You can never tell where your career path may take you. The point you’re now at might significantly differ from the one in the future. Thus, a splendid business resume can play a fundamental role in shaping your career.
Nicely formatted business resume skills, mixed with an emphasis on what you can do for the company, can arouse a recruiter’s curiosity. As a result, you could be offered a role you’ve only dreamed of.
To make your dreams come true and help you obtain the position you’ve been longing for, we’ve prepared a guide on how to craft an effective business resume.
There are several formats to choose from when crafting a resume. The most convenient one for a business resume is reverse chronological.
There are two primary sections in every resume: mandatory and optional.
The mandatory section lists your contact information, professional experience, education, and skills.
The optional section lists any extra information you’d like to add: industry awards, certifications, industry blog, publications, languages spoken, etc.
An accompanying cover letter can help you impress the recruiter and increase your chances of being invited to the next stage of the recruitment process.
The Best Format to Use For a Business Resume
There are three primary resume formats: reverse chronological, functional, and combination.
Reverse-chronological is the most widely used format. As its name suggests, it presents your professional and educational background in reverse chronological order.
Also known as skill-based, a functional format is most suitable for applicants who have little relevant experience. It allows candidates to emphasize their skills and competencies rather than their working history.
A combination or hybrid format merges the chronological and functional resumes. It follows a similar order as a reverse chronological resume, enabling a recruiter to effortlessly track your professional background, but it also points out your competencies.
Provided that you have relevant experience, the best business resume format for you would be reverse chronological, as it gives you an opportunity to impress a recruiter with your rich professional background.
Business Resume Layout
A resume layout refers to the way you organize sections and blocks of information in your resume. A nicely done layout is essential as it enables a recruiter to spot all the information they’re looking for in just a few seconds.
To make sure your resume isn’t crammed, here’s what you can do:
Resume Layout Guidelines
Set one-inch margins on each side of the document.
Select a professional-looking font and set it to 11 or 12 points. Cambria, Calibri, Georgia, Times New Roman, Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, or Verdana are all nice choices, so you can stick to them.
Make a good resume header with your contact information in it.
Split your resume into sections.
Use 1–1.15 line spacing with a space before each heading.
Use bullet points to list your previous jobs.
What Sections Should a Business Resume Have?
Every resume consists of two general sections—mandatory and optional. The former is the most important and should include:
Business resume summary/objective
In the optional section, you can list your hobbies and interests, certifications you’ve obtained in specific courses, and publications.
To avoid confusing sections, use a resume builder. All the fields that should be included are already given; you only need to fill them out with relevant information.
Check out our resume builder to get a professional biography in a matter of minutes with very little effort invested!
How to Include Contact Information in Your Business Resume
At the very beginning of your resume, you should list your contact information, more specifically:
Always include your first and last name, the phone number you use mostly, and a professional email that includes your name and/or combination of initials.
Only add your place of residence; if you’re open to relocation to another city, feel free to state so. Links to social media profiles are also not desirable, except for LinkedIn or work-related profiles.
Here’s how to format this section:
Business Resume Contact Information
Rachel Johnson Strategic Business Analyst 619 209 9986 email@example.com San Diego, CA linkedin.com/in/rachel.johnson
How to Craft an Ideal Business Resume Objective/Summary
Right after the contact information, add a resume summary or objective. These two serve as an elevator pitch, allowing you to impress a recruiter or hiring manager with your skills.
Before setting out to write a stellar summary or objective, you should be familiar with the difference between them. A resume summary highlights professional experience and achievements; as such, it’s a good choice for the resume for a business owner or experienced applicants.
A business resume objective, on the other hand, underscores professional objectives and ambitions and is excellent for a business resume with no experience.
Junior Business Associate Resume Objective
Knowing that you have about seven seconds to impress a recruiter and compel them to keep reading might put extra pressure on you to craft an amazing objective, particularly if you have very little to no experience.
This is far less terrifying than you may think, especially if you have an example and all you need to do is follow it:
Junior Business Associate Resume Objective Example
Dedicated and detail-oriented recent graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration seeking a Junior Business Associate position to use my analytical skills, data-driven decision-making abilities, and passion for problem-solving. Committed to delivering results and driving continuous improvement in a fast-paced corporate environment.
