Where the Sales Jobs Are

There is a great article on Monster.com that is a must-read for anyone curious about job prospects in today’s volatile economic times.

Surprisingly enough, in “Sales Hiring Outlook 2008,” author John Rossheim comes away with a much rosier outlook than you might expect, given the bad news that dominates the business pages. As long as we aren’t hit with a serious recession that is.

Rossheim notes that while sales opportunities in retail, automotive and other industries that are closely tied to economic cycles will be harder to come by, demand for top sales pros should hold steady in banking, insurance and other financial services – helped along in large part by the demands of Baby Boomers.

Even the outlook in the mortgage industry is optimistic, despite the meltdown in the real estate market. That is because some mortgage companies will be quick to snap up top performers let go by rivals that are cutting back in downtimes.

As for what’s hot, information technology and online advertising are singled out.

And while Rossheim writes that “salespeople in nearly any industry will find work, if they’ve got the contacts, the product knowledge and the street savvy,” that is only half the battle.

It goes without saying that you’ll need to do your homework on prospective employers and arrive at the interview with solid contacts and great references. But if you’re really serious about snagging one of the hottest positions, you’ll also need sales training and a college degree. In some fields, like biotech, high-level skills and special subject matter expertise are also required.