Sales executives are the key point of contact between an organization and its clients: answering queries, offering advice and introducing new products.
Their work includes:
Promotional prospects are excellent - progression can be into senior sales roles or into related employment areas such as marketing or management.
Staff with specialist knowledge are employed in industries such as pharmaceutical, healthcare and publishing.
Vacancies are advertised by careers services, TARGET jobs and recruitment agencies, and appear in national and local newspapers. Specialist publications appropriate to the sales area (e.g. New Scientist, The Grocer, The Bookseller, Fast Track, Export Magazine) are also good sources of vacancies.
There are routes into sales for both university graduates and school leavers.
Any degree subject is acceptable, although relevant qualifications are preferred for some positions, particularly within medical or technical sales.
Relevant experience gained in any commercial area involving contact with customers or the general public can be beneficial. Larger employers run vacation courses and placements which can give a useful insight into the profession. Job shadowing, networking and speculative applications are advisable.
To find out how to get into sales via a school leaver route, visit the sales section of TARGET careers, our website aimed at school leavers.
A full driving license is often essential for jobs. Being able to speak more than one language fluently is also a useful skill.