Resumes are traditionally structured in two basic formats: Chronological and functional. Job searchers use the latter when their work histories are erratic or when experience was gained outside of the usual work environment. They are also a good choice when a career change is involved. When writing a functional resume for a sales representative position, focus on successful interactions with others and the ability to influence a buyer's decision.
One section of a functional resume lists your general qualifications. Describe your qualities that are loosely related to sales that may not fit anywhere else on your resume. Examples of characteristics similar to sales are general retail skills or any customer service related strengths. A sample line in this section could read, "Gained multi-faceted business skills starting and running my own floral shop."
When specifying your skills on a functional resume, group characteristics related to sales into categories. Several examples of titles are "Acquiring New Accounts," "Follow Up" and "Marketing." Under each category, describe practical skills you have demonstrated in those areas. Under the new accounts section, you could list activities you regularly participate in at work such as cold calling, setting up new routes on the road and the related bookkeeping.
Briefly List Employment
The functional resume does not focus on previous employers and the time you spent with them. Rather than list details to the specific day and month of employment, generalize your time with those companies to years only. Because you have already detailed your skills in previous sections, you do not state them in your work history. Simply list employer names and locations along with dates. A sample line in an employment section would say, "ABC Company, St. Louis Missouri, 2003 - 2006."
A functional resume for a sales rep includes information about your educational pursuits. Note the most recent educational experience at the top, then in order of the highest level of pursuit. For example, if you recently completed a sales course, you could list that at the top, then follow with any degrees you have. Also include dates and locations for when and where you completed your coursework.