Optimize Your Food and Beverage Sales Resume

September 14, 2015 in Career and Job Search Tips, Resume Tips



You’re an expert in landing new accounts. Retaining key clients. Increasing penetration within existing accounts.

But how savvy are you in “closing the deal” with a hiring manager?

The ability to effectively sell yourself is one of the most important skills a food & beverage sales professional can have – and the “sales cycle” starts with your resume.

What are food & beverage hiring managers looking for?

Kinsa Group developed a series of resume optimization posts, each dedicated to a specific professional job category within the food & beverage industry.

Previously, our recruiters shared what they and their clients look for in Food Science resumes, Plant Operations Manager / Food Production resumes, Food & Beverage Supply Chain / Logistics resumes, as well as Food & Beverage Quality and Food Safety resumes.

Below, three Kinsa Group recruiters explain how to optimize your Food & Beverage Sales resume – so it stands out and showcases your talent:

From Robert Navarro – Senior Recruiting Consultant:

Make sure your resume includes:

  • Company and market description. For each employer, create a brief description of the company. Don’t assume that your reader knows who they are or what they do. Indicate whether products were sold to retail, food service and/or industrial accounts.
  • Product category per position/employer. For each position you’ve held, include the food or beverage product(s) for which you were responsible.
  • Direct supervisor. Include the title of the individual to whom you reported.
  • Employees managed. List the size of your sales team and the titles of your direct reports.
  • Measurable accomplishments. Not surprisingly, the best resumes include specific information on how the candidate increased sales, added new clients and boosted profits. Whenever possible, include a full or partial P&L to quantify your achievements.

From Mitch Hawk – Senior Recruiting Consultant:

When crafting your food & beverage sales resume, be sure to include information on:

  • Budget sizes and revenue responsibilities
    • Growth delivered
    • Market expansion
    • New product innovation and introduction
  • Existing relationships within the industry you can leverage
    • Include names of key accounts you served
  • Experience with private label and/or branded products
  • Details regarding your territory—regional, national or international
    • If you have international sales experience, include location(s) as well as the percent of travel you are willing to do
  • Whether you worked with distributors and/or brokers
  • Sample list of trade show and industry events where you’ve presented product
  • Successes participating cross-functionally
  • If applicable, incorporate the following keywords and terms throughout your resume:
    • Leveraging existing connections
    • Innovation
    • Expansion
    • Deliver growth

From Karen Engelmann – Senior Recruiting Consultant:

To get the attention of hiring managers, be sure to list this important information on your resume:

  • Your success in driving sales volume (quantify amounts to back up your accomplishments)
  • List your channel experience and include a cross-sample of accounts in each channel
  • Your demonstrated ability to generate new business
  • Marketing knowledge and experience using Nielsen, IRI and other market intelligence tools
  • Cross-functional team involvement (detail the benefits and results you delivered to other teams and/or departments)
  • Recognition awards (such as a “Top Performer of ____ due to increased ___”)
  • Professional Association memberships
  • Professional development activities and training
  • Buzz words to include (when relevant):
    • Proven track record
    • Strategic and tactical (solutions)
    • Collaborate
    • Empowering team
    • Partnered
    • Relationships
    • Profitability

From George Blomgren – Recruiting Manager:

To impress hiring managers, follow these resume tips:

  • Avoid anything other than a traditional chronological resume. Include your address (at least city and state)
  • Describe your success in driving sales (quantified results are always best)
  • Make sure it’s clear exactly what you were selling in each job, and to who
  • Describe the territories or channels you were responsible for
  • If you had any side gigs, such as consulting, leave them off your resume
  • If you are a “hunter” style salesperson, make that clear. Describe how you found, approached and closed new business.
  • List technologies you have experience with, such as Salesforce and market intelligence tools
  • Describe your experience with distributors and brokers
  • List any awards, memberships, certifications and training you have completed
  • If you are strategically-oriented, list examples. If you are more focused on tactics and execution, make that clear
  • If you managed direct reports, be sure to share how many
Looking for more executive food & beverage resume advice?

Head over to the Resume Tips category of our blog. In addition, we offer great food & beverage résumé writing tips and other résumé critique resources in the Kinsa CareerEdge library.