Stop watch

In a previous blog, Can Your Resume Pass The 6 Second Test?,  we discuss that on average a Hiring Manager only looks at a resume for 6 seconds. In a mere 6 seconds they decide on whether to speak with a candidate or discard them. To avoid having the interview process end before it begins, there are steps you can take to survive these crucial 6 seconds. The key for Federal IT Account Executives is to develop a concise resume outlining sales success and qualifications that stand out to the Hiring Manager.

For each job on a resume, six items need to be considered and documented. The six are Territory, Quota Attainment, Technology Sold, Large Deals, Accolades and Sales Processes. Each is explained below.

1. Territory

A territory quickly tells the Hiring Manager if you have the account management experience needed for the required job. If you only have a handful of accounts, these accounts should all be listed. For example, “Territory consists/consisted of civilian accounts with DHS, DOE, DOJ and GSA.” With large territories, mention the general territory and possibly expand to mention the accounts you know best or have had the most success. Suggestions include “Covered all civilian accounts” or “Covered all civilian agencies with focus on DOT, FDA, State Department and CMS.”

2. Quota Attainment

The quota attainment should be a top bullet under a job. It shows you know how to sell into your accounts and is a key indicator of your sales success. When a quota was not attained I would suggest not mentioning that year(s). Just talk to your successful years. An example would be “Exceeded quota as follows: 2015/115%, 2017/200%, 2018/105%.” Notice that 2016 is not mentioned in this phrase but the success is still impressive.

If you join a company to build up a greenfield territory (a territory with no existing customers or pipeline) it should be mentioned even if you did not achieve your quota. For these territories it’s not unrealistic to not have exceeded quota the first two years. Rather than state your quota was only met one out of three years, a better example would be “Built up greenfield territory in 2014 and 2015, exceeded quota by 115% in 2016.”

There may be cases where you did not meet or exceed a quota while in a position or at a company. In these cases it is acceptable to mention the pipeline and new business you developed and any significant deals you closed. An example would be “Generated a $3M pipeline and closed deals at DOD and Army for a total of $400k in sales”.

3. Technology Sold

The Technology you sell, or have sold, should be included in one of three different ways. One is to have a description of what the company sells in italics under the title, company or sales timeframe before mentioning bullets. A second option is to add the technology sold as the first line under your territory bullet. An example is “Sold CRM solutions to DOE and Department of Labor”. The third option is to create a separate bullet that identifies what technology was sold at the company.

4. Large Deals Closed

The threshold for considering the size of a deal can be higher or lower depending on the technology being sold. For one technology a $500,000 deal may be considered large while another technology may find that amount to be minor. Use the threshold that matches the technology you are selling. We recommend to our candidates that any deals over $1 Million should always be mentioned since they are significant for a Federal IT Sales Executives position. Including large deals can show you know how to manage and grow accounts. Use multiple bullets if there are multiple deals. For example, “Closed a $1.5M deal at DISA in 2017; Closed a $7.2M deal at DOE in 2018 that was the largest deal in company history”.

5. Accolades

Accolades talk to any additional success realized for each job you held. Did you attend a President’s Club? A top salesperson? An MVP award? Client letters of commendation? If so, be sure to include them. For example, “President’s Club Award winner 2015, 2017; Top Sales Representative in 2017”.

6. Sales Processes & CRM

Include Sales Processes/CRM if you work(ed) for a company that follows strict sales processes such as MEDDIC, Challenger or Sandler. It shows that you are familiar with sales processes and can hit the ground running. Mention processes in any of the bullets, in the job description or as a separate bullet such as “….utilized MEDDIC sales methodology…”.

“Brought Over” (Optional)

This is an optional bullet but it’s recommended if you were “brought over” to a company by an employee or manager. It shows you were recruited for the position due to your skills and capabilities. Furthermore it implies that you are a professional with a history of success and well thought of by your peers.

We hope these tips help as you develop or fine tune your resume. Facts and figures are difficult to ignore and can help you stand out in those crucial six seconds.

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Writing A Strong Sales Resume To Survive The Six Second Test