What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “business development”?
Sales? Strategies? Partnerships? Finance? Marketing?
Now if you were writing a resume for a VP of Business Development position, does that mean your job is to direct said efforts?
Yes and no.
You see, VP of Business Development is one of the most varied and misunderstood jobs of all time. Yet, it’s one of the most important roles in a company. So you need be extra careful, when crafting your resume. Pick a professional resume style and format. You can always go with the minimalist template.
The role includes sales but only if the company has an effective offer. Otherwise, the job will lean more on establishing a product roadmap and marketing plan.
If the business model relies heavily on partnerships, then your VP of business development resume should focus on connecting with the right decision-makers and creating innovative solutions for both parties.
Sounds like too much trouble, yeah? Not to worry, this guide will help simplify things.
This guide will show you
- VP of business development resume examples that show different facets of the job
- How to show the before and after impact of your work
- A resume header that grabs readers by the eyeballs and shows the type of business development you specialize in.
- Communicate your leadership and analytical skills without the tired clichés
Looking for related resumes?
How to write a VP of business development resume
Despite the varied focus of this role, the VP of business development serves as a bridge between the C-suite, sales and marketing, and even product development teams.
You’re not just the ideas guy, you’re the implementations guy too.
You’re the whole package.
In demand VP business development applicants show that they can create a sales and marketing strategy from research data and turn it into a full-blown campaign ready for implementation.
Your resume proves this through the projects you initiated and the $$$ you raked in.
While revenue is great, that’s not all there is to this job.
Show recruiters that you have the rare combination of analytical, creative, communication, and leadership skills needed to champion their brand through strategic partnerships.
You’re also expected to be the black belt expert in your industry. The C-suite relies on you to map the value chain of your clients, partners, and even your competitors.
So tailor your resume to the job and the industry.
Since the role depends on the company’s lifecycle, it’s the first four you should focus on for most applications.
Experience in creating new revenue streams or products are sought after in companies in the expansion or transition stage.
Of course, a company doesn’t have to pivot from one industry to another to want a new offer.
But you have to play the odds.
If their industry is experiencing a disruption, they’ll hire someone to help them keep up.
If not, such experiences are just ‘nice to have.’
All that said, here’s a rundown of the most important sections for your resume:
Let’s dive into each section to see how you can write a cohesive narrative about your career in business development.
Don’t Ignore the Header of Your VP of Business Development Resume
While some companies accept candidates with a BA, many prefer their VP of business development to have a master’s in management, administration, or finance.
So sure, a master’s or PhD is a great inclusion in your header. Let’s go a step further though.
Instead of settling down for the typical:
Alright, you’ve made your industry knowledge known. Let’s keep the momentum going.
Summary of VP of business development resume
As a VP of business development, you’re judged based on the success of your strategies.
Your resume’s summary section should reflect this. Along with other key details of your career:
- Industry specialty
- Business development specialty: Do you work in sales, building relationships, territory expansion, channel development, or some other task?
- Sales and marketing strategies you’ve used to great success
2 VP business development resume summary examples
The above summary doesn’t tell much about the candidate. Sure, they have tenure but what else? Below is a summary done right.
This summary differentiates the candidate with a citation of their #1 win for the company.
$41.5M in sales earned and 1500 new retail partners? That ought to get some attention.
Also, notice that this summary mentions the candidate’s long career in the competitive skincare market.
The industry info also gives context to the sales performance and retail partners. It’s a tough market, so to have earned that much is a huge achievement.
You have their attention so far.
Time to hit a home run with your work history section.
2 VP Business Development Resume Samples – Experience Section
- Capture market needs and collaborate with leadership and product team to create solutions that fit within department budgets and annual goals
- Created the StarMax 5-tier program and other business development strategies for new markets and existing contracts
- Promote Syntax Groups through industry conferences and tradeshows while building a network of potential partners
- Manage a team of account executives and oversee their efforts in building a sales pipeline
Zzzzzz…. That’s the sound of the recruiter dozing off on your resume.
This work history could be true for anyone with business development experience. It could even be true for a sales executive.
