What Software Sales Recruiters Look For on a Resume
There’s lots of material out there on how to create the best looking resume in any industry. But what is a software sales recruiter really looking for when they glance at your listed work experience? As it turns out, the broader components of a software sales resume are similar to that of a resume for other sales roles...but obviously, the specifics and details will need to relate to software sales. Candidates should know that an experienced software sales headhunter will be looking over their resume for…
Skills and Education
And in addition to all that, they’ll also want to consider the person beyond the resume (that’s you). Let’s take a look at each component and see what it means for your software sales resume.
A candidate for a software sales position who has also served time as a financial advisor, contractor, and former franchise owner does not come across as someone who wants to stay in one place for long. There’s no problem with exploring new options in life, but staying in one business consistently provides experience. At the same time, it is acceptable for someone to start out in one business and transition to another, especially in the early stages of their professional life. Moreover, it is also possible for someone seeking a software sales role to transition into certain software sales positions, if they have extensive sales experience in other areas.
A candidate who has bumped around from company to company every few months does not look like a promising option. Whether these moves were of their own free volition or they were forced, it all indicates a lack of commitment. A software sales recruiter cannot, in good faith, recommend a candidate who may not stick around for the long haul. By contrast, a candidate who stays at each company for several years appears to be reliable, committed, and appreciated by his former company. At the same time, a candidate with certain stretches of activity on their resume should be given the option of explaining why they moved around so much in that time period; they may have a spouse who changed jobs during that time, or there may be some other extenuating circumstance.
Discussing your achievements in prose is great, but it can still leave some ambiguity about how great you are. By contrast, using actual numbers to illustrate your successes in software sales gives a recruiter or hiring manager a concrete idea of your abilities. They will be especially interested in seeing how you’ve met or surpassed your targets or relevant company benchmarks, which in turn will help them assess how you stack up to other candidates for the position in question. To that end, it’s always a good practice to keep track of your achievements, even if you don’t expect to change positions anytime soon...you never know when those numbers will be needed on a resume.
Skills and Education
The sales component of software might be less techy than IT management, but there are still plenty of skills you can showcase on your resume, such as interpersonal skills learned with a certification process. A recruiter who sees certifications in unique sales methodologies or that you have attended certain seminars meant to improve your sales game will go a long way towards creating a positive impression of yourself...one that showcases a drive to constantly do better and improve. And despite the move of recent tech giants like Google to ignore educational experience in favor of hard skills, educational institutions listed on a sales resume can still become a talking point and indicate long term dedication to achievement.
The substance of the resume is certainly important, but the way it’s presented also carries a lot of weight. In a career field like sales, presenting the most relevant and compelling pieces of information are key, as is tailoring the message to the recipient. To that end, your resume should use keywords that relate to—and may even have been pulled from—the job description. The layout should be clear and concise. Roles and responsibilities should be expressed in writing and in chronological order. There should be no spelling or grammar mistakes. If you’re sending it as an attachment, it should be a universal file type like a PDF, and contain your full name in the filename.
The Person Beyond the Resume
Remember that a resume alone, even if it's incredibly impressive, will not get you hired...especially for more prominent software sales roles such as a regional or territory sales manager. The HR or hiring manager of your potential new company will still want to meet you (or Skype you in this era), and you’ll need to create an excellent impression. Dressing professionally, being personable, knowing what to answer and even asking the right questions will go a long way towards securing your next software sales role. Remember that sales is a people business, so bring that paper resume to life and put your best foot forward during your interview.
A Final Word about Your Software Sales Resume
Working with a software sales recruiter can help you fine tune your resume and package it the best way, bringing out the most relevant parts of your skills, experience, and education, while formatting and wording it to catch the eye. Moreover, a software sales headhunter will also be able to pair you with some good job options in software sales that match your resume, or discuss potential options you may not have considered. Send me your resume at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s discuss where you’d like to go next. Alternatively, if you’re a company looking for talent, I have 40 years of experience vetting the best talent in software sales. Let’s connect! And if you liked the content of this blog post, please share it on your social media accounts.