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How to Write Sales Manager Resume: Resume Writing Guide & Resume Example

Selling may be the strong suit of any sales manager, but when it comes to putting together their resume -- and selling themselves to potential employers -- even the best sales managers may hit some hurdles.

Whether you are a seasoned sales manager or applying for a first management position in sales, everyone can use a bit of help to present their experience in a way that will get them noticed.

Read on to learn how to write a sales manager resume that puts you in the top 1% of candidates in any applicant pool and succeeds in getting you a new sales management job!

Or jump straight to the resume sample. ➝


How to write a perfect sales manager resume?

To write a sales manager resume that sets you apart from other qualified candidates and impresses employers, follow this guide to learn:

With this resume writing guide, your sales manager resume can also end up sounding like the one below!

Sales manager resume example


Top-ranked sales professional with more than 7 years of retail experience. Skilled at developing and executing effective, impactful sales plans. Led top-performing sales team that has exceeded sales targets by 25% YoY. Recognized for strong leadership skills and record of consistently exceeding sales quotas.


ABC Company / Sales Manager / dates

  • managed sales team that maintained sales of $10M per year by optimizing operations and enhancing the sales force's customer relationship management skills

  • ranked as #1 sales manager (out of 30) for exceeding team sales goals by 15% YoY

  • established new operational procedures and improved team coordination to ensure seamless execution of sales plans and effective customer service

  • participated in the development of a formal performance management system for all sales personnel, covering quotas, evaluations and coaching guidelines

ABC Company / Store Manager / dates

  • managed a team of 3 sales representatives and led the sales division to its best performance of the year after 6 months

  • increased revenue by 10% YoY by leveraging innovative marketing techniques and cultivating positive relationships with customers

  • oversaw the implementation of a new point-of-sale system that enabled employees to more effectively manage sales transactions and improve customer service

  • resolved customer issues by actively participating in sales transactions and communicating frequently with customers

ABC Company / Sales Representative / dates

  • secured sales of $50K per month by utilizing sales techniques that created value for the customer and satisfied sales goals

  • built customer relations through positive, high-quality service and demonstrated a deep commitment to providing exceptional support for each customer

  • earned the employee of the month award 3 months in a row for superior performance

  • trained 15 new hires and seasonal workers on the company's cash registers and point-of-sale systems

  • recommended strategies to improve team efficiency and productivity and maximize revenue


Bachelor's degree / Marketing Management and Business Administration / graduation date

  • University of Iowa, Ames, IA

  • GPA of 3.5/4.0; Dean's List: Fall 2013 – Spring 2015

Now let's write a resume like this together, step by step.


What to do before you start working on your resume?

The key to writing a successful resume is understanding the key job requirements and tailoring the resume accordingly.

So, before you begin writing your resume, do the research.

To find out what the employers want to see on a resume, take these steps:

  • Find a few job descriptions for the sales managers position

  • Study them carefully and make notes about what they are looking for

  • Customize your resume by making sure it covers the most common requirements

Alternatively, if you have already found the job opening you want to apply for, read it carefully a few times. Highlight key job requirements and repeated keywords.

While preparing your job application, refer to the keywords list and make sure to incorporate them throughout your resume. Doing so will help you optimize your resume for readers and the applicant tracking system (ATS) and consequently increase your chances of being shortlisted for an interview.

Why is the job description important?

You may wonder why you should go over a job description before you start listing your experiences.

Well, job descriptions entail the information about the job to which you are applying. It's crucial to understand it because it will give you guidelines on what information to include in your resume.

As such, a job description:

  • gives you direct insight into the information recruiters and hiring managers will look for in applicants' resumes

  • tells you what skills, experiences and qualifications you need to cover in your resume

  • makes it possible to customize your resume for the company's applicant tracking system (ATS)

  • allows you to create a tailored resume, consequently increasing your chances of being selected for a job interview

Let's see what a typical sales manager job description looks like.

Sales manager job description example

We're looking for a sales manager to manage all aspects of sales, from developing effective sales strategy to managing the sales team and operations. A sales manager has to monitor sales performance, making sure that sales goals are being achieved.

