The resume is your first chance to impress hiring managers. It’s your job to take advantage of the opportunity and ensure that your resume ends up on the “yes” pile.
To create a great resume for Account Executive (AE) positions, include these elements:
1. Name and contact information
The header of your resume should include your name and contact information. It’s helpful to put your name in a larger font (or bold type) so that your name really stands out on the AE resume.
Including a phone number and email are musts. A mailing address isn’t necessary. If you’re in need of extra space, eliminating the mailing address might be a good move. Consider including a link to your social media profiles (such as LinkedIn or Twitter).
Don’t stress too much about this part of the AE resume. The point is just to make sure hiring managers and recruiters can easily contact you.
A summary section isn’t absolutely necessary. However, job-seekers with a lot of job experience oftentimes benefit from including this section. Candidates with less experience, or gaps in their resume, should spend time outlining their job experience and skills in detail rather than including summary.
If you do include a summary, place it right below your name and contact info. You want to give a strong sales pitch. It needs to encapsulate who you are and why you’re qualified. Try to limit yours to 1-2 sentences. Readers should be able to glance at it quickly and get a basic idea of your core qualifications.
Remember: The purpose of a summary is simply to entice managers to read further. To that end, try to prioritize one or two things. This will form the core of your pitch.
For AE positions, it’s always helpful to highlight your skills at cultivating with customers. So you might choose to describe yourself as a “customer-oriented sales professional” and specify that you’ve “built and sustained relationships with top customers in industry.”
If you’re struggling to write an effective summary, consider doing this part last. Once you’ve laid out the rest of your qualifications, it will be easier for you to summarize who you are and why you’re the best person for the job.
Since most AE positions require a college degree, managers want to confirm that you meet this qualification. But you can keep this section short and sweet. List your degrees, including when and where you obtained them. Beyond that, you don’t really need much else. Don’t include your undergraduate GPA (however impressive it is). It just distracts from your professional accomplishments.
Although this section traditionally falls underneath the summary, consider placing it at the bottom of the resume instead. That helps managers focus on your unique accomplishments as a sales professional.
This is the really meaty section of the AE resume. Here’s your chance to show why your past sales experiences make you qualified to be an AE.
In this section, list key information for every sales job: title, company, and when you held the position. Beneath each listing, you can include 3-8 bullet points that explain details about your job responsibilities and performance.
Metrics are critical. Hiring managers want to know the details about your quota attainment, revenue generated, and other KPIs. If you can provide contextual information about how your performance compares to peers, that helps make your case. For example, you might write: “Attained quota in every quarter starting in Q1 2016, exceeding average SDR performance.”
Some companies don’t want detailed information about their sales metrics getting out to the public, so you need to respect your employers’ wishes on this. But you should do your best to talk up your sales record within the bounds of what you can reveal.
In addition to metrics, you can also discuss accomplishments like closing a big deal or working on a major initiative. Again, specificity is key.
Here’s an example of an effective job section:
Lead Hackers Inc., Sales Account Executive
May 2016-December 2018
Palo Alto, CA
- Met or exceeded quota in every quarter starting in Q3 2016, exceeding average AE performance by 15%.
- Closed major deals with three Fortune 500 companies in the healthcare sector.
- Cultivated customer relationships that resulted in growing accounts by 52%.
- Led workgroup in designing new prospecting process, implemented successfully in Q1 2018.
5. Skills and Certifications
The skills and certifications section represents a chance for you to highlight any unique skills you bring. You should definitely highlight qualifications pertaining to software, data analytics, and linguistic ability if applicable. This section is should be easily skimmable. Use bullet points only, and try to keep each item to a single line on the resume.
You can also include “soft skills” such as leadership, organizational abilities, and others. However, try not to be repetitive and take up valuable resume real estate. It’s better if you can demonstrate these skills in other sections of the resume.
If you’ve received awards, that can speak volumes about your sales skills. List relevant awards you’ve received, including both internal and industry-wide awards.
Including this as a separate section isn’t absolutely necessary. If you’d prefer, you can include awards as bullet points under the experience section
Tips for resume success
When completing your resume, use these best practices to make it shine:
- Keep the resume to a single page. Although there are a few formatting tricks you can use to keep everything to one page, the document still needs to be readable. Use standard fonts and margins.
- All headings should be in bold type so that it’s easy for readers to find information.
- If you have an exceptionally long record of work experience, be selective in what you include. Your most recent positions are more relevant than your early jobs. Write “(selected)” in the resume headers.
- Check and double-check for factual errors and typos in the resume. This can cause serious embarrassment for you later.
A stellar resume isn’t something you can whip out in an hour. By following this template and putting care into your resume, you’ll only increase your chances of hiring success.