When crafting a resume to apply for a business analyst position, one of the most challenging aspects is figuring out how to start.
Do you use a summary or an objective?
An objective talks about what you want to achieve in your next position. A summary tells a story about what you bring to the table as a professional. Summaries are the introduction of choice unless you are a recent college graduate and do not have much to summarize.
So we know a summary should tell a story of us as a professional. That’s a good place to start.
The summary will most likely be the first item on the resume that is read. To determine what makes a good summary, you first need to put yourself in the employer’s shoes.
What does the person reading your resume want to know about you?
First off, most people review business analyst resumes to ascertain if you are qualified for the position. Recruiters receive hundreds of resumes for an individual job position and many people apply to jobs they are not qualified for. You want to use your summary to show that you are well-qualified for a business analyst job, preferably the specific business analyst job you are applying to.
Secondly, you want your summary to tell a story of why you are interested in this specific position.
- If you have a career as an executive and you are applying for a business analyst job, you need to tell that story.
- If you have 10 years of experience testing software and now you want a business analyst job, you need to tell that story.
- And your story should be specific to the job at hand. Avoid generic language like “interesting position at a growing company”.
The BIGGEST mistake people make is making the summary about them…about what they want as a candidate. It’s all about the employer. You want to them to see YOU as the solution to their problem.
(By the way, we cover this in more detail in this article walking through the business analyst job search process.)
What can your resume reader about your qualifications that entices them to pick up the phone and call you in for an interview?
With all that out on the table, what are some phrases you might incorporate into your professional summary?
- Experience with enterprise XYZ systems
- Evaluating vendors
- Working around the constraints posed by legacy systems.
- Helping stakeholder teams perform cost-benefit analysis
- Engaging appropriate stakeholders throughout the project
- Creating alignment between stakeholders from multiple levels of the organization.
- Building processes / improving processes / defining processes
- Achieving positive ROI on projects.
- Diverse professional experience across multiple organizations from a variety of industries.
This is not an exhaustive list. (Check out our list of important business analyst skills for additional ideas.) The point is to focus on the types of experiences you have had that qualify you for the position for which you are applying. I suggest you keep a running list of power phrases or summary sentences. Then when you apply for a job, select the ones that best match the job description.
And here are some to avoid:
- Seeking CBAP support
- Support my career growth
- Growing company
- Company that supports its employees
- Company that appreciates its employees
You might say, well I want these things! Yes, you do and that’s perfectly fine. But remember we are talking about the first sentence on your resume, the purpose of which is to get you a job interview.
Would you start a first date talking about a pre-nup? Probably not.
Then don’t start your business analyst resume talking about conditions of accepting an offer that’s nowhere near being on the table.
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