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Business Development Skills: How to Add Them to Your Resume

business development skills

If you’re looking for a business development manager role, it’s important to recognize that the landscape is highly competitive. Besides some relevant experience, success in this field also requires some serious business development skills. 

Or in other words, you must demonstrate a comprehensive set of skills essential for business growth and relationship management. These range from market assessment and strategic planning to negotiation and customer retention. 

Whether you’re looking to find the crucial skills necessary for business development or seeking guidance on how to feature them on your resume, this article is here to help. We’ll dive into the top skills that every business development professional should have and make you an irresistible candidate for any hiring manager.

Key Takeaways

  • Business development skills, including communication, sales, and interpersonal acumen, are crucial for fostering long-term growth and establishing strategic partnerships.

  • To highlight appropriate business development skills on your resume, carefully look over the job description. Choose the ones you possess, and pair them with measurable achievements in your experience and summary sections.

  • To improve your business development skills, you can seek mentorship, embrace continuous learning, and research your audience so you can tailor your approaches.

What Are Business Development Skills?

business analyst resume

In the realm of business development, the objective is multifaceted, focusing on long-term growth and strategic partnerships. To navigate this complex field, it is good to have a specific set of hard and soft skills that we refer to as business development skills.

Business development skills serve as a toolkit that enables professionals to bridge gaps, forge relationships, and turn opportunities into profitable ventures. The right abilities allow for a clearer strategic vision, a nuanced understanding of market trends, and the capacity to create and sustain meaningful partnerships.

Moreover, these abilities also facilitate smooth collaboration within and outside the organization. So, in essence, having these skills can help contribute to the long-term success of the company. 

How to Add Business Development Skills to Your Resume

Before adding business development skills to your resume, look at the job ad to find out what skills the company is looking for. This will help you figure out which skills you should focus on on your resume.

Next, make a dedicated “Skills” section on your resume to list these. Of course, this won’t be enough—you must also connect them with work-related achievements on your resume to show how they helped you make some industry-related accomplishments. 

Additionally, you can pair skills with quantifiable accomplishments that demonstrate your proficiency in the work experience section and resume summary.

To showcase some of your business development skills on a resume, you can write something like this:

Good Example

  • Successfully brokered terms with major suppliers, leading to a 20% reduction in operational costs for the company.

  • Used customer feedback to refine sales tactics, leading to a 10% increase in monthly sales.

A poor way to list skills would be to do it without context or validation. A bad example of this would be to write:

Bad Example

  • Good at communication

  • Experienced in sales

The latter examples lack impact because they don’t provide proof of the skills you have in action. In contrast, the former examples not only list the skills but also tie them to a measurable outcome, which makes them much more compelling for hiring managers.

9+ Business Development Skills For Your Resume

Now, let’s see what the most important business development manager skills for your resume are and how to showcase them in your resume.

#1. Communication Skills

Communication skills are pivotal for business development, but it’s important to know that these go beyond merely speaking or writing. Besides that, communication also involves active listening, empathy, and the ability to convey complex ideas clearly and concisely.

Whether it’s pitching a new project to stakeholders or coordinating with teams across different departments, effective communication serves as the unifying element that ties sales interactions and client management together.

An example of how you can place these skills in your resume looks like this:

Good Example

Facilitated cross-departmental team meetings to improve project outcomes, resulting in a 20% increase in overall team efficiency.

#2. Sales Skills

Unlike traditional sales, which focus on immediate revenue, business development incorporates sales skills to establish enduring relationships and achieve multi-year objectives. For instance, while aiming for a specific revenue target, a business development manager also considers the sustainability and growth potential of new markets.

For this reason, a well-rounded sales skill set includes not just expertise in selling but also the ability to align sales tactics with broader business development strategies.

To highlight this skill on your resume, you can write:

Good Example

Implemented a new sales funnel approach that contributed to a 25% improvement in lead conversion, supporting broader business development goals.

#3. Interpersonal Skills

Often dubbed as people skills, interpersonal skills encapsulate qualities like active listening, empathy, and teamwork. These are vital for understanding the nuanced needs and pain points of your target audience or stakeholders.

This understanding is essential for creating strategies that resonate on a personal level, making your business development efforts more impactful. Therefore, strong interpersonal skills are not just an asset but a necessity for anyone aiming for success in business development.

One way you can showcase your interpersonal skills on a resume is by writing something like this:

Good Example

Implemented weekly team-building activities and open-feedback sessions, creating a supportive work environment that contributed to a reduction in employee turnover.

#4. Negotiation and Persuasion Skills

Negotiation and persuasion skills are important for closing deals, resolving conflicts, and building strong relationships. Moreover, these skills help navigate complex agreements where both parties have a stake in the outcome.

