The job market is getting stronger every day, which can only mean one thing - it's also getting more competitive at the same time, particularly if you're going after a highly specialized position as a business analyst. If you want to really stand out in a crowd and have a fighting chance to be considered, there are a few key elements that your resume MUST include. These are the qualities that employers actually hope they'll see when reviewing candidates.
Emphasize Skills That Are In-Demand
By far, the most important thing you can do, when putting together a resume for a Business Analyst position, is highlighting the actual skills that are in-demand for the job in question. Often, candidates don't realize that while a particular project they worked on in the past may not necessarily be relevant to the position they're applying for, the skills that were required to successfully carry out that project were - thus they fail to properly call out those skills on their resume.
Think back to previous positions and the types of projects that you completed. Below are just a few examples of skills that, if they were present during your past employment, should absolutely be highlighted or emphasized in some way on a Business Analyst resume:
- Knowledge of SharePoint, which one study estimates can add between 5 and 10% to the starting salary of a Business Analyst involved in a field like application development.
- SAP BusinessObjects.
- Any experience you have with data warehousing systems, which play an integral role in the life of a Business Analyst in terms of driving reporting.
- Business intelligence tools that you've worked closely with, with Cognos being an example.
- Any type of big data system that you've used, like Hadoop, that specifically played a role in data analysis or decision-making (or both).
Highlighting these types of skills on your resume doesn't just help you show that you're a well-rounded, multi-faceted and experienced applicant - it shows that you've worked directly with the type of technology that is actively driving the industry today. Building your resume around skills like these is an excellent way to both get noticed and stand out from the competition.
Play to Your Specialties
Along the same lines, one of the primary focuses of your Business Analyst resume needs to involve separating yourself from the rest of the pack as much as possible. Look at all job postings very carefully to get a clear understanding of the skills that will be required for not just a general Business Analyst, but the certain type of position that you're applying for. Then, engineer your resume in a way that allows you to bring out these specialties as much as possible.
If you were applying to be a Business Intelligence Analyst, for example, you would want to look for ways in which you can make a clear and direct connection between your job history and the abilities required for that position. You might call out experience you have using a solution like Hadoop, especially in the context of using it to analyze factors like revenue-per-opportunity data to further improve outbound sales calls efforts. You would also want to focus on not just the specialties themselves but the results you were able to generate as well.
Likewise, if you already know that you want to pursue a particular type of career track, built your resume in a way that highlights the specialties needed to accomplish that goal. You will also want to be very clear about any relevant certifications that you may have, or training programs that you've completed that further cement the specializations that you're talking about.
It's All About Value
Finally and perhaps most importantly, one of the most critical components of any Business Analyst's resume is one that can be summed up in a single word: value. While the skills and specialties that you have are essential, equally so is the amount of value you were able to generate for past organizations that you've worked for. Often, a recruiter at a staffing agency or a hiring manager will specifically look for evidence of value provided when attempting to find the candidate that is the best fit for their current needs.
When putting together your Business Analyst resume, always use specific numbers (like percentages and dollar amounts) whenever possible. Any opportunity that you have to say "I oversaw X project with Y skills that reduced costs by $500,000 annually" or "I made A, B and C efforts to dramatically streamline the support process, which increased worker productivity by 10%" is an opportunity that you need to take.
Don't Let Your Resume Hold You Back
You should never lose enthusiasm on your job hunt just because you're going after a highly in-demand position. The strength of your resume is one of your best tools to help prevent rejection. Provided that you're able to highlight in-demand skills, play to your specialize and really underline the value you offer, you'll be surprised by just how attractive you become as a candidate.
ICS has plenty of open jobs for you to apply to with your new resume. After including these three things, you'll stand out and be the candidate that employers actually want. To get started on your job search, click below to see what we have open. We'd love to place you in a position you love.