How to Write a Sales Director CV
In a Sales Director CV you need to show that you can operate at the highest levels of management. While still concerned with running a department, this position reflects the delivery of a strategic plan that has been formulated in conjunction with the Chief Executive Officer, other directors and board members.
In a position of considerably greater managerial responsibility, you are now responsible for the company's performance and ranking in the marketplace. This means steering the business successfully in developmental terms, to achieve higher profit margins and dividends to share holders. This requires knowledge across many areas, not just sales management.
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Sales Director CV Profile
Your profile on your Sales Director CV should provide a picture of a dynamic leader who is able to get results. While all executive management are responsible for the direction of the company, the Sales Director works at the sharp end of developing the business through direct interface with the customer base. This requires tremendous energy and drive.
To emphasise your suitability for sales jobs, your profile must highlight:
- The consistent attainment of outstanding sales results.
- A track record of leading turnaround growth strategies.
- The ability to motivate a highly competitive team to beat targets.
- An outlook that's entrepreneurial without being reckless.
- A high level of strategic knowledge based in solid experience in the relevant industry.
It isn't enough to be visionary, you must be pragmatic and able to translate strategy into action. Business acumen and powerful communication and people skills are more highly essential.
In just two to three sentences, you need to define your leadership style, your outstanding sales management strengths and your industry knowledge, as well as the personal attributes that make you so effective in gaining results. This can be tailored to each vacancy you apply for, as can the rest of your Sales Director CV.
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Achievements in a Sales Director CV
Your achievements section needs to provide further illustration of how the strengths you highlighted in your profile can be applied in gaining results.
As the best achievements are quantifiable and are evidence with figures, this should be easy for you to write.
Select the 5 or 6 most outstanding achievements of the past ten years. Sales achievements on your Sales Director CV can be:
- Expanding the company's customer base, regionally or globally.
- Your average closing figure for a year, as well as annual revenue targets exceeded.
- The value of your largest individual sales closures (without risking confidentiality), where these are in the millions.
- Scale, value and duration of the largest sales contracts your team has established.
Achievements can relate to new processes, services and offerings identified and developed with others areas of the company, including the marketing function as well as business systems. The Sales Director job description varies from one company to another, so you are likely to have worked in different capacities in different roles.
Each of your bullet points should include 3 to 4 figures and be written in specific and emphatic language. This section must hit hard - it is at the top of the CV and represents the point at which the employer or recruitment agency will make their decision on whether to shortlist or reject the application.
The more specific the information you can provide, the better. The use of active language, keywords and buzzwords will make the effect even more resounding. Using the Situation, Action and Result (SAR) approach to writing achievements is a good way to structure the information.
Briefly outline the challenge, state what you did and describe the measurable outcome. You can increase the effectiveness and impact by starting the sentence with your action, rather than the problem.
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Career History within a Sales Director CV
In many ways, at director level, your career history needs to be an extension of your achievements section.
Put simply, you should include the highest impact, most relevant achievements in the Achievements section of your Sales Director CV, with the remainder populating your experience section.
Most people are familiar with the career history, or experience, section of the CV as being the repository for information on responsibilities and duties held in each position. However, it is far more effective to highlight the outcomes of your successful fulfilment of those responsibilities.
Besides, it is rare for a director to hold defined, standalone duties and responsibilities - the role at this level is far more about implementation of strategies that bring different functions together in an integrated way.
Only positions from within the last 10 years need to be described in detail. On one or two lines, give the business' name, your job title and inclusive dates of employment. Beneath this, add a couple of lines describing the business: i.e. size, mission, territory, number of employees, annual turnover, etc. With jobs held earlier than 10 years ago, simply list the first line of details.
Next, add 5 to 6 descriptive points. As mentioned, these are achievements that highlight successful discharge of your responsibilities. Again, commence each with an action word or verb, as this places you and your input at the very heart of the process and outcome.
Be specific in your descriptions, using business language, with confidence and emphasis, but don't sound overly confident or boastful. Be careful not to over-describe, as this will obscure the message. You need to allow your positive results to speak on your behalf.
Once you're already operating at director level, executive recruitment agencies and other employers in your industry are going to be aware of your strong performance and results. In this case, your CV is providing them with details of your background to reinforce their existing perception (which is positive, hopefully).
The rule throughout your Sales Director CV, which you should follow from your profile onwards, is to prioritise the information that's most relevant to the vacancy you're applying for. This relates to the position, the company and the industry. The information that relates closest should always be positioned as high as possible on your CV, and also within its respective section.
On the other hand, do not become too focused and don't include too many bullet points that are highlighting the same skills areas. The sales director needs to work at executive level, which means demonstrating an understanding of the different functional areas of the business.
Strategic planning, decision making, analytical thinking, sound forecasting, innovation and creativity, not to mention considerable interpersonal skills and the ability to motivate a sales force, should be in evidence throughout your career history section.
Likewise, a highly developed understanding of business development, marketing and branding, customer relationship management, research and development and financial management are essential.
Sales Director CV Qualifications and Training
Not all Sales Director CVs have higher education qualifications, as quite a few will have worked their way up through the ranks.
Yet for those who are moving around in the employment market, or for managers who are seeking employment in companies that are dissimilar to those they gained their original experience in, some kind of specialist qualification is usually required.
As higher level directors, many younger generation candidates hold business or marketing degrees with a focus on sales. Some may also hold MBAs and other postgraduate business degrees. List the highest level qualification first, listing the degree title, the awarding institution and then the year of award on a single line. List a lower level degree below it.
If your degree was awarded more than 10 years ago and you have since undertaken some form of high level management training, place the vocational training above the degree.
If you have sales qualifications from business training providers, then list these. For example, the Chartered Institute of Marketing offers certificates, advanced certificates and diplomas in sales practice and management. Only list qualifications that support the practice at your level of management.
Associations and Conferences on Your Sales Director CV
Membership of associations reflect well on you, with inferred respectability and integrity. If you regularly attend the association conferences, it demonstrates your interest in remaining up to date with best practice and the latest thinking in your profession, as well as networking with industry leaders.
List all memberships in this section of your Sales Director CV, along with your level of membership. Also include details of any boards you have sat on, as this indicates your wider experience, while highlighting the fact that other organisations recognise your proficiency. If membership of any association is through accredited examination, list it first.
Pages a Sales Director may wish to visit:
- Need to improve your Sales Director CV? A professional CV by Bradley CVs can dramatically increase your chances of getting the interviews you want.
- CV Examples
- Free CV Review
- Sales Jobs
- Management Jobs
- Management CV
- Executive CV
- Sales Executive CV
- Sales Manager CV
- Marketing Manager CV
- Marketing Jobs
- Managing Director CV
- Finance Manager CV / Finance Director CV