When people search “Car Salesman Job Description For Resume” on Google, they do so for a few different reasons. Some people want to apply for a car sales job and to tailor their resume to fit. Others are trying to switch careers, in which case they are trying to sell a new industry on their experience. Others are looking to hire new salespeople are and are looking for how to advertise the job.

This article is going to tackle the subject “Car Salesman Job Description For Resume” in three parts. We will start by giving guidance to people looking to land a job in car sales. Next, we will break down the career shifters path away from car sales. We will end with how to post and hire for a car salesman position.


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Car Salesman Job Description For Resume – How To Tailor Your Car Salesman Resume To Get a Job

One of the most beautiful things about car sales is that this is a job that you can go from 0 experience to a six-figure income in a year or two (assuming you are in a major metro). Car sales managers know this, and hiring “green peas” (fresh untrained salespeople) is relatively common.

Content Of The Resume When Applying

First, remember that previous sales experience is generally not necessary (depending on the dealer). The most important things to stress in your application and resume is your customer facing experience. If you haven’t spent a huge time working in a “customer facing” role, get creative.

How did your job as a lifeguard teach you how to handle difficult customers?

How did working at a hospital give you the experience of staying organized while dealing with times of stress?

It’s about communicating your ability to handle real-life problems, in front of customers. You can be taught how to sway opinions, build a book of business, or do a product demonstration. It’s more difficult to teach how to stay calm when a customer is in a situation of stress. The salespeople that can handle customers at a time of stress will sell more cars. Can you stay calm?

Side Note: Foot In The Door

Let’s say you have no experience, never had a job. Guess what? It’s still possible to get a job at a car dealership, just generally not starting in sales. If you read this blog and want to get into this type of career, I recommend just getting a foot in the door any means necessary. Many successful six-figure salespeople started as porters (moving cars). It helps if you know someone at a dealership from high school or a mutual friend.

If you want more advice based on your current situation, I recommend shooting me a message here. I’m always happy to help.

The Approach – Culture Fit

When approaching the dealership with your resume, remember the position you are applying for. Any customer facing role is about personality and polish, regardless of previous experience. That means that your first impression is 90% of getting a job. If the manager likes you, the thinking goes, the customers will too. Customers buy from people they like.

“Culture Fit” is arguably a bigger deal at a car dealership than many other places of work because of the hours that dealerships are open. This business demand employees skip holidays, long weekends, and work late nights. If you are one of the employees at the car dealership, working long hours, on a holiday, missing your family, you better like your coworkers.

Adding to the pressure is the fact that car salespeople are often commission-only employees. Although I love the way that commission only jobs “make sense” for a business, it can lead to emotional rollercoasters with the salespeople. If you are working a long holiday and haven’t made any money, it can be tough to keep positive. Strong friendships with your coworkers are key to emotional survival. If a dealership adds an employee prone to nasty mood swings, they can expect huge problems during periods of high stress.

The Takeaway – Car Salesman Job Description For Resume

When you go in to interview at a dealer, make sure you visit beforehand. Get a feel for the vibe of the dealer, and make sure that it feels like a place of business that you would be able to make your home.

What Do Hiring Managers Hate?

I’ve met many people that I like in my time on Earth, and all for slightly different reasons. You can be likable in a million different ways, and I encourage you to find yours.

Now, on the other hand, the traits that make a car salesman unlikeable are not unique. There are a few screaming red flags that will cause any manager worth his weight to veto you.

The first red flag is arrogance. If you have something to be proud of that the hiring manager should know, fill them in. Don’t boast too heavily, don’t “beat your chest”. Although hiring managers like hiring successful reps for their potential to “plug and play” (less need for training), they don’t like hiring reps that will mess the mojo. You don’t know how the new store works, regardless of how long you’ve been in the business. Come in with a beginners mind.

The second huge red flag is trash talking your previous manager. No hiring manager wants to hire a problem, and regardless of what your previous manager was like, it’s best to let it go. Mentioning that you had a disagreement with your last manager is fine if absolutely necessary, but leave it at that. I’ve seen otherwise great candidates get passed up because they spoke ill of their previous manager. No one wants to hire a “problem employee”.

The third red flag is… sleaziness. It sounds harsh, but some people come across as not trustworthy. This one is hard for me to put a finger on how to describe. Essentially, remember that hiring managers are picking people who are going to be the face of the store. If you come across as creepy, sleazy, hard to trust… it’s going to be hard to land a customer facing role.

How To Be A Green Pea

A “green pea” in the car business is a new guy with no experience. Make no mistake, every car dealership hires green peas every once in a while. It is certainly a little hard to get the job, but by no means not possible.