In our stores, as a sales manager, you will:

  • manage and monitor sales and staff performance

  • maintain customer experience through team member interaction and store presentation

  • train sales team on generating repeat business by maintaining relationships with existing customers and fostering new ones

  • achieve target results and a high level of sales performance

  • prepare regular revenue, cost and other sales reports for senior management

  • oversee and ensuring compliance of all staff with established company policies

To be considered for the position, an applicant should have:

  • 3+ years of experience in retail sales, preferably as a sales manager

  • experience implementing sales strategies for continuous sales growth

  • a bachelor's degree in marketing, business management or similar

  • strong communication skills, particularly with regards to customer relations

  • knowledge of the retail industry (particularly of FMCG) is a plus

Now when we know what the employers will look for, let's start working on the content of your resume.


Choose the best sales manager resume format.

Whether we like it or not, we all make judgments based on first impressions -- including recruiters and hiring managers.

The readers will decide in a few seconds whether your sales manager resume will be tossed aside or if you’ll be called in for an interview.

Frequently, this decision depends on the resume format, which makes an impression on the reader before they have even had a chance to read a single word from a resume.

Therefore --

It is important to get the format right from the very beginning.

For the best sales manager resume, make sure your resume format:

For the best results, opt for a reverse-chronological format that puts your experience and achievements in the spotlight.

Read more about other resume formats available.


Add contact details to a sales manager resume.

Contact details are just as important to include on your resume as resume skills and experience.

When applying for a job, recruiters and hiring managers need to be able to reach you with any questions they might have.

If you don't include updated contact details, then the employer won't be able to do so. It seems obvious, but candidates fail to add correct contact information surprisingly often.

But with the following tips, you can easily do it right.

What contact information to add?

When it comes to adding contact information to your resume, keep things simple.

Enlist only the following information:

  • Your email address

  • Your phone number (preferably mobile phone)

  • Your city and country

Include additional information, such as links to a website, portfolio, LinkedIn profile or social media, only if they are relevant to the job and polished as much as your resume.

How to format contact details?

The format of contact details should be simple and straightforward.

It's best if your contact details look like this:


Email address | Contact number | City, State

Here is an example:

JANE DOE | 123 123 1234 | New York, NY

Here are a few practical tips to follow:

  • Save valuable space by listing all your contact information in one resume line, separating contact information with extended spacing or graphic dividers.

  • Make sure your email address sounds professional. Using an unprofessional email address can harm your chances of being called for the interview.

  • Check if your phone number has the correct country code (if needed).

Land your dream job with a professionally designed resume template with a step-by-step resume writing guide and detailed editing manual!


Write a strong sales manager resume summary.

Many job seekers start their resumes with a resume objective.

Frequently, a resume objective sounds like this:

An experienced professional seeking a position that allows me to leverage my skills and experience while further developing my professional career.

Unfortunately, this resume statement is highly ineffective. It doesn't state anything worth attention and commonly results in getting a resume tossed in the trash pile.

So, ditch the generic resume objective.

Instead, kick off your resume with a tailored, attention-grabbing resume summary (i.e. career summary, professional summary, summary statement or personal statement).

What is a resume summary?

A resume summary is a short paragraph, usually just a few sentences long, at the top of your resume which presents your skills and experience in the most favorable light. It's what hiring managers get to see first when reviewing a resume; thus, it's an excellent tool for making that all-important first impression.

A strong summary should answer the following questions:

  • Why should the employer hire you for this sales manager job?

  • What makes you a good candidate for this position?

  • How could your qualifications benefit the company?

You should write a unique summary for each of your job applications -- to ensure you're putting the most relevant information forward.

Even though it's not a mandatory part of a resume, including a summary paragraph is a good idea since it can help the reader understand your qualifications and career goals more quickly.

How you choose to write this section depends largely on why you're writing your resume in the first place. If you're currently employed in a relevant field, then it could be used as a tool for emphasizing some of the most relevant experiences and skills.

Alternatively, if you're looking for a career change, then use it to highlight your most relevant and transferable skills and abilities.

Learn more about writing a resume summary.

