The sales industry is increasingly competitive, and when applying for sales jobs, there are certain skills that recruiters will be on the lookout for in your sales CV.


You might have impressive qualifications and work experience, but to stand out from other applicants and win that all-important interview, you should be able to demonstrate the following key skills:


Lead generation

Being able to generate leads is a skill that few have perfected – but if you’re looking to reach the top of the sales game, it’s definitely one to work on. After all, regardless of what products or services you’ll be selling, those sales are impossible without lead generation.

So, what about your CV? Demonstrating your understanding of effective lead generation strategies and referencing examples of where you have hit and exceeded sales targets will help to show your talent in this area.


Active listening

A critical part of successful sales is active listening – observing body language and taking notice of the tone of voice and words that the potential customer uses. It’s this approach that gives you an advantage and helps to turn an interaction into a sealed deal.

Within your CV, make sure to display your active listening skills by including a brief example of a time you used them and what the outcome was, using facts and figures to prove your impact.


Rapport building

Active listening is one element of rapport building, but there are several other aspects of building rapport that you should include in your sales CV.

For example, what’s your best technique for building trust with potential customers and clients? Showing how you do this in your CV, with tangible examples, will be music to the recruiter’s ears.

The ability to appear genuinely interested in helping your prospect will also strengthen rapport and is definitely worth referencing in your CV.



They don’t call it ‘the art of negotiation’ without good reason. Learning to be an effective negotiator is no easy achievement, but it’s crucial for any successful salesperson to master it.

One way to become better at negotiation is to understand your prospect’s needs, see the world from their point of view and make sure that you put them first. Coming across as desperate for a sale will only send people running – staying relaxed and indifferent to the outcome gives you far more power in negotiation.

Use your CV to explain your approach to negotiation, drawing on examples where you’ve used your strong negotiation skills in a difficult situation and achieved a successful outcome.



Whilst a lot of people working in sales may feel that they operate mainly on their own, recruiters who are looking for a long-term appointment will be looking for leadership abilities.

This is to identify whether you’ll be able to help new sales staff improve their sales techniques and ultimately contribute towards building a stronger future for the company.

If you have experience in leading, managing or training a team, it’s well worth referencing in your CV – you’ll get some serious brownie points.

Applying for sales jobs can be extremely competitive. After all, sales applicants are bound to be good at selling their most valuable product – themselves! So, before you click the send button, make sure that your CV serves as a highly impressive sales pitch by covering these five key sales skills.

Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.