Business analysts, or BA for short, help companies work efficiently, earn more and create better products by leveraging all available data. They work in IT, banking, healthcare, marketing, and many other industries. Their day-to-day duties and responsibilities may vary significantly. And therefore, vary the requirements for open positions. Because of such variability, many BAs, both junior and senior, feel lost when they face the task of writing their resume. It might be hard for them to decide what to emphasize to impress a potential employer.
To help you craft a compelling business analyst resume for your 2022 job search, we've put together this step-by-step guide.
After reading this guide you will know:
- How to structure your resume so it's easy to find important information in it?
- How to describe your previous work experience and keep your document concise?
- How to showcase your hard and soft skills and add credibility to your candidacy?
- How to write an impressive document even if you have no experience in business analysis?
- And how to highlight your expertise if you are a seasoned professional?
We have also added an entry-level business analyst resume sample as well as senior BA resume template, so you can use them as an example when writing your document.
Let's get started.
Resume Structure and Format
According to Ladder's study, recruiters spend on average 7.4 seconds looking at one candidate's resume. During this short time, they usually scan the left side of the paper, notice titles, and read additional information if something catches their eye. That is why it is essential to think through the plan of your business analyst resume carefully. The goal is to create an easily scannable document that at once tells a hiring manager why you are a good fit for the job. You can achieve this by choosing a suitable format and structuring your resume clearly.
There are two main resume formats:
- Chronological, where you list your work experience from the most to least recent.
- Functional, which focuses more on skills you can offer rather than previous work experience.
Either format or their combination can work well on a business analyst resume. However, it is crucial always to make sure that each of the standard resume sections is defined and easy to find:
- Contact information
- Resume summary
- Work experience
Let's discuss what you should keep in mind when working on each of these resume sections.
This part is the most straightforward and, at the same time, the most critical. Even if you get everything else right but make a typo in your contact information, a recruiter would not be able to get in touch with you. So, double-check this section thoroughly and make sure your telephone number and email address are correct and up-to-date.
Another thing to focus on is your email address. It should look professional. If in doubt, use the combination of the first and the last name. Although addresses as [email protected] may not be the most creative, they are way better suited for a business analyst resume than something like [email protected].
A resume objective or summary is a short statement under the contact information. Since it is at the top of your document, every recruiter is likely to read it. That is why it is so important to use this section wisely. Instead of writing what you hope to get from the job, focus on what you can offer the organization.
If you are a seasoned business analyst, the resume summary section is a perfect place to mention domains you have rich experience in, achievements you are proud of, and relevant certifications you might possess. For example:
Business analyst with 8+ years of experience in the banking sector. Saved a company $500K annually by optimizing work processes and implementing suitable IT solutions. Have a master's degree in Business Administration and Certification of Capability in Business Analysis.
And what if you are a fresh graduate or a professional who is changing their career path? Although you may not have any impressive achievements in the business analysis field yet, that does not mean you have nothing to offer a company. Highlight your transferable skills or focus on the technical knowledge you have gained at the college. For example:
Hard-working recent graduate with a B.A. in Computer Science who is motivated to join a team of seasoned business analysts at XYZ Company. Detailed-oriented critical thinker with 2+ years of practical experience using Python, SQL and Power BI.
Your goal here is to grab a recruiter’s attention, and to show them that your resume is worth reading and to highlight that you are a good fit for the job.
And the recipe for crafting a convincing business analyst resume summary is not too difficult. Read the job description carefully, analyze what skills and experience an employer is looking for, then identify what from this list you can offer and then highlight those things in your document. And the same "focus on what you can offer" approach should be used when writing your cover letter.
But let's get back to resumes and move to the next section.
A well-written business analyst work experience section should demonstrate that you have the skills and experience to do the job. And simply listing everything you have ever done, whether it is relevant for the position you are applying for or not, can only confuse a recruiter. When working on this part of your business analyst resume, keep in mind a few simple tips:
- Follow the same structure for each position: job title, company name and location, dates, responsibilities, and achievements. For example:
AAA Company, Boston, MA
August 2017 - January 2022
— Analyzed business operations, interviewed staff, and problemed-solved operating inefficiencies.
— Created process maps to illustrate workflows for teams.
— Collaborated with developers to automate manual processes to increase efficiency and decrease errors.