Sales manager resume summary examples

Here are a few summary examples ready to use on your sales manager resume.

  • Top-ranked sales professional with more than 5 years of retail experience. Skilled at developing and executing effective, impactful sales plans. Led top-performing sales teams that have exceeded sales targets by 15% YoY. Recognized for engaging leadership and record of consistently exceeding sales quotas.

  • Award-winning retail sales manager with 7 year's experience of delivering exceptional service and increased sales. Supervised 5+ person team in managing retail customer service, advertising and sales. Led team to achieve sales goals of $1MM+ annually. Recognized as the top performer for consistently exceeding targets.

  • Experienced retail sales manager with a proven track record of consistently exceeding objectives and delivering exceptional results. Managed multiple sales teams across the region. Achieved strong target growth numbers, doubling region revenue in three years to $75MM.

  • Senior sales manager with 15 years of proven record of success in all aspects of retail store management. Managed a floor staff of 20 employees and oversaw daily operations, including inventory control, organizing promotions and providing exceptional customer service. Increased annual sales by over 15% through sales planning, customer relations and sales training programs.

  • Strategic sales manager with 6 years sales experience in the retail industry. Outstanding sales performance of about 15% sales growth each year. Strengths include team management, customer service, and sales forecasting. Recognized for the ability to identify sales opportunities and generate repeat business to achieve set targets.

Wondering how your resume summary can sound like this?

Replace the critical keywords to fit your experience and job description -- and your summary will be ready to beat the competition.


Describe your work experience in terms of achievements.

The work experience section is the crown jewel of any resume.

This section allows you to showcase your qualifications and credibility as the perfect candidate for the job.

Considering that a recruiter or hiring manager may only spend 7 seconds with your resume, it is crucial to make sure that the resume for a sales manager position displays relevant skills, experience -- and most importantly, accomplishments.

What to add to the work experience section?

When listing sales manager experience, use a simple format to add the main information about your work history:

  • Company name

  • City, state

  • Job title

  • Start and end date of employment

  • Bullet points describing your main tasks or duties

Make sure to follow the same structure throughout this section to make it easy to read.

How to list the work experience?

Readers are most interested in your recent experience.

That's why reverse-chronological order on a resume works best.

The current or most recent sales experience should be listed first, followed by achievement-filled sales jobs from the past.

Make sure to fill this section with relevant information by focusing only on paid jobs in the job-related field.

Don't mix the information with:

  • volunteering experience

  • extracurricular activities

  • unpaid work or projects

  • freelance gigs

If you have plenty of relevant experience, focus on the last ten years of your career.

If you have over 10 or 15 years of experience, condense the information from the beginning of your career.

Any entry-level jobs or jobs not related to the position you're applying for can be briefly mentioned in a separate section.

You can add them to a separate part of your resume named 'Previous employment' and list only basic information about it, including company, job title, location and timeframe, without further details on responsibilities and achievements.

How to describe work experience to stand out?

The strength of your resume is determined by the information presented in your work experience section.

The strength of your resume is determined by the information presented in your work experience section.

There are hundreds of resume tips about making this part of a resume as strong as it gets.

They all boil down to these three suggestions:

Focus on your achievements

Rather than reading a list of day-to-day duties, what matters more to employers is what outstanding achievements you made.

Your achievements are unique to you -- they allow you to set yourself apart from others.

Think about it this way --

The sales job description might be similar across different sales management positions and companies. So, if focused only on general sales responsibilities, all sales manager resumes sound alike.

That's why an outstanding resume needs a twist.

For a strong work experience section, focus more on your achievements than on your daily tasks --especially when applying for a managerial position.

Share that information with recruiters and hiring managers by using the accomplishment-based language. To do so, start each bullet point with an action verb, such as increased, generated, or managed.

Quantify your successes

Describing your achievements without providing data simply won’t cut it.

For example, stating that you increased sales is not enough if your potential employer doesn't know the size of a sales increase in the given context.

Use hard numbers to show your potential employer that you are a sales expert by using data like this:

  • an increase of sales by 25% over the past year

  • a sales increase from $5 million to $15 million in annual sales

  • achieved target revenue of $100MM per year

To add numbers to the sales manager resume, refer to how much sales volume you've increased, revenue generated, sales expenses you controlled or the number of sales staff you managed.

