What Should a Salesperson’s Résumé and LinkedIn Profile Look Like in 2018?

Whether you’re actively seeking a job or not, it’s smart to ensure your résumé and LinkedIn profile are up-to-date and marketable in the new era of sales.

January 18, 2018

Whether or not you’re actively looking for a job, it’s a good idea to ensure your résumé is up-to-date and reflective of all you have to offer.

Even when we’re feeling happy and comfortable with our current gigs, there’s no way to know when unforeseen circumstances might put us back on the market, or when an unexpected opportunity might arise.

With the calendar flipping to a new year, now is as good a time as any to review and update your professional record. To that end, we’ve got some tips for making sure you’re highlighting the skills and capabilities that B2B sales organizations are likely to covet in 2018 and beyond.

The insights that follow will mostly pertain to LinkedIn profile enhancements -- after all, 87% of recruiters use it to identify or screen candidates -- but much of the advice also applies to traditional résumés, and marketing yourself in general.

LinkedIn Profile Essentials

First, we’ll cover a few baseline recommendations for constructing your LinkedIn profile and making it work for you:

  • Use a professional headshot for the image, not a selfie or group photo.
  • Although it sometimes will serve as a résumé, don’t make it look like one straight-up. Remember that your LinkedIn profile can also be a personal brand builder and social selling tool. (Find LinkedIn profile optimization tips for sales pros here.)
  • Feature past experiences and third-party endorsements to reinforce your strengths.
  • Make sure all of your information is complete and accurate. As one recruiter from Korn Ferry remarked, “I find somebody’s profile and it says they’ve worked at, according to the profile, four different places simultaneously. They’re adding the new places, but not putting end dates. That says they haven’t updated their LinkedIn profile in X amount of years.”
  • Your summary, and content in general, should be concise and to-the-point. Write in a way that is conversational, compelling, and anecdotal.
  • Now, we’ll cover some tips that apply more specifically to B2B sales professionals in 2018.

Showcase Strategic Selling Skills

The Future of Sales eBook explored a distinct trend that is unfolding in the B2B sales workforce: a shift in demand from traditional, transactional selling skills to a more strategic methodology. If you want to position yourself as an asset in the new world of sales, it’s wise to frame yourself as a consultative seller who builds relationships, and operates well within the complexities of increasingly elaborate purchase cycles.

While there’s nothing wrong with listing traditional sales skills on your profile (business development, account management, solution selling, networking, etc.), you should also seek to play up the strategic side when applicable. Skills such as complex selling, partner management, and business alliances will increasingly catch the eyes of recruiters and hiring managers in 2018.

Get Active on Social

For B2B sales professionals, social selling is a competency that needs to be in the toolkit going forward. It’s another skill worth listing on your LinkedIn profile or résumé, but to truly authenticate your proficiency in this area, you should demonstrate it.

How? Maintain an active presence, on LinkedIn and other platforms relevant to your industry. Share news stories and blog posts around your area(s) of expertise to illustrate that you keep up on the latest happenings. Interact with others and build your network. Post original content and insights to showcase your own style and knowledge.

Not only will these types of activities look good to hiring managers researching your social presence (which, you can be all but assured, they will), but the added visibility might also help you get discovered as a candidate.

Brush Up on Sales Technology and Tools

Sales technology is now an integral part of the B2B selling profession, and its influence will only continue to grow as we move ahead. If you’ve worked with software tools or innovative sales enablement solutions in the past, consider calling out your experience with them. You could even take classes in your free time to learn new digital skills, or educate yourself in areas where you don’t feel especially adept.

Forward-thinking sales teams will be looking to hire people who are, if not tech-savvy, at least tech-literate. You’ll be doing yourself a big favor by gaining comfort with sales technology and showing it.

The keys to being an in-demand B2B sales professional in 2018? Be strategic, show your social media chops, and embrace technology. This is a model that won’t be going out of style anytime soon.

To stay on top of every development -- technological and otherwise -- in the rapidly evolving world of B2B selling, subscribe to the LinkedIn Sales Solutions blog. Whatever your professional aspirations for 2018, we look forward to helping you achieve them.