Sending a resume to the VP of sales. Help!
March 27, 2012 11:39 AM   Subscribe

My friend works at a video game developer/publisher and said he'd pass my resume to his boss, who is the VP of sales. Help!

Just to start things off on a positive note, there's no existing job for which I am applying. They're doing pretty well, and the non-NYC branch is growing rapidly. A friend of mine said it would do me some good to be in the running for when they inevitably need someone. He gave me a general rundown of what goes on so that I can tailor my resume and cover letter. He'll look over them before submitting.

Now, as far as relevant work history goes, I've managed a few clothing boutiques in Manhattan, where I worked heavily with vendors (choosing stock, placing orders, following up, coordinating deliveries, etc.) However, the last four years or so have been spent doing just pure, small-detail-heavy clerical work. Any idea how I can phrase all that toward a sales position? Like I said, I've got a general idea of what people in that job do, but I'm trying to figure out a way to spin my somewhat less-than-entirely-applicable experience.

Other than that, I also have no idea how to integrate the fact that I'm Really Into Video Games, outside of the cover letter. I figure it's not nearly as important as my experience, but I know that passion counts and I'm overflowing with it. I'm very knowledgeable, I have a blog where I write about video games occasionally, and I've recently had my first paid commission to write about video games (it was a 10-page historical rundown.) My friend mentioned that the job includes a writing component, so I need to get that in there somehow.

Other than that, any salient advice on entry-level sales positions in the video game world would be great.
posted by griphus to Work & Money (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's really hard to help without seeing the letter and the CV. Your friend will look those over, so you're well better off than with us.

Based on what you've said, I would convey your passion via the cover letter, in brief, clear prose. Don't shoehorn it into your CV unduly; it sounds like you can mentioned your blog and cite video games as one of the subjects you write about there.

Good luck!
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 12:27 PM on March 27, 2012

Make sure all that info is on the resume itself. Do not assume your cover letter will be read. At my company, they are almost never read.

Both your blog and your commercial article should be listed on the resume as bullet points either in a "Publications" section or an "Additional Experience" section.

Good luck! I would probably put "copy available on request" after you list out the title and publication of that commercial article. You don't want to hand him a ten page additional document unsolicited, but if they ask about it, it would be a fun thing to bring to an interview. In fact, bring a copy to the interview anyway, assuming they invite you in. Let them know you brought it in case they'd like to see it.
posted by fingersandtoes at 12:28 PM on March 27, 2012

Follow fingersandtoes' advice! And I'd argue that the passion for the product part is just as important as the sales experience part.
posted by mrs. taters at 1:32 PM on March 27, 2012

I am a Director of Sales. Passion for the product is way overrated as a predictor of sales success. What I really want is stone cold assurance that a potential new hire can sell our product, preferably with minimal ramp up time. There is nothing about your back ground that makes me think you'll be immediately successful selling. I think if you go in looking for a job, you'll be ignored, even with the "in" from a friend. However, if you go in looking for advice on how to break into the video game world, you have a much better chance of getting some face time with the VP of Sales.

What I would recommend is an email of no more than one paragraph in length. Use it to quickly highlight your passion for video games, and whatever from your background you think will help a video game publisher. Ask you friend to help arrange an informational meeting for you by forwarding the email to the VP, then go in armed with a bunch of questions to learn what exactly you need to do. Then do it.

If you are lucky, the VP will take a personal interest in helping you. If not, you at least have insider knowledge of how to get from where you are today to where you want to be.

FWIW, with your background I'm thinking something in marketing, maybe on the web content team, is where you might have the best shot. Also, tech support, if they even offer human tech support, or possibly testing, are other areas where you might be able to get a foot in the door.
posted by COD at 4:28 PM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

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