What are some tips to sell yourself during an interview/resume/cover letter for a position that you have no experience in?

I'm an Economics major at UC Davis. I don't have a ton of experience besides some clubs on campus, classes, and my GPA, but I think I'm interested in a job in sales when I graduate.

How do I sell myself in my interview/resume/cover letter so that I get a sales job? I've read a few posts here, and they've been really helpful but please let me know how I can go about making other selling points that have actual substance. I do believe I'd be a great sales person, I just need to know how to get my foot in the door so that I can learn the ropes.

Any additional tips would also be very much appreciated.

Thank you very much!

This is going to be a 2-post response due to 3,000 character limit.

Hey Aggie2018, first let me commend you for putting yourself out there. Sales is all about no fear, leveraging your network, planning, and being relentless. So far you've checked the box on 3 of those. I have a feeling the 4th will show itself in time.

I made the jump into sales 2 years ago and haven't looked back. Had to accept that it was a career change and started with an entry level role. I am very fortunate to have worked with inspirational leaders, supportive teammates, and could leverage the network I've built over time to propel me into a senior role with the best territory I could hope for.

OK, so you want to go into sales. Here are the things to keep top of mind throughout your career journey.

How can you put your network to work? Do you have friends, people who were the same clubs as you that graduated ahead, professors, etc... who you can ask for advice about their jobs or people you might want an introduction to? Your network or peers, mentors, professional acquantances is your best asset.

Planning (also known as hunting) - Would you rather spend 5 hours chopping down a tree with a dull axe, or 1 hour sharpening the axe and 1 hour chopping the tree down? Planning the who when and why you're asking someone for a meeting is the most important part of sales, so do your homework and be prepared.

Whatever drives you most (a specific industry, working in a booming city, or just making a ton of money), do your research on who the key companies are (look in press publications like Forbes, Fast Company, NY Times, Wired, etc) to see who is making the news. The best foot in the door is an introduction, but if you have to cold call/email your way into a job opportunity, you will want to have some relevant and interesting things to talk about other than yourself to show that you understand the market and have the drive to learn about the person/company you're meeting with.

Relentless - it's common knowledge in sales that it can take up to 10 attempts to finally get that coveted meeting. You're competing with so many factors beyond just other job candidates. Anything that takes a recruiter or hiring managers attention away is a distraction, and thus a competitor to you getting and crushing your interview. Follow up regularly, be creative and differentiate yourself.


Two more things:

1. If in an interview, you're asked about what accomplishments you're proud of, I suggest you lean heavily on recognizing those around you who made you successful at whatever it is you achieved. For example, I'm consistently at or above quota because I work with an excellent team and we know how to leverage each other's strengths. I know when to admit that I don't know something and need to bring in an expert or escalate to my leadership. My Sales Development Reps (these people help you outbound or cold call into new accounts) and I would work together on developing email and calling campaigns, etc...Sales is considered an "individual contributor" role, but it takes a village to get the notable deals done.

Lastly, listen to this podcast when you get a chance. These guys set the bar in Silicon Valley. http://a16z.com/2016/04/08/sales-why-how-when/

I wish you all the best and keep those questions coming. Ask a lot of questions and become a very good listener.


Hey Mike -

This answer is incredible. Thank you so much. I'll listen to that podcast right away, and I'll make another post if I have any questions in the future.

Hi aggie, happy I could be of some help. Sorry for the late reply...love huttle, but still figuring our some of the logistics and navigating back to prior comments/post. Let us know how the interviews go and where you end up. Sales is all about expanding your network and helping out the people you like ;)