No sales manager wants to make the torturous mistake of hiring a complete sales dud.

Although a few are bound to slip in, in order to prevent this from happening to you, there are a number of ways that you can screen out a great sales rep resume, prior to actually meeting with them face to face.

Your sales recruiter will help you with this enormously…as long as you’ve carefully followed the steps in our previous post on how to find a top notch sales recruiter.

In combination with a solid recruiter who understands both you and your company’s hiring requirements, using these steps can help you to cut out a lot of the ‘time waster’ interviews, so you can focus your time on the cream of the crop.

When analyzing a resume, the first and most important part is the layout.

The layout can give you deep insights into broad characteristics of the candidate. Since every resume is a direct reflection of the candidate, you need to carefully scrutinize the layout – as it subtly tells you the importance of many details are subliminal “clues” that are so important to uncover from your candidate prior to hiring them.

So carefully review how the descriptions, achievements, dates, descriptions and accolades flow together.When you do this you’ll get a good sense from the flow of the layout what the subtle character attributes of the candidate may be.

Here are 5 things to specifically look for when it comes to resume layout:

1. Is the layout neat?

A neat layout means the candidate is clear, well-put together and organized – all character attributes that are desirable in the sales world. Although these three things are not included in the “The Fabulous Five”, they are very important character traits much needed for success in sales.

2. Is the layout well-organized

This will give you key insights into the candidate’s organizational skills. The more logically organized the better.

3. Does the layout follow a logical direction?

Is there a job description blurb first under each heading, then accolades as to how well they did in that position? If the accolades are on the first line on some headings and last in others, you may have logic issues with the candidate. Common sense is not all that common, but you need your candidate to have it; this organizational part of the resume you can pick out very quickly.

4. Is it well written?

If you have trouble figuring out what the candidate did by deciphering the text of the resume, you can bet she’ll have trouble articulating the same to you in an interview. She’ll also have a very hard time communicating to you clearly on emails and written communications as well. Look for clear, direct language, well articulated and logically thought out.

5. Are there any typographical errors?

Are there any typographical errors? If there are, immediately take a pass on the candidate. Typos on resumes are inexcusable, and I am continually amazed at how many resumes I see with egregious spelling and grammatical errors.

Any typos really means the person does not have the attention to detail that you absolutely require as a top-performing sales manager. It also means they can’t write! How can the candidate close sales, write up sales proposals and complete the necessary customer follow up when they can’t even spell hit “spell check” prior to sending their resume to you? Needless to say, typos are a big red flag.

These 5 tips will help you to get rid of the dead wood and take you one step closer to finding your ideal sales candidate.

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