How to Write a Great Business Development CV

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

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Business Development CV
Business Development CV
Business Development CV

How to write a great business development CV?

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 CV. 
 

This guide will show you:

  • What recruiters look for in a business development CV
  • A professional CV template for you to follow
  • Essential tips for writing the best CV
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What to highlight in a business development CV?

Hiring managers will be most interested in your previous work experience. If you’ve worked as a business development professional, 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 and role-specific hard skills like negotiation and commercial awareness should shine through when discussing your experiences.
 
Above all, you must tailor your CV 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 CV

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

  • Chronological — This format emphasises 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 CV sample below, but keep in mind that all of these sections.

 
Contact Details
 

Add your contact details to the CV 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.

 
Professional summary or objective
 
Pick between a summary or personal objectives for CV to include at the top of your CV. A summary covers your key skills and experiences. An 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 CV summary will work best. Looking for inspiration? Don’t miss our Summary for CV page, as well as our tips for writing a clear career objective.
 
Skills
 
When deciding on skills to feature in this section, tailor your CV depending on the job description. Pick out some of the required or desirable skills that you possess. Add between 8-10 good skills for CV 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
  • Organisational 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 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 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 CV. Include your highest academic credential (e.g., master’s or bachelor’s degree 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 CV

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

Do:

  • Quantify your experience. 
    Relevant performance data will show the hiring manager that you really can walk the walk.
  • Tailor your CV to the role. 
    Always adapt the CV summary, work history and skills sections to fit the role’s needs.
  • Use a CV template. 
    Our CV 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 grades. 
    graduated with high honours, don’t include your grades in your CV.
  • Stray from the truth. 
    You may be tempted to embellish some of your accomplishments on your CV. Don’t do this; it will likely come back to bite you later in the process.

FAQ: Business development CV 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 CV, you can use the cover letter to explain them.

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

Even if you lack professional experience, you still write an effective business development CV 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 CV to apply to different jobs?

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

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