Business Analyst Résumé: Building an Effective One

A successful business analyst résumé highlights that you have the skills necessary to dig into what makes organizations and processes “tick” and recommend the right ways to streamline everything. It should accentuate your strategic skills, as well as your marketplace successes. With all that in mind, let’s break down what a “typical” business analyst résumé needs (we’ll use elements of this one and this one from the Dice résumé database).

First, you should decide whether to kick things off with a summary. While some résumé-writing experts recommend against it, arguing that it takes up too much valuable real estate, a summary section can nonetheless put your qualifications front-and-center. But remember to keep things to just a few bullet-points, such as:

  • In-depth knowledge of Rational Unified Process (RUP); risk engineering; data modeling and mapping; and design using UML, Rational Rose, and Visio.

  • Familiar with current industry standards, such as HIPAA, SOX, Title 21 CFR Part 11, 21 CFR Part 820, ISO, Six Sigma, and Capability Maturity Model (CMM).

  • Adept at reducing development costs and providing traceability of projects.

  • Excellent communication, analytical, interpersonal, and presentation skills; expert at managing multiple projects simultaneously.

While many kinds of résumés choose to put skills and tools at the bottom, below the summary of professional experience, business analysts might want to consider putting this section further up, in order to reinforce their abilities. For example, something along these lines:

Summary of Business and Technical Expertise:
Applications and Tools: Oracle EBS Supply Chain including: Advanced Procurement, Value Chain Execution, Order Orchestration and Fulfillment, Asset Lifecycle Management, Manufacturing, Product Value Chain Management Value Chain Planning, Business Intelligence and Analytics, Visio, MS Project, MS Office, Demantra, OBIEE.

Business Skills: Communications, collaboration, team-oriented, troubleshooting, problem-solving, project management. SOX, agile development and Six Sigma.

Just remember to include your “soft skills” in addition to technical expertise; business analysts must often act as a conduit between management, outside consultants, and staff, putting a premium on communication and negotiation.

At the core of the best business analyst résumé is a summary of professional experience that clearly shows results. It’s not enough to simply list what you did; you have to show (in as few words and bullet-points as possible) why it mattered. For example:

ABC Beauty Products 2010-present
Senior Business Systems Analyst/Supply Chain
Served as an internal consultant within the technology and business groups by supporting current processes and recommending solutions that reduce costs or extend current capabilities. Provide hands on support and problem resolution in Order Management, Shipping, Purchasing, Manufacturing and Inventory in the Oracle EBS.

  • Improved effectiveness and efficiency of corporate finance and supply chain systems by 15 percent through detailed analysis and proposing solutions.

  • Ensure data integrity by conducting periodic reviews and audits of the finance and supply chain systems.

  • Educate users in supply chain divisions on appropriate input and data utilization techniques.

  • Work with other business systems analysts and the ABC development team to convert business solutions into technical designs.

Some companies will forbid you from revealing too much hard data about their operations, even years after the fact, but you can often circumvent this by talking in terms of percentages—“grew the operation by 20 percent” gets the point across without revealing actual sales numbers, for example.

You’ll also want the experience section to demonstrate your analytical abilities; although you don’t have a lot of space after each bullet-point, you can at least hint at your pathway to a solution (“engaged in an extensive re-analysis of all available data to…”). You want to show what makes you special as an analyst.

Since many companies place such a premium on professional certifications, make sure to list any and all that are relevant to the position; if you’re applying for a job that leverages a particular platform or type of technology, you’ll want to emphasize your experience with it in both the “skills and expertise” and “summary of professional experience” sections.

If you want a breakdown of how much a business analyst can earn, especially in major cities such as San Francisco and New York, check out this data derived from the Dice Salary Calculator.

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