How to enter sales as a graduate

04/01/2021 How to Find a Job

Graduating from university is a simultaneously joyous and daunting milestone for young adults. Exams may have finished, but the hard work is far from over; the next step is finding roles and applying for graduate jobs. While some graduates have it all figured out, many have no idea which career is for them right up until graduation day and beyond.

Sales is a sector which offers dynamic and fulfilling careers to the right graduates. A career in sales isn’t for everyone, but graduates who are sharp, motivated, and organised can excel in a range of sales jobs in almost any industry. Working in sales can be either a rewarding career for the long term or a great way to get a foot in the door in your chosen industry.

Do you have what it takes for graduate sales?

There are no specific requirements for a graduate career in sales, and candidates come from a wide range of degree backgrounds including both arts and sciences. While some sales graduate schemes may require that candidates hold a 2.1 degree, this isn’t always the case.

A range of personalities can become successful in graduate sales jobs, though it’s true that sales attract a certain kind of person; graduates who are results-driven will no doubt be attracted to the nature of sales. Broadly speaking, graduate marketing roles require graduates who: 

– Have excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
– Are confident and driven
– Can work independently and organise themselves
– Have a good working knowledge of the industry they’re applying in, or a willingness to learn

What kind of graduate sales roles are available?

The variety of roles available to graduates wishing to work in sales is huge. From account management to business development, there are a number of career paths to follow in sales, and graduates can have their pick.

Another big decision to be made is which industry you’d like to work in; choosing your industry may even have a bigger impact on your future career than the role you start in because working in one industry can often be so different to working in another. Sales graduate schemes offer an invaluable opportunity for graduates to begin a career in:

– FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), working with consumer products
– Media, in B2B roles selling advertising space in magazines and online
– Pharmaceuticals, an excellent choice for science grads keen to put their expertise to work
– IT, selling IT products and services in both B2B and B2C sales

Why should you consider a role in sales?

The sales industry rewards graduates richly, and in more ways than one. Working in sales having graduated, you’ll start higher on the pay scale and have more room for progression compared to many colleagues without degrees. Careers in sales can offer salaries not far from three figures after many years of experience, and progression through the ranks is often results-based. Many sales positions also offer other perks including annual bonuses, private healthcare membership, and generous pensions.

At Sales Roles, we look for the best sales opportunities from across the UK and match great candidates with the perfect roles. Over the next few weeks we’ll be posting some of the best sales roles for graduates from around the country, so if you’re keen to explore this career option, watch this space. For more advice and guidance on beginning your career in sales, Check out (