May 12, 2022

How to Land a Sales Job in 2022

Written by Karli Stone

Have you ever considered entering the world of sales?

Well, now is the time!

In 2021, there was a 65% increase in sales jobs advertised on career boards, with around 700,000 openings in sales departments in the United States alone.

And it’s only ramped up from there…

The future of the sales industry is overwhelmingly positive, and there are loads of opportunities for determined job seekers looking to take the leap.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through the steps for landing a sales job and give you some additional pointers to help you take advantage of the promising job market in 2022 and launch the sales career of your dreams!

Step 1: Reflect on what you’re passionate about

Every industry sells. So when it comes to finding a sales job, you can pick virtually any industry.

From healthcare and sports to information technology and supply chain companies, all career areas need qualified sales professionals.

Your options are endless!

But, at the end of the day, you need passion to sell.

One of Apollo’s sales hiring managers, Isabela Rivera, urges aspiring salespeople to look for the right sales job.

“[You have to] believe in the product you are selling!,” she says, “it won’t be the same if you are selling something you don’t believe in”.

So, before you get too deep in your job search, make sure you identify exactly what gets you excited, what your sales goals are, and pursue it with full force.

Step 2: Check out the job boards and tap into connections

Now that you know what to look for it’s time to see what’s out there and dive into the talent community.

Start with job boards. There are general job boards, as well as sales-specific job boards, and they can make it easy to search jobs by job title or company and apply to jobs in bulk.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Job boards are great resources, but sometimes the best sales roles are ones that you catch wind of through networking.

Networking includes letting your friends, family, and former colleagues know you’re looking for a new job.

This could mean verbally telling them, describing which roles you’re going for, asking if they know anyone who’s hiring, and possibly giving them a digital and physical copy of your resume they can share with potential employers.

Step 3: Optimize your sales resume to pass ATS

On average, 118 resumes are submitted per job, and only about 20% of those ever get an interview.

Few things are more important than a killer resume.

Why? The applicant tracking system (ATS).

ATS is a program that many modern companies use that scan applications for certain keywords to find qualified applicants. If you don’t have enough relevant terms on your resume, the ATS discards your application before a recruiter has a chance to review it.

Pay close attention to job descriptions and make sure you are stacking your resume with relevant keywords that will help you stand out from the crowd.

Some words that Ziprecruiter says are important to have for a Sales Executive resume include:

  • CRM
  • B2B sales
  • Account representative
  • Account manager
  • Inside sales
  • Vendor management
  • Human resources
  • Business administration

Step 4: Build a killer sales LinkedIn profile

Your LinkedIn profile page is the foundation for your personal branding. And with most recruiters and hiring managers using it as their go-to hiring hub, it’s important your profile showcases you as the top talent you are!

Get your LinkedIn recruiter-ready by:

  • Sharing relevant content to your LinkedIn feed
  • Linking your resume, published content, and other applicable resources
  • Requesting professional recommendations
  • Choosing the right profile picture and personal information
  • Following relevant LinkedIn sales influencers/companies

You can learn more steps to bettering your LinkedIn profile here.

Step 5: Prep for an sales job interview

When you score an interview for a sales job, preparation and intention are key.

Just think about it from the company’s perspective – if you can’t sell yourself, how could you sell their product?

To prepare for a sales interview thoroughly research the company and the people you will be speaking with. Scan the company website, LinkedIn pages, and review sites. Get a good idea of their product, their goals, their language, and their culture.

Interviewers want to make sure you’ve done your homework because it shows you value preparation (a key quality of a good sales professional).

You should also be prepared to talk about specific successes, challenges, and other notable moments in your professional career. Maybe you overcame a situation with an especially difficult customer or maybe you failed to meet a deadline but improved your project management skills from it.

Either way, you should have 3-4 specific professional instances to demonstrate your ability to learn, grow, and thrive in a sales role.

For further prep, review some of these common sales interview questions. Chances are something similar to one of these questions will come up:

  • How would you generate, develop, and close sales opportunities?
  • What do you consider to be your biggest sales achievement?
  • Tell me about a time that you failed to achieve goals you set. What went wrong and how could the outcome have been different?
  • How would you build rapport/relationships with potential customers throughout the sales process?
    How do you stay organized?
  • How would you sell someone x?
  • Tell me about a time when you collaborated with other team members.

Stand out against the crowd with these additional tips and tricks

Before you go, here are a few extra tips to help you along in your job search:

Consider enrolling in sales courses.

A surefire way to impress employers is showing them that you are a motivated learner.

Not only are sales courses a fantastic way to deepen your knowledge on sales, but they’re also a great way to network (particularly with in-person courses) and show potential employers that you are serious about business development and the sales field.

Get a head start and check out some of the top-ranked sales training courses here.

Demonstrate how your existing skills are transferable.

Maybe you don’t have a ton of sales experience; that’s ok! You have more existing, sales-applicable skills than you think.

If you’ve ever worked in retail or have held a customer-facing job, that’s something to emphasize. If you took communications or marketing courses in college, that’s another “selling point” you can put in your resume and cover letter to the hiring managers.

Even if you’ve never sold a thing in your life and never taken a marketing course, you still have a chance if you are goal oriented with strong time management skills.

Be coachable.

It’s a natural instinct to become defensive when we are critiqued, perhaps even develop a negative attitude, but when you are trying to break into an industry, it’s important you stay willing to accept feedback and use it to improve.

Apollo Hiring Manager, David Castellanos, lists coachability among his top qualities he looks for in a candidate. “[I ask myself] how receptive is this person to feedback?”, he says, “once they receive feedback, what are they doing to apply it?”

Whether it’s from a current boss, recruiter, professional mentor, or even a friend, it’s important to take advice and feedback positively to reach sales success.

Lastly, remember to stay motivated.

Rejection is a huge part of sales.

Start practicing now and don’t take job rejections too personally. Keep going, set realistic targets, surround yourself with a positive network, and success will come!

Be a part of the future of go-to-market solutions with Apollo.io

Here’s your first opportunity to join an incredible sales team!

Apollo is a fast-growing, fully remote company with employees in over 30 countries. Our mission is to build the future of go-to-market solutions. There are lots of opportunities to do great work and help us achieve our mission in sales and beyond!

Interested in becoming a team member? Check out these open positions at Apollo.io.

Karli Stone headshot Karli Stone

Karli Stone is a copy writer and content creator living in Los Angeles, CA and a proud University of Washington grad. When she’s not wordsmith-ing, you can find her biking along Santa Monica Beach, following the Seattle Seahawks, or catching a flick at her local cinema.