Working in business development means you have an eye for the future and know how to get there. You’ve got the right skills and dedication to make any business better, but how can you communicate that to companies?
Your business development resume needs to show recruiters that you can develop strategic plans and impact success.
Hiring managers want to know how you’ll take their business to the next level.
They’ve got a stack of resumes from qualified candidates, and you have to stand out. Often it’s not about your skills -- it’s about how well you translate them into your resume.
Business development resume samples
Senior business development manager resume example and tips
- Showcase strong domain knowledge. Senior business development managers are nurtured within a company as it’s the sole way to ensure that the candidate knows their environment to the letter.
When there’s a need to hire a senior from the outside, companies will favor candidates with deep relevant domain knowledge, e.g. e-commerce, retail, digital, etc. Frame your experience section to put relevant experience forward.
- Target your resume to the job. Companies don’t need a senior manager who knows how to lead people and organize processes. They need someone who also knows their preferred growth channels to the bone, has proven themselves within a similar environment, and adheres to their business code (e.g. data-driven or consumer-driven or...)
A job description contains all the info you need. Tailor your resume to the job and increase your chances of landing an interview.
Business development manager resume example and tips
- Showcase strategic development skills. The key difference between a business manager and entry-level business development roles is that entry-level jobs are all about execution, whereas business development managers combine both execution and a strategic effort.
Showcase that you can operate and achieve results on a scale to gain an advantage over other candidates.
- Experience working for regional and global companies. Modern business is global and connected. Any business that wants to grow needs to explore strategic global partnerships. Your business development manager resume should highlight either experience or skills relevant to these tasks.
Business development representative resume example and tips
- Showcase smooth execution of business tasks. Even sales-related achievements are valuable when it comes to business development representatives, as your tasks will revolve around attaining specific growth metrics. Highlight your results and ability to achieve and surpass business KPIs (sales, quotas, market share) in your business development representative resume to attract the recruiter’s attention.
- Get an internship at well-known companies in your target domain. Even a couple of months’ internship at an industry leader or niche-leading company will dramatically increase your chances of getting hired by every company within the target domain.
Business development analyst resume example and tips
- Break down your strengths. This candidate adds soft skills to their resume as “strengths” and offers a brief example beside each one. Soft skills can be interpreted in different ways. Don’t leave anything to the imagination and provide recruiters with specific examples.
- Highlight volunteer experience. Your best industry experience may not have come from a paid job. If you have specialized experience that makes you uniquely qualified for your target job, don’t leave it out just because it doesn’t fit into the right category.
Adding extra sections to highlight special projects, volunteer work, and even hobbies can improve your chances of getting hired.
Business development intern resume example and tips
- An internship experience is work experience. Don’t be intimidated by your lack of workplace experience. If you’re a recent graduate and have internship experience in the industry, recruiters will want to see what you accomplished.
- Choose an appropriate layout. The right layout for your resume will depend on things like industry, experience, and level. This candidate uses a single-column reverse-chronological layout. This is a good choice for someone with limited experience who needs to be mindful of leaving blank spaces.
Entry-level business development resume example and tips
- Industry-specific skills. Business development positions exist in different industries that can require dramatically different skill sets. If you’ve had a history of working in a specific industry and have specialized skills, highlight them.
- Use a precise and relevant summary. Tailor your summary to fit your target job. A good way to format your summary is by stating your experience, a past achievement, and what you hope to accomplish in your new role.
Business development consultant resume and tips
- Show career growth. Having a clear trajectory in your work history shows your commitment to the job and ability to grow. Tell a story with your work experience so recruiters can see that you’re working hard with a growth mindset.
- Education is secondary to experience. If you’re going for a high-level or senior position, it is likely that hiring managers will be more interested in your work history than your education. Make sure the layout puts focus on the experience section first.
A simple education section is best. Include the degree, school, and years attended. Depending on how far back your schooling took place, you may want to leave the date out as well.
Vice president of business development resume and tips
- Categorize skills. If you have skills in different industries or specializations, it might benefit you to group them into categories. This candidate has separated their skills into different areas pertaining to the target job.
- Focus on easy readability. The more information you want to cram onto your resume, to busier it can look. Be sure to group sections in a way that creates a natural eye flow. Use fonts and colors that don’t distract from the content.
