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"Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf"

Ray Hood

Increase Your Chances of Getting a Top Sales Job

Are you tired of filling in job applications after job applications and never being put on the 'shortlist' for interviews? Have you felt like you've wasted your time, money and energy and got nowhere?!  You're not alone.

This article will explore methods on how to secure that interview that will help you take the first step towards changing your life and developing new opportunities within your career.  The majority of us have thought at a particular time that a position was just perfect for us - only to receive a rejection letter. Unfortunately being rejected is always a possibility no matter how well you present yourself. Nonetheless - you must not give in!  So here are some hot tips on how to help improve your chances of getting that all important interview:

First Impressions Count

When the employer sees and reads your application they will be developing their first impression of you. You will not be there to answer any queries that he/she/they/zie/sie may have about your qualifications, experience, reasons for applying for the job and why you are the best candidate. Instead they must answer these questions themselves and rely on the impressions you make through the style and content of the information provided and the confidence with which you have presented that information.

Have You Changed Your Number?!!

Your name, address, contact details including mobile numbers and an email address must be clearly mentioned at the top of your CV. If you have changed your mobile number or any contact details please, please, please don't make the silly mistake of forgetting to update your CV. You could be potentially throwing a job away.

Consider Employment With Companies That Aren't 'Blue Chip' Household Names

If you are solely approaching and applying to 'well know' or 'brand name' companies then you will be reducing your chances of being invited to interview. Yes they probably sound very exciting roles, but they receive many more applications per advertised role - sometimes the number of applicants goes into the thousands. Obviously don't dismiss roles within such companies - but do also consider firms that aren't household names. Smaller, less well known organisations may be able to provide you with greater responsibility and output which will enable you to achieve more.

Research

Researching the employer can help you match your skills and experience to the organisation. Before you dive straight in to writing a cover letter or updating your CV - browse at the company's website and then use your favourite search engine to learn more about the employer. You will then be able to match your skills and experience to the activities and needs of the employer.

If you really want to see yourself apart from other candidates it really is imperative that you spend some time tailoring your response to the specific advertised position. You should provide evidence from your past employment history and personal experiences that clearly demonstrates why you should be the chosen one to be invited to an interview.

Step Outside Of Your Comfort Levels

Don't lock yourself to a particular job type because it's within your comfort zone and you're familiar with it. Think outside the box and do consider other industry areas and see if you can discover different job types that you are qualified to apply for. It could well be that the industry or job type you are looking for is saturated.

It's Not What You Know It's Who You Know

Networking has become increasingly important for the job search. It's a great idea to attend industry seminars, conferences, join online communities and see if you can discover others means to connect with people. This is a great technique to meet and introduce yourself to industry experts who could inevitably know of sales job positions available.

Another method to increase networking opportunities is to attend job fairs - often individual employers attend these, so keep your eye out for such events and be sure to attend looking your best.

Make Sure Your CV Is Clear

Use standard fonts, colours and symbols on your CV. A lot of companies now utilize computerised tracking systems where often peculiar colours and fonts can keep them from your CV being retrieved successfully.

You're Applying For A Sales Job After All So Sell!

Your CV is the time to sell yourself and sell your accomplishments. Clearly state how you increased sales by half a money, whilst managing a 40 man team. Every employer wants to hire someone who'll be "value for money" - you must tell the employer you are. However for full effect, your CV/application form must first and foremost be truthful and believable. Don't lie, you'll only get found out in the long run.

Additionally remember to speak in results not actions! Do not fall into the trap of saying "I increased sales", do state by precisely how much. It's always a great idea to continuously jot down your accomplishments throughout your sales career.

Social Networks (Not Just Useful For Uploading Your Holiday Snaps!)

LinkedIn can be a great way to find out whether one of you first degree connections is connected to a relevant person (someone who works in the department where there may be an opening for example). If you do have a two or three step relationship to that inside person you could ask your first-degree connection to make an induction for you (This can be done by clicking on the "Get introduced Through a Connection" link of your "target" person's profile page. Phone The HR Department or Hiring Manager

If you know who your CV will be received by (or even if you don't) let the person or department know that your CV is on its way and they should expect to receive it soon (give a time scale). This should be in the form of a phone call and not an email. No doubt the hiring manager will be inundated with email messages - and you wouldn't want yours to get lost within the pile.

