Resume and Cover Letter Tips, Tricks, and Examples

The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Stellar Sales Manager Resume

Marcie Wilmot

Certified Resume Writer, Career Coach, and Business Owner

Have you been working in sales for several years now and feel ready to move up the career ladder? Do you enjoy leading sales teams and developing strategies to drive company sales? Would you describe yourself as a strong communicator, negotiator, and closer? If so, then there’s a good chance that a sales manager position might be the ideal fit for you.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), sales manager jobs are estimated to increase by 7% (or by nearly 29,000) over 10 years (from 2016 to 2026). Additionally, the median salary is over $120,000. With the demand that exists for sales managers and the hefty compensation, it’s clearly a good career choice to consider.

This guide will walk you through:

  • What a sales manager does
  • The experience needed to become a sales manager
  • How to create a sales manager resume that will impress recruiters and HR professionals

Read on for seven invaluable tips that will help you build a sales manager CV that will land you your dream job.     

What Does a Sales Manager Do?

Before we get into the details of how to write an effective sales manager’s resume, let’s discuss what a sales manager is responsible for and what they do every day. You’ll want to make sure that you can (and want to) handle these kinds of job responsibilities. Here is a list of the common job duties of a sales manager:

Sales managers manage different tasks, projects, and teams to meet specific targets.
  • Lead sales teams so they reach their targets (maintain a leadership mentality).
  • Manage regional and local sales managers and their teams, providing sales guidance.
  • Recruit, hire, and train sales team members; assign sales training and territories.
  • Evaluate team member performance, set sales quotas, and monitor the competition.
  • Oversee sales campaigns, budgets, and the development of processes to drive sales.
  • Build sales plans and projections; analyze performance data and metrics.
  • Maintain a book of business and resolve customer service and sales issues.
  • Monitor customer input, providing discounts and special pricing as needed.
  • Coordinate with other departments, including marketing, design, and research teams.

Most sales managers are required to travel, sometimes extensively. So, be sure this part of the role is acceptable for you and your family.

What Experience Do I Need?

Most companies that hire sales managers look for candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or a related field. They also seek people who have at least five years of sales experience, including knowledge of planning and executing sales strategies, managing customers, and directing sales teams.

Sales managers work in a variety of roles throughout their entire careers, with the purpose of continually moving up the ladder.

Prior to working as a sales manager, many people fill the role of a sales representative or assistant sales manager. After working as a sales manager for several years, one might look to progress into a sales director position and then VP of sales. From there, it’s finally the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), CEO or COO position.

States like California, Florida, New York, Illinois, and Texas typically employ a lot of sales managers, as do the cities of Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta, and NYC.

7 Top Tips to Build a Killer Sales Manager Resume

If you’re ready to throw your hat into the ring to try and score a sales manager interview or two, it’s a good time to search for and pick a sales manager resume template. Refer to the tips below as you work off your well-formatted template (either from Google or Microsoft Word). You could even use one that you’ve created from scratch. Before you know it, you’ll have built an impactful resume that accurately reflects you and all you have to offer.

Tip #1: Refer to Sales Manager Resume Examples for Inspiration

The internet is obviously a powerful resource. Consider using this to your advantage by pulling up a sales manager resume sample (or multiple) to serve as inspiration for your own resume. Some example resumes can give you an idea of how other people typically structure their sales manager resumes and what kind of language they use. Below is a sales manager resume example from

Sales Manager Resume Sample

Tip #2: Be Thoughtful When You Choose Your Resume Layout

A recruiter or HR professional will form their first impression of your resume based on how it looks. This means that it’s vital to pick a layout that organizes your information in the best way possible. The goal is for your resume to look streamlined and professional.

Keep in mind the following tricks:

  • Remember that white space is your friend (use spacing to make your resume easy to scan and navigate).
  • Use ATS-friendly fonts like Times New Roman, Helvetica, and Calibri.
  • Keep your font size at 12 pt. so your resume is legible.
  • Convert your resume to PDF format so that your desired layout remains the same on different computers.

