Demand is strong for business analysts, whether they’re specialists in business systems or data analysis. However, if you want to get the attention of hiring managers, you need to make sure your business analyst resume fits the job you’re pursuing.
A work history that shows you used analytical skills to solve complicated business problems is great to have. But if you’re like many professionals seeking business analyst positions, perhaps you had those successes while working as an accountant, an information technology specialist, or a product or project manager.
Just as there are many paths to becoming a business analyst, there are many ways to wow recruiters and hiring managers with your resume. These five tips will help you shine a light on your unique background and create a killer business analyst resume:
1. Tailor your resume to the specific job opening
It may seem obvious but bears repeating: Craft your resume to show how your training, work experience and technical skills make you a fit for each position you apply for. Is the opportunity in an IT setting? Make sure you list which development and project lifecycles you know. Are you applying to work with a company that sells directly to consumers? Explain how you mastered Excel or SAP while tracking accounts for a retail company.
2. Open strong
To include or not to include an objective? Many career coaches and recruiters today recommend getting rid of it because a career objective puts the focus on you rather than the employer’s needs. Alternatively, some suggest using a summary instead.
Whether or not you include an objective, business analysts benefit from including a profile near the beginning that highlights their accomplishments and skills. For example, describe in brief how the business analysis you ran saved a project team thousands in licensing fees for that enterprise system implementation your company just finished.
3. Be specific
How do the tools and practices you know apply to the sector or role you’re pursuing? If you were in healthcare and you want to move into finance, be clear about how your requirements-gathering and financial analysis skills are transferrable. What prototyping methods did you use to test the functional requirements you gathered? What statistics did you run to validate your financial model?
4. Tell your story
Consider abandoning a strictly chronological or functional format in favor of a hybrid style for your resume. Organize your work history by project to showcase your evolution as an analyst. Sure, your latest project may have involved managing a two-year Oracle ERP deployment. But you advanced to that position because you learned to communicate well with the IT group when, as a business manager, you were assigned to provide input to the design of a sales tracking system.
Before using an alternative resume style, however, try to confirm the type of resume that the hiring manager will find most valuable. If you work with a financial staffing firm, the team there can advise you based on their experience with the potential employer.
5. Keep up on keeping up
Review the education section of your consulting resume to make sure you’ve included all relevant on-the-job training you’ve earned to date. Also, include any continuing education you’ve completed or graduate degrees you’ve attained. Be sure to mention your participation in professional associations or business networks to help give yourself an edge.