Creating a resume is hard.
Creating a compelling resume that’s going to land you your dream business development manager job is even harder.
But worry not - in this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know to create a compelling business development manager resume!
Here’s what we’re going to cover:
- Job-Winning Business Development Resume Example
- Step-By-Step Guide on How to Create a Compelling Business Development Resume
- Formula for Listing Work Experience the Right Way
Let’s dive right in.
Business Development Manager Resume Example
The above business development manager resume example does everything right, including:
- Picking the right resume format. The reverse-chronological resume format is the most popular format for recruiters worldwide, and as such, is always a safe choice.
- Listing the relevant contact information. The resume includes typical details like phone number and email, as well as a LinkedIn profile (optional, but relevant for a business development role).
- Capturing the recruiter’s attention with a compelling resume summary. The resume summary briefly describes the candidate’s work history and gives the recruiter a reason to dig deeper into the resume.
- Using bullet points to concisely convey information. The recruiter doesn’t have all day. Unless they can scan your resume in a matter of minutes, they’re simply going to skip over you as a candidate. By including bullets in your resume, the hiring manager can read your resume more easily.
- Keeping the education section minimalistic. Unless you’re a recent graduate, there’s no need to go too in-depth with your education section. Simply listing the degree, university, and dates attended is enough.
- Lists the right skills. The above business development manager resume example skips over general and irrelevant skills, focusing solely on the ones that are relevant for the role.
- Takes advantage of the optional resume sections. The resume example above includes “Honors” and “Certifications,” which help the applicant further stand out from the competition.
How to Write a Business Development Manager Resume - 8 Simple Steps
Inspired by the resume example above, but still not sure how to start your own business development manager resume?
We’ve got your back! Just follow these 8 steps and you’ll be good to go, starting with:
#1. Pick the Right Business Development Resume Format
As we previously mentioned, the best resume format for a business development manager is the reverse-chronological one, which looks like this:
While there are other formats out there (namely functional and combination), they’re nowhere near as popular as the reverse-chronological one and are more likely to harm your chances of getting a job than anything else.
Once you pick the format, then you have to start working on your resume layout, which includes:
- Keeping your resume under 1 page. Unless you have 20+ years of work experience, most recruiters expect you to keep your resume under one page. Chances are if it’s more than a single page, you’re including information that’s not super relevant for your role. If Elon Musk can keep his resume under 1 page, so can you!
- Creating distinctive section headings to ensure that the different sections in your resume are easily identifiable.
- Picking the right font size and style. The norm is 11-12 pt for standard text and 13-14 pt for section headings. Pick a professional (but distinct) font like Ubuntu, Roboto or Overpass.
- Save your resume as a PDF (unless requested otherwise).
Or Use a Tried-and-Tested Business Development Manager Resume Template
Let’s face it: as a business development manager, you have much better things to do than spend hours formatting your resume.
You have to pick the right font size, structure the resume layout, make sure the format works with applicant tracking systems, and so on…
Want to skip over all that AND create a well-designed, compelling resume in minutes?
Use one of our free resume templates!
All you have to do is hit the link above, pick a template, and you’ll be set with a job-winning resume in less than an hour.
And the best part? Our resume templates look much, much better than the conventional text-editor resumes:
#2. Add Your Contact Information (Avoid Typos!)
Once you’re done with your business development manager resume layout and formatting, it’s time to start filling in the contents…
And the first section you’ll have to tackle is contact information. This section consists of:
- Your name and surname.
- Your professional title.
- Your phone number.
- Your email.
- Your location (City, state, and country. No need for an address)
If LinkedIn is important to your role (e.g. if you use it to reach out to potential biz dev partners), you should also include your LinkedIn profile URL in the contact information section.
Here’s what a business development manager contact information section would look like on a resume:
Business Development Manager
#3. Write an Eye-Catching Business Development Resume Summary
When a recruiter lays their eyes on your resume, you have around 6 seconds to convince them that you’re a relevant candidate and that they should read your resume more in-depth.
If you fail to do so, they’ll simply skip over to the next candidate.
So, how can you make sure that the recruiter sees value in your business development manager resume straight away?
The answer is simple: you need to create a compelling resume summary.
A resume summary is a short, 2-4 sentence “summary” of your work history. It gives the recruiter a snapshot of:
- Your role and years of experience
- Your 1-2 top achievements
- Your most important skill(s) as a business development manager
Simply by scanning this resume section, the recruiter can instantly tell that you’re a qualified candidate for the role.
Here’s what a convincing business development manager resume summary would look like:
Self-starting business development manager with 6+ years of experience seeking to help Company X enter the German market. Experience at Company Y includes finding, negotiating with, and establishing partnerships with software installation partners in Berlin. Over $500,000 in revenue was generated for Company Y through such partnerships in 2020.
#4. Create a Compelling Work Experience Section
Your work experience is the #1 most important selling point for you as a candidate.
After all, work experiences are what differentiate an A-player business development manager from the rest.
So - how can you create a work experience section that stands out?
First, let’s start with the formatting. When listing your work history, do this:
- Start with your current or most recent role and go backward in time from there.
