What to Look for On a Car Sales Manager Resume

Do you want the best possible candidate to lead your sales team? Here are the top 5 highlights to look for on a car sales manager resume Hiring a sales manager is a paramount decision for dealership GM's. The responsibilities that come wit...

Do you want the best possible candidate to lead your sales team? Here are the top 5 highlights to look for on a car sales manager resume


Hiring a sales manager is a paramount decision for dealership GM’s. The responsibilities that come with the position are crucial to a well-oiled, professionally run operation. She is the go-to person for an entire team of sales reps, trains new members, negotiates deals with customers, and much more. When the job opens and applications start flowing in, what should you look for on a car sales manager resume?


Compile a list of candidates from inside and outside the dealership. You want a diverse group that offers a range of experiences, backgrounds, skills, and accomplishments. Picking the right fit is a diffcult task, so to separate the cream from the milk, you need a solid set of prerequisites to guide your decision.01_managerresume_experience

5 highlights of a promising car sales manager resume 

1. Experience relevant to the position  

First, you have to ask: is this person qualified for the position? That doesn’t mean she had to be a sales manager prior to applying. In fact, many GM’s make the mistake of hiring new managers who, on paper, look like a “perfect fit.” Exact-match experience isn’t the end goal.

Instead, pay attention to the candidate with well-rounded sales expertise. Experience in a sales capacity is a bottom line requirement. But, you don’t have to pigeon hole anyone. Look for a person that shows organization, leadership, and customer-service mastery. Candidates who come from diverse backgrounds and other industries can bring a new perspective to your sales force.

Good signs of prior experience in sales:

  • Recognitions and awards for extraordinary customer service
  • Demonstrated ability in face-to-face sales
  • Leadership roles, such as project manager, assistant manager, or supervisor
  • Understands current methods for dealership marketing
  • A clear progression of responsibilities and higher positions over time

2. A clear, thoughtful, and attainable objective

The objective section of a candidate’s resume will reveal more than you may think. Firstly, you can toss the run-of-the-mill types. “My aim is to increase sales and meet quarterly goals on a consistent basis.” Well, yes, we hope so! Those statements are flat, stale, and meaningless. Look for the applicant who is perceptive and communicates her objective in clearly defined terms.

Qualities of a solid objective statement:

  • Specfic goals relating to the position’s description
  • A short explanation of how she intends to achieve those goals
  • Thoughtful reasoning of why she is a good fit for the role
  • Writing shows personality, voice, and control of language

3. Mastery of written communication and grammar 02_managerresume_grammar

Salespeople need to possess a thorough understanding and control of the English language. The ability to write clearly is essential to every managerial role, whether in the car business or not. A car sales manager resume filled with spelling errors and grammatical mistakes is a red flag.

A strong resume should be flawless. If your candidate doesn’t cross every “t” and dot every “i”, then she doesn’t qualify. Attention to detail is paramount.

Things to look out for:

  • Spelling errors, incorrect grammar or language usage
  • Lack of copyediting (sentences are bulky, long, and hard to understand)
  • Inconsistent formatting or font choices
  • Too many repeated words or phrases

4. Length of time held in each position

Seek out the person who shows a degree of continuity. Salespeople, as you know, often have a sporadic history of positions. For a sales manager, you don’t want spotty timelines—you want consistent, upward growth.

If the length of time held in each position is two years before moving into a higher position, then you have a winner. Keep in mind that the most relevant experience should be held for at least three years. You want to hire someone that will be comfortable moving into new responsibilities.

  • An upward movement of consistent growth over time
  • At least two years (on average) for each position held
  • At least three years of relevant experience (manager or supervisor role)
  • Doesn’t jump around from employer to employer; shows continuity and dedication

5. Strong references 03_managerresume_references

Everything on a car sales manager resume should be juxtaposed to the support or disapproval of previous employers. If she provides a diverse group of strong referrers, you can take a deep breath—she has backed up her claims with outside support.

But what makes a strong reference list? Here are a few tips to go by:

  • A diverse group of relationships: superiors and co-workers
  • Personal and business phone numbers are provided
  • References can relay specific experiences that speak to the candiate’s skills and abilities
  • References are not overly enthusiastic (like a best friend), but confident in their referral

Think of every car sales manager resume as a first step

Remember that a resume is only a person on paper. The real decisions are made after you meet face-to-face. But first, you need to separate the stack of applications—that’s why these tips are important. Set up interviews with prospects in a tiered format: exceptional, promising, and decent. You might be surprised at how a great meeting can trump blemishes on a resume.


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Ty W.
Ty W.

Ty was born and raised in the automotive world. He's an enthusiastic expert who writes exquisite content about cars, automotive sales, and dealership best practices. When not writing for AutoRaptor, you'll find Ty on the golf course.