However, don’t ever put an objective like the one below (however sincere it is); the recruiter will discard your resume immediately:
Entry-level business manager looking to train on the job. Skilled in leadership, conflict management, and budgeting.
Established Business Executive Resume Summary
A resume summary is a perfect opportunity to show how experienced you are. Here is how you can do that:
Junior Business Associate Resume Objective Example
Accomplished and results-driven Business Executive with over 15 years of experience leading strategic planning, business development, and operations management in Fortune 500 companies. Proven track record of driving revenue growth, optimizing operational efficiency, and building high-performance teams.
And this is how you don’t craft your summary, as it will only put off hiring staff due to the lack of value and specificity.
Business Executive with over 15 years of experience in leading businesses and teams.
Business Resume Professional Experience
The working experience section is the most essential on your resume as it lists your professional background with previous positions and titles, employers, dates, duties and responsibilities, and achievements.
Depending on your level of experience, you can include internships or volunteer work, part-time and full-time positions, as well as temporary jobs. Just make sure that you list everything in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent position and company.
One of the gravest mistakes people tend to make on their resumes is just including their previous roles and responsibilities they had. Instead, focus on the accomplishments; whenever possible, add KPIs, figures, statistics, and any other vital results to support your claims.
Stick to action words such as ‘negotiated,’ ‘coordinated,’ ‘maximized,’ ‘achieved,’ ‘initiated,’ ‘accelerated,’ ‘enhanced,’ ‘supervised,’ etc., instead of their so-called weak counterparts like ‘was in charge of,’ or ‘was responsible for’.
Last but not least, make your resume ATS-friendly by including business-specific keywords. The best way to do it is to analyze the job description, paying special attention to the qualifications, skills, and requirements mentioned in it.
Having an ATS-friendly resume is essential so that it’s not discarded by software even before it reaches the recruiter’s eye, as is the case with even 75% of resumes.
Business Associate With No Experience
The struggle is real when you have little to no experience to put in your business resume. Yet, if you have worked on specific projects during your studies or completed an internship, feel free to list them.
Here is an example of a professional experience section of a business resume with no experience:
Business Associate With No Experience Example
Business Associate Intern Capital One Corp., Los Angeles, CA October 2022–October 2023 Duties and Responsibilities:
Worked as a Business Associate intern at a dynamic and growing company, providing valuable support to the team.
Assisted with market research, data analysis, and competitor analysis to inform business strategies.
Contributed to the development of reports, presentations, and proposals for clients.
Experienced Business Executive
An example of a work experience section for a professional with extensive expertise is given below.
Experienced Business Executive Example
Vice President of Sales and Marketing JPMorgan Chase & Co, New York, NY January 2015 – December 2019 Duties and Responsibilities:
Spearheaded the sales and marketing department, achieving a 40% increase in annual revenue within six years.
Established and nurtured key client relationships, resulting in long-term partnerships and increased market share.
Implemented a sales training program that improved the performance and productivity of the sales team.
Business Resume Education Section
The education section of your business resume should include:
Majors and minors, if you’ve obtained any
Always list your academic activity to date and include all courses you attended, honors, and GPAs you earned, along with other accomplishments relevant to the position you’re applying for.
This is what it should look like:
Business Resume Education Section Example
Master of Business Administration (MBA) Isenberg School of Management, UMass Amherst, MA 2015–2017
Relevant Coursework: Strategic Management, Financial Analysis, Marketing Strategy
Dean's List for Academic Excellence
If you have a university degree, you won’t be listing secondary education since it’s irrelevant to the recruiter. In case you haven’t completed your higher education, include the years you’ve spent at the university.
Business Resume Skills
A rule of thumb to have in mind when listing skills in a resume is relevance: how are the skills you have relevant to the position you’re applying for? What’s more important, do they match the employment opportunity you’re hoping to seize?
If the answer is positive, don’t hesitate to add them; otherwise, it’s wiser to leave them out. After all, how are your basic programming skills relevant to the role of a business executive?
Transferable skills are good to have in a resume as well, particularly if you have very little experience or are considering changing careers.
Here’s one good example of the skills section in the resume:
Business Resume Skills Example
Leadership and team building
Here’s another illustration:
Business Resume Skills Another Example
Customer relationship management (CRM)
Analytics and metrics
Contract negotiation and closing
Business Executive Hard Skills
Some of the hard skills a business executive should possess are listed below:
Business Executive Hard Skills Examples
Computer skills (Microsoft Office Suite, Google Workspace, etc.)
