Hiring Center:  Reviewing Sales and Marketing Resumes

There are several key areas to review on a candidate’s resume. These are listed in the order of importance by most sales managers.

  • Achievements– If interviewing for a sales role, keep in mind good salespeople have one thing in common….they know how to “win”.  Past success is considered by most managers to be a strong indicator of future accomplishments.   When reviewing a salesperson’s resume look at their sales numbers, quota attainments, awards, GPA, competitive nature (this may be through a past background in sports accomplishments or some other type of hobby in which the candidate has excelled.)  Indicators such as these are important attributes of a person’s desire to succeed.
  • Style of Resume– Does the resume sell the individual and their abilities?   Check for spelling errors and action verbs.  Resumes should be viewed as a sales tool that actually sells the candidate. Resumes can tell you a lot about an individual.  Some resumes may be professionally written.  What this tells you is that although the candidate may not have written the document; they still believe in representing their abilities professionally and with the utmost care. You will note that some resumes will have bullets defining the person’s achievements.  This type of resume tells you the candidate is confident and knows how to sell themselves and their abilities.
  • Important tip:  If a resume does not catch your attention and shout “winner” to you, put it down.
  • Past Experience– Review the candidate’s past experience in depth.  Try to define what the candidate did in their past roles, what products they sold and who their customers were.  Past customer relationships can be as important as product knowledge.
  • Date Review- Review the resume for length of employment and any gaps that may appear.  If a candidate has more than three jobs in ten years further evaluation is required.  However, we advise not to disqualify the candidate based on this rule.  The rule of thumb is to have the candidate explain any gap in the dates on the resume or any employment that lasted less than 3 years.