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What does a great sales CV look like?
Top sales professionals are hard to come by, especially in the current candidate-led market of today. As competition grows, it is crucial that you are able to recognise top talent. This will give you the best chance of attracting and inviting top talent to interview for a position.
This article highlights the aspects of a CV that you should be considering when hiring top sales professionals.
What to look for in a great CV
When first assessing a CV, use the below checklist to identify whether or not the CV you’re looking at fits well for a sales position.
- A clear and presentable format.
- Key achievements throughout their career.
- Similarities within the markets they have previously worked in – compare this to where your business sits.
- Transferable skills – these are key in sales roles.
- Time spent in previous roles.
- Sales training courses completed - how qualified are they for the position?
- Performance against target results - numbers are a great way to measure success, this is a sign they have impacted change in other organisations.
What will a great sales CV cover?
A good sales CV should provide a comprehensive overview of a professional’s work history. Make sure that the sales CV you’re considering covers the following key areas.
- A short overview of each company they have worked for in the past, and the market that they operate in.
- A breakdown of their day-to-day role.
- A list of each key achievements in each role.
- They will have referenced their route to market.
Some aspects of a CV may be more important than others, depending on your organisation and what specific attributes you are looking for in a candidate. Consider their previous industry, client base, their history of products, and how long they have worked in previous roles. This will demonstrate their ability to develop a successful career in your organisation, and show you if they are a suitable candidate for your vacancy.
Unfavourable factors on a sales CV
While it is important to understand the signs of a good CV, there are also some red flags that employers should look out for that may mean a candidate isn’t suitable for a role.
Minimal transferable skills – Transferable skills are important in sales. Not only are they fundamental to success in sales roles, but they can also show that a candidate has learned from their past experiences, and highlight their ability to adapt to new environments within the business.
Lack of detail – If a candidate is lacking information around their previous roles it might suggest that they didn’t achieve success or they don’t value that experience. It’s worthwhile to ask questions about the roles with less information.
Basic errors – If there are errors in spelling and grammar it can highlight a candidate’s lack of attention to detail.
Use the candidate’s CV to build interview questions
It is important throughout the interview process to ensure you are asking the right questions, tailored to each candidate. Before the interview, you should identify the key requirements for the role and cross-check this against their CV. Considering their previous performance is important, and the interview stage is the time that you can delve deeper into their past performance. Don’t be afraid to be direct with your questioning.
Using a candidate’s CV to help steer an interview can also lead you to ask questions about specific projects they have worked on, what relationships they had built as a result of these, and learn more about the clients they have won throughout their career.
CVs are a great tool to build your interview questions from. Using this method, you can learn more about their past experiences and really build a conversation about their work, and what they can bring to your business.
If you are looking to recruit for top talent in your sector please, get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants today.