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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.
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)
- 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.
- Make your own copy of the application from which you can fill as a rough copy to start with.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!
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Our employers say...
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
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
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
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!
Managing Director, Citrefine International 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.
HR and General Manager, THK
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
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
I really liked the YouTube presentations which made the service seem both simple and accessible. The company came to see me, and my management team, at short notice to present their service and I liked the support and advice that I received about maximising the results from the applicant.
Managing Director, Leisuresec plc
Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.
Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd
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
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
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
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
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
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
Our candidates say...
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
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
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
I've had a really good experience working with Giles Phillips at Aaron Wallis. From initial contact to the finer details of securing the job, he has been very professional and a pleasure to work with.
M. Shutt, 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
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
Excellent experience from first contact to ultimately securing a suitable placement. Giles looked after me in a very professional and friendly manner. He used his expertise and experience to ensure I was put forward for the most suitable positions for my skill set and found me a new role very quickly. I can't recommend Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment highly enough.
M. Green, 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
Fantastic service, helped me find my ideal job quickly and smoothly. Would highly recommend them.
C. Caine, 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
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
Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.
E. Heley, Candidate
Aaron Wallis helped me secure a position I really wanted. Giles sought to keep me updated with all the details preceding interviews and after with feedback. I would highly recommend Giles and Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment.
L. Taylor, 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.
S. Bartlett, 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
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
Really excellent experience dealing with Aaron Wallis. Liam Oakes who helped me get a great job was brilliant. Kept me up to date during the process and offered great help and advice, and a thoroughly nice guy. Highly recommended!
J. Hathaway, 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
Aaron Wallis have provided me with an excellent service, Giles went out of his way to help me preparing for my interview and supported me through all the processes. If you need an agency to give you a fully professional and consultative approach to finding you a new career move, the Aaron Wallis can certainly provide this for you.
D. Richards, 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