You’ll face an uphill battle if you rely solely on the same metrics and quota figures that nailed your current position.
Here’s why: employers assume that a VP-level sales leader will have already mastered the art of building relationships, training sales teams, and exceeding objectives. Most Sales Managers or Directors aiming for the VP slot have proven that they can close deals and surpass expectations!
What your resume REALLY needs to make it past the gatekeeper for a VP Sales job are these 5 elements, strategically positioned on your executive resume to illustrate your readiness to take the helm of an entire Sales organization:
1 – Descriptions of your impact on the entire region.
No longer will you be considered a viable candidate for VP Sales if your results only impact your direct reports. Instead, you’ll often be expected to forge key relationships and create millions (if not billions) in sales across entire continents (as in this example of an International VP Sales resume).
Here, this Director of Sales was able to show years of reputation-building success within a competitive part of the world, creating a lasting impression on top-level contacts throughout Asia Pacific (a message repeated throughout headlines, the summary section, and a list of Enterprise-Level Sales Wins on the front page).
2 – Strategic influence on both client accounts and internal relationships.
As outlined in this VP of Business Development resume, executive leaders must be able to build coalitions and buy-in at the top organizational levels.
Here, this candidate’s resume details a key business case built for a specific product to be developed and sold – raising his employer’s profile in the government and defense market.
Built into the description of his current job, this accomplishment was prominently featured to demonstrate an ability to influence company success from the inside out.
3 – Infographics that illustrate the magnitude of your success.
Nothing speaks louder than a picture on your resume! In the international International VP of Sales resume sample, you’ll see where millions in revenue success are shown benchmarked against previous numbers for each region.
A chart or picture gives your reader an impression of quickly rising revenue figures, showing that your work gains the quick results required of an executive leader.
4 – Influence on team members groomed for executive achievement.
Executive performance is often gauged by your ability to elicit contributions from direct reports or to bring others into top-level roles.
This example of a Regional VP of Sales resume describes the results of Sales Manager (direct report) mentoring and coaching, with metrics to back up the scope of the impact (bonuses of up to $300K for 11 out of 12 reps).
For your sales leadership resume, consider including team achievement or promotions as an indicator of a collaborative leadership style – especially in cases where you’ve needed to foster teamwork and strengthen revenue in a challenging territory.
5 – Specific, landmark deals.
At a VP level, you’ll be expected to be the star… with a sales record that includes never-before-closed agreements ranked at or near the top of your employer’s historic record.
As outlined in the same example of an International VP of Sales resume, you’ll need to tout impressive records that prove consistent achievement (similar to this candidate’s accomplishment in gaining the largest global agreement in Australia and ranking as the #1 revenue source in APAC – both of which are shown prominently on the first page).
Remember – your VP of Sales resume will be judged – and quickly – against the stellar achievements of peers in line for the same role.
To tell a more powerful, compelling story, list specific metrics, add descriptions in context, strategically repeat major achievements, demonstrate the extent of your influence, and show collaboration at the executive level.
Award-winning executive resume writer Laura Smith-Proulx of An Expert Resume has a 98% success rate collaborating with executives and rising professionals to capture top jobs at Fortune-ranked corporations, start-ups, and emerging leaders.
A 8-time certified job search coach, master resume writer, LinkedIn expert, and former recruiter, Laura’s work has been published in more than 200 venues worldwide and featured in CIO.com, CareerBuilder, Wall Street Journal, The Denver Post, Forbes, Monster.com, The Chicago Tribune, and other media.
She holds the U.S. record for global resume writing TORI awards from 2007 through 2013, with 23 total distinctions. Laura is a featured Personal Branding and Resume Expert for CareerRocketeer.com and Careerealism.com, the National Resumes Examiner for Examiner.com, and Job-Hunt.org’s LinkedIn for Job Search Expert, as well as the author of How to Get Hired Faster: 60+ Proven Tips and Resources to Access the Hidden Job Market and Power Up Your Job Search With LinkedIn.