A job search is simply a sales process - only you are the product. Thus, your resume needs to sell the value proposition of its product - YOU! Identifying the right skills on the resume can mean the difference between interviewing a nice business development manager and interviewing someone that can close deals.  Here are 6 resume skills to look for to find a strong business development manager:


Business development managers spend their day talking to prospective and existing customers to identify sales opportunities. This means that a strong business development manager knows how to connect with people of diverse backgrounds in a short timeframe. Here are some signs of a skilled communicator:

  • Active listening. The most important part of selling is to first listen to what the prospect needs and convey that knowledge to the prospect.
  • Connects. Identify opportunities to relate to the prospective customer and seize them in any conversation.
  • Articulate. Business development often requires a polished ability to convey knowledge about the products or services that are being sold and that generally requires an articulate person.
  • Personable. People buy from people they like. A business development manager who is authentic and genuinely nice will always succeed.


After qualifying a prospect, the business development manager will need to negotiate the terms of the deal. This is the opportunity for the business development manager to up-sell or cross-sell the prospective customer. Some ways to spot on a resume a business development manager that can negotiate:

  • Diverse deals. Someone who has closed a variety of deals knows how to identify opportunities and optimize revenue.
  • Numbers. Results speak for themselves in business development. Failure to include numbers on a resume means that the candidate likely doesn’t have good information to share.
  • Enterprise sales. Any enterprise level deal, whether it is software, service, or goods, brings a complexity. Only a skilled negotiator can close deals at this level.


A tremendous amount of time can be wasted in chasing sales that will never close. A strong business development manager is strategic in building their pipeline and capable of identifying the right opportunities. Here are skills to spot on a resume for a strategic business development manager:

  • Diversity of deals. Closing a variety of deal types within the same role means that the person is capable of spotting the right timing to constantly generate revenue.
  • Results. Repeatedly generating results can be challenging in any industry through the changing economic fluctuations. A strategic business development manager will never stop spotting an opportunity and will continuously spot the chance to close a deal.
  • Market intelligence. A strategic business development manager will leverage data and analytics from the market or competitors to drive deals. This means maintaining a constant awareness of what others are doing and spot opportunities to use this information to close new deals.


Business development in any industry requires the ability to pay attention to the small things. Details matter in business to business sales. This means that a strong business development manager will have the ability to maintain attention to detail while keeping the big picture in mind. Here are a few ways to spot a detail-oriented business development manager by their resume:

  • Numbers. Adding numbers to illustrate the size and scope of sales on their resume means that the candidate understands the importance of details.
  • No typos or grammar errors. Failure to use spell check or grammar check on their own resume is often a red flag for other sloppy business development habits.
  • Ability to customize. Taking the time to tailor a cover letter or putting relevant achievements on their resume means that the business development manager knows the power of detail.


A strong business development manager will be driven by results. This means that a strong business development manager understands the difference between networking and closing deals. Here are a few ways to spot the resume of a closer:

  • Results. Seems simple, but it’s a hard sell if the candidate doesn’t even list their business development results on their resume.
  • Numbers. Listing actual numbers or percentages on a resume can go a long way to demonstrate the candidate’s awareness of the importance of closing a deal.
  • ABC. A business development manager that has an “always be closing” mindset will reflect that attitude in their own cover letter and resume.


Closing a deal often requires the ability to pull together the right information or subject matter experts on more than one occasion. A business development manager that is collaborative will understand that they can’t always go it alone to close a deal. A few tips to spot a collaborative business development manager based on their resume:

  • Comprehensive deals. A business development manager that has closed multi-faceted deals and that can reflect that on their resume understands the power of collaboration.
  • Enterprise sales. Closing deals at this level requires the input and knowledge of a number of subject matter experts.
  • Utilizing events to sell. This often requires working as part of a cross-functional team to advance, work, and follow-up to close the deals. A collaborative business development manager will also thrive when leveraging events to close new deals.

Someone with all 6 of these skills on their resume is probably a strong business development manager that can close deals. The real test is identifying the strength of these skills in the interview. Make sure to ask about the results and skills that are on the candidate’s resume to better understand how they reflect the skills. During that time, it is important to also make sure that the person is the right fit for the culture of your company.

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