A sales objective… struggling with one? Here’s what not to say, along with a case study of one sales resume objective that proved successful.
If you’ve built a career in sales, and you’re currently looking for a job, the objective on your resume is likely to be the first impression you’ll be casting to much of the world. Your resume has to sell you to a cynical audience – recruiters and hiring officials who have heard it all and seen it all on paper. And the first thing that cynical audience will see is your…
Sales Resume Objective
An objective statement is not required of every resume. There are times when a resume is better served without an objective. But an objective statement is important and advisable when 1) you know the exact title of the position you’re applying for, 2) your work background has been varied enough such that a reader would have a tough time identifying your current career goal without such an objective statement.
Toward that latter point, if you’ve got a background in tech support, sales, welding and rodeo clowning, you need focus and you need it fast. A resume objective quickly draws a bead on your target, and helps condition the reader to the information that follows.
Of course, that resume objective needs to be well written. Slap together an objective statement, and you’ll likely end up doing more harm than good. The biggest problem most people run into: they don’t view the objective through the eyes of the hiring official.
Sales Resume Objectives That Don’t Work, And Why
Here are three examples of sales objectives that delivered their attached resumes straight to the circular file. My notes are in [brackets].
1) “I wish to obtain a challenging job in sales.” [Too general. Yes, the writer has homed-in on sales as his occupational preference (as opposed to rodeo clowning). But what kind of sales? You’ve got your territory sales, your outside sales, your inside sales, and your sales management. And challenging? It’s a resume cliche. I wish? Elementary school.]
2) “A position in Technical Sales offering advancement opportunities.” [Better, as the writer is targeting more precisely his occupational preference. But bringing up his desire for advancement in the same breath leaves me questioning his genuine enthusiasm for the day-to-day duties of technical sales. Tip: don’t bring up advancement before securing even the first job on the ladder.]
3) “Seeking a position in Sales or Customer Service which could fully utilize my skills and abilities.” [Well, which is it going to be? Sales or customer service? In most companies, those are quite dissimilar professions. And what “skills and abilities” are you referring to? Yes, you want to subtly tease in the objective. But everybody’s got “skills and abilities.” This writer has not teased me to want to read further in order to identify those skills and abilities.]
Case Study – Alison
Alison was a licensed Realtor with three years experience selling homes in a highly competitive market. After combing through her work history and discussing her goals during a phone interview, I wrote the following resume objective. Keep in mind, Alison had identified the company she wanted to work for, and we were responding to an actual classified ad for a position opening.
“Position in NEW HOME SALES (Builder’s Representative) requiring a skilled negotiator with industry insight, excellent customer relations, and a demonstrated track record for delivering results.”
Why Did This Sales Objective Work?
For starters, it directly identified the position sought, which exactly matched the job opening. Secondly, it addressed the job qualifications as spelled out in the ad. In fact, the keywords “negotiator” and “track record” were actually in the advertisement, yet they also perfectly matched Alison’s skill set and work history.
Set em Up and Keep em Reading
Alison’s sales objective was targeted and focused. It spoke directly to the needs of the hiring manager, and offered tantalizing assertions as to the value of this candidate. The objective statement is not the place to prove those assertions. That would come in the subsequent “profile” and “experience” sections.
At this stage of the game, it’s sufficient that the hiring official keeps reading. And a good sales objective does just that – keeps em reading.
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