How to personalise your sales representative CV or résumé template
There is no single “right” way to write and present your curriculum vitae but these general rules always apply:
1. It should be targeted on the exact role or career area for which you are applying and brings out the most relevant skills you have.
2. It is carefully and clearly set out, logically ordered, legible and not cramped.
3. It is informative but succinct.
4. It is without grammar, spelling or punctuation flaws. If you note attention to detail as a skill, make sure your grammar and spelling is excellent.
As well as to these ‘musts’, here are our best tips for personalising this template:
1. Keep evolving
If your curriculum vitae is written the wrong way round on luminous green paper and it lands you regular interviews, why consider altering it? The bottom line is that if it is generating results, don’t be too eager to interfere with a winning formula. By contrast, if it’s not getting you results, ask people you know to look it over and suggest changes. That said, if you go with the template on this page as a starting point, you are unlikely to go far wrong.
2. Make use of keywords
If you’ve uploaded your CV to a job website so employers can find you, keywords are especially important. Job titles and job keywords will help the search engines pick you out from the pile. To find ideas for keywords, have a search online and see which words are commonly mentioned when you put in your job title.
3. Get to the point
Typically a curriculum vitae ought to be no longer than two pages – and that’s a couple of pages of A4 sized sheets of paper. Employers invest, typically, only 8 seconds browsing through a particular curriculum vitae, and a surefire way of landing yourself on the rejected pile is to give them your whole life story. Keep your CV punchy, pertinent, and save the detail for the interview.
4. Make it look good
Image is everything nowadays, and that also goes for your CV. Make time to perfecting how the curriculum vitae looks, in addition to the content. Make use of bullet points to keep things well organised, and keep sentences short. Make use of the graphic design technique of allowing enough of white space surrounding your text and between categories to make the page layout easy to read.
5. Customise it
It’s a pretty common trick. Sending the exact same CV to a bunch of employers to save your time. Across-the-board messages give limited results so don’t fall into this trap – make time to modify your curriculum vitae for every role that you apply for. Study the organisation and use the job advertisement to work out precisely exactly what skills you should mention to them. They will value the patent effort.
6. Sell the numbers
Backing up your accomplishments with numbers makes selling yourself substantially simpler. When putting together your work history, don’t just state that you increased sales – inform them you boosted sales by 60% over a six month period. Be specific.
7. Write your objectives
Don’t just believe that an employer will know how your experience applies to their position. Instead, incorporate a short personal statement to summarise why you are the best person for the role. This should be reflected in your cover letter as well.
8. Tell the truth
Outright lies on your CV can land you in a ton of trouble when it comes to employers verifying your background and references. The last thing you need is to start your new job and then lose your new position for resorting to lies. Also, you might get found out during the interview stage when you suddenly struggle to respond to questions on things you have claimed to know. It’s not worth the hassle – don’t do it!
9. Don’t leave gaps without an explanation
Leaving obvious gaps on your curriculum vitae immediately makes recruiters doubtful – and they will not give you the benefit of the doubt. If you have been out of the job market it can be a worry but just put a positive spin on it. Did you study for a course, do some volunteer work or cultivate soft skills like communication or teamwork? If that’s the case, make it crystal clear. Don’t assume you’ll get the chance to clarify at the interview – as the gaps may put them off giving you a chance.
10. Correct your errors
Employers do look for errors on curriculum vitae and if they should spot them, it makes you appear to be bad. With many employers having to deal with huge quantities of applicants these days, providing them an excuse to write off your application because of preventable grammar errors and typos is not going to assist you to land an interview. Even if you believe your grammar and spelling is excellent, make use of a spellchecker and ask another person to double check what you have prepared – the ‘sanity check’.
11. Maintain up-to-date
You should keep your curriculum vitae up to date whether you’re looking for a new role or not. Every time something significant happens in your career, record it so you don’t later forget something that could be worthwhile.