Does anything fill a modern day professional with quite as much dread as having to construct a resume? Unfortunately, like dishes and taxes, it’s one of those simultaneously important and grim tasks that simply can’t be avoided.
Microsoft Word can get you at least part of the way there. With 50 templates (at last count) sitting under its ‘Resumes and Cover Letters’ category, jobseekers are spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting a layout on which to plaster their vital information.
But which of these 50 is best for those in the ever competitive world of tech sales? And once a template is chosen, how does one go about filling it out in a way that will catch the eye of potential employers?
Whether you’re a few years into your professional journey or are starting from the ground floor, here’s all you need to know about efficiently and effectively producing the tech sales resume of your dreams.
What the perfect tech sales resume template looks like
Six seconds. According to an advanced eye-tracking study conducted by TheLadders, that’s the average amount of time that a recruiter or potential employer will spend scanning your resume before deciding whether to continue reading it. Thus an effective resume is one that manages to offer enough enticement in that amount of time to earn itself a proper going over.
Traits of an eye-catching resume that will perform best within this six second time frame include:
- Short and sharp: It may seem impossible, but in a perfect world the length will be no more than one page. Two pages is the maximum length.
- Make it pop at the top: The most important information – your name, your contact details, and places where they can see samples of your work (like LinkedIn or your personal website) – should be in the top third of the resume.
- A touch of colour: Headings, subheadings or borders in blue or red, rather than all black.
- Highlight the highlights: A clearly marked section should showcase examples of your very best work – put these accomplishments in bold or italics to further draw the eye.
There’s no less of a focus on delivering your professional message efficiently and effectively once your resume has been granted a little more eye time from its audience, but sections such as ‘Professional Experience’, ‘Skills’ and ‘Qualifications’ do benefit from slightly more thorough explanations.
For your resume to perform well upon closer inspection, look for a template with the following features:
- Smart use of space: Sectioning up your resume – particularly if it’s one page – is a smart move. Try personal details at the top, skills and professional highlights in a sidebar, and your career summary and relevant credentials taking up the bulk.
- Bullet points: Condensing your resume down to bullet points will allow the hirer to quickly understand your history and what you would bring to the position.
- A clean look: Despite being quite compact, your resume should be able to deliver the information in a clean, uncluttered way, but without reverting to 8pt type.
- Speaking of type: One font is enough. Stick to Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman or similar. These fonts are popular because they are the easiest to read.
As this Money Magazine example shows, while you’ll have to be ruthless in separating the wheat from the chaff, one page can be enough to get your point across.
And the dos and don’ts of filling it out
You’ve found your template, it’s now time to put your own stamp on it. Condensing your tech sales credentials and career into just a short highlights package is always going to be a tough ask, but there are some basic dos and don’ts that may help to get the job done.
✓ Highlight your accomplishments in a tangible and quantifiable way: Your professional achievements should be shown as hard facts – ‘30% sales growth in 2017’ for example.
✓ Put a focus on social selling: A lead generation technique grounded in social media, social selling is a new paradigm in tech sales. Show your credentials, or at the very least your understanding and commitment to social selling development.
✓ Name drop: The tech industry – particularly in Australia – is an intimate and cliquey scene. If you’ve worked for a well known and respected brand, be sure to proudly display the name.
✓ Provide testimonials from industry leaders: This name dropping extends to other professionals in the tech scene. If you’ve become close with a tech industry mover and shaker, ask them for a testimonial.
╳ Include a ‘Summary’, ‘Objective’ or ‘Personal Profile’: This is the most rampant form of resume fluff. Instead of talking exclusively about yourself, talk about how you can help the hiring company.
╳ List irrelevant roles: There can be a temptation to provide a complete job history, from your first job in a frozen yoghurt stand through to today. Don’t. Only ever list relevant work.
╳ List your birthdate or provide a picture: Subconsciously or otherwise, hirers can be discriminatory. Make sure that you’re judged only on your merits by removing your date of birth and photo (unless they are explicitly requested).
╳ Get too technical or colloquial: Technical terms, acronyms and sales and marketing slang that one company might commonly use could prove to be pig Latin to another. Keep it simple and professional.
As painful as it may be, it’s critical that you get your tech sales resume right. In such a competitive profession a well-crafted resume is so often the difference between getting an interview and being consigned to the recycling bin.
So find the right template, and fill it out with the sort of personal highlights package that would make even the most hardened of hiring managers blush. By following the guidelines above your dream tech sales job could be no more than a few keystrokes away…