How to Write a Great Business Development Resume

Tips and templates for writing a great business development resume. Use these resources as a guideline for your resume and secure an interview for your next job!

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How To Write a Great Business Development Resume

Business development is key to a company’s growth. Professionals in this field discern the best business opportunities, make big strategic decisions, and secure long-term success for their company. To get the business development role you want, you need a convincing resume. 
 
This guide will show you:
  • What recruiters look for in a business development resume
  • A professional resume template for you to follow
  • Essential tips for writing the best resume
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What to Highlight in a Business Development Resume

Hiring managers will be most interested in your previous work experience. If you’ve worked as a business development professional, then highlight any experience in strategic planning, relationship building, sales growth, lead generation, and market research.
 
Business development is results-driven, so use profitability and performance data to showcase your skills where possible. Various soft skills, as well as role-specific hard skills like negotiation and commercial awareness, should also shine through when discussing your experiences.
 
Above all, you must tailor your resume to the area of business and growth model of the employer. For example, expertise in inbound sales would not be relevant to a business development role at a traditional cold-calling company.


The Structure of a Business Development Resume

The structure of your business development resume will vary depending on your chosen resume format. You have three options:

  • Chronological — This format emphasizes work experience
  • Functional — This format focuses on skills
  • Combination — This format balances skills and work experience

The chronological format is the format most hiring managers are familiar with. It’s also the format we use with the business development resume sample below, but keep in mind that all of these sections.

 
Contact Details
 
Add your contact details to the resume header. Include your:

  • Full name
  • Professional email address
  • Phone number
  • Professional profile, such as a LinkedIn profile link

Present this information clearly so that the recruiter can contact you should they wish to progress your application.

 
Resume summary or objective
 
Pick between a resume summary or resume objective to include at the top of your resume. A resume summary covers your key skills and experiences. A resume objective is similar but also includes a statement of your career goals. 
 
If you already have several years of experience in business development, then a resume summary will work best.
 
Skills
 
When deciding on skills to feature in this section, tailor your resume depending on the job description. Pick out some of the required or desirable skills that you possess. Add between 8-12  skills to this section. Aim for a mix of soft skills and hard skills.
 
Here are some important soft skills for business development jobs:

  • Communication 
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Analytical skills
  • Organizational skills

And here are some hard skills:

  • Strategic planning
  • Lead generation
  • Marketing strategies
  • Client retention
  • Account management

You should also use this section to reference relevant IT skills (e.g., your competence with spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel or CRM systems such as Salesforce).

 
Work history
 
The work experience section is your chance to explain your key skills in greater detail. Include all job titles held over the past ten years in reverse chronological order. For each position, list any tasks or accomplishments that are especially relevant to the role you’re applying for using bullet points.
 
Use examples and metrics to actively demonstrate your track record of helping businesses grow. Here are some KPIs to consider should you have the information at hand:

  • Sales revenue
  • Net profit margin
  • Client satisfaction
  • Sales growth
  • Qualified leads

Education

 
The education section is an important part of your business development resume. Include your highest academic credential (e.g., master’s or bachelor’s degrees in business). List only your highest level of education. You can also add relevant certifications to this section.

Do’s and Don’ts for a Business Development Resume

Whether you’re applying to an entry-level role or a senior position, these tips will help you write the perfect resume.
 
Do:

  • Quantify your experience. 
    Relevant performance data will show the hiring manager that you really can walk the walk.
  • Tailor your resume to the role. 
    Always adapt the resume summary, work history and skills sections to fit the needs of the role.
  • Use a resume template. 
    Our Resume Builder tool features hundreds of eye-catching templates ready for you to use.

Don’t:

  • Forget to proofread. 
    Small details are key in business development. If the hiring manager spots a spelling mistake, then your application will be discarded.
  • Include your GPA. 
    Unless your college GPA is exceptionally high, don’t include it on your resume.
  • Stray from the truth. 
    You may be tempted to embellish some of your accomplishments on your resume. Don’t do this; it will likely come back to bite you later in the process.


FAQ: Business Development Resume Example

Q: Do I need to include a cover letter for a business development application?

Unless the employer asks not to, always include a cover letter in your job application. Use the cover letter to explain your skills in greater detail and show why you’re the best person for the role. If you have any gaps in your resume, then you can use the cover letter to explain them.

Q: How can I write a business development resume without a lot of work experience?

Even if you lack professional experience, you still write an effective business development resume for entry-level positions. Focus on any experience you have as an intern or volunteer in related positions. Failing that, place greater emphasis on the skills and education sections.

Q: How do I change my business development resume to apply to different jobs?

Always adapt your resume to the role. To do this, establish the employer’s business area and growth strategy and then tailor your work experience accordingly. You can also adapt your skills section to include some of the essential or desirable skills listed in the job description. 

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