Explore Your Options
Sales is comprised of multiple job titles that are focused on selling resources or goods to outside individuals or businesses. Positions will vary widely depending on the type of resource being sold and sales methods used.
Learn About the Field
Career exploration is all about research. Use the following information to learn if a career in sales is for you.
Latest News in the Field
Keep informed about what’s happening in this field by reading what the professionals read. Visit the following sites regularly!
Now that you've done a little research about the sales field, it's time to start meeting with industry professionals. It's an easy way to learn more about what your future career path might look like. It's also a great way to network with people who may know about internship or full-time job opportunities.
IUB Alumni LinkedIn – You can connect with over 186,000 IUB alumni from various programs after you create a LinkedIn profile. Search for alumni based on location, company, industry, and what they studied. To learn more about how to set-up your profile and use this tool, visit these resources.
IU Alumni Directory—Request an account and use it to search for IU Alumni who have graduated from our sales programs. You can see where they’re working now and email them directly from the site. Contact a dozen people to start with and see where you end up. You may need to contact more in order to get some helpful responses.
Informational Interviewing Guide—Once you know who you’re interested in talking with, use this guide to request and conduct an informational interview.
Social Media Networking
Use social media to network with professionals and their organizations. LinkedIn, a professional networking site, is a great way to connect. Here are a few organizations that have a strong social presence.
- Association of Sales Professionals: LinkedIn
- Innovative Marketing, PR, Sales, Word-of-Mouth & Buzz Innovators: LinkedIn
- National Association of Relators: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
- National Association of Sales Professionals: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
- Sales and Marketing Professional Association: Twitter, LinkedIn
- Sales Excellence-Sales Professionals Network: LinkedIn
- Sales Management Association: LinkedIn
Join a Professional Association
National professional associations are valuable sources for a variety of career information. You can learn about certification requirements, job leads, internships, educational opportunities, and more. Many associations offer discounted membership rates for students.
Build Your Skills
Having career-relevant work experience on your resume will give you a big head start when it comes time to landing your post-grad dream job. Now that you’ve researched your career options, take advantage of the opportunities below to build the skills you need to be competitive. Remember: employers also like to see plenty of leadership exerience listed.
Join Student Organizations
There are more than 700 student organizations at IU—which means there are more than 700 ways you can get some really impressive job experience. Below are some groups specific to sales. Check out BeINvolved to learn about even more student organizations through IU Student Life and Learning.
Get a Part Time Job
Use myJobs to learn about part- and full-time job opportunities. Here are career-relevant jobs that students have participated in.
*Jobs with asterisks are within walking distance from campus.
Put your talents to good use and build experience along the way! Off-campus volunteer opportunities exist around every corner. Below are some volunteer opportunities within about an hour’s drive of Bloomington.
Find a job or internship
You've done your research, created a network, and beefed up your resume. Now it's time to hit the job market. The list below shows some organizations that often recruit IU graduates from sales majors. This list also shows some organizations where recent sales graduates have gone to work. Remember that an education in these majors can prepare you for a number of careers.
Job Search Sites
These sites post jobs that relate directly to sales. Remember to use these sites in addition to your network of people to maximize your chance of finding good opportunities. Many of the professional associations listed in Meet People will post industry-specific jobs. Look for a page titled "careers," "jobs," "empowerment," or "opportunities."
Keywords for Job Searches
As you use the web to search for more opportunities, get creative with the search terms you use. Try the list below to maximize your results.
- Account Manager
- Account Executive
- Real Estate
- Relationship Building
- Solution Selling
- Customer Service/Relations
- Product Marketing
- Inside/Outside Sales
- New Business Development
- Territory/Business Expansion
Organization & Company Research Resources
When you’re preparing for a job interview, it pays to do your research. Use the resources here to learn about an organization’s history, business, and culture. Once you have a good understanding of what the company’s about, formulate a list of questions to ask during your interview. This will show your interviewer that you’re genuinely interested in the job and give you a deeper understanding of what to expect if you’re hired.
Common Interview Questions
Interviews can vary from one industry to another. Remember, interviewers are trying to assess your experience and your fit for a specific position, so depending on the position, your questions will vary greatly. This is a small sample of questions designed to help you understand the kind of field-specific questions you might be asked.
- What do you believe are the basic principles or facts that are needed to successfully execute the sales cycle in order to become a good sales professional?
- What comes first: selling or marketing? Why?
- Sell me this pen.
- What’s your approach to making cold calls?
- How do you handle rejection?
- Are you a competitive person?
- When was the last time you had to persuade someone to see things your way? How did you do it?
- Sales is all about numbers. Focus on quantifiable accomplishments. Include improvements you achieved by using percentages, goals you exceeded by using dollar figures, and staff you managed by using numbers of people rather than using the word “team.” Show the recruiter you are capable of achieving and producing results with your numbers.
- There is no excuse for a typo, bad grammar, or a misspelled word on a resume. When a recruiter catches a typo, or the use of the wrong word, they instantly put your resume in the “No” pile because if you can’t get something as important as your resume correct, how are you going to do with customer correspondence?
- Target your market: carefully tailor your resume for each job and company. Demonstrate you are able to speak to your customer in a persuasive manner—in this case the employer—by writing a compelling resume. Use sales language like “excellent communicator,” “top-tier closer,” “motivated,” and “results-driven.” Use industry buzzwords, and know what they mean and why they are important.
- Avoid general statements about your soft skills. Prove it on your resume. One good way is by listing awards and industry titles.
- Do your homework. Know the company, its products, its customers, its competitors, and be able to ask smart questions about them.