A sales job can be a rewarding career path that lets you make use of your communications and quick-thinking skills. If you just graduated from a university but you don’t have a bachelor’s in business, economics, or sales, that doesn’t mean that you can’t change directions. Even if your only jobs were in other fields, you can still find a sales job without having any prior experience. A lot of basic job searching tactics apply, but you’ll also need to show off some of your sales-y talents to impress a hiring manager.
Start with your resume and cover letter. These documents are the most important part of any job application. Look back at what you’ve done the past four years and beyond and think about whether anything that you’ve learned applies to sales. If you don’t have a lot of job experience as a new graduate, make sure that your internships and university experiences shine. Perhaps you volunteered or had a part-time job as a receptionist for a local office. Any position paid or unpaid that allowed you to deal with customers should be included in your resume and cover letter.
Next, dig deep. Look at the company that posted the job listing. Check out its website and its LinkedIn page. Most of the time, LinkedIn allows you to see some of the employees that work at a particular company. Glance through their experience and their humble beginnings. Perhaps some of the great salespeople at the company had a varied start just like yours. Learn as much about the company as you possibly can so that when you land an interview you’ll come across as informed and passionate about the position.
Job resource Monster suggests that you outline your time in academia and the workforce and think about times that sales have mattered to you. If you’ve had even a part-time job in the past, you’ve likely sold something. Recall how you did it, including the way that you dealt with customers, how the exchange went, and customer satisfaction. If you have multiple sales stories, briefly describe these in your cover letter. You can go more in-depth during the interview, and you certainly should.
Besides that, Monster also recommends that you have a sales tactic or approach in mind when you arrive for your interview. If you’ve adequately researched the company, this should be no problem. Many company websites have more than just “about me” pages, but also case studies, testimonials, news snippets, and press releases about progress and successes. If you read these documents, you can learn which sales angles have worked for this company in the past and take it from there.
As much information as you’ll be armed with, confidence is probably your biggest ally during an interview. Remember to give a firm handshake, make eye contact, sit up straight, and speak naturally and not too quietly. After the interview, send a thank-you letter or email where you can reiterate what makes you a desirable job candidate. Don’t be afraid to check in on the status of your application if you don’t hear back a few weeks after your interview. If you keep a good, positive attitude, know what you bring to the table, and don’t give up, you’ll start a new sales job before you know it.