What are the first things that come to mind when you think about a person selling cars? Enthusiasm? Passion? Both! A good automotive sales representative needs to have excellent salesman abilities, and this is something you should also try to show in your automotive sales resume.
By showing that you know how to sell yourself, you have a much better chance at getting your resume noticed.
See our full sample resume down below, along with tips and suggestions for how to write the perfect resume.
Resume objective for automotive sales
In theory, the resume objective is optional, but you definitely want to consider including it when writing an automotive sales resume. Considering how important personality and sales ability is in this line of work – the resume objective is the perfect opportunity to show a recruiter who you are.
Use positive adjectives like ‘passionate’, ‘driven’ and ‘sales-oriented’, and think of the resume objective as your slogan. Who are you, and why do you want a job in the automotive sales industry?
Apply the same sales skills and enthusiasm as you would when selling a vehicle to a customer in your resume objective, because if you can’t sell yourself – how will the recruiter know you can successfully sell a car?
We surveyed 17 real job posts when writing this guide, and found that 85% were very specific regarding the personality type they are looking for.
According to Autoraptor, there is one more key skill you need as an automotive sales agent, and that is the ability to listen and communicate.
You may be great at convincing people to buy, but unless you know how to listen to what the client wants and needs – you are unlikely to be successful. This can be incorporated in your resume objective by adapting it to the job post and the language used by the employer.
We also looked at resumes for automotive sales jobs, which confirmed the relevance of a proper introduction.
Goal-oriented sales expert with 6+ years of professional sales experience. Passionate about cars and motorized vehicles, outgoing, charismatic, and enthusiastic, and dedicated to providing excellent customer service while positively representing the company.
Resume skills for automotive sales
A top skill in automotive sales is persuasiveness. It is essentially a sales position, and you need to be able to sell. Don’t go the easy route and put “great at sales” on your resume, and instead try to show off the personality traits that make you a great salesman/saleswoman.
Perhaps you are persuasive, knowledgeable, a great communicator, naturally curious, solution-oriented, organized and excellent at reading emotions and body language. These are all desirable skills in a sales professional.
In our research, we turned to Car Sales Professional to pinpoint the most important skills when working in automotive sales, and just like we saw when surveying job posts and resumes – confidence is essential.
How can you demonstrate confidence in your automotive sales resume? By cutting straight to the chase and being very direct and honest about what you can bring to the table.
In the 16 resumes surveyed for this article, we saw a somewhat even mix of soft and hard skills, with slightly more soft skills due to the importance of personality when working in sales.
Observant | Enthusiastic | Honest | Automobile knowledge | Hard-working | Passionate | Communicative | Sales experience | Bachelor in Marketing | English, Spanish & German | Analytical | Excellent social skills | Flexible
Automotive Sales work experience
When a car dealership or a company is hiring, they are generally looking for someone who can (and will) sell, as this is the main purpose of the work role. While you can get a job in car sales without experience – it is always great when you can show your knowledge of the business.
Out of the 15 real job posts sampled, surprisingly few required work experience, but this doesn’t mean it won’t be appreciated. Include any sales experience you have to show your future employer why you are the right person to sell their product.
The popular job site Monster talks about how an automotive sales agent is responsible for the dealership’s reputation – you are the face of the dealership, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that companies are picky when choosing their sales employees.
List previous jobs that demonstrate sales skills, leadership experience and customer service expertise, or jobs related to auto service.
Sample Work Experience
Toyota, Pensacola, FL
Auto Sales Agent, 2016 – 2020
Assisted customers in finding their dream car and the vehicle that best suited their needs, completed paperwork, ensured smooth transactions, provided guidance and helped maintain the company standards.
- Broke the company record of the number of cars sold in one day.
- Successfully trained 5 new sales agents and floor staff.
- Implemented a new arrival area for clients, which made them feel more welcome and at ease.
- Sold 89 vehicles within the first year of employment.