- Include only relevant duties. There is no need to mention that you made five types of coffees working at a cafe ten years ago if you are applying for a business analyst position now. This information will not provide any value for a hiring manager and will only take precious space on your resume. And even when you describe your last business analyst job, do not attempt to talk about every responsibility you had. You want to keep your resume concise - you are not writing a novel. So, focus on duties that relate to those mentioned in the job description of the role you are applying for.
- Do not overuse jargon. Remember that the first person to read your document is a recruiter, not a business analyst. And this person likely has a general understanding of BA's role, but does not know all the details about methodologies and tools used in this work. That is why when describing your experiences you need to find the right balance between jargon and well-known terms, so your document is easy to read and can be understood by all. Not sure how to do that? Use the language of the job description as a guide.
- Mention your achievements. Describing concrete results and using specific numbers builds credibility. So, instead of simply stating "Optimized work processes," rephrase it into something like this:
Saved the company 500 man-hours monthly by optimizing work processes.
- Give some context to your business analyst skills. Although you will list the technical tools you are familiar with in a separate section, it is good to provide some additional information about how you used the tools in the descriptions of your past jobs. So, instead of simply listing SQL and Python in the skill section, add something like:
Tracked and interpreted customer data using SQL and Python.
These tips are easy to follow if you already have experience in the business analysis field. But what should you do if you are a professional from a different occupation switching into business analysis, or a graduate looking for your first job? Try not to worry, there are steps you can take too!
If you are changing your career, try to highlight those skills from your previous job that might be valuable in a business analyst position. For example, if you are a former accountant, mention responsibilities where you used your attention to detail and analytical thinking.
If you are a fresh graduate, do not forget that not only experience in full-time paid jobs counts. You can also list relevant academic projects, volunteer work, internships or personal projects you have worked on. And focus more on your education section, which we will discuss next.
Listing what education you have is not difficult at all. Simply write down the name of your school, the certificate you achieved and the date when you received the certificate.
However, if you lack work experience in the BA field you should consider extending this section. You can add relevant coursework, or mention some of your project achievements, to give a potential employer additional reasons to hire you. For example:
Excelled in modules on Data Analysis
Relevant courses include Statistics, Python for Data Science and Risk Management.
Founded a Public Speaking Club.
And if you have taken online courses where you have learnt something that will help you in your business analyst job, by all means mention this in the education section too.
However, make sure everything you list is relevant. So, you should include the course on data visualization with Tableau, but skip the one on Greek literature. In other words, any program or training you mention should relate to a business analyst’s typical skill set.
And now, let's discuss what those skills are and how to list them in a business analyst resume.
This section should cover your hard and soft skills, and should showcase that you are familiar with the tools and methodologies needed to perform business analyst tasks. Again, you do not have to mention all skills you possess. You should refer to the job description, so that you can figure out what are the most important skills for a particular employer, and you should then highlight these skills (of course, only if you have them).
Here is the list of most common skills you might find in the business analyst job description:
Attention to detail
Hard or Technical Skills
Financial analysis and modeling
BI tools like Tableau or Looker
Python or R programming languages
And keep in mind that a recruiter will want to hear examples of when you demonstrated the skills you noted on your resume. A recruit is not going to just believe that you are an excellent collaborator because you stated so in your skills section. You must provide examples of using a particular skill when you describe your responsibilities and duties in your previous job. For example:
Collaborated with four different teams to ensure business and technology alignment.
Another great way to prove that you have the necessary skills to work as a business analyst is to state that you possess industry-recognized certificates (of course, you do need to have these certificates).
Let's look into what certification programs can help you stand out among other candidates for a business analyst position.
Even if the job description does not list any certificates as a requirement, it is still worth mentioning any relevant certifications you might possess. In addition to confirming your expertise in business analysis, such certificates show hiring managers that you are also dedicated to your career, and are ready to invest time and money to improve yourself professionally.
Such organizations as the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), International Qualification Board for Business Analysts (IQBBA), International Requirements Engineering Board (IREB) offer certification programs both for seasoned professionals and aspiring specialists. And their certificates are highly valued by many employers.
Now that you know what each resume section should look like, let's take a look at two business analyst resume samples.