Business development executive resume and tips
- Include a category for language skills. The ability to speak multiple languages can be a huge advantage, especially if the role you’re applying for requires international communication. Languages could be what separate you from other qualified candidates.
- Focus on quality over quantity. Hiring managers want to see your most relevant accomplishments, especially for a senior position. If you’ve got more than 10 years of experience in previous roles, stick to the ones that are most relevant.
How to write a business development resume that gets interviews
The first step in writing a resume that catches the eye of recruiters is to choose the right format. Professional layout and easy readability pull in recruiters before they’ve even started reading.
Business development resume formats to choose from
There are three resume formats you can choose from:
- Reverse-chronological layout
- Hybrid layout
- Functional Layout
A reverse-chronological resume layout is best suited for your business development resume if you have 1-6 years of experience.
Improve the scannability of your resume by using custom sections, bullet points, and headers. Create a custom resume layout that keeps your resume compact and guides recruiters' attention where you want.
Now that you’ve chosen your format, let’s move on and make a good first impression with your header.
What to include in your business development resume header
The header is a short but important section of your resume.
It contains crucial information recruiters and hiring managers need to follow up with you.
It’s the first thing they see when looking at your resume. There’s no room for error or your resume will end up in the trash immediately.
Let’s take a look at a few examples.
Business development resume header
What’s wrong with this example:
- Includes entire address
- No contact information
- No LinkedIn or portfolio link
What works in this example:
- Shows only city and state for location
- Includes phone number and professional email address
- Includes LinkedIn URL so hiring managers can do further research
While keeping your resume header clean, recruiters get a quick and accurate idea of who you are right away.
Now that you’ve gotten critical basic info out of the way, you can introduce yourself in more detail with an informative summary.
Business development resume summary: how to capture recruiters’ attention
In your career, whether you’re about to start off or have been there a while, your sales numbers do all the talking for you.
The best business development candidate closes the most and biggest deals.
Expect the hiring manager to look for numbers of closed deals and big figures in your resume.
Keep this in mind while you introduce yourself with your business development resume summary.
Business development resume summary samples
Every business relies on different growth methods. Some are more important than others. If your target company relies heavily on direct sales growth, your resume should at least mention a similar experience.
Bad example: digital marketing expert for a traditional cold-calling company
Good example: digital marketing expert for a traditional cold-calling company who made cold-calling more effective through automated CRM scripts and multi-channel marketing.
This example is much better. It gives specific examples and real numbers that will stand out to recruiters.
Let’s look at another one.
This example uses broad terms like “solid sales experience” that don’t really mean anything. Recruiters won’t know how to interpret your examples unless you get specific.
This candidate also describes responsibilities like “attending client meetings” with no explanation of success or impact.
Hiring managers already know the job description. They want to see what you achieved.
Look at the difference between these two examples.
A good summary presents a clear picture of how you spend your day at work and what results you achieve while doing so.
That makes the above summary 100% complete.
And it says you're their best candidate.
There, you’ve created a positive first impression. Kudos!
Let’s now move on to your resume experience section.
Business development resume experience: turning your work history into a magnet for recruiters
As you write your experience section, be selective about what accomplishments you choose to include.
Always tailor your work experience to your target job.
Note that the hiring manager will look for certain key factors in your resume:
- Sales figures and number of closed deals
- Whether you represent your company to the clients on your own
- Make cold calls and write emails and reach out to clients on daily-basis
- You have client servicing experience
- You make sales collaterals and give presentations
- You have industry-relevant experience or education
In your resume experience section, you want to write crisp sentences - short and meaningful.
How you write your resume experience will make a big difference.
It’s like when you pitch your prospective client a solution, you don’t want to list all the features.
You know it doesn’t work.
It works when your message is short and paints a picture of how useful your solution could be to your client’s business.
Similarly, you will show the hiring manager which of your hard skills can prove to be fruitful for their team and business if they hire you.
Take a look at these 4 business development resume experience section examples.
The bad example may not sound bad unless you read the good ones.
That’s the impact your business development resume should have on hiring managers.
Business development resume samples - experience section
- Run end-to-end sales cycle
- Cold-calling, emailing, in-person meeting, pitching services and negotiating deals
- Consulting clients and resolving product and service queries
- Client servicing for existing client
- Generating new leads and researching prospects
- Presenting products and new features to prospects and existing clients
This candidate makes the mistake of listing general roles and responsibilities.
