You build the team, rally the troops, and identify growth opportunities. Now you’re looking for a new customer for a specialised product: Yourself as a sales manager. You’ve got the track record, now you need to use your skills to develop a sales manager CV that seals the deal on your dream job.
Your sales manager CV is your first, best chance to demonstrate your sales pitch. If you can’t sell your skills, you won’t convince recruiters you can sell products and services. So, how do you promote yourself without sounding like you’re just patting yourself on the back?
Start with this guide and the resources within Resume.io. Our CV examples, including other sales CV samples and guides, will give you a head start. Add to that our intuitive CV builder and you’ll be honing that sales pitch in no time.
Within this guide, we will cover the following topics:
- What does a sales manager do?
- Hints and tricks for writing an outstanding sales manager CV
- The best format for a sales manager CV (plus an adaptable CV example)
- Specific advice for each CV section (summary, work history, education, skills)
- Professional CV layout and design hints.
What does a sales manager do?
Sales managers are the driving force behind business growth. They see the big picture — designing and implementing strategic sales plans — while also mentoring and motivating the wider sales team. To get it right, they must be a combination of a savvy businessperson and an inspiring mentor.
More granularly, sales managers are responsible for setting company sales goals and targets for individual salespeople. They then track those goals and report results. Great sales managers train and organise their sales agents and facilitate ongoing training and guidance.
Communication is a must as the sales manager acts as the bridge between marketing and sales to ensure all leads are followed up and to understand what pitches are working best. Sales executives may focus on business-to-business (B2B) transactions or business to customer or consumer (B2C) sales.
How much does a sales manager earn?
The salary range for sales managers is wide depending on the industry and sales incentives. At the executive level, base salaries range from about £30,000 to £60,000, with commission or bonuses adding anywhere from £2,000 to over £100,000, Prospects reports.
How to write a sales manager CV
Before we get into the content of your sales manager CV, let’s start with what sections it comprises. Your CV should contain the following elements:
- The CV header
- The CV summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The CV skills section
- The education section
You can also customise your CV with other relevant sections. If you have earned industry accolades or certifications that bolster your desirability as a candidate, consider creating new elements to draw attention to them. Shout about yourself!
Understand the company culture
Just as you tailor your sales strategy to the customer, you need to tailor the way you sell yourself. Before you craft your sales manager CV, research the style and image of the company you are targeting. If you have a contact at the firm, call on them to describe the atmosphere. Here are some items to consider:
- Is it formal or more casual?
- Hard-driving or laid back?
- What do managers emphasise to their team or to clients?
- How are products or services marketed?
- What is the company’s public image?
Knowing the answers to these questions will guide the tone of your sales manager CV, but it will also help you pinpoint the focus of your content.
Choosing the best CV format for a sales manager
Presenting sales packages means making it easy for the customer to find exactly what they want to know to help them make a decision — in your favour, of course. That’s why your sales manager CV format ranks high in importance. You need to choose wisely so recruiters perusing your CV find exactly what they’re looking for without delay.
We recommend the reverse chronological order CV format in most cases. Why? Recruiters want to sift through CVs quickly and at the top of their list is the answer to the question: What are you doing now? The answer should be directly under your employment history header.
If you are a seasoned professional or a career changer, one of the alternate formats we suggest may be a better option for you. However, your sales and management talents are most likely better showcased in a reverse chronological order format.
Optimise for the Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
The vast majority of firms use an ATS to streamline the application process. They scan your data into an HR software program for easy searching. More importantly, they also use algorithms to rank your sales manager CV against others. Whilst you may be a perfect fit for the job, if you don’t take these algorithms into account, you may lose out.
Analyse the job listing, highlighting keywords and phrases that describe qualifications your prospective employer seeks. Then, use those exact words in your CV so the ATS will identify them. There is no surefire way to clear this hurdle, but an organised CV with appropriate keywords will certainly help.
The goal of your sales manager CV is to garner an interview. Any obstacle can diminish your chances, so use your header to draw the eye towards your name, email address and best phone number.
Excellent CVs don’t waste an opportunity to illustrate a talent, and sales managers also have to be presenters. Show off this skill with a crisp, easy-to-read header that reflects your professional personality.
CV summary example: elevator pitch
What’s your sales and management style? Are you a big-picture thinker? What will you bring to the position? Answering those queries is the gist of your sales manager CV summary. You know attention spans are short, so give recruiters 100 words to instantly hook them.
Your summary, also known as a profile, is a teaser to the detailed content within your CV. The broad outline below will help you structure this freeform section:
- Start with a one-sentence introduction, including a strong adjective or two related to your professional style
- Spend one or two sentences touting your greatest sales achievement
- Talk up the reason you want the specific job at hand and why you are a great fit. You will delve more deeply into these topics in the rest of your CV and your cover letter.