Coaching and mentoring skills
Customer service skills
Revenue and profit growth
Customer relationship management (CRM)
Program and project management skills
Market trend research
Reporting and documentation
Data gathering and analysis
Cost reduction and elimination
Client satisfaction and retention
Marketing strategy development
Coaching and mentoring
Business Executive Soft Skills
Soft skills are as important as hard skills, so don’t forget to list them too. Here are some of them:
Business Executive Soft Skills Examples
Remember, no matter if you’re listing soft or hard skills, don’t overdo it, as you’re likely to lose credibility.
Business Resume Other Sections
After you’ve listed and elaborated on the mandatory fields, you can add the optional ones. Including them will allow a recruiter to learn about your skills and achievements outside the industry.
In the long run, adding the following sections will help your business resume stand out from others in today’s fairly competitive market and make you a more compelling candidate.
Including this section allows you to showcase your supremacy in the business industry. List the awards that you earned, together with the date you received them and the company that gave them to you.
Industry Awards Example
Leadership Excellence Award, ABC Corporation, 2021
Salesperson of the Year Award, ABC Corporation, 2020
If you’ve attended any courses pertaining to the business industry and earned certifications, list them all in your resume. This indicates that you don’t rely only on your formal knowledge and skills but, instead, work on acquiring new ones.
Here’s how you can list your certificates:
Project Management Professional, University of Colorado Boulder, 2020
Digital Product Management, University of Virginia, 2019
If you keep or contribute to a business-related blog, don’t shy away from spreading the word! List the name of the blog and your role, as well as the duration of your involvement.
Industry Blog Example
Author, Harvard Business Review 2021-2023
Contributor, Insights by Stanford Business, 2020-2021
Conferences are quite frequent in the business world. If you’ve attended them or, even better, participated, add it to your resume.
Speaker and Lecturer, International Business Summit, 2022
Business executives occasionally contribute to or author publications relevant to the industry. If you’re one of them, list the publication title, your role, and the date in your resume.
Strategic Marketing Trends, Author, Harvard Business Review, 2023
The knowledge of foreign languages is highly beneficial in a global business environment. Thus, if you speak any foreign languages, inform the recruiters about it.
When listing the languages you speak, add your level of knowledge too—basic, intermediate, fluent, proficient, and native.
Do I Need to Write a Cover Letter as a Business Executive/Associate?
Yes, you need a cover letter as a business executive/associate to accompany your business resume. Besides allowing the hiring staff to learn more about your accomplishments, you’re reaffirming your commitment to the job opportunity.
While candidates are not so fond of cover letters, recruiters are—even 45% of hiring managers read cover letters first before moving on to the resume. Thus, to impress a recruiter or other members of the hiring staff, you need to craft a well-written cover letter to pair with your resume.
5 Best Strategies for Crafting a Perfect Business Resume
Following these five strategies will help you create a splendid business resume:
Expert Tips for Creating a Perfect Business Resume
Grab a recruiter's attention right at the beginning with a strong summary or objective. Make a summary of your experience, skills, and qualifications in 2-3 sentences.
Use your experience to emphasize your skills. Don’t just list your previous companies, but highlight what you have achieved. This will give away nearly all your hard skills.
Make sure your resume is neat and organized. Be clear and concise—a resume should not be longer than one page.
Quantify your achievements. Whenever possible, add figures, percentages, and statistics to support the accomplishments you’ve listed in your resume.
Highlight your experience with a cover letter. Use a cover letter to point out your expertise and accomplishments, paying attention to how they helped previous companies grow.
Expert Business Resume Examples
The expert business resume example we’ve provided will help you brush up on everything you’ve learned so far, so don’t hesitate to check it out.
Putting your professional experience, skills, and education into words and then shaping it as a business resume can be challenging sometimes. But worry not; the guide we’ve created is here to save the day and help you craft your resume effortlessly.
The things to have in mind are the format of your resume, as well as what information to provide and highlight. Not everything you’re experienced in or fond of should be included in a resume.
What many people consider irrelevant, but it’s quite the opposite, in reality, is a cover letter. Create a compelling one to pair your resume with and increase your chances of landing that dream job!