What readers of your C.V. want first is a “Summary of You”, a clear and engaging Executive Summary that positions and differentiates you.
Here is a list of suggested criteria or focal points that quickly paint a picture of your capability and your fit and should create preference in your direction. This Summary Profile – in bullets – can be inserted at the top of the C.V.
A. Individual Contributor Sales Roles
- Key commercial / sales achievements (in terms of targets met, new customer acquisition, account growth, markets grown).
- Strength of New Business Acquisition Record (lead generation, outbound, prospecting, opportunity creation). And / or strength of account management track record, especially growing key or strategic accounts.
- Type of audiences / stakeholders sold to? Many people omit or understate this, yet it is a key piece of information e.g. if you have sold at C-level or to technical people, to multi-stakeholders, to end-users, to a particular role type, or to international buyers.
- Types of selling you are experienced in (solution / enterprise, recurring revenue model, low / high value, low/high frequency, international, technical-sale, consultative, team-based, pre-sales assisted, solution architected).
- Industry or related subject matter / domain knowledge.
- Capability beyond the role (e.g. general management skills, project management skills, people management, player-manager). This is a really important point of differentiation. We sometimes call it the “edge”.
- Overall career journey (How has that built over time – is there a strong progression?).
- Qualifications, and especially any more recent investment in self-development / education.
B. Sales Management & People Leadership Roles
Many of the above points will apply but here are some additional items you would be expected to summarise and position yourself on.
- Track record of delivering results through a team
- Recruiting, On-boarding (building) a sales team
- Evidence / Track of working in KPI / Forecast-driven environment
- Evidence / Track record of Individual Rep Improvement
- Extent / depth of managing a Field sales team
- Extent / depth of managing an Inside sales team (where relevant)
- Extent / depth of international sales / sales management experience
- Developing / executing Sales Strategy / Extent of participation on a senior management team
- Track record as Individual Contributor
- Management of Managers or Teams of Managers (where relevant)
No matter how detailed or long or even well-presented your CV is, it’s this summary piece (in bullets, not in paragraphs or prose), that will make the biggest impact and that is most useful to the people viewing the CV. We estimate that you should have between 6-8 points. Treat it as your “positioning” statement. Emphasis can be changed then per role, because different roles will requires different emphases in terms of audiences, technical or domain knowledge and types of selling.