There are many strings to a successful Business Analyst’s bow, even if hiring managers aren’t always aware of it. While the most successful organizations are open to new ways to enhance efficiency, they may not know exactly how the process could work until you show them. For this reason, you want your resume to highlight critical thinking and problem solving skills as well as your courage to turn simple business goals into strategic statements that bring everyone on board.
Since communication glitches are common as businesses adapt and refine their vision, the Business Analyst as ‘change agent’ is quite the buzz right now, meaning businesses need someone adept at inspiring enthusiasm and drive throughout the entire organization to implement solutions.
Business Analysts tell stories, so should their resumes
Consultant Steven Blais, in his highly regarded book ‘Business Analysis – Best Practices for Success’, advises hirers to assess their best applicants on the basis of their ability to describe an event in which they participated or witnessed. “When the candidate tells you a story and engages your interest, you have a potential business analyst”.
This is why your resume should show not only what you accomplished, but how you got there and made it work. Your dedication to process, rather than simply boasting of accomplishments, will communicate to employers that you possess patience as you get the details right. A good way to start is thinking of ways you challenged and changed yourself – with passion and personal stories – and make maximum use of your own experience when tailoring your resume to employers you most want to work for. What inspired you can inspire others, so tell those stories!
One successful business analyst resume example
Oriol Garcia Lorenzo’s story, which focuses on adventure and entrepreneurship combined with success in the corporate sphere, landed him a coveted position as a business analyst consultant for a 2020 Tokyo Olympics project. It shows an adventurous spirit which has never refused an opportunity to grow.
His resume reflects this both in his path from Purchaser and Entrepreneur to Financial Manager before landing his Business Analyst position, and in his hobbies where he explains how sailing across the Atlantic developed his concentration and long-term resistance. A combination of diverse experiences shows a prospective employer that you can handle a Business Analyst position from all angles. (Links not working at present)
1. Starting at the Top – Objective or Summary?
Unless you are a recent grad with little experience, use a concrete summary instead of an objective. A good summary not only provides concise details on previous achievements relevant to the position you’re applying for, but indicates the road you traveled to seek this particular position. It may contain personal touches reflecting your professional development, but should also make clear why you are interested in this particular position and precisely what you can bring to the table. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. A common error is to concentrate on what you want and not on the needs of the company, or to boast without providing sufficient examples.
2. Work History – Be Selective
- Think of your work history as a sales pitch to a specific client. What positions have you held that are directly relevant to the company you are applying to, and which aspects of these jobs seem crucial to their needs for a Business Analyst?
- Focus on the highest levels of responsibility you have held that specifically match the job description, and avoid the ‘catalogue’ approach or you are likely to tire an overloaded hiring manager who can only give every resume a quick glance before deciding which to focus on and which will end up in the trash.
What they seek is evidence of business issues you have successfully analysed and solved, and what the results were. But don’t focus on accomplishments without showing the hard road it took to get there – you also need to show how you helped the company identify appropriate roles, teams, and strategies – all part of the process of absorbing change.
- Using the right terminology is also essential. Since you don’t know who’s reading your resume, avoid the specific jargon you might have encountered in textbooks or your previous positions, and look at the company’s website for their preferred terms. If in doubt, keep it simple. If you have not specifically held a position as Business Analyst, check for transferable business analysis skills terminology and see what you’ve done that directly applies.
- Don’t be afraid to tweak previous job titles. For example, an administrative position may easily be changed to Team Manager without fudging if the responsibilities were the same – and that should be clear in the way you detail your responsibilities.
- Make the most of your bullet points. Without overcrowding, you can demonstrate how you applied specific business analysis skills by including concrete processes, numbers and details as well as results. Your personal contributions in any position should shine through here, helping the company envision exactly what you might do for them.
3. Hobbies Show Your Character
Employers are increasingly interested in knowing who you are as well as what you’ve done, so including a short section on hobbies can help demonstrate personal characteristics that your work history alone cannot. Remember that the Business Analyst as change manager, problem solver, and team flow builder will confront many bumps along the road to strategic outcomes, so hobbies that show an aptitude for extreme adventure or endurance sports can quickly catch the eye of a hiring manager looking for courage and resilience.
The quickest path to a business analyst resume that gets results
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