A good business analyst plays a critical role in analyzing a business unit’s performance, solving complex problems and contributing to the development of products, processes and services that generate top and bottom-line growth. That’s why, when it comes to a business analyst resume, hiring managers are always looking for your business impact.
To be selected for a job interview, you need to demonstrate to a potential employer that you can do the job well by focusing your résumé on highly relevant and impressive accomplishments, explained Umema Aimen, certified résumé writer and career services delivery manager for CareerTuners.
In this guide, we’ll cover the major steps to creating an accomplishments-focused résumé, as well as delve into some of the qualities and skills that hiring managers look for when evaluating business analysts (BA).
Maximize the Visual Center
Business analysts bridge the gap between IT and business teams using business analysis processes, techniques, tools and technologies to find solutions to business-related problems. However, while incorporating position-related keywords into your résumé along with day-to-day tasks may help you pass the applicant tracking system (ATS) scan, it’s not enough to pass the “human” review.
One of the best places to showcase the value you’re bringing to the table and the results your skills produced is the top one-third of your résumé, also known as the “visual center,” Aimen said.
“This is the most valuable piece of real estate on your résumé because this is where you make a critical first impression on recruiters and hiring managers,” she added.
Aimen maximizes the “visual center” by creating a short summary (no longer than one or two sentences) highlighting a BA’s value proposition. To close the gap between the requirements of a job and the candidate’s skills, she also provides a list of key skills along with three to four major achievements using BA processes, skills and methodologies that align with the key job requirements. She provided this example:
Client Name, CBAP
Positively impacts the bottom-line by analyzing and closing business process gaps and leading complex technology projects.
Operations Analysis | Business Process Optimization | Requirement Elicitation & Analysis | Certified Scrum Master
Process Improvement: Led a 67% reduction in the authorization processing time at Company 1 by consolidating all relevant data into a single window and automating task delegation as a part of a 13-member team; supported 3 million users.
IT-Business Alignment: Won the “Applause Award” at Company 4 for improving talent training platform efficiency by 35%, boosting enrollment rates; conducted root cause analysis and built data upload automation requirements on a strict deadline.
Quality Assurance & Testing: Reduced escape defects by 93% by developing and aligning test scenarios with user requirements at Company 2; designed and implemented test cases in collaboration with the QA team.
To ensure your value proposition resonates with the reviewer, avoid fluffy self-descriptors or irrelevant soft skills; strive to strike a balance between “hard” and “soft” keywords in the opening profile. Most importantly, review the job description and focus on skills and accomplishments that address the main requirements, including business acumen and industry expertise.
Turn Ordinary Tasks and Responsibilities Into Accomplishments
A common mistake business analysts make is filling their work history section with day-to-day duties, responsibilities and tasks, which crowds out the space available to talk about your successes. Worse, it fails to address the purpose of the role, which is to contribute to the growth and profitability of the organization.
“BA is one of the few tech-related roles where you can demonstrate business value,” Aimen noted. “So take advantage of it by quantifying your results whenever possible.”
How can you set yourself apart? Turn ordinary tasks into accomplishments. Ask yourself questions using the Situation, Action, Result (SAR) format to gather all the relevant information about your experiences and strategies that align with the major processes, technical tools and skills that the job requires.
Such as: What technical solutions did you develop to solve critical business problems? What was the impact on the company’s bottom line? (Here are more examples of questions to ask.)
Also, don’t repeat accomplishment statements: Display the breadth of your abilities by highlighting different achievements and outcomes in your résumé’s opening summary and work history sections.
This work experience summary focuses on high impact accomplishments:
Sr. Business Systems Analyst, Company 1 03/2016 – 06/2017
Handpicked among 3 out of 15 business analysts to implement a fully integrated clinical platform on Pega and introduce new functionalities and releases every 3 months; gathered stakeholder requirements, participated in 3-week sprints, developed user stories using an ALM tool, presented demos to product owners, deployed user stories in QA, and led User Acceptance Testing. Trained the user trainer on system operations, mentored 3 junior business analysts, and onboarded 6 new developers on the team.
On-Time Project Delivery: Won the “Champion Award” for ensuring a critical release delivery on a stringent deadline despite resource unavailability; used past manual requirements to write automation requirements and create and validate user stories.
Agile Management: Delivered the project on time by leading the team post team restructuring; delegated tasks based on team strengths, held team meetings twice a day to track progress, and built rapport by leveraging past management experience.
Business Analysis: Ensured compliance with Medicare regulations by identifying and preventing an erroneous functionality in the authorization process from going into production; alerted the lead business analyst and the product owner.
User Stories Development: Saved time and improved mockup quality by building mastery of and introducing Balsamiq Mockups for wireframing and mockups; replaced outdated wireframing methods and trained 2 business analysts on tool usage.
“I have worked with Name on an end-to-end implementation of a software platform for healthcare members. She was always spot on with her analysis of business requirements with special focus on process improvement.” – Harry Potter, Scrum Master
Final Tips and Characteristics of an Effective Business Analyst Résumé
To increases the chances of your résumé being read all the way through, limit the length to no more than two pages.
Match the job description: To capture the attention of automated and human reviewers, make simple modifications/customizations to match the requirements in the job description—including the hard and soft skills, organizational culture, and industry expertise—before hitting ‘Send.’ Even better, use a free tool like Jobscan or Résumé Worded to compare your résumé to a specific job description, make changes, add the right keywords, and get past applicant tracking systems.
Provide work samples: Provide a link to samples or a portfolio that reflect your work and are representative of how you work and communicate with technical and non-technical audiences.
Be sure to include certifications and coursework: You should include top certifications, as well as coursework and side projects that demonstrate expertise in BA fundamentals and must-have technologies. Indicate that you’re always interested in learning something new. Note that listing side projects is critical for junior BAs with limited experience. (In addition, more specialization and skills will allow you to potentially negotiate for a higher salary.)