How to Write an IT Sales CV
As an IT sales representative, your IT Sales CV may feature a range of products / services, you may be involved in selling system software or hardware products, gaming software, telecommunications, voice applications, broadband connections, software consulting, support services or cloud-based technology.
Opportunities in this area continue to expand, although the exact nature of those opportunities changes with the expansion of the sector. Demand for IT products shows no sign of slowing, while the number of companies and organisations using and depending on IT products and services continues to grow. Competition for the best jobs can therefore be fierce.
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IT Sales CV Profile
When writing your profile, you need to sum up your current position and what you can offer in just 2 to 3 highly effective sentences. The recruiter or employer needs a thumbnail sketch of your knowledge, skills and abilities in seconds, so that they know it's worth reading the rest of your IT Sales CV.
If you previously worked in IT Jobs as well as Sales Jobs, you need to ensure that you get the balance of IT skills and sales experience right in your profile, depending on the jobs that you are applying for next.
You don't necessarily need to mention a wide range of individual technologies in the profile, unless you're focusing on an individual form of technology. More important is how you use you knowledge to create sales and benefit the business. This tends to involve transferable skills - these relate to your personal abilities, rather than technology, and can be used in many other jobs.
In the profile of your IT Sales CV, you need to give your job title, the number of years' experience you have, your main area or two of work, plus 2 to 3 outstanding strengths. This will set the theme for your entire CV, so these need to be well-targeted towards the vacancy you're applying for, or for a particular kind of job.
You need to get across whether your experience is working for a manufacturer (business-to-business sales), for a wholesaler or retailer (business-to-customer), or an agency providing IT services (business-to-business).
If you're in retail, you might focus on skills such as communicating with customers to understand their hardware and software needs; explaining and supporting customers with the setting up of new products; talking to technical experts such as analysts, designers, programmers and educators.
If you're selling to businesses, you could emphasise informing existing and new customers about new product developments; growing the customer base through cold approaches; developing proposals and packaged solution costs for customers; managing sourcing and delivery of products.
If you're in selling services to businesses, your skills might be centred on creating interest in new approaches or solutions; advising customers on new system improvements including hardware and software options.
You don't have to include all of your key areas in the profile section of your IT Sales CV, but can use them as starting points for your achievements and career history write-ups.
As professional CV writers we recommend you mention the personal attributes that most reinforce your ability to perform the above functions. For sales, you clearly need advanced communication skills; patience and resilience; ability to quickly understand the clients' situations and needs; the ability to learn a lot of product information quickly; and strong customer service abilities.
Achievements on Your IT Sales CV
The achievements section is where you tell the recruiter or employer why they should consider employing you and not one of the other candidates.
You can use this section of your IT Sales CV to really show you made a difference through your individual contribution.
Regardless of your formal job description, you should say what you actually did - and identify the solid results that ensued.
In short, what you are showing here is your ability to develop the employer's business as well as awareness of emerging markets and technologies. For the recruiter reading your IT Sales CV, this involves reading the specific details of your sales achievements, as well as the skills you involved in creating them.
So, you should include quantifiable information - sales achievements, targets met, revenue saved, key accounts secured, customer base expanded - which enable the recruiter to calculate how you might be able to improve their business in the future. However, you need to go further and specify not only what you achieved, but how you achieved it.
This means tying the quantifiable achievements in with your knowledge and skills within single sentence descriptions. In reporting how you helped to expand the customer base, you might mention your communication skills and ability to understand customer needs based on very little information.
Reporting that you exceeded sales targets year on year, achieving most within the sales team, you can also mention your competitive drive, resilience and ability to connect with the decision maker in a new business customer.
If you achieved great retail sales results, you can mention that you can quickly identify customer needs and provide appropriate information about additional products. Consider your involvement in pre-sales services and post-sales support, as well as the sale itself.
Write up 5 or 6 achievements on your IT Sales CV with bullet points. You need to be descriptive - but not too much. This means that you need to include solid information, while including some good verbs (action words) to highlight how you approached the task.
One formula to follow is SAR - Situation, Action and Result. However, start with the action you took before describing the outcome to the situation, as this creates a more dynamic effect.
IT Sales CV Career History
Firstly, format this section by listing your most recent job first and then working backwards through previous positions.
Only include positions on an IT Sales CV from within the last 10 years, as any previous to then will be technologically out of date.
Your understanding of IT will always need to be up-to-date for an employer to consider you, so they won't be interested in jobs far back in your work history.
List your job title, the employer's name and inclusive dates of employment on one line. Beneath this, list 5 to 6 bullet points that cover your work. Focus not on the job description, but on what you actually did.
You should write these points up as if they were achievements, because the recruiter or employer is always going to be interested in what you achieved and how you did it.
You should use these points to highlight details of your experience and skills in areas such as the following:
- Understanding markets and their trends with emerging technologies.
- Selling particular technology brands and types of product.
- Your record in point-of-sale customer contact and processing transactions.
- Identifying and approaching new business customer contacts.
- Outbound calls experience and new customer development.
- Working through after-sale issues with customers and arranging technical support.
- Experience in software installation and post-sale user support.
- Ability to learn about new technology and quickly apply this when selling to customers.
- Ability to understand and respond to technical and environmental challenges presented by customers' situations.
Remember to focus not just on your ability to sell products, but on the way in which you do it and the strengths you bring to the job. This means working alongside colleagues in a team and paying considerable attention to customer needs. So much technology selling involves add-on sales and after-sales support that the more rounded your abilities, the stronger your application will be.
Education and Training on an IT Sales CV
When you're working in IT sales, your personality, individual approach and experience usually count for more than your education.
Once you've some years' experience behind you, the only training that's going to matter is up-to-the-minute training in technology products and, if you're aiming at higher positions, sales management.
Therefore you should list this first on an IT Sales CV, sticking to the past three or four years.
If you're an undergraduate or recent graduate, you need to create a greater focus on aspects of your training. If you've studied a technology subject, this will clearly be of more interest to employers than a non-technology subject. List your degree, the class or grade you achieved, the awarding institution and the date you completed your studies on one line.
If you're a recent graduate and have little vocational experience, add some lines describing any technology projects you worked on. If you have a degree or qualifications that don't relate to programming or developing, list them in the same way but without the additional detail.
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