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.


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