The Finlay James Sales CV Writing Guide

The Finlay James Sales CV Writing Guide

Working with IT sales candidates we see lots of CVs, both good and bad, on a daily basis. 

Based on what we’ve seen and what our clients tell us, here is our advice on how NOT to fall into the ‘bad’ category!

If you follow the below format

Personal Profile

  • There is no need to include your date of birth or marital status, as these are no longer required.
  • Make it short and snappy, avoiding filler words and clichés. Be creative with this!
  • Include a link to your LinkedIn profile, so future employers can see groups that you are part of, companies you follow and any recommendations you may have.


  • Start with most sales recent role and work back.
  • If you have worked for a company that has since been taken over or your role has changed, be sure to include this information under one heading (not two) or explain underneath. If you list separately it can make you look like you’ve had a lot of short moves.
  • Only include full role descriptions for the last 10-15 years, after that just include company name, job title and dates.
  • Include any targets, achievements and also key wins – as a sales professional, this is what our clients are most interested in!


  • If you have a degree, include what you studied, where and your grade.
  • There is no need to include GCSE or A Level results.
  • Be sure to include any sales training you have done.


  • Include any hobbies that you have, especially if they can demonstrate competitiveness,   drive and determination as these attributes are often found in the most tenacious sales professionals.  

General Formatting

  • There is no need to put boxes around text, keep it plain and easy to read.
  • Make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes and the text is all in the same font.
  • Do not put a picture on your CV, it is not necessary.
  • Keep the length to between 2 and 4 pages – any shorter, you are not giving enough information, however, any longer, you risk it not all being read.
  • There is definitely no need for a contents page, especially if you follow the above layout.

This is only a guideline! Your CV should be a professional snapshot of your life, and represent you in the best possible way.

If you are looking for your sales next role within the software industry, contact Finlay James on 0161 438 1930.