Landing a Job as a Business Analyst
Business analysts can earn well over a $100,000 per year, but they are generally required to work long hours and often deal with demanding clients. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than half of the business analysts in 2010 worked more than 40 hours per week. Still, the outlook for individuals looking for a position as a business analyst is positive, with expansion in the field expected to grow at 22 percent from 2010 to 2020. If you are seeking a job as a business analyst, it is important to create a resume that clearly states your skills and accomplishments to portray you as the best candidate for the job.
Job Description for Business Analysts
Business analysts help companies discover how to improve the way they meet the demands of their clients. They gather information about a problem by interviewing staff and conducting onsite observations and analyze financial and other data to develop solutions. The analyst then presents his or her findings to management and makes recommendations to make modifications in the area of personnel, equipment and procedures to improve customer service. The business analyst monitors the changes to make sure they are effective. Often travel is required, and they may have to operate under tight deadlines.
Occupational Outlook and Salary for Business Analysts
The predicted high rate of growth for business analyst positions is the result of organizations seeking to improve their efficiency and control their costs of doing business. Smaller consulting companies specializing in specific industries will have a particularly high demand for business analysts, as well as companies expanding into international markets. Although the growth rate for jobs in this area is expected to be higher than in other occupations, competition is strong because of the high earning potential of business analysts. The median annual wage of business analysts was $78,160 in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Putting Together an Effective Resume for a Business Analyst
When you write your resume, remember that you only have one chance to make a good first impression. Whether you are sending along your resume by email or mailing it, make sure it has a professional look. That means, for most people, fitting it onto a letter-sized 8.5 inch page and using a businesslike font like Times New Roman or Arial in a 10 -12 point font size and black ink. Leave a 1-inch margin all around the page, top, bottom and sides. Consistency is important. Be sure to use italics and bolding for comparable elements, and list company names, location, your position and your responsibilities in a consistent way. If you list the company name in italics first, all companies should be listed that way. Use bulleted lists and phrases instead of sentences.
One size definitely does not fit all when it comes to resumes. If you are an experienced professional with an uninterrupted job history, you can consider a chronological resume which lists the companies you worked for and the positions you held in reverse chronological order. Recent graduates, people changing careers and those who have been out of the workforce for one reason or another can consider a functional resume which includes a Skills section to highlight experience and abilities. These skills may have been acquired on the job, as a volunteer or as part of an internship. The functional resume may not go into where the skills were acquired.
Newer Resume Configurations
Resumes are changing, along with everything else. Employers no longer want to see only a long list of your previous jobs. They are more interested in what skills you can bring to the job at hand. Instead of listing a career objective, which can be limiting, write a brief Career Summary or Profile under your letterhead with your name, address, email and phone number. In two or three brief sentences, tell the story of your accomplishments to date. You can then list your skills in bullet format under the heading Skills Summary. Then comes Professional Experience, Education with your degrees listed, and relevant volunteer activities, honors or awards. Feel free to emphasize any portion of the resume to make it suit your particular credentials.
Electronic Resume Selection
The sad truth is that even after all of your hard work, your resume may not even be seen. Nowadays, a computer system called an Applicant Tracking System or ATS may do the selecting. So how to you make sure that yours is one of the resumes chosen for consideration? Experts say you should read the job description carefully and use the same job title and list the skills they want with the skills you have, using the same words. Do not use fancy font, borders or logos.
Sample Resume for a Business Analyst
1234 Sunny Drive, Anywhere, NY 123456 444.444-4444 firstname.lastname@example.org LinkedIn URL
(career summary or profile)
Seasoned business analyst database management professional with 15 years of experience at noted international corporations. Designed training materials for several databases and conducted comprehensive training sessions. Key player in three highly successful data migration projects. Strong project management, motivational and communication skills.
(list as many as possible)
- Strong database management
- Adept at PACE and Firebrand’s Title Management System
- Experienced with Advantage Fulfillment System
- Team player to create interfaces between database and key business systems
- Work with IT technical team t develop processes
- Experienced in staff training
(list in reverse chronological order)
Database Analyst/Developer, XYZ Corporation, Tarrytown, New York, 2013-present
(list in reverse chronological order)
XYZ University, Syracuse, New York: MBA, 2006
ABC College, Farmingdale, New York: BA, 2004