Tailor your content to the target job

The chances are that in each position you held, you had dozens of responsibilities and even more accomplishments you could list on a resume.

However, recruiters and hiring managers are not equally interested in all these details.

They are looking for proof that you can succeed in this specific role at their company -- and they expect to find it in a matter of seconds.

To write a resume that will be read thoroughly and land you an interview, tailor your content by cherry-picking accomplishments that relate to the requirements from the job description and be selective while doing so.

Remember --

Having a list of three to four concise, quantified and highly relevant bullet points beats the list of ten so-so bullet points anytime.

How to format the work experience section?

The resume work experience section should be easy to scan, and its formatting plays a vital role in a resume's readability.

Use the following resume formatting rules to present your sales manager work experience section in a way that makes it easier for a recruiter or hiring manager to find the information they are interested in.

  • Bullet points are quicker to scan, so use bulleted lists to present your previous jobs.

  • One of the first things the readers will spot on a resume is fonts. Use easy-to-read and professional fonts, such as Calibri, Arial, Times New Roman, or Tahoma.

  • Use the font styles consistently throughout the document. Accentuate the resume's structure by applying one more dominant font style to the headings and the other, more subtle one to the body of the document.

  • If you opt to use colors on a resume, use them wisely and sparingly. Find out what are the best and worst resume colors.

  • Use white space to highlight different parts of your sales manager resume. Read the complete guide on effective use of white space.

All our resume templates come with a matching cover letter and reference list in two sizes (US letter and A4) and two formats (.docx and .pages). Along with the templates, all job application kits include a 40-page resume writing guide to help you create a perfect resume.


Add relevant education and qualifications to a sales manager resume.

The education section is a great place to present your qualifications and show that you are qualified for the job. In some cases, a strong educational section allows a candidate to present themselves as an all-around better fit than most applicants.

What to include in the education section?

To make sure you're covering the basic information about your educational background, add:

  • Name and location of the school

  • Major/minor

  • Degree(s) you got

  • Graduation date (month and year)

Experienced sales professionals who have completed their education years ago should keep this section short and simple by focusing on fundamental info, unless they want to further emphasize their sales prowess by including sales-related courses they've recently completed.

What to add to the education section if you have no work experience?

If you have limited or no retail sales experience, consider highlighting additional education information.

You could add a few more things to expand the education section and provide additional value to your application.

Do the following:

  • Include sales-related coursework.

  • Highlight projects or competitive extracurricular activities that potentially helped you gain sales skills.

  • Add your GPA if it will help you stand out from other candidates.

You can additionally emphasize your educational background by placing it above the work experience section.

If you have a unique education history, read the complete guide to adding education to a resume.

How to format the education section?

The format of the education section should be in line with how you listed your work experience.

Here are a few practical tips:

  • To keep your resume short and easy to read, limit each level of education to one line or two lines.

  • Condense additional details, such as your sales-related courses or extracurricular activities, into a bulleted list.

  • Make sure the formatting style of the education section is consistent with how you format the work experience section.

Or browse one of our resume templates and create your perfect resume in minutes!


Add skills to the sales manager resume.

Listing skills in a resume is a great way to showcase your expertise.

Skills are often overlooked by job seekers writing their resumes, so listing them gives the best chance of impressing recruiters and hiring managers. They allow you to reiterate and emphasize that you have the skills and qualifications to do the job.

The skills list also contributes to applicant tracking system optimization (ATS).

Read this article if you're interested in learning more about the ATS to ensure your resume gets past the first filter.

What are the key skills for the sales manager resume?

When applying for a sales position, displaying key skills can instantly prove that you're a good fit for the job.

The most compelling sales manager resumes always showcase a combination of technical (i.e. hard) and soft skills needed for success in the job.