There’s no mention of results and no context to show the applicant’s industry background.
Business development is a difficult job. Do yourself a favor and add some flair to your work experience.
- Oversee all brands in the Home and Kitchen Care line, including brand management, product roadmap, and distribution strategies to grow the whole line into 5000 SKUs while reducing overstock by 15%
- Grew distribution to over 540 partners in SE Asia by leveraging strategic accounts in Singapore in combination with new customer programs designed to boost local sales in new areas
- Pioneered Southeast Asia’s first meal plan subscription box after uncovering new trends based on consumer insights and key accounts
- Trained new account executives that brought in over 3000 new retail and manufacturing partners that doubled revenue to $500M in 2 years
What’s better in the second example?
First off, there’s the results and clear specialization in fast moving consumer goods for the home and kitchen.
It also shows how to write qualitative achievements like creating a new product line without sounding vague or cliche.
How to write the duties of a VP business development on your resume
You’re an experienced executive and your resume should reflect it.
Below are typical responsibilities recruiters expect from someone with your caliber:
- Cultivate a pipeline of prospects and determine which contacts will lead to a new business opportunity or strategic partner
- Sell to the C-suite and build the company’s brand authority through relevant events, such as public speaking, trade shows or conferences, and other industry-organized events
- Hiring and continuous training of personnel, especially in new initiatives
- Identify, create, and negotiate new business deals
- Create a sales forecast based on market trends
- Identify new sales channels, distribution channels, and business opportunities
- Create new sales tools and improve or eliminate legacy business systems to improve unit performance
These are just a few of the typical tasks expected in the work history of a VP of business development.
It may vary based on how young or established the company is so check the job description before writing this part.
Include results in your work history too, such as:
- Amount or percentage of revenue increase
- New branches, sales partners, or vendors you partnered with
- Name of major accounts won
- Purchase order increases
- Time reduction in sales lifecycle (e.g. from 6 months to 2 months)
- New products developed in response to research data
What skills do companies look for in VP of business development resumes?
Recruiters want to see high-level sales and relationship building skills, and leadership qualities in your skills section.
How to list tech or job-related skills on your VP Business Development resume
Tech skills aren’t expected in many VP of business development jobs, as many of these rely on sales and relationship building. At most, companies expect knowledge of CRM tools and reporting tools so just write the tools you’ve used. The rest of your skills section can be focused on executive-level job-specific tasks.
How to describe soft skills on your resume
Don’t just dump your soft skills into your resume and expect to see results.
Back it up with some context and results in your work experience. Otherwise, it’s just a bunch of meaningless keywords with no real connection to your career.
Education resume examples for VP of business development
List your most recent educational qualification at the top, followed by the name of the institution and graduation year.
Add your baccalaureate degree after that but don’t include the graduation year if it was more than 10 years ago to avoid ageism.
MBA Economics and Strategy for Business, 2012 Imperial College London
BS Human Resources University of Texas at Austin
Certificates resume examples for VP of business development
Let’s face it, as VP of business development, there are no licenses, certifications, or organizations that can give you an industry-recognized title that boosts credibility.
The role varies too much to have one certification rule them all.
There’s no one path of success in the business development world unlike doctors or lawyers with their licensure rite of passage.
A successful VP business development can come from typical industries like sales and advertising, but they could also come from outliers like teaching or information technology.
That’s why if you don’t have obvious on-the-job experience in this role, you can bulk up your credibility through certifications on the various fields of business development.
Should you customize your resume with day of my life
Resumes are supposedly achievement-oriented but recruiters also want to see the whole picture when it comes to your job. Some tasks, after all, aren’t easy to tie with an achievement.
This fun portion of your resume shows decision-makers how you budget your day around high-level management tasks and your own responsibilities.
- Write a VP business development resume tailored to the industry and business stage of your target employer.
- Add context or results to projects or accounts you handled to show the scale of your impact in the company.
- Emphasize your sales and relationship building skills but don’t forget to mention your analytical skills
- Your network is your net worth. Name drop those big connections, contracts won, and the relationships you’ve built.