Need some inspiration here? If you’d like to see more CV samples to guide you through writing this section, click over to our marketing CV example, the account manager CV sample, or the general sales CV example.
Passionate Sales Manager with a proven track record of helping retail companies to achieve goals and objectives through effective sales leadership and sales processes. Adept in identifying and acting on sales opportunities through networking and the implementation of sales campaigns. Committed to embracing new challenges and constantly learning in this ever-changing industry.
Employment history sample: seal the deal
Let’s face it: Sales is a numbers game. Successful sales managers boost the bottom line and have the data to prove it. Within the employment history section of your sales manager CV, you need to build the case that you have the know-how to push the sales team to greater heights.
There’s no better way to do that than with hard numbers. Use each bullet item to draw parallels between your actions and increased sales. That includes your ability to manage your team well and create a commission structure that builds team morale and enhances the company’s profits.
Active language and strong verbs create an image of positive momentum and strategic movement. Develop a story of increasing sales success and industry knowledge.
Sales Manager at Eshka Limited, London
September 2017 - August 2022
- Managed two of the company's busiest London locations and ensured the execution of high business standards.
- Consistently exceeded established quarterly and annual sales goals and profit margins.
- Coached retail team members and oversaw productivity and client relationships, leading to high employee and client retention rates.
- Served as a liaison between the store and corporate teams.
- Developed and executed monthly action plans to drive sales and promote the customer experience.
- Hired and developed exceptional client-based in-store sales teams, resulting in monthly profit increases of more than £3000 between 2021 and 2022.
- Performed routine sales analysis processes and subsequently proposed actions for improvement.
Sales Associate at Linda Tracy, London
March 2014 - August 2017
- Maintained a positive selling environment that prioritised the customer experience.
- Worked as a team player to achieve outstanding customer satisfaction rates.
- Worked on a team that saw a 40% increase in overall sales between 2014 and 2017.
- Remained punctual, reliable, and professional at all times.
- Adhered to all retail policies and procedures.
- Performed daily department tasks including re-merchandising, display upkeep, and light cleaning.
Resume skills example: focused excellence
Describe your professional identity in five words or fewer. This is a common interview question, but it is also the guiding principle of the skills element of your sales manager resume. What are the top attributes that make you an excellent sales manager?
This section can be difficult because expertise in leadership and people skills as well as business and sales acumen are necessities. Your research will pay off here, because you will be able to focus your section on the attributes most important to the firm.
According to Zendesk, sales managers need the following soft — or people — skills: empathy, resilience, servant leadership, communication skills, problem-solving, motivational techniques, and an ability to delegate. Choose from those or define your own. Then, blend in the hard skills you have learned over the course of your career. Check out our adaptable CV sample.
- Marketing and Sales
- Business Development Strategies
- Industry Knowledge
- Leadership Skills
- Excellent Communication Skills
- Problem Solving Skills
- Multitasking Skills
Sales manager CV education example
Although some sales managers have degrees in business or management, formal post-secondary education is not typically a requirement in this field. You should, however, include your education background on your CV.
Begin with your latest degree and work backward. You need not include your high school experience if you have university diplomas. If you have completed any sales or sales management courses, such as those from the Institute of Sales Management (ISM), include those here as well. Take a look at our CV sample for inspiration.
Bachelor of Arts in Marketing, University of London, London
September 2010 - May 2014
Above we mentioned the inclusion of specialised sections. Especially if you have not earned higher degrees, you may move sections such as ‘Awards and Accolades,’ ‘Industry Affiliations,’ or ‘Certifications’ above your education listing.
CV layout and design: visualise sales
The best sales pitch may fall flat if the visual materials that go with it don’t inspire confidence. Your sales manager CV needs to leave the impression of an organised, go-getter who can use a graphic presentation to close the deal.
If your sales manager CV stands out from the start, you’re much more likely to get a second look. Here are some tips for accomplishing the task:
- Ensure that recruiters can find what they seek without difficulty by clearly labelling your sections and choosing a font that stands out.
- Create an airy feel by varying line lengths to avoid dense blocks of type and leave amply margins.
- Consider one or two graphic elements, but keep them clean and use only colour sparingly.
- Readability comes first. Choose fonts that are easy on the eye.
Key takeaways for a sales manager CV
- Your greatest product is yourself and your application package is your showcase — if you can’t sell yourself, you won’t get a chance to sell anything else.
- Hone your sales manager CV content to match the requirements of each job and give yourself an edge against the ATS in the process.
- Carefully craft your summary; it is your elevator pitch and may tip the scales toward getting the interview.
- Use Resume.io’s resources, including templates, that will get your CV in shape faster.