Entry Level Business Analyst Resume Sample
[email protected] | (617) 123-4567 | www.linkedin.com/in/amanda_smith | Boston, MA
IIBA certified business analyst with 2+ years of experience in the banking sector. In a previous role, I saved a company 300 man-hours monthly by implementing new IT solutions. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.
ABC Finance, Boston, MA
September 2019 - current
- Evaluated current work processes and identified areas to improve.
- Analyzed available data using SQL and Python.
- Alongside senior business analysts I developed over 80 system solutions that raised productivity by 5% and decreased the error rate by 12%.
- Performed cost-benefit and return on investment analysis for proposed solutions.
- Created detailed requirements documentation.
- Collaborated with project managers in developing implementation plans.
- Created use cases and acceptance tests.
- Trained over 150 employees in using new systems.
General Solutions, Boston, MA
Business Analyst Intern
January 2019 - August 2019
- Assisted in the investigation of over 60 business issues.
- Helped with data analysis on customer behavior, teams’ effectiveness and market trends.
- Assisted in gathering and documenting the requirements.
- Participated in preparing use cases.
- Supported implementation of new work processes.
BS in Business Administration
Northeastern University, Boston, MA
8/2017 - 6/2019
2021, Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA)
International Institute of Business Analysis
Senior Business Analyst Resume Sample
[email protected] | (206) 123-4567 | www.linkedin.com/in/john_smith | Seattle, WA
Senior Business Analyst
Business analyst with 10+ years of experience in the e-commerce field. Saved a company $500K annually by streamlining workflows and implementing suitable IT solutions. Possess a Certified Business Analysis Professional certificate.
AAA Company, Seattle, WA
Senior Business Analyst
July 2016 - current
- Led a team of 7 business analysts in translating business concepts and ideas into comprehensive requirements and designed documents to accompany the tasks.
- Liaised between technology, business and support teams.
- Developed forecast models for newly launched products.
- Implemented a new contract management system and trained over 150 employees in using it.
- Created business process roadmaps for 14 large projects.
- Led testing efforts, ensuring that issues were identified, tracked and resolved promptly.
BBB Company, Seattle, WA
September 2010 - June 2016
- Created and developed functional and non-functional requirements for new IT systems.
- Collaborated with the Quality Assurance team in developing test plans for user acceptance testing.
- Analyzed work processes and implemented improvements, saving the company 800 man-hours monthly.
- Tracked and interpreted performance data using SQL and Python.
- Designed different types of dashboards using Tableau.
- Performed risk-based assessments of new projects.
Master of Business Administration
Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA
8/2005 - 6/2008
Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP), 2020
International Institute of Business Analysis
Expert knowledge of MS Excel and SQL
Highly proficient in Tableau and Microsoft Visio
Experienced in Agile development
Strong analytical skills
Public speaking skills
Three Insider Tips for Writing A Business Analyst Resume
And finally, here are some additional tips to help you prepare a compelling business analyst resume, and to get more interview invitations.
Make your resume ATS friendly
Remember, companies often have two stages of reviewing resumes. First, they run all documents through an applicant tracking system (ATS), which helps collect, track and organize job applications. And then, a hiring manager reads the documents that the ATS has marked as relevant. To pass through the ATS filters, you need to use keywords from the job advertisement in your resume. So, if you see "teamwork" in a requirements list, use it instead of "collaboration skills" in the skills section, for example.
Keep your resume short and clear
Formatting your document might seem insignificant. After all, it is your experience and skills that matter. However, you need to put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes. They have to review dozens of resumes per day, so they rarely have time to decipher poorly structured and hard-to-read documents. If you do not want your business resume to end up in the "NO" pile, pay attention to these formatting rules:
- Try to keep a resume to one page.
- Choose an easy-to-read font.
- Use heading to separate sections from each other.
Make sure your business analyst resume is error-free
You can choose the best format and make your resume easy to read, but if there are typos and grammar mistakes, your efforts will be in vain. Errors might signal that you lack attention to detail, which is a must for any business analyst. So, make sure your document is as mistake-free as possible. Double-check it yourself and ask a friend to proofread it.
A well-written resume is vital for a successful job search. And preparing such a document certainly takes time and effort but it is worth it in the end. We hope that our guide will make this task a little easier for you, and that you will soon be accepting a job offer for the business analyst position you have always dreamed of.