and you should frequently check it.

You can include up to 2 email id’s on your CV. Just ensure you do not include your current company ID on your CV.

# Do not include email IDs that are descriptive – like sexysanjoo, chooserekha , Manjeetforsuccess – Please choose a mature email ID for your job hunt- the best ones are simple with just combinations around your name.

– Links.
You should include links and details of your Linkedin profile, Skype and website, and to your portfolio.

# What not to include are links that make a person move out of your CV and into your company or college website or to other places on the internet.

– Photographs.
Your photograph needs to show you with a frontal view, in formal attire and a smile. There should be a clear background behind you. Prepare 2 versions of your CV –with and without a photograph.

# Avoid sending your CV with a photograph, unless it has been asked for. Someone may reject you for no reasonable fault but just because of how you look. Also remember, photographs are graphic files and are heavy to email, which can lead to technical difficulties in opening your CV or email.

2) Do NOT include statements of self praise and emphasis:

Many job seekers tend to put in declaratory statements in their “Objective”.
Here are some examples:

Objective: “Talented, multifunctional visionary seeks …”
– “Looking for middle or senior position with an organization where I can contribute…”
– “Award winning national sales manager looking for a challenging work environment… “

No company or recruiter is interested in what you want and what you are trying to say so vehemently. They are interested in only what they want.

# Cut it out- Create a short summary instead- just 2 to 4 points maximum telling them what your expertise is, so that your value to them is clear from the start.

3) Do NOT include explanations for job changes in your CV.

Many job seekers find it necessary to explain why they left a company in the past.
For example-“Left company because – I had a baby, had an accident, left to avoid relocation, got retrenched, company closed down, left because of no growth prospects, daddy got posted abroad” – The reasons are varied.

This is highly avoidable because the explanations you give can have different interpretations for different hiring managers. Lets take the example given above to get an idea on how others may view it.

Example: She had a baby last year so she has to cope with a 1 year old kid’s problems- She would be taking leave whenever the kid falls sick. Oh he had an accident? Maybe he is a rash driver or is he hiding a disability related issue? She left because daddy got posted out? So next time daddy get another posting she will quit. Got retrenched, company closed down, left because of no growth prospects ? Hey this may be a person with a problem – probably someone who gets shunted our easily – Maybe because he is dispensable?

#Do not give reasons for leaving a company on your CV. The reasons can be misinterpreted. You can give an explanation for a job change when you are called in for an interview instead.

4) Do NOT include your salary details.

Job seekers tend to mention their current salary details or give their CTC ( Cost To company ) figures in their CV. They mention it either with their current job, or give salary figures for all the jobs that they have worked in.

Including salary details on your CV is a fundamental blunder. This is because companies have different structures for salary preparation. And if you don’t fit into their structure you may get rejected. They may also reject you because you are over their budget.

By including it, you are creating a reason for rejection without getting a fair chance to be called for an interview where you get a chance to negotiate or compromise.

# Never include your salary details on your CV. Give yourself the chance to discuss and negotiate your salary requirement during the interview.

5) Do NOT include references, unless specifically asked:

There was a time when references were a necessary part of a CV. Job seekers used to go through a lot of trouble getting references from impressive contacts.

Today , there is no need to give references on your CV. If you are a job seeker, employers know that you can produce references. So you do not have to say – “References on request”.

In today’s environment a reference check happens to be the employer’s privilege. Every company has their own requirement- It could be talking to your client, your boss, other ex- employers, your colleagues. So if you are selected for a position, they will probably ask you for a specific kind of reference.

# Avoid putting references on your CV when there is no need for it. It makes your CV unnecessarily long. You can produce them when specifically asked to do so.

6) Do NOT include family details.

Job seekers tend to include information about their marital status, kids, employment details of spouse/ father ,religion.

This kind information creates impressions about you that you have no control over. Suppose a company is not keen to hire a person who is married, why take the chance of getting rejected without a fair chance? Personal data is not compulsory to show. People are keen to know what you can contribute to their organization. So stick to showing your expertise rather than your personal life.

And never mention your religion on your CV. This is often a ground for prejudice and getting rejected.

# Avoid giving personal information on your CV.

7) Do NOT include a conclusion statement at the end of the CV.

Remove the oath bearing statement at the end of your CV that says- I declare that all information is true and updated to the best of my ability – along with a date and signature. It is understood that you shouldn’t lie. Also, it is a CV not an affidavit.

# There is no need for it at all. It is redundant and it just occupies space.

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Stay clear and concise on what you want to show on your resume. There is so much competition out there, you cannot afford to make mistakes in what you communicate to others through your CV.

For a FREE EVALUATION AND FEEDBACK on errors and mistakes on your CV, mail your CV to limasehgal@gmail.com, and get tips and advice on how you can improve the impact of your CV and boost your job search.

Also feel free to connect with me on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/limasehgal?trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile for regular CV tips, vacancies, interview tips and advice on how to conduct a successful job search