- Don’t list jobs you’ve worked 15+ years ago or jobs that aren’t too relevant for the role you’re applying for. E.g. the hiring manager doesn’t need to know that you used to work as a part-time shop assistant 8 years back.
- Begin each entry with your job title. Add the company name underneath that, the dates worked, and 3-5 of your top achievements or responsibilities in bullet points.
Simply listing your work experience, though, is not enough. Sure, it’s going to get your foot in the door, but it might not convince the recruiter to pick you over other business development manager candidates.
So, what can you do to take your resume one step further?
Here’s what we recommend:
- When possible, focus on achievements over responsibilities. The recruiter has seen dozens of resumes for your profession, they know what your responsibilities are. Focusing on achievements helps you stand out better from other candidates.
- When listing your achievements, quantity them. Instead of saying “Increased sales to a record high number,” say “Increased sales by 20% in 2021 by changing up the software demo process.”
- The best way to quantify your achievements is to include the achievement (increased sales), the number (by 20%), timeframe (2021), and the actions you took (changing up the software demo process).
Sounds simple enough, right? Now let’s see what achievements look like on a convincing business development manager resume example:
Business Development Manager
05/2016 - Current
- Helped drive over $500,000 in sales during my 2nd year at the company.
- Hired 3 other business development specialists that reported directly to me.
- Established SOPs and guidelines for partner outreach, sales negotiations, and more.
#5. List Your Education Concisely
As a business development manager, your educational background is not nearly as important as your work history.
That said, it’s still important that you get this right.
When working on your educational history, do this:
First things first - add a section header saying “Education.”
Then, add your latest degree first. List the degree title and major (B.A. in Business Administration), university name (Chicago University), and years attended (2012 - 2016).
If you have more than a single relevant degree, you can include both (E.g. Masters and B.A.). You can completely skip on your high school degree, though, if you have any sort of higher education.
Here’s what the education section would look like on a business development manager resume:
B.A. in Business Administration
Boston University, Boston, M.A.
08/2012 - 05/2016
#6. Include the Right Skills
On to the next section!
After education, you need to include a skills section in your business development manager resume.
The key here, though, isn’t to list every skill under the sun, Instead, you should specifically include the ones that are going to help you excel at the role you’re applying for.
At the end of the day, not every business development job is the same. One hiring manager, for example, might be looking for a biz dev manager with more marketing skills, while another might be seeking someone with good knowledge of sales.
So, the best thing you can do here is to scan the job ad and look for the essential skills the role requires, and plug them in your skills section (as long as you actually possess these skills, that is).
Now in case the job ad doesn’t mention a lot of skills, here are some that are essential for business development managers in 2023:
13 Essential Business Development Manager Skills
#7. Got Some Space Left? Include Additional Sections
At this point, your resume should already be one-page long. If that’s the case, you can simply skip over to the next section.
If you still have some space, though, you can use some of these optional resume sections to add some more substance to your business development manager resume.
These sections aren’t going to win you the job on their own, but they can help convince the recruiter to pick you over a candidate with a similar skill-set and work experience.
Here are the optional resume sections for a business development manager:
- Certifications. Got a certification to prove your prowess with Salesforce CRM? Or maybe you just have that fancy CBDM certification? Any of these should go on your resume.
- Honors & Awards. Have you won any industry-related awards? Add them to your business development manager resume!
- Languages. Language skills come in handy in any client-facing role. You can use them to communicate with a prospect whose English is not as good or to simply build up a rapport.
- Hobbies & Interests. While they’re not going to win you the job on their own, hobbies can still have a space on your resume. Specifically, they help show the recruiter what you’re all about in your free time and can sometimes serve as common ground with your interviewer.
Here’s how these optional sections would look like in your business development manager resume:
- CBDM Certified Business Development Manager, June 2018.
- Salesforce Sales Consultant Certification, October 2016
- Spanish (Advanced)
- Italian (Intermediate)
- Creative Writing
#8. Attach a Matching Cover Letter
Just like any other profession, business development managers are required to submit a cover letter alongside their resume within their application.
Here are some tips to ensure that your cover letter shines as bright as your resume:
- Start by addressing the cover letter by the recruiter’s name, last name, or professional title. Writing “Dear Sir or Madam” and “To Whom It May Concern” just means that you didn’t do much research on where you’re applying.
- Write an attention-grabbing introduction. Here, you mention your job title, years of experience, and 1-2 key achievements.
- The bulk of your cover letter should elaborate on your key achievements and skills. If you want to go the extra mile, you can include information on why you’re passionate about working for that exact company.
- Conclude your cover letter with a call to action.
- Finally, go through our guides to cover letter tips and mistakes to make sure that your cover letter is nothing short of perfect!
And that’s a wrap!
By now, you should have all the information you need to create a compelling business development manager resume.
Before you go, let’s do a quick summary of our main learning points:
- Use the reverse-chronological resume format, as it’s the most popular one out there.
- In your work experience section, focus more on achievements instead of responsibilities.
- List essential business development manager skills like sales, lead generation, and more.
- If you have extra space on your resume, include some of the optional sections like hobbies, certifications, and others.
- Finally, work on your cover letter to make sure that it’s as good as your resume.