Remember to focus on what you achieved, not just what duties you carried out.
- Devised and implemented sales initiative A-Deal-A-Day which is now a part of sales culture at Home@bay Inc. that raised deal closure by 30%.
- Identified and developed new business opportunities - expanded from selling locally to internationally, bringing in 10 new clients on an average every month.
- Qualify leads as sales opportunities and pursue for closure.
- Developed sales collaterals, case studies, and selling guide to migrate from SME to Enterprise selling.
- Expertise in expanding sales area, unlocked 15 new zones in Canada, USA, and Europe
- Present company to potential clients - run sales cycle from researching prospects to cold calling, in-person meeting, pitching, consulting, negotiating, and closing deals
This is a big improvement. It gives specific examples of achievements and uses industry-specific keywords.
Let’s look at a few more that follow the same advice.
2 business development resume experience samples
- Made huge sales all-year-around
- Created plans and strategies for the sales team to achieve their yearly targets
- Prepare sales collaterals and share with the team
- Strengthen relationships with existing clients and pitching new products
- Attend trade shows and all company functions
- Plan and execute marketing campaign with Marketing Head
- Cracked a $1million single sale within 3 months of first approach
- Devised case studies for sales team with pitch plans and approach strategies
- Explored and unleashed 3 new sales channels which has together generated $750k sales every month
- Plan and execute campaigns to achieve yearly sales target. Consistently achieved targets in excess of $500,000 during past 4 years
- Prospecting potential new clients- added 62 new clients in 48 months while training SDR on the job
- Prospecting potential new clients- added 62 new clients in 48 months while training SDR on the job
Mentioning numbers in your resume is important, but some numbers make much more impact than others. Focus on business growth results and avoid routine.
Bad example: created 10 real-time business dashboards with relevant metrics
Good example: increased quarterly sales by 23% after implementing real-time user segmentation dashboards in every marketing department
See for yourself how nicely the good examples show a picture of what the candidate is worth.
It helps your hiring manager set clear expectations of you on the job.
While the bad examples describe similar job roles, they fail to create an impact.
The hiring manager has no way to understand if the applicant achieves results while carrying out their job.
This good example experience above is totally sellable.
Imagine the hiring manager’s confidence when they see you have a track record of making million-dollar sales.
That’s what they are looking for.
The sales figures that you’ve mentioned will be your advocate and your hiring manager will find it easy to remember and share this exciting information with the business team.
You’ve created your impact!
Another way to highlight your skills and qualifications is with an expert cover letter.
Not all job applications will require one, but they are a great opportunity to expand on achievements that don’t fit in your experience section.
Your cover letter is also a tool to demonstrate your linguistic articulation and communication.
Business development resume skills and keywords: what to mention
Your skills section is where you can showcase industry-specific skills. It also puts important keywords on your resume so it doesn’t get filtered out by ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems).
Add these job-relevant skills if you have them. Your aim should be to map your most powerful skills to those given in the job description.
Business development education section: where to put it?
Educational requirements vary by industry, so there may not be a particular degree that is required for the job you want.
If you are an experienced industry professional, including the degree, school, and dates attended is sufficient. Hiring managers will likely be more interested in your work history than your educational background.
Business development resume - education section example
Don’t include your GPA on your business development resume.
The only time a GPA may be helpful is if you are a recent graduate applying for an entry-level position. Even then, only include it if it is truly exceptional.
Depending on your educational background and industry, you may also want to consider adding a certification section.
Are certifications necessary for a business development resume?
There aren’t a lot of certifications for salespeople, but you may use what’s most probable to add value to your skills.
They are a good opportunity to highlight skills in a specialization if the job you’re applying for is in a niche industry.
Remember, if you’re a great salesperson, you may not need certifications. But, adding certifications to your resume shows that you invest time in honing your creative sales skills.
Here are some you that you could add:
- Challenger Sales Certification
- Spin Selling Certification
- Sandler Training Certifications
Key takeaways for writing a great business development resume
- Ensure you pick the right resume layout based on your experience and profile
- Write a clean resume header and make a clear introduction
- Balance the summary to include what you do at your job and what you’ve achieved in it
- Include the revenue targets and highest sales figures you closed in your resume experience section
- Add industry-specific keywords in the skills section