Business analysts are in high demand thanks to their ability to make companies more efficient, get maximum value from IT investments, and help the business navigate the rapidly changing world of technology.

When applying for these roles, you therefore need to make clear to hiring managers that you can navigate business and technical waters with equal ease. These three tips can help you to optimize your business analyst resume.

1. Highlight in-demand skills

Candidates sometimes do not realize that a project they worked on used skills that are in high demand throughout the industry, and fail to call out those skills on their business analyst resume.

One example is knowledge of SharePoint. SharePoint skills can add 5 to 10 percent to the starting salaries for professionals involved in applications development, including a variety of business analysts.

There are other skills you could also add to your business analyst resume:

  • SAP BusinessObjects
  • Programming languages used to facilitate working with data, such as Java or SQL
  • Knowledge of data warehousing systems used to drive reporting
  • Business intelligence tools, like Cognos
  • Big data systems used for data analysis and decision-making, such as Hadoop
  • Databases used to store transactional data; Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle or DB2 are some examples

If you have these skills, including them on your business analyst resume helps to show that you are a well-rounded technology professional. Having these skill sets also could position you for higher starting compensation.

2. Focus on value

Recruiters and hiring managers often look specifically for candidates who have a track record of delivering value to their organization. In your business analyst resume, use specific numbers where appropriate, and choose between percentages and hard numbers (such as dollar amounts) to tell the best story possible. Here are some examples:

  • Spearheaded a project to automate certain call center functions, reducing costs by $500,000 annually and improving customer satisfaction by 35 percent.
  • Streamlined support processes to increase worker productivity by 5 percent.
  • Created research reports that allowed the management team to proceed with a new product line with a $1.2 million annual net revenue.

3. Demonstrate specialization

Some business analyst positions, like business intelligence analyst or ERP business analyst, may have higher salaries than other, less-specialized roles, such as a business systems analyst. Take a look at job postings to get a clear understanding of the skills you need to compete for a certain type of business analyst position or to pursue a particular career track.

The ability to back your learning with hands-on experience is critical, so be on the lookout for projects in your work history that can show you have honed those skills. Remember to make a direct connection in your job history to those abilities. For example:

Used Hadoop to analyze revenue-per-opportunity data in relationship to outbound sales calls. The results were used to adjust the sales process and increase revenue-per-opportunity by 12 percent.

Be sure to also mention any relevant certifications or training that you have earned. And take care to deliver a well-written business analyst resume and cover letter, as evidence of solid communication skills can also help to give you an edge in the hiring process. 

This post has been updated to reflect more current information.