Something A Bit More Personal

Send a hand written letter or email about a week after your initial phone call (when you let them know that you were sending across your CV). Your letter should thank the person for the their time on the phone, provide a number they can reach you on if they do have any questions and restate the fact that you're extremely excited about the opportunity and look forward to hearing from them soon.

As long as you don't pester them, the employer may be more likely to remember you if you take the initiative. Following up also helps you to sell yourself better as it helps demonstrate that you are proactive.

Bigger And Longer Does Not Mean Better

A lengthy CV does make you more qualified for a job position. Please save the environment, yours and your potential employer's time and don't write a 5 page long CV - they look more like a brochure. Instead try and limit your CV to 2 pages, just make your points more defined.

It's Called A "Deadline" For A Reason

Late applications will not often be considered. Employers need to know that you're able to prioritise project-related activities.  If you put your job applications in order according to the deadline you will be able to effectively manage your applications that will further help ensure you apply and send them off on time. Remember to allow for delivery time if you are posting it.

Highlight The Keywords

It must be remembered that you will not be the only one who would have applied for the job and that the company will be looking through most if not all of the applications received. The company will remove the resumes that do not match the job criteria and to make sure you are not put in this category you should ensure your resume is well formatted, with keywords highlighted. Having keywords placed on the front page would be an added advantage and is easily noticeable for the employer or recruiter.

The "Boring" Part... (When Filling In An Application Form)

  1. Read, read and read again the instructions on the application form carefully. If it states to complete the form in black ink, don't use a blue pen! Make sure you read through the entire application form before attempting to answer any of the questions.
  2. Make your own copy of the application from which you can fill as a rough copy to start with.
  3. Take great care if you are completing it in your own handwriting aka make sure its illegible and doesn't look like you got your 6 year old child to fill it out.
  4. Check your spelling or even better get somebody else to check it. Application forms with incorrect spellings will find the bin becomes their new home.
  5. Remember to sign and date the application form in addition to keeping it clean, tidy and neat. Nobody will appreciate seeing the contents of your morning brew splattered over your application form.
  6. Keep a copy of the form - not only will this help you to remember what you put but it might be useful for potential jobs you will apply for in the future.

To Conclude

Following the tips above should give you a good start at improving your chances of helping you land that dream job of yours as soon as possible. Good luck and I hope you successfully find and get offered that dream sales job that you are looking for!

Date published: 6th March 2024

A photo of Sophie Jones, Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment

About the author

Sophie Jones

Sophie is an Associate Director at Aaron Wallis, and her main focus is to help clients find the best sales talent while ensuring that candidates secure the best professional fit. Sophie doesn't just fill vacancies; she strives to understand her clients' business goals, and she identifies candidates who will not only excel in the role but also contribute to the company's long-term success. Maintaining open communication is crucial, and Sophie ensures that clients are well-informed throughout the recruitment process, addressing any concerns and ensuring that expectations are met. She's a trusted advisor, and her ability to build bridges, solve problems, and advocate for success makes her an invaluable asset in the World of sales recruitment.

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Rob’s knowledge of the recruitment industry and his thoughts and how to make it better for his clients have always been eye opening. I would recommend Rob to anybody who is looking for a professional, knowledgeable and flexible recruitment specialist.

CEO, Friday Ad Online Services

Very professional service and will certainly be in contact for future recruitment.

Director, Blakedown Sport & Play Ltd

I could not suggest anything I would like you to do better. The service you provided materially exceeded my expectations. I would especially like to commend Simon Bonner; he is easily the best recruitment consultant I have ever dealt with. I particularly valued his advice and guidance throughout the recruitment process. 

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Rob is a true recruitment professional that goes the extra mile that I have never experienced from any other recruitment agency before. If you need sales people call Rob or someone in his team, as they really are experts in sales recruitment.

Sales Director, Inside Business

I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.

HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd

George is a joy to work with, and I'd recommend him to anyone seeking that unicorn hire - he found me mine, and I'm delighted!

Director, Education Support

Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.

Marketing Director, City of London Police

Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.

UK Sales Manager, Nexcom

George is a rare find in the world of recruitment - communicative without being pushy or over-bearing. He listens and understands what the customer needs as gets to know the business to ensure he provides fully competent candidates who fit.

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I just wanted to thank you for your help with our recruitment process which went very smoothly and has – we hope – found us just the person for the job!

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Really good service. Just the right amount of contact and easy to deal with.

HR Manager, Zircon Software Ltd

I can't fault Sam or AW! Sam was a pleasure to work with and provided great support from the start. Sam always provided me with timely updates when required and provided outstanding candidates!