The first way to stand out as a green pea is to stress that you are there to learn. You want to come across as respectable, humble, and willing to absorb new rules. You want the hiring to manage to think of you as mold-able and lacking any bad habits.

So, if you are a green pea, admit it. Tell your hiring manager that you’ve never sold cars before, but you are confident that you can figure it out. Emphasize that you love talking to people, you don’t mind working long hours, and that you will sell cars how they want you to. What sets green peas apart most of all is their work ethic. Even if you don’t close as many customers, if you talk to twice as many, you will sell more cars.

If you are coming in as a green pea make sure to dress very well for your interview.  A suit always impresses, make sure it fits.

Again, I know that applying as a green pea is stressful. If you have questions, shoot me a note here, I’ll be happy to help.

Car Salesman Job Description For Resume – Switching From Car Sales

Let’s say you fit in a different category. You searched “Car Salesman Job Description For Resume” online because you want to switch from being a car salesperson into a new role. I’ve actually considered doing this myself in the past, and I will share with you the strategies that helped get interviews at some top companies.

See my example resume below (some contact information has been redacted). I had an executive in HR (from Google) review this resume, and the feedback was positive.

this is a copy of my resume for the article 'car salesman job description for resume'

My Actual Resume From Last year

The focus, as you can see, is my time at Audi. In the resume, I listed accomplishments and concrete revenue numbers that are understandable to other industries. Every sales organization cares about your ability to close business and keep clients happy. I have had management experience as well, which I sprinkled in, although I made sure that it was second fiddle to the sales numbers.

Foot In The Door (In A Different Industry)

The most important thing to know about getting a sales job in a different industry (after working in car sales) is that it’s imperative to work your network. I was so confused by what this meant, so I’ll give you some real-world examples.

In Person

The absolute best place to build future job opportunities is… at work.

Whenever you are working with a customer that is in a management position at a company (that interests you), make sure to “wow their socks off”. Go out of your way for the first half of the sale to bring a level of customer service and authenticity that impresses them. Then, when the rapport is built up, start to talk about your experience at the store you work at. Mention your successes, but end with how you are interested in other industries and maybe switching jobs.

This is a soft open. You will learn, with practice, how to branch the topic of their experience at their company. If your rapport and conversational approach come together nicely, the customer will very likely mention that they can help you get an interview at their company.

You know you have done well if you get an email with this at the bottom:

this is what you are looking for

Via Warm Email

If you are reaching out to people for job opportunities via email, it is best practice to get an intro from someone that knows you well. Let me give you an example of the type of intro you are looking for:

here is an intro to another job - time to use the skills from the article "car salesman job description for resume"

a great example intro

This type of email intro has always worked well for me. The person that was organizing the intro, Ian, is a great friend of mine for 10 plus years. When I reached out to him for help, he immediately shot this email to someone that he thought would be a good fit.

Via Cold Email

This type of introduction, asking for advice and referrals directly, is going to be ignored most of the time. Although it is possible to do this successfully, it requires far more work than the in person or warm email introduction.

The only key thing I would recommend, which applies actually to all three networking strategies, is to ask for advice, not a job. When you ask for advice you are assigning the person you are talking to value. They will feel some degree of pride and usefulness. If you ask them directly for a job you risk the possibility that they will feel used.

In the future, I will write a whole article on switching out of the car business, which I hope to remember to link to from here.

Car Salesman Job Description For Resume – Hiring New Salespeople

Instead of the first two options, you may have searched “Car Salesman Job Description For Resume” to learn how to post a job ad for a new car salesman.

Hiring salespeople is a tricky endeavor. You need to hire someone that has people skills, a good attitude, and the ability to work well in a team environment. They need to listen to management and be open to some of the grunt work that comes with the job. They also need to be humble when they are successful.

That’s a lot, and frankly, you won’t be able to weed out all of the bad candidates with a well-targeted job ad. You can, however, have an ad that mentions all of these requirements, stresses a strong team focus, and attracts good candidates.

That being said, there is only one real way (other than referrals) to attract strong job candidates in this market.

The Elephant In The Room… $$$

Strong pay attracts strong candidates. Let’s compare some jobs that I can find on Google Jobs:

Company Overview

We are proud to be a family owned business with over 60 years in Sonoma County and over 160 years in California. Our company sells and services 10 of the most precious brands in the industry. Together we take a long term view about investing in our people and the community. There are more than 700 employees in Sonoma County.

We care about making customers feel great, helping our employees succeed and improving our community! By provide an environment in which everyone can be his or her best. This ensures that our customers get the best experience in the business and our community is a better place.

Job Summary

Our BMW Sales Advisers ensure the ultimate customer experience to every customer who calls, emails, or stops by. This is accomplished through rapid responses, clear communication, and a consistent demonstration of energy, knowledge and enthusiasm.