The most common resume format is reverse-chronological, which lists professional experiences from newest to oldest. Most people use this format to display their work history, and HR folks are used to seeing and reading it. Other format options include:

  • Functional – This format focuses on the skills you have that match the job ad and downplays less relevant experience. If you lack direct sales manager experience and want to highlight transferable and related skills, the functional format might be a good choice for you.
  • Hybrid – A combination of both formats, the hybrid format is sometimes used when someone has work gaps or has changed industries.

Tip #3: Showcase Your Sales Achievements (Using Numbers)

Given that the primary responsibility of a salesperson (or manager) is to drive sales, you should emphasize your track record in this area on your resume. If you look at sales manager resumes online, you’ll notice that they frequently incorporate numbers (including hard numbers, percentages, statistics, and so on). You should do the same – quantify your sales experience and display your sales accomplishments using numbers so they stand out to recruiters when they scan your resume.  

Tip #4: Write a Powerful Summary Statement

The top of your resume is prime real estate. Make good use of this location by placing an impactful summary statement (also known as a resume summary, professional summary, or objective) in this spot.

Keeping it to two or three sentences in length, describe your experience, skills, and key achievements and why you’re the ideal fit for the job. Be sure to also include what you’re seeking out of this experience. Just be careful not to pigeonhole yourself because HR will immediately disqualify you if your summary statement says that you want something different than what they are offering. Also, make sure to use strong and confident language.

Here is an example of a powerful sales manager resume summary statement:

Highly effective sales strategist with 7+ years of experience developing and executing data-driven action sales plans for fintech startups. Consistently exceeded all sales quotas by upwards of 10% each quarter. Seeking to bring my in-depth knowledge and experience to the table in a senior sales management role.

If you want, you can also opt to place a one-sentence title in this location instead. If you do this, make it descriptive, persuasive, and impactful.

Tip #5: Mirror the Language in Your Target Job Ad

Effective resumes for sales manager positions will mimic the keywords and phrases that are in the target job ad. So when you’re writing your resume, refer to your desired job ad and mirror the language you see repeated. This will increase the odds your resume makes it through ATS (Applicant Tracking System) barriers and that it will impress the recruiter or HR person who looks at it.

If you don’t yet have any specific jobs that you know you want to apply for, simply search Job/Searcher’s sales manager positions to pull up some real-life examples of sales manager descriptions. A lot of the terminology will be the same. Nevertheless when you’re targeting a role at a particular company, refer to THEIR job ad so you can include those same hard and soft skills on your resume.

Tip #6: Highlight Relevant Sales Manager Skills

Almost any sales manager sample resume will have multiple hard and soft skills on. Some popular sales manager resume skills are listed below.

Skills for sales manager resume include:

Hard Skills

  • Software like Salesforce and HubSpot Sales
  • Financial forecasting
  • Negotiation
  • Sales planning
  • Product knowledge
  • Client relationship management
  • Sales demos and presentations

Soft Skills

  • Communication
  • Client support
  • Relationship building
  • Leadership skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Active listening
  • Analytical skills
  • Collaborative skills
  • Training and coaching

Tip #7: Eliminate All Errors and Typos

Last but not least, check over your resume before submitting it anywhere to ensure that there are no silly typos or grammatical errors on it. Better yet, ask someone you trust to look it over as they might catch mistakes you haven’t noticed or offer helpful feedback. Make sure your sales manager resume is perfectly polished and professional before sending it anywhere!

To Recap the 7 Top Tips

As you embark on a journey to build an effective and memorable sales manager resume, refer to the sales manager resumes samples and tips listed above for inspiration and guidance. Most importantly, don’t feel intimidated or overwhelmed! You can do this, and in the end, you’ll have a resume that will come out ahead of all your competition. Wishing you the best of luck!

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