Director, Waste Managed Ltd

Thank you for your dedicated help during the recruitment process - we came to you after unsuccessfully searching elsewhere, and hired, not one, but two! Quick response times, and a really personal approach, without being pushy.

Managing Director, Accora Ltd

We were impressed not only by the quality of candidates you found for us but also the level of information, preparation and qualification you put into the process. You continually kept us informed of each person’s feelings about the process, which is very important but often overlooked. I am looking forward to working with your company again in the future.

Commercial Director, Incentive Facilities Management

We appointed Aaron Wallis in February and the successful candidate, out of the six which Aaron Wallis introduced, was able to join Alphametrics before the end of April. The whole process took less than three months. I would recommend Aaron Wallis' services to others without hesitation.

Chief Financial Officer, Alphametrics

In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.

Sales Manager, TR Fasteners

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Managing Director, Leisuresec plc

Giles is highly professional and was a pleasure to work with. He achieves excellent results through his personable skills and tenacity. I have no hesitation in recommending Giles to anyone who considers employing his services.

Commercial Director, G4S Government & Outsourcing Solutions

Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.

Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd

George came recommended by a colleague and has been a pleasure to work with. He was great at updating us on his progress and ensured a great experience for both client and candidate.

HR Manager, Annapurna Recruitment Ltd

Aaron Wallis has continuously provided us with suitable candidates that have been proactively sourced. Having used countless recruitment companies, Aaron Wallis are the only company that I can count on to deliver.

Managing Director, JARK Healthcare Recruitment

Generally good standard of candidates. Especially liked the personality profile. Overall good value for money and will certainly use you again.

Managing Director, Medicash

As always we were extremely impressed with Rob's understanding of the role and our specific needs.

Managing Director, Speck & Burke

I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.

HR Business Partner, Greene King

Since joining DSGi, Rob has been a supplier of permanent staff and has performed to an extremely high standard, successfully filling 98% of roles he has worked on. If anyone is looking for a good sales and marketing based consultancy with an informal yet professional approach, I would recommend Rob.

Senior Recruitment Consultant, DSG International

Sophie did a great job at understanding our business and our needs, she is extremely professional and we hugely benefitted from her experience and expertise.

HR Manager, The Data Privacy Group Ltd

I have always found Rob to be very knowledgeable about our industry sector, and it is refreshing to see after all of these years that Rob continues to quickly and accurately understand my requirements.

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Our candidates say...

Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.

R. Buckley, Candidate

Managed to get me placed within a week! Really friendly and easy to deal with. Always available for a call and my biggest challenge was I was in work at the time I was looking for my next opportunity (which is stressful) but Sam made that easy.

P. Fitzsimons, Candidate

Rob was really helpful when I was putting together a presentation for the second stage interview. Overall their communication was great and kept me updated of any progress

J. McGrattan, Candidate

Good swift process with Aaron Wallis, informative regarding the role and the process was moved at a good pace with healthy interaction. Would recommend them to anyone pursuing a change.

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C. Caine, Candidate

George is a fantastic recruitment agent and provides a great service. It was a pleasure I thoroughly recommend George to anyone.

C. Beaugie, Candidate

Friendly, proactive, communicative. Overall a really positive experience.

R. Houston, Candidate

Darren at Aaron Wallis was really encouraging and helpful. He was very responsive and regularly made phone calls to explain the job opportunities available, and guided me through the application process.

A. Brown, Candidate

Wanted to say a huge thank you to Simon Bonner who has just helped me secure my new role. He was one of the most professional recruiters I have ever worked with he was supportive really quick at replying and really put me at ease.

J. Marcinkiewicz, Candidate

Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.

M. White, Candidate 

The staff at Aaron Wallis were fantastic. Throughout the process, they maintained excellent communication and I always knew where I stood.

M. Owusu, Candidate

I have to say using Aaron Wallis Recruitment has been nothing but an absolute pleasure. I've used many agencies over the years as the client and the candidate and its not always been a pleasurable experience!

L. Knowles, Candidate

A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!

A. Bauchet, Candidate

Sophie contacted me about a role explained the details clearly and made sure I was ready for the interview. She kept in touch every step of the way till I started the job. Thank you Sophie for a great experience.

S. Powell, Candidate

I had a great experience. Helped me every step of the way to get my new job. Sophie was very polite, kind and helpful!

