Tips for Getting a Job in Sales

A Few Helpful Notes for the Restless Job Seeker

It is well known that today’s economy is in a difficult position. However, what many people may not have noticed is that certain sectors seem to be showing signs of life, even despite this hardship. In sales, for example, recruiters have not ceased to scout for talent. Sure, it’s not as easy as it used to be to land the perfect sales gig, but for individuals with the right qualifications who are serious about their careers, there are significant opportunities arising.

If these types of opportunities are what you are looking for, there are a few things that you should know. The job market may be tough, but you can do yourself no harm by going into battle prepared. In this article, we will share with you a few of the most important things that you should know when looking for a complex sales position. If after reading through this blog post, you still need more assistance, check out the podcast that inspired this post titled “Getting A Sales Job” over at our companion podcast

But for now, let’s quickly go over some of the more important basics to finding a great sales job:

Know what you want.

I can hardly begin to tell you how common it is for even talented sales people to begin to look for a job without even giving a thought to what they want to get out of their new job. Does it make a difference to you whether you are selling tuna fish or time-shares? Perhaps in your mind you think that it doesn’t, but believe me, in the long run, you are going to care a great deal about what you are selling. If your heart is not in what you are doing, you will not be likely to achieve your full potential. You need to find a job where you can really engage with both the product and the selling process.

Know who can give you what you want.

Now, you need to make sure that the companies you are investigating can actually address your personal / professional desires. If not, move on to the next option; investigate another employer.

Do what you are good at.

Don’t apply for positions that you are heavily under-qualified for (or over-qualified for that matter). This is only likely to discourage you in the long run. Instead, you need to find a match, a position that compliments your unique skills. It will be worth it in the long run to make the extra effort required for finding this type of position.

Make your resume concise and focused.

Don’t beat around the bush about your achievements. Sales managers and recruiters want to see numbers regarding growth. Be as specific as possible about what you where able to accomplish at your former employer. Put your best foot forward, but make sure to avoid vagary.

Take care of the small details.

This stuff may seem trivial, but as the cliche goes, “The devil is in the details.” And believe me, this is no less true today than when it was first spoken by some frustrated craftsman working under different but equally frustrating conditions. These are things like the style of your resume, the cover letter, etc.

For example: you are probably sending your resume in electronically, so make sure that it looks as good on a computer screen as it does on paper. You should also make sure that it is easily accessible on all computer platforms.

Also, don’t give your resume an obscure name like “resume.pdf” or “33848.doc.” The title should include your name and any other relevant information.

The same principle applies to the title of your email. It should be clear and concise. If you were referred by someone, you could consider titling your email “referred by [referal’s name].” This will get your reviewer’s attention quickly and make sure that they take a look at your information quickly. The more time you spend evening out these little quirks, the better. Even the smallest detail could be a deal breaker if you are up against several equally qualified applicants.

Check out our friend Doyle Slayton’s Sales Job Listing over at the SalesBlogcast! He has a huge listing of open sales positions!

Okay Now Tell us your tips! Leave a comment!

Good Selling
Mike & Joe
SalesRoundup Podcast

PS Subscribe to the SalesActionPlan and we will send you an email each time we post an new blog. This way you will never miss a post!

Related Articles

9 comments for “Tips for Getting a Job in Sales

  1. Dan
    June 12, 2009 at 6:22 am

    Taking a page from your “Selling in a tough economy”, It’s very important to show how you add value to the organization. Also you need to be able to contribute in a short period of time. Right now companies aren’t looking for results in 6 months, they need results now!

  2. Pat Norris
    June 12, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Right after, “Make your resume concise and focused”, I would suggest that sales job seekers develop a plan to reach their target audience of hiring-managers or HR people in the target companies. This could consist of going on LinkedIn to network your way to getting a name of someone at the company and making a direct contact, either by phone, email or the best is in-person. Make sure you know what you are going to say before you say it and even practice it with a friend or in front of a mirror. Little respect is given to sales people who don’t go the extra steps to make a direct contact or who don’t know the steps necessary to network ones-self into getting an audience with the appropriate manager. If you can’t do it to get yourself hired, will you be any better when you are on the job selling the companies products? Just a thought.

  3. May 27, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Bloggers are not appreciated enough, thank you for taking the time to post this.

  4. October 30, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    sales jobs are always in demand but you have to be a good sales person to maintain your job :

  5. March 28, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Great tips and you can never have enough advice on finding that perfect Sales gig, thanks!

  6. January 5, 2012 at 2:18 am

    Many thanks. Looking forward to reading your future sharing. Nice day!

  7. Josiah Helfrich
    April 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Sales jobs are everywhere, and they might make up a bigger part of the job market then you might think. Almost every job sector needs people to fill sales jobs, even where you may least expect it. One job I had was for a graphics design company. I figured that most of their clients came to them through advertising, but I was wrong about this. They were successful, but they were always looking for new clients. They employed someone to make cold calls to try to drum up business. :

    Our own internet site

  8. Marcelene Jubinville
    May 13, 2013 at 12:33 am

    Mainly graphic design is not only applicable for printed materials they can also be applied and utilized for web development projects. The vast changes made in technology had paved more businesses to have their services extended online. However bringing up a web page of your own is not as easy as selling hot potatoes. You have to be creative and wise enough in choosing for the right designs and a right content for a perfect presentation. :;

    Bye for now

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *