Business Developer Career Path
How To Become a Business DeveloperIf you have a friendly, persuasive personality and you want to help a company grow and expand, consider a career as a business developer. To become a business developer, follow these steps:
Earn a business degree.
While some business developers have just a high school diploma or GED, most have a bachelor's degree in business management, business administration, finance, marketing, accounting, or communications. Business developers in specialized fields sometimes have degrees related to their industry.
For example, someone working for a manufacturing company might have an engineering degree. A business developer for a pharmaceutical company could have a degree in chemistry or biology. Some business developers choose to get a master's degree or MBA as well. Before you choose a degree, think about the industry you want to work in and research the average salary and the number of job openings for business developers in different fields.
Participate in an internship in your preferred industry.
Participating in an internship while you're working on your degree can help you gain experience and expand your professional network. You can learn from a leader in the industry you want to work in and make contacts that will help you for the rest of your career. You can also get a letter of recommendation that will help you stand out when compared to other entry-level applicants.
Find a mentor, like a professor or experienced professional.
Having a mentor that you can contact for advice can be helpful throughout your career. Your mentor can be a teacher or professor, the supervisor at your internship, or another experienced professional. Stay in touch with this person to get their guidance and learn about job opportunities.
Apply for entry-level positions.
Most business developers have at least five years of experience in sales, and many have management experience as well. Look for entry-level jobs in sales or management that let you demonstrate your skills and gain experience in your chosen industry. Personalize your resume by mentioning the same phrases in the job description when possible. This can help your resume stand out and get selected for an interview. You should also use a brief cover letter to talk about why you want to work for the company and highlight your best skills and accomplishments.
Expand your people skills.
While you gain experience in an entry-level position, work on expanding your skills. Business developers often speak to potential customers, so they should be persuasive, friendly, and knowledgeable about the products a company offers. They often use statistical analysis software to predict trends and help executives decide which products to introduce next and how to advertise them. Knowing how to use word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and customer relationship management or CRM software is useful for getting a business developer job as well. Other important skills include negotiation, time management, organization, professionalism, leadership, teamwork, and attention to detail.
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Business Developer Career Path
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