Sales Skills for Your Resume (Examples & Tips)

Kellie Hanna, CPRW
By Kellie Hanna, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: June 25, 2024

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Sales professionals use outstanding persuasion and communication skills to promote products or services to potential customers. To work in sales, you must have a deep understanding of customer needs and an exceptional ability to build strong relationships to foster trust and loyalty. Success in this industry often hinges on adaptability, resilience, and a relentless drive to meet and exceed targets.

While employment in sales is expected to decline through 2032, about 1.8 million job openings in the field are projected each year for the next several years. You’ll need the right sales skills and a great resume to beat the competition and land your dream job.

What are sales skills?

Sales skills cover a range of abilities crucial for effectively engaging and persuading others. For example, strong communication skills allow sales professionals to articulate product benefits and address customer concerns clearly and confidently. In contrast, negotiation skills are essential for navigating price discussions and closing deals that satisfy both parties.

Here is an example of a resume with sales skills:

 

Sales Representative Resume Example

Examples of sales skills

From technical skills like product knowledge and data analysis to interpersonal abilities such as communication and empathy, sales skills play a crucial role in engaging clients and closing deals effectively. Understanding and honing these diverse sales skills empower professionals to navigate challenges, build lasting relationships, and achieve sales targets with confidence. Below are some examples of various sales skills you can use to seal your next deal.

Hard skills

Hard skills are specific, teachable abilities and knowledge we use to work and function daily. Sales professionals use hard skills to effectively navigate the complexities of the sales process, including:  

  • Product knowledge
  • Data analysis
  • Market research
  • Inventory management
  • Creating sales reports
  • Delivering presentations
  • Negotiating contracts
  • Utilizing social media
  • Financial analysis
  • Strategy

Soft skills

Soft skills include interpersonal abilities such as communication, empathy, and adaptability, which are vital for navigating complex human interactions. Sales professionals rely on these skills to build relationships with clients, understand their needs, and effectively persuade them, ultimately driving sales success.

Here are 10 must-have soft sales skills:

  • Communication
  • Active listening
  • Empathy
  • Adaptability
  • Persuasion
  • Critical thinking
  • Resilience
  • Time management
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Collaboration

See also: 40+ Interpersonal Skills and How to Use Them to Get a Job

Computer skills

Computer skills are the ability to effectively use various software and digital tools to perform essential tasks efficiently. Technology plays a significant role in sales processes, so you must be adaptable and willing to learn new computer skills if you want a job in this competitive industry. 

Here are 10 computer skills that will help you succeed in sales:

  • Email
  • Spreadsheets
  • Presentation tools
  • Sales tracking software
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software
  • Video conferencing tools
  • Social media platforms
  • Basic e-commerce tools
  • Online collaboration tools
  • Project management software

Transferable skills

Transferable skills are abilities and qualities that can be applied across jobs, industries and situations. They help sales professionals adapt to changing circumstances, collaborate effectively with diverse teams, and succeed in various environments.

Useful transferable skills for the sales industry include: 

  • Presentation
  • Adaptability
  • Confidence
  • Problem-solving
  • Self-motivation
  • Leadership
  • Organization
  • Decision making
  • Time management
  • Relationship-building

See also: 

How to improve your sales skills

Improving your sales skills can enhance your effectiveness in the field. By adapting to changing market trends, customer preferences and business environments, you can foster client trust, build strong business relationships, and differentiate yourself from competitors. 

Here are five ways to improve sales skills:

  • Participate in sales training programs or workshops from professional organizations or industry experts.
  • Seek feedback from mentors, managers, or colleagues to identify areas for improvement and refine sales techniques.
  • Study successful sales strategies and industry best practices through books, podcasts, online courses, or seminars.
  • Role-play sales scenarios with colleagues or in training sessions to practice new techniques and build confidence.
  • Stay updated on industry trends, customer preferences and emerging technologies through networking, conferences, and online resources.
Explore our library of sales resume examples and templates to craft an effective professional resume fast.

How to highlight sales skills on your resume

Be strategic about incorporating sales skills into your resume. While a dedicated skills section is essential to showcase your job-relevant abilities, it's also effective to highlight these skills throughout your resume to demonstrate your proficiency and expertise. 

Here’s how to effectively display your sales skills in your resume in seven steps:

  1. First, consider your resume format. There are three standard formats, each highlighting your sales skills differently. 
  2. Next, choose an appropriate resume template to display your sales skills clearly and professionally. 
  3. Review the job description and match your sales skills and accomplishments to the job requirements. 
  4. To make a great first impression, add two or three of your top skills to your professional summary or resume objective. 
  5. Use your work history section to show what you’ve accomplished with your sales skills. "Implemented a new case management system that improved efficiency by 30%, resulting in a 20% increase in client satisfaction scores over six months."
  6. Create a resume skills section to highlight your top sales skills. Consider creating  categories to showcase specific skills, like “Interpersonal Skills” and “Computer Skills.”
  7. Use your education section to add relevant coursework or negotiation and communication strategies certifications to demonstrate your commitment to developing and honing your sales expertise. 

Common tools and technologies used in sales

Sales professionals rely on various tools and technologies to streamline processes and enhance efficiency in their work. 

Here are some common tools and technologies used in sales:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software: Examples like Salesforce, HubSpot CRM and Zoho CRM help sales teams manage customer interactions, track leads and streamline the sales process.
  • Email marketing platforms: Tools like Mailchimp, Constant Contact and HubSpot Email help create and send targeted email campaigns to prospects and customers, nurturing leads and driving engagement.
  • Sales automation tools: Platforms such as Outreach, SalesLoft and Yesware automate repetitive tasks, such as email follow-ups and scheduling, freeing up time to focus on building relationships and closing deals.
  • Data analytics software: Tools like Tableau, Google Analytics and Microsoft Power BI help analyze sales data, identify trends and gain insights into customer behavior, enabling data-driven decision-making.
  • Video conferencing platforms: Sales professionals rely on Zoom, Microsoft Teams and GoToMeeting to conduct virtual sales meetings, demos and presentations with clients and prospects.

Best sales certifications

Consider pursuing certifications to increase your credibility in the sales industry, demonstrate expertise in specific areas and stay competitive. Certifications validate their skills and knowledge and provide opportunities for professional development and career advancement.

Here are five certifications for sales professionals:

  • Certified Professional Salesperson (CPS)
  • Certified Inside Sales Professional (CISP)
  • Certified Sales Executive (CSE)
  • HubSpot Sales Software Certification
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator Certification
Use action verbs to bring your sales skills to life and show how you have used them to impact past employers.

Key takeaways

Before you leave this guide to sales skills for a resume, remember these key points:

  • Sales professionals need various skills, communication and persuasion to CRM and project management software to drive business success.
  • Getting feedback and reflecting on your abilities can help you improve your sales skills. 
  • Certifications can keep you competitive in the job market, increasing your credibility and demonstrating your expertise.
  • Add your sales skills to every section of your resume for maximum impact. 
 

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Sources

  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. No Author. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Sales

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