Moreover, these are essential business development skills for a CV or a resume because they come into play at virtually every stage of growing a business. Mastering them can be the difference between a win-win resolution and a lost opportunity.

Here’s what presenting these unique skills can look like on a resume:

Good Example

Led talks with a major client and reached an agreement that extended the contract for an additional year.

#5. Marketing Skills

Business development skills and marketing skills are a bit different, but the fact is that most business developers often wear the marketer’s hat. This is why it’s still important to have marketing skills if you're looking for business development positions.

Marketing skills are useful for brand promotion, market expansion, and customer acquisition. Additionally, having these will make you an invaluable asset to any business development team capable of navigating multiple avenues for growth.

For a sense of how to feature your marketing skills, consider the following example:

Good Example

Worked on a social media marketing campaign that focused on brand awareness, leading to a noticeable uptick in customer engagement and the initiation of two potential partnerships.

#6. Business Intelligence Skills

Business intelligence enables professionals to research and understand the market landscape, as well as the needs and behaviors of customers and competitors.

If you hone your business intelligence skills, it will be much easier for you to see different market dynamics, from sizing up potential opportunities to detecting shifts that could impact the business. 

Take a look at the following example to see how you can emphasize business intelligence:

Good Example

Used BI analytics to identify a 20% growth opportunity in an overlooked market segment, leading to a successful pilot campaign and a new revenue stream for the company.

#7. Project Management Skills

The complexities of expanding a business require meticulous planning, execution, and follow-through, which is why you have to have project management skills

Strong project management skills enable you to break down business growth objectives into actionable tasks. From assigning risks to allocating resources and resolving conflicts, these skills overlap significantly with business development.

Consider showcasing these skills in a manner similar to this:

Good Example

Led market entry project, capturing 12% market share and expanding client base by 18% in Q1.

#8. Data Analysis Skills

Data analysis is one of the more technical skills for a business development manager.

Having these skills allows you to quantify the impact of your strategies. This can help you gather credible evidence you can then present when pitching to senior management or clients.

Metrics such as revenue growth, deal volume, and pipeline velocity become essential indicators that measure the success of your initiatives. Moreover, analytical skills equip you with the insights to fine-tune your approaches in real time. In turn, this enhances your adaptability in a fluctuating market.

In order to best showcase your data analysis skills on your resume, you should write: 

Good Example

Utilized data analytics tools to track and analyze key performance indicators, leading to a 25% increase in the sales pipeline efficiency.

#9. Problem-Solving Skills

The ability to dissect a problem, identify its root cause, and craft a targeted strategy to solve it is invaluable when it comes to business growth. In the long term, this can help you set up long-term objectives and secure strategic partnerships.

In fact, this skill is not just about putting out fires, so to speak; it’s about architecting a landscape where fires are less likely to start. Therefore, having sharp problem-solving skills can significantly elevate your efficacy in a business development role.

To effectively highlight your problem-solving skills on your resume, consider writing something similar to this: 

Good Example

Identified and resolved bottlenecks in the sales process, resulting in a 15% increase in quarterly revenue for the company.

How to Improve Your Business Development Skills

Business development skills training is vital for fostering a thriving career and contributing to your organization’s growth. By honing these, you will become more efficient in your role and resistant to market volatility. 

Below, we offer some actionable tips to help you improve:

Tips to Improve Business Development Skills

  • Seek mentorship. A mentor with industry experience can provide direct insights into the business development landscape. They can critique your strategies, offer feedback, and even help you expand your professional network.

  • Embrace continuous learning. Stay up-to-date with the latest strategies and trends in business development. You can do this through business development seminars and courses. 

  • Research your audience. Different stakeholders will have different concerns and objectives. Adapt your approach based on who you’re dealing with. Being versatile in your approach can make you more effective and successful in business development.

Closing Thoughts

Business development skills are indispensable for scaling career heights and fostering organizational growth. In the ever-changing landscape of business, these skills provide you with a robust toolkit for creating value in the workplace.

With the gig economy on the rise and an increasing focus on networking and partnerships, mastering business development skills is not merely an add-on but a necessity for today’s professionals. 

Including these skills on your resume does more than just embellish it; it amplifies the utility of your other competencies. Being adept in business development enables you to harness your other skills more effectively, making you an asset in any professional setting.

Isabelle Dupont
Isabelle Dupont
Content Writer & Editor
Isabelle Dupont is from Portland, but she now lives and works in sunny San Diego. She is a content writer and editor for She loves casual Fridays and carefree days spent on the beach and has been writing for several years now. Whether it’s creating content or fixing it up, she’s always on point and makes sure no stone is left unturned. In her free time, Isa loves to immerse herself in fantasy novels, go on long hikes, and spend time with her friends and family.

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