Recruitment musings

Top linkedin and resume tips for web tech and online ad salespeople

At Glenborn we focus on Sales positions for web platform and ad salespeople that target Major Brands / F1000 firms, Agencies and Publishers. We therefore get to see our fair share of resumes and Linkedin profiles of candidates that match this description and we wanted to share some tips and ideas on how such active and passive job-seeking salespeople can better represent themselves to  both internal and external recruiters alike.

Remember there are four crucial things that we recruiters need to know about salespeople focused on web technologies and online ads plus one nice-to-have. These need to be clear on your resume and Linkedin profiles alike:

  1. Who you work for / What you sell.
    We will target you based on who you work for because that implies what your selling Subject Matter Expertise is. We provide some practical tips on clarifying company details below but when it comes to helping us understand what you sell, you need to get descriptive  – Think keywords and think keyword synonyms especially when completing your Linkedin profile: Online Ads, Ad networks, Behavioral Targeting, Platforms, SaaS, CMS, Social media etc. When you are building out your keyword list, think of it as a a reverse search exercise: If I was looking for me, what company names and keywords would I use to find me in an advanced search?

    Resume tips – include a one line description on what you sold / what the company does below the company / tenure line. Make sure you include a link to the company’s/ company division’s website so we can check out the relevancy of your current or past employers.
    Linkedin tips – make sure that you adequately keyword your profile (focus on the summary and in the description of each role) to reflect what you sold. Make sure that you choose your current and past company names strategically (choose the spelling / version for which a linkedin company profile exists) and specifically (get specific on the divisions you worked for (e.g. Yahoo Hotjobs versus Yahoo right media, Cisco versus Cisco EOS)) and, when relevant, embrace legacy names somewhere in your profile ( e.g. You might currently work at AOL but separate out Tacoda if you worked there pre-acquisition).

  2. The clients that you sell to .
    Clearly state for each role:
    a. the verticals that you sell to. e.g. Financial, CPG, Retail/ Ecommerce etc. etc. Spell the target verticals out for each role.
    b. whether you sell direct or indirect. Make sure you name your marquis clients. If you sell through agencies, please clarify whether they are creative or planning agencies or both and again, name the major agencies that you sell to.

    Resume tips – In the bullet points, name specific clients that you sold and group them by vertical.
    Linkedin tips – Cover this off in your summary and in the description of each role.

  3. The functional roles that you target.
    Who do you know how to sell to? A recruiter needs to know if you can sell to their firm’s targeted chain of command: CMOs, Media planners, CTOs, Head of Digital Strategy etc. Clarify that for each role.

    Resume tips – In the bullet points, mention the functions that you targeted.

    Linkedin tips – Mention functions targeted in your summary and, in the role description if necessary

  4. What you did in each role.
    Were you in inside or outside sales? Did you do hunting or farming or both? Did you manage people? If so, how many?
    If your title doesn’t adequately reflect what you did, use a title that does. This isn’t to suggest that you should lie – you can always refer to your official title elsewhere. Instead it is to help you be found and recognized for what you actually are. For example, if you are in a hardcore, quota-bearing sales role and your official title is “business development manager” then ditch it. It is too vague – why list your job under that title when it could just as easily apply to a non-quota bearing partnership person whose ROI is questionable?

    Resume tips – Use descriptive titles when your real title doesn’t cut it.
    Linkedin tips – Make sure you choose your official function (e.g. “sales”) in Linkedin and use descriptive titles that are likely to be searched for in an advanced search (“sales”, “(strategic) account manager / executive”, “account director”)

  5. (nice to have) That you are “with it”
    Granted, this isn’t crucial for all jobs but if you are interested in getting into hot areas like social media you can make up for a lack of work experience in the space by having good personal involvement in social media. You also prove for all other jobs that you are up to speed on the latest and know how to market yourself and find prospects in today’s economy. Blogging, Meetup groups, Linkedin, twitter and Facebook profiles-  Participate online and nurture your presence. If you only have 8 people in your Linkedin profile then a recruiter will legitimately question if you know how to leverage Linkedin effectively as a prospecting tool. If you claim to be a social networking guru then make sure you have your twitter account linked to your Linkedin profile. You will be dead in the water if you don’t.

    Resume tips – Place links to all your relevant online profiles and your blog, if you have one, at the top of your resume near your other contact details.
    Linkedin tips – Build out your linkedin profile so it reflects that you are “with it” – if you have a twitter account tie it to your Linkedin account, add applications to show your blog’s RSS feed, use tripfinder and’s reading list, participate in discussions, build out your network and give regular status updates.

The results will be tangible – On Linkedin you will see immediate results in terms of the numbers of times you appear in search results and the number of times your profile is viewed. This will mean more approaches from internal and external recruiters alike with interesting jobs to run by you.  You should also check out those people who are checking you out, if they haven’t reached out to you yet, and reach out to them proactively.

Good luck with your search and let us know if we can help in the process.