Technical skills employers could look for in applicants are:

  • sales strategies and techniques

  • sales forecast

  • sales reports

  • marketing strategies

  • analyzing sales trends

  • product knowledge

  • inventory control

  • staff training, management and retention

  • visual merchandising sales knowledge

  • retail sales management software

  • customer service

  • customer satisfaction

  • customer complaints

Some of the most important soft skills are:

  • leadership

  • communication skills

  • selling skills

  • problem solving

  • analytical thinking

  • strategic thinking

  • goal orientation

  • time management

When reviewing applications for sales manager roles, hiring managers search for evidence of these specific skills in any resume sent their way.

Where to position skills on a sales manager resume?

There are two places on a resume where you can position the skills overview - after the opening summary or at the very end of the resume.

Either position is good, depending on what you first want to put forward.

The first option is great for job applicants who are changing a career path, as it allows them to list transferable skills at the top of a resume to grab employers attention. It's good for experienced sales professionals too, since it helps them establish themselves as sales experts right from the start.

Having your skills at the end of a sales manager resume works well if you want to use this section to add further information about technical skills or knowledge (e.g. software knowledge) that you didn't fit into the previous resume sections.


How to format a sales manager resume?

When applying for sales manager positions, the competition is fierce.

You need every bit of competitive advantage you can get -- and a professionally designed resume template can be a gamechanger.

Your perfect resume is one click away.

When using a professional design, a sales manager resume can look like this:

When formatting a resume on your own, carefully consider resume fonts, colors and white space.

  • Fonts: Use professional and easy to read fonts. Apply one formatting style to the resume headings to emphasize the structure and another to the rest of the content.

  • Colors: Select a color suitable for the industry and use it sparingly to highlight the most important elements of a resume.

  • White space: White space is the blank space on a document that largely determines document readability. Achieve the right balance of white space by managing spacing and margins.


What to do with a cover letter?

A good cover letter is always the best companion for a resume.

While a well-written resume provides the hiring manager insight into the applicant's career history, work experience and professional accomplishments, a cover letter allows candidates to go beyond basic facts.

Writing a cover letter also gives you an additional chance to highlight your most notable skills, accomplishments and experience or to address any concerns a hiring manager might have with your resume's content.

For example, if you've been out of the industry for a while and are now returning to the job market after several years away from work, then you can use a cover letter to explain why this break in employment occurred and show how much you've learned during those years.

To make sure your cover letter works in your favor, write it in line with the requirements of the job listing and use it as to tell what makes you qualified for this specific opportunity.

These are the main parts of a great sales manager cover letter:

  • Greeting: Addressing a cover letter with 'Dear Sir or Madam' or 'To Whom it May Concern' is not an effective way of getting noticed by recruiters and hiring managers. Find the person responsible for hiring and kick off your cover letter with their name (Dear Mr/Mrs Doe).

  • Opening paragraph: Start your cover letter with a few sentences specifying the role you're applying for. Summarize your experience in one or two sentences, highlighting the most relevant information. Bear in mind that a cover letter should be one page long, so keep it concise by providing further details only on the resume items that are essential for the opportunity you're applying to.

  • Body: Include information about why you want to work at this particular organization and how it can benefit from hiring someone like yourself. Include what skills and experiences make you qualified for this specific job. Use bullet points to highlight the most impressive achievements or critical skills. If needed, address any potential concerns or doubts a recruiter may have about your application, especially regarding your motivation for the job change, career change, or relocation.

  • Closure: Reiterate your interest in the role and thank the reader for their time and consideration.


Summary of the sales manager resume writing guide

Even the best sales managers can use a hand when writing a resume that will help them land their dream job.

Whether you're an experienced or a first-time sales manager, these resume tips will help you write a sales manager resume that has employers saying, “I’m buying what you’re selling!” and puts you in the top 1% of all applicants.


Take that one extra step to impress employers...

  • select a professionally designed resume template

  • download and edit with your experience, skills and qualifications

  • save and submit your winning application today


Helpful resources

If you want to present your experience in a professional and polished resume design, explore our collection of over 40+ resume templates with matching cover letters.

But don't rely only on your resume to make an impression and land you the job. Start using other job search methods and tools to accelerate your job search and get that job in no time.

Visit our blog for more resume writing tips and land your new job faster.

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