If you google “business analyst resume template”, you’ll find a lot of resume models filled with roles and responsibilities such as:
- Designed and analyzed marketing research and financial data, in close collaboration with the company’s marketing team.
- Developed extensive databases to support a national market.
- Managed all aspects of composition of business analyst documentation including As-Is/To-Be process flows, requirement specifications, business rules, functional requirements, uses cases and wire-frames.
- Prepared ETL specifications describing the process and controls at entity levels.
- Identified the source, analyzed data and designed the process for extraction of data from an Enterprise Data Warehouse table.
- Managed and facilitated meetings with B2B partners for projects dealing with systems integration, web services, API, and XML data transfer.
That seems about right, no?
But there’s a problem. A huge problem, actually. Think of the business or systems analysts that you know. How many of them have done similar things? Probably most of them. Because that’s pretty much what being a business analyst is all about. There are differences here and there, but roles and responsibilities will often overlap. So if your resume is very close to a typical “business analyst resume template”, how is that helping you get interviews? After all, the best resumes are distinctive. They make you stand out, not blend in!
So here’s a little something to help you make your resume stand out. It’s based on the 3 Laws of Resume Writing. And it’s not material that I made up. I found it by carefully studying good business analyst resumes.
5 Business Analyst Accomplishments to Make your Resume Distinctive
- Led $9 million program to deliver enterprise data warehouse. (Leading a project is definitely a valuable skill, and the significant dollar value gives it even more weight.)
- Jumpstarted customer service delivery by 40%, with new customer support application. (Improving customer service delivery probably means that you’re saving time or money down the line. This is a concrete, positive result. If you don’t know the exact number, an estimate will do.)
- Managed small development teams with development of ASP.NET and SQL2005 web properties. (Here, we see both leadership and management, since managing staff means setting priorities, getting people to work as a team, coaching, having tough discussions… The list goes on.)
- Saved $1 million in costs by choosing a new provider of data system. (Any sort of saving obviously has direct impact on the bottom line. From the employer’s perspective, that’s always valuable, even if the figure is only a few thousand dollars.)
- Leveraged the quote-to-cash business process map created by the Business Process Improvement team to create a concordance[…]. This concordance was the first of its kind in the company and used as a template for others. (Keyword here is: “first”… Whenever someone pioneers or initiates something, there’s already a sense of dynamism, a desire to make things better, which resonates with hiring managers.)
The benefit is the key component of each accomplishment: improved operations, more money, demonstrated leadership and reliability, … Accomplishments like these are the most critical pieces of your resume. Now read that last sentence again, because that’s the best resume advice you’ll get this month.
If you’re a fantastic employee but your resume is silent on many of your accomplishments, you’ll end up behind a good employee whose accomplishments are all clearly laid out.
And for that matter, an average employee with weak accomplishments better know how to network, since the resume alone won’t pull its weight. (Actually, networking skills are critical to everyone’s job hunt. But I’m more of a resume guy, so let’s stick with the topic, if you don’t mind.)
Accomplishments are where it’s at. When you solve a problem, reduce costs, make something better/simpler/faster, when you show initiative, it has to be on your resume, without being drowned out by too much roles and responsibilities (i.e. the “we’ve-all-done-it” resume template material). In my view, half of the energy and time spent on your resume should be focused on your accomplishments. To write good accomplishments, you need to think of what your potential employer is thinking about (problems solved, better results, and so on) and emphasize that. If you go through 20 resumes of your peers, you’ll certainly find great accomplishments that you could adapt on your resume. I truly believe that is time well spent.
Many More Accomplishments, Just for You
I’ve already done that research… The 5 ideas above are just a glimpse of the full list of accomplishments I’ve assembled. If you’d like that well-rounded, unique list of real-world business analyst accomplishments, for just a few dollars, check out our e-book, Business Analyst Resume Hacking, on Amazon. You can read it even if you don’t have a Kindle device.