While it may seem that being general on your CV will open up opportunities, the reality is the absolute opposite when it comes to business analyst jobs.
Creating the best Business Analyst CV
A question commonly asked by recruiters when understanding exactly what a hiring manager is looking for in a quality candidate is: “what do you look for on a good CV?”. For many hiring managers this can be a key part of the recruitment process.
A business analyst’s CV should represent their logical thinking, detailed analysis and ability to present clearly and concisely. I have put together some common rules that should help every business analyst in showcasing their skills to the best ability, improving their chances of being selected for business analyst jobs.
Structure of your BA CV
It is essential to structure the CV in a clear and concise fashion. A project manager or programme manager will be keen to see that the business analyst can structure documents clearly and concise, a list of bullet points about the project is too general.
The clearest way to order the information is to outline the objectives of the project, what the day-to-day duties were on the project and finally the key achievements or deliverables of the individual. Do not generalise, the hiring manager wants to know that the business analyst knows what they did and what part they played in the delivery.
(Job Title) Business Analyst
(Organisation) Large Blue Chip Company
(Dates) DD/MM/YY - DD/MM/YY
In this part write what the details of the project and what the deliverables were (without going into too much confidential business detail).
Demonstrating the day-to-day duties of your Business Analyst roles
- This is the part where a business analyst can demonstrate the part they played in the project delivery
- This demonstrates their awareness of the business analyst role
- Not every company gives a business analyst the same duties
- This is key for a hiring manager to understand what the business analyst did as opposed to what the team/project did
- It can demonstrate exposure to the full project lifecycle, or if not full lifecycle specific parts
- This part only needs to be a few bullet points
- This is to showcase what the business analyst delivered and how they made a difference
The Importance of Formatting / Presentation in A Business Analyst's CV
Providing documentation and presenting is a key part to a business analyst’s role. The format of the CV is a tool to demonstrate this, therefore the formatting must be clear and consistent throughout the CV; a hiring project manager will spot inconstancies. In addition to this, clear formatting aids the hiring manager to scan the document quickly and pick out key points.
Business Language on Your CV
A common mistake many CV writers make is to write the CV like it is a story. Instead, the language needs to be specific and punchy. When applying for a role like business analyst, it requires someone who can reflect business awareness. This can be demonstrated through use of language. The key is to give enough detail, but in a succinct fashion.
A bad example:
- In my part of the project I delivered all of the teams' reports for the whole of the finance department.
A good example:
- Delivering 15 reports daily for a finance team of 18FTE.
Project related skills:
Be sure to include any methodologies you have worked with; Agile, Waterfall, Prince2 and PMP are all credible methodologies. This shows an awareness of the project lifecycle including how to run a project.
Remember, a CV is the initial stage of the recruitment process. All it takes is one look to determine whether it is really a contender. Therefore if this is executed professionally, your chances of getting that better role are increased.