There is a cliché that sales people don’t typically have the best resumes, so there is a tendency to dismiss or reduce the importance of the resume in sales hiring. And good selling is about the personal interaction anyway, right?

Well, most of us don’t have time to meet everyone to find our whether they are strong or not, so to protect your agenda, you need ways to screen candidates before meeting them.

Here are some of the top techniques used by those of us that do a lot of sales hiring. Here are the top ways to review a resume:

1.    Look for numbers.  In sales resumes, results are key.  Anyone can call themselves an “over achiever” or a sales “superstar.” If a candidate does not quantify his success in the resume, it may be an effort to downplay less than stellar results.

2.    Look for winners.  Strong sales resumes often have an “awards and achievements” section.  That’s because great sales people often win awards and can list significant achievements like important wins and large deals.  It is another way to demonstrate results.

3.    Consecutive short stays are a warning sign.  If the candidate has a pattern of staying at companies for 1 year or less, she is probably not making quota, or perhaps she is repeatedly losing interest before building momentum.  Optimally, you are looking for someone who stays three to five years at most sales jobs.


Eliot Burdett

CEO at Peak Sales Recruiting
Before Peak, Eliot spent more than 20 years building and leading companies, where he took the lead in recruiting and managing high performance sales teams. He co-founded Ventrada Systems (mobile applications) and GlobalX (e-commerce software). He was also Vice President of Sales for PointShot Wireless.

Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner.

He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.

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