Cobblestone Auto Spa, Phoenix, AZ
Sales Agent, 2014 – 2016
Provided excellent customer service, promoted service packages, test drove vehicles, handled incoming and outgoing email correspondence and ensured the dealership was always clean and presentable.
- Initiated a project to conduct research of competitive car models, which received positive attention from the company board.
- Held daily pep talks with the sales team, to make sure everyone was feeling motivated and on the same page.
- Increased the sales of additional car services with 67% per month.
- Took the initiative to test out phone sales with appropriate follow-up, which established crucial client relationships.
CarMax, Houston, TX
Sales Consultant, 2011 – 2014
Built close relationships with customers and specialized in helping them find a vehicle to suit their needs. Completed reports, collected payments and supervised invoices.
- Landed a significant deal after months of negotiations, which increased the total company income with 38% that year.
- Provided personalized service for each customer, including test drives and service modifications.
- Organized a car show to help bring new customers to the dealership.
- Received the opportunity to travel abroad to scout for new vehicle models and features.
Automotive sales education
When you work in the field of automotive sales, the minimum educational requirements to obtain a position is usually a High School Diploma or a GED.
Having a Bachelor’s degree or an Associate’s degree in communication, business or marketing is of course beneficial, and a hiring manager might pick someone with a college degree over someone without, but it is not required by law to have any higher education.
Automotive sales is the kind of profession where you will end up learning a lot on the job, which is why work experience is so valuable when crafting an automotive sales resume. Education becomes slightly less important, however, it is far from irrelevant and a great way to impress!
When we surveyed resume samples, there was an even divide between resumes with only High School diplomas/GEDs, and resumes with a college or university degree, which showed us that both seem to work fine provided the rest of the resume is convincing enough.
The job posts we sampled showed similar results, where the majority actually didn’t ask for any specific educational background, or just for a High School diploma (GED).
The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Bachelor of Science, 2009 – 2013
- Business Administration
Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ
Associate of Applied Science, 2009 – 2011
Our research process included sampling automotive sales resumes, and interestingly enough – neither of the surveyed resumes included coursework or listed specific courses related to the field.
This, of course, does not mean that you shouldn’t list any course you have taken that you think would be of interest to a potential employer, but we can say for sure that it does not seem to be a requirement – or particularly common – in an automotive sales resume.
For someone who lacks work experience, showing off a course or two could be beneficial, as this is a chance to show an employer or hiring manager that you understand the business you are pursuing.
Otherwise, listing courses is not something you need to worry too much about when applying for a job in automotive sales.
- The Automotive Sales Process: Sell More Cars/Hold More Gross
- Overcome Auto Sales Objections
- How to Become an Auto Broker
Many car dealerships are open to training new employers, which we confirmed through our job post sampling, and there are no set certifications you need when selling cars.
However, there are a few sales related certificates that could help make your resume stand out, especially if you lack in other sections, but unless the job post specifically mentions a required certificate – this section can be left out of your resume.
The certifications shown below are only examples of certificates you could list, if you have them, or that you could pursue if you feel your resume isn’t quite as impressive as you would have wanted it to be.
- Car Dealer Compliance Certification
- Certified Inside Sales Professional (CISP)
- HubSpot Inbound Sales
- Certified Sales Leadership Professional (CSLP)
- Certified Sales Leadership Professional (CSLP)
Complete automotive sales resume sample
We have sampled one specific (and real) job post that we are going to have a closer look at, to demonstrate how you can tailor your resume to what a company is looking for.
Pay special attention to the language used in the below job post, the key skills the company is looking for and the overall tone of the writing.
There are no experience requirements for this job, and the company states how willing they are to train the right person. They do, however, follow up by mentioning a preference for someone with a sales background.
The importance of personality and attitude is also highlighted in this job post, and with that in mind, we can easily start crafting our tailored resume.