Responsibilities And Duties

• Ensure the ultimate experience to all customers
• Build a thorough working knowledge of all ultimate driving machines in our inventory
• Learn the automotive business
• Communicate with enthusiasm about our products
• Learn and understand our “road to the sale”
• Learn and utilize our state-of-the-art client relationship tools
• Stay up to date on technological changes in the product
• Work with fellow team members to improve our customers’ experience Qualifications And Skills
• Previous automotive sales experience preferred, but not necessary
• Inside Sales or Outside Sales Experience is a huge plus
• Customer Service Background is a great start
• Self-Motivation is a key
• Be available for a retail schedule that regularly includes evenings and weekends
• Have a valid California Driver’s License with Clean Driving Record
• Pass a pre-employment criminal background check
• Ability to multi-task
• Be reliable
• Pass a drug test (Positive for Marijuana will constitute a fail) Benefits And Perks
• Medical Insurance
• Dental Insurance
• Vision Plan
• 401-K
• Employee Discounts on vehicles, service and parts

Analysis Of This Lackluster Job Post

First of all, this job description is incredibly long and doesn’t address the elephant in the room. How much money can I make working for this dealership?

Now, if I’m posting a job to work at Google, I might not need to list income. The name brand is enough. On the other hand, if I am posting an ad for a high turnover sales position at one of the 10+ Northern Californian BMW dealers… I need to talk about income.

The term OTE (On Target Earnings) would be well applied in the car dealership setting. I need to dive into how much my car salespeople make at my dealer and then share that range. Is the job commission only? Is there a base? What are my tiers?

Money motivates, especially in a market of ~4% unemployment.

Technical Problems

My article "Car Salesman Job Description For Resume" includes an analysis of a car sales job post

the wordcounter.net analysis of the job post above

You should not need 329 words to interest a potential car salesperson.

Your ad is designed to attract strong talent while sticking to the rules. Here is a reminder of the guidelines from HRZone:

What do the Advertising Codes say?

So how can you make sure you don’t fall foul of the rules? Firstly, it’s important to familiarise yourself with them.

On top of the general Advertising Code rules that prohibit ads from being misleading, harmful or offensive, there’s a specific section on employment and business opportunities which require that:

  • Employment ads relate to genuine vacancies and potential employees are not asked to pay for information
  • Work is clearly and accurately described. The advertiser must ensure that the public is not misled about the type of work involved, or anything else that would influence their judgment
  • Quoted earnings are precise. If income is earned from a basic salary and commission, commission only or in some other way, that must be made clear
  • Advertisers must distinguish clearly between offers of employment and business opportunities
  • Employment agencies and employment businesses must make clear in their ads their full name and contact details and, in relation to each position they advertise, whether it is for temporary or permanent work.

Side Note: Wasted Words

The job ad posted above is full of fluff.

It’s unnecessary to say “Self-Motivation is a key” for two reasons. First, because it doesn’t make sense grammatically. Secondly, because unmotivated people are going to apply regardless of that line. Typically unmotivated people apply for a job because they want money, and they apply to every job they can.

It’s also unnecessary to say “Ability to multi-task”. Every single job requires some level of multi-tasking.

The same thing applies to “Be reliable”. Employees by definition need to be reliable. 

Now, there may be a bigger game at play here. It might be true that HR puts these fluff terms into the job description in order to make firing bad employees easy down the line. Although I understand that kind of defensive play, the fact that plenty of jobs don’t list these terms at huge companies means that it’s not actually a problem.

The Best Way To Find Salespeople

The absolute best place to find new salespeople is Nordstrom. I’m only partially joking. At my store two of our very best salespeople (20+ cars per month each) were simply hired directly from Nordstrom’s Women’s Shoes department. These two guys are top of their game at reading customers intentions, providing excellent service and dedication to professionalism.

The fact is, the best employees are already employed. They are actively providing value to some other business.

The first Nordstrom hire was the shoe salesman who worked directly with the sales manager’s wife. The wife wisely noticed his talent at selling shoes and brought him in for coffee with her husband. Within a week he was selling Audis, and within 6 months he was top 50 in the United States.

So, if you are hiring salespeople, keep an eye out. Realized that your waiter, your shoe salesperson, or your valet could all be your next superstar. Always have an eye out for talent in your network!

Review: Car Salesman Job Description For Resume

The one common thread in this article (“Car Salesman Job Description For Resume”) is the need for a network to rely on. You need to have a good name for yourself. Whether you are looking to get into car sales, leaving car sales for another sales gig, or hiring new salespeople, your network is your greatest asset.