How to land a job in sales as a business student

by Jan 31, 2020

Though it may come as a surprise, business students (and those studying a related field) can leverage their studies to land a role in sales. More importantly, with so many industries that you can go into after working in sales, it could be the ideal stepping stone that gets you to your dream role.

1.  Get experience

If you want to increase your chances of getting any kind of job, having relevant experience is always a bonus. Of course, it does seem like a catch-22; you need the experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience. However, there are definitely workarounds for this if you’re just starting out.

As a university student, you have endless opportunities to build up your experience. Part of being able to excel in a sales role is having strong soft skills such as communication and negotiation. Being part of a team or landing leadership roles in clubs and programs can help to build crucial experience.

2.  Know your niche

Following on from the last tip, it really helps to know what industry you’re passionate about and/or where you want to be working. There are sales roles in a variety of different industries and types of companies. For example, if you want to be working in a startup, you might want to start with joining a startup community in your first or second year.

Building experience in a related field will help you to get a sales role in the right industry. In the same example, you might find you have increased chances of getting a sales role in a technology company. This will open up significantly more doors for you whether you want to move up in sales or use your new skills in a similar role.

3.  Build relationships in the industry

The thought of having to build relationships might sound daunting at first. However, remember that a great connection doesn’t have to be with super successful entrepreneurs or high-level managers. Talking to other students and tutors can be helpful and can eventually lead to finding your dream job.

There are a range of networking events that are run by the university or different organisations within a university. You’ll also be able to find different careers fairs and career events. It’s the perfect opportunity to mix with people who are actually looking for potential employees.

On top of connecting with people in real life, remember that connecting with people on online platforms such as LinkedIn is now more important than ever. Your profile will likely be one of the first things a recruiter will look at after your resume. Actively connect with people you work with, make posts or engage with posts from your connections.

Where can you find jobs?

Job hunting can be a huge mission. Knowing where to look can make things easier. If there’s a certain type of company or industry you want to work in, you can filter by industry on job listing sites such as LinkedIn, Seek, Indeed or on the UTS CareerHub. You can also reach out to recruiters in the industry directly on LinkedIn.

Look for entry-level positions and/or part-time positions for call-centre type rolls in sales. If you’re having trouble getting a sales role off the bat, other jobs that are client-facing or involve relationship management are ideal for getting your foot in the door. You can also look at unpaid opportunities internships to expose yourself to working environments.

Got an interview?

If you’ve managed to land an interview, congratulations! Of course, all the usual interview tips are still relevant. Show your interest in the company, in the role and in your growth. However, there are specific skills and traits that recruiters will be looking for when hiring for a sales role.

Remember that the biggest part of a sales role is being able to sell. This means a recruiter will be expecting to see that you have experience with building relationships, negotiating and communication. Make sure you bring your most sociable and confident self to the interview, whether it be over the phone or in person.

Why wait?

In many cases, you don’t have to wait until after you finish your degree before you get started. The OpenAgent team is constantly looking to hire people to join our sales team. We see the talent that university students can bring and are valued by the company. Working in sales a great gateway opportunity and can be the first step in real estate, finance and a number of other careers.

 

Featured image courtesy of Unsplash 

Ellen Orton

Ellen Orton

Head of Business Operations

Ellen Orton is the Head of Business Operations at OpenAgent.com.au, an online agent comparison website helping Australians to sell, buy and own property.