Auto Sales Consultant
Motivated and driven car enthusiast with a passion for sales and an enormous desire to become an indispensable company asset. Outgoing, friendly, talkative and persuasive; excellent attention to detail, administrative experience and with a philosophy where honesty, dedication and transparency are cornerstones when it comes to success.
Honest | Articulate | Fast learner | 4+ years of automotive retail experience | Car knowledge | Communicative | Flexible | Passionate | Multitasker | Administrative skills | Go-getter | Dedicated
Berkshire Hathaway Automotive Western Region, Albuquerque, NM
Automotive Sales Consultant, 2018 – 2020
Assisting customers in finding a new or used car that suited their needs, answered phone calls, set up appointments and updated the company website and social media pages.
- Created a faster and more efficient way of scheduling appointments by implementing social media, which led to a 73% increase in weekly appointments made.
- Trained two new employees that went on to become cherished coworkers and company assets.
- Contributed to making the dealership the top auto seller in the region in 2019.
- Developed a strategy targeting difficult customers, to implement a more pleasant work environment and increase sales.
AT&T, Albuquerque, NM
Retail Sales Consultant, 2015 – 2018
Greeted customers, received complaints, guided customers towards the right phone plan, sold cellphone units, handled invoices, filled out vendor orders and maintained high customer service standards.
- Sold 100 cell phone data plans during the first month of employment, which broke the company record.
- Discovered an error in a major product order before it went out, which saved the company thousands of dollars.
- Coached the other employees in appropriate customer encouragement, to better the overall interaction and increase the number of closed deals.
- Took the initiative to redecorate the showroom to naturally direct customers towards the sales counters.
Goodwill Industries, Santa Fe, NM
Retail Associate, 2013 – 2015
Arranged merchandise and furniture, attended the register, sorted through inventory, loaded and unloaded donation trucks, responded to customer correspondence and trained new employees.
- Efficiently unloaded donation trucks faster than company standards, by delegating the work between multiple employees.
- Received compliments from customers for excellent service and a friendly attitude.
- Achieved a 100% attendance record throughout the two consecutive years of employment.
- Built essential customer relationships that increased return business (loyal customers) with 57%,
Santa Fe High School, Santa Fe, NM
High School Diploma, 2011 – 2014
A common mistake automotive sales representatives make when writing a resume is to not make it personable enough. This doesn’t mean you should include personal information, but rather to insert your personality and your enthusiasm into each section.
Have a look at your automotive sales resume. Does it clearly demonstrate why you are the right person to sell cars for the company? Don’t send in your resume until this shows throughout your resume text.
- A car salesman or saleswoman needs a strong personality, passion and enthusiasm. Sell yourself in your resume the way you would sell cars for the company if hired.
- Work experience weighs heavier than education, but many companies are willing to train inexperienced workers too, provided the passion, will and personality is there.
- The resume objective is essential when writing an automotive sales resume, as this is a unique opportunity to insert enthusiasm and personality.
Tips from Experts
“When you approach a dealership you have to ask yourself – how do you become an asset to that company? Now, you can go into a company and explain everything that you want and say that this is what I can do, but you want to find out a way to really show them what you can bring to their company.” – Spencer Berke, Marketing Expert
“You gotta be honest, obviously, on your resume. What you put there has got to be the truth, but you also have to show yourself in a good light and brag about yourself. This is you, this is you selling a future employer based on words, so, make it bold!” – Craig Lockerd, AutoMax Recruiting
“Whether you are looking for a job as an automotive technician, auto mechanic, automotive salesperson or any other profession in the industry – having the perfect automotive resume is the first step to getting noticed by potential employers.” – ResumesPlanet
Picture your sales pitch when trying to sell a car, and do your best to channel that same energy in your automotive sales resume. Don’t just say you are the right person – show it.
It is proven that most hiring managers only look at a resume for a few seconds before deciding whether it is a yes or a no, so unless you make them see that sales expert they envision hiring, you could miss out on your chance.