J. Parnham, Candidate

I would highly recommend Aaron Wallis Recruitment, Darren was extremely helpful and provided me with plenty of advice and support throughout the whole process.

D. Bretherton, Candidate

Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dewrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.

R. Sealy, Candidate

Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.

E. Heley, Candidate

Simon was knowledgeable on his clients history, background and what their requirements were and he worked around time zones, holidays and a pandemic to get the right result.

J. Tooze, Candidate

Sam was by far the most professional and helpful of any individual I've ever dealt with through a recruitment agency. He was supportive and thorough throughout the process. He definitely goes the extra mile for you. A pleasure to deal with. I would highly recommend him. An asset to Aaron Wallis

M. Wyer, Candidate

Perfect from start to finish. Simon deserves a shout out. Best recruiter there is. If you need a job, this guy will get you one. He's like the super man of recruiters. Top man, can't recommend him enough.

M. Crisp, Candidate

I had a very good experience with Aaron Wallis. The company itself is offering great content for all things related to the hiring process. I definitely recommend.

J. Ostermeier, Candidate

The detail put into the preparation for interviews and the detail of the job description was first class. Rob and Simon in particular are amongst the best I've ever dealt with.

K. Peacock, Candidate

Less than two weeks after joining Aaron Wallis I was offered my new job. I got a £10,000 rise in my basic salary, car allowance, a laptop and many other perks, which will help to further my career. I definitely would not have found my dream job without the help of Aaron Wallis.

C. Hoy, Candidate

George above and beyond to make sure I had everything I need to secure my new role. Outstanding Professional.

A. Kirkland, Candidate

Sophie helped me secure a new role I have been searching for. She took her time to explain clear and concisely all I needed to succeed at the interview stage. Thanks again Sophie!

O. Oladejo, Candidate

Professional and responsive from start to finish. I would highly recommend. Special thanks to Sophie J for her help and support throughout.

N. Leney, Candidate

I had the absolute pleasure of working with George Humphries on finding a placement best suitable for me.

A. Van Der Mescht, Candidate

The Recruitment agent I used, Simon, was extremely helpful and really went the extra mile to ensure all of my questions were answered, and that I felt as comfortable and prepared as possible. Very professional company and would definitely recommend to others. Thank you Aaron Wallis!

A. Callaby, Candidate

The service provided by Aaron Wallis has been just great. I was constantly informed about what was going on with the process interview and the agent has always been supportive and kind to me.

L. Colagrossi, Candidate

George Humphries was a complete professional at every point, from our first phone conversation to his “good luck tomorrow” text on Sunday before I started in my new role.

E. Fry, Candidate

For anyone looking for work, I can't recommend Aaron Wallis highly enough.

C. Rockliffe, Candidate

Wanted to say a huge thank you to Simon Bonner who has just helped me secure my new role. He was one of the most professional recruiters I have ever worked with.

J. Marcinkiewicz, Candidate

Very polite and friendly and was very helpful finding me my next new role.

K. Craggs, Candidate

I have to say coming across and having dealings with Aaron Wallis proved to be very successful. Being highly experienced did not seem to count for much during my job search bit a conversation with Robert Scott gave me a real confidence boost and enabled to get a position at the age of 63. Great service!!!

D. Burgess, Candidate

I can honestly say that the time and expertise you gave me was way beyond any other recruitment consultant I dealt with. You are a rarity in your industry.

S. Akers, Candidate

The most professional recruitment agency I've ever worked with. Robert Scott was extremely proactive and send me a detailed briefing before each interview, ensuring I was well prepared.

D. Bermant, Candidate

Excellent experience. Knowledgeable staff and really went the extra mile. Found my ideal position and I couldn't be happier. Special shout out to Sam and George: who made the process smooth and easy for me. Highly recommend.

K. Pearce, Candidate

Very good advice and support was given during the course of the interviewing process. Potential job seekers would be well advised to use this company whilst looking for their new career.

R. Speakman, Candidate

When talking with Simon you felt relaxed cared to help you find a position that suited your needs

D. Pinder, Candidate

Fantastic customer service, communication was brilliant, happy polite people to talk to, made everything a lot easier and smoother. Thank you for all your help getting me back in the work force, Keep up the good work :-)

K. Everitt, Candidate

Sophie has been fantastic and always so attentive, highly recommend.

T. Ashbourne, Candidate

I would highly recommend thank you to Darren for helping me secure my new job role! Excellent service all round!

G. Thompson, Candidate