Opportunity Still Knocks for Sales Professionals

Looking for a silver lining in the midst of all this economic gloom? Ask and ye shall receive: Thanks to the ongoing hemorrhaging of jobs nationwide, there's now a pool of highly qualified talent out there looking for work&#x2026;the likes of which hasn't been seen in years. <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> The good news is, many companies are taking notice. According to SalesJobs.net&#x2014;a Beyond.com career community and job-seeking site for the sales industry&#x2014;businesses are looking to these candidates to fill high-reward, low-risk sales positions. SalesJob.net reports a 9.63 percent increase in the number of sales jobs posted to the site in January 2009, compared to the previous month. Furthermore, sales managers and pharmaceutical reps were the top positions in Q4 2008; the majority of employers were looking for candidates with less than a year of sales experience and a four-year college degree (good news for '09 college grads).<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Needless to say, though, the competition for these openings is plenty fierce. To stack the odds more in their favor, applicants would do well to follow these steps from SalesJobs.net's Sales Survival Guide:<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <b>1. Do your homework. </b>Before you apply to a position, be sure you're fully aware of the skills and experiences required. And find out the salary range for similar positions.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <b>2. Talk yourself up. </b>Glowing performance reviews or stellar sales stats can&#x2014;and should&#x2014;be used to help you shine to prospective employers.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <b>3. Stay away from general job boards.</b> Specialized career communities are a far better use of your time.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <b>4. Returning to tips No. 1 and 2, bring your "A" game to the job interview. </b>Put in your prep time to ensure asking the right questions and demonstrating your value.