How to Write a Business Analyst CV
In the past decade, the emerging profession of business analyst has become highly defined. Formerly an IT industry role, the profession is now more of a business development role. It is essential in bridging the interests of business clients and technology providers and therefore in shaping the business system development of commerce and industry.
The different aspects of the business analyst's CV, which covers business and IT combined in a consultant's role, means that adaptations need to be made to the more standard format of the 'performance CV'. Therefore, it provides more clarity if you also provide a Skills section and adopt the consultant's approach to including contracts in your Career History section.
Trying to produce a Business Analyst CV for yourself can often be quite difficult. You therefore might want to think about using Bradley CVs to produce a professional CV for you. Bradley CVs have extensive experience in producing CVs for business analysts.
Business Analyst CV Profile
At the top of your CV, you need to show that you offer the requisite skill and experience, by providing a 3 to 6 line summary that encapsulates your application. Business analysts essentially need to combine business awareness with deep IT knowledge and consultancy skills.
Your Business Analyst CV Profile should therefore show how many years experience you have and the industry sectors you've specialised in (if any). If you have strong, recent (gained in the past 5 years) qualifications, such as an MBA, these can be mentioned here.
A brief note should be made of the kind of clients and stakeholders you've dealt with, in the most general terms, as well as your key capabilities in specifications and modelling skills, as well as the outstanding developers and solution providers you've worked with.
This is challenging, as it means showing your strengths as demonstrated in several capacities and more than one professional area. However, it will enable the client to see immediately whether you are a 'fit' for their requirements or not.
This also means highlighting your personal strengths as a consultant. This needs to extend beyond an understanding of business processes to analysis and evaluation to 'soft' skills such as communication, negotiation and leadership abilities. Without a rounded range of personal strengths, the consultancy aspect of the business analyst's contracts will remain unfulfilled.
If you are a Certified Business Analysis Professional under the International Institute of Business Analysis, then you can mention your certified membership in your Business Analyst CV Profile (if you want to).
Skills for a Business Analyst
It's worth dividing your skills into two areas: business consulting and IT, particularly when your career background is contract-based. Skills can be presented clearly in a table with three columns and as many rows as needed. Use the three sections as subheadings within the table.
On the business side, you can itemise your most relevant analytical and creative skills, such as data and process modelling techniques, requirements interpretation, recommendation and specification writing, etc. Inclusion here will save you having to repeat them for every contract you list further down on your Business Analyst CV.
Other skills you might list under business consulting include presentation and training skills, SDLC knowledge, project management, interviewing, running requirements workshops and change management skills. Don't create a long list, but just itemise the most important areas.
The next section of your skills list can be more closely linked to the IT industry side of your work. Software development methodologies are vital: waterfall development, object-oriented and agile can all be mentioned. Likewise, different applications for web servers and client-server projects can be listed.
Diagramming techniques include flowcharting, formal diagramming notations include use case, data flow diagrams, activity diagrams, context diagrams, entity relationship diagrams, etc.
Achievements for a Business Analyst CV
The achievements section of a Business Analyst CV allows you to expand on the skills and knowledge you possess, by showing evidence of how these were applied in consultancy situations. As achievements in CVs are quantifiable results that arise from your actions, your experience of working on contracts should provide adequate material.
You must have lots of achievements on your Business Analyst CV to attract an employer's attention. If you are struggling to identify achievements, then our professional CV writers can help you, even if you don't feel you have any, we can drag your achievements out of your head.
The skill of writing strong achievements comes down to accurate presentation, with very specific details. Through 4 to 6 bullet pointed sentences, you need to effectively integrate your business and IT knowledge and skills to create a powerful statement of how you made a difference.
The most important figures should relate not only to the scale of the project, in physical and financial terms, but to the difference it made for the client. In other words, you need to show on your Business Analyst CV how it was affordable, appropriate to the scale of the task, fast to implement and efficient in use.
This needs to provide future clients or employers with a clear picture, with evidence to support your claims, of how you might make a difference in their organisation. Therefore, you shouldn't just focus on technology, but should centre your achievements on the processes of analysis and review of requirements.
Don't forget to emphasise team leadership skills, as any project management requires these. Also, remember that leadership involves many transferable skills as well as the 'harder' skills of management.
As a business analyst, you will have a history of contract working or, if you've worked for an employer long term, a history of projects. You don't need to include them all in your Business Analyst CV, particularly if they were shorter term contracts or projects. The best approach is to focus on the contracts that provide the most relevant match for the position you're applying for.
For contracts, write your job title, the employers' name and location, plus inclusive dates of employment on a single line. Below, include 3 or 4 bullet-pointed sentences that outline how you contributed to this particular contract. Wherever possible, write these up as achievements, mentioning the skills and strengths you drew upon.
For contracts within the last 10 years that were less relevant, only add a listing. This can be the job title, employer name and location, and inclusive dates of employment. Add a single line of explanation if you feel it is needed. (Contracts completed earlier than 10 years ago will be less relevant as the industry will have moved on so much.)
When you undertook a series of projects for a single employer - presumably a very sizeable organisation - list the employer details on one line, as above, but then use subheadings for the key projects. Beneath each subheading, include the bullet-pointed sentences.
Don't be concerned if your business experience fails to focus on one industry - experience gained in many industries is highly transferable. The point is to demonstrate that you can quickly understand business objectives and existing process, before embarking on a process of requirements analysis.
Combining the ability to take a 360-degree overview with attention to the telling details, thoroughness of approach and strong organisation skills, communication skills (listening as well as talking) and interviewing techniques all need to be included. Above all, the ability to work with executive management and equally as well with people at other levels of the organisation is vital.
The IT side includes advising on technology options, once requirements are established; proposing an outline design; overseeing interfaces and design implementation; liaising over training processes; negotiating and communicating with the technical services provider; overseeing testing and managing implementation.
Qualifications and Training for a Business Analyst CV
If you're a member of the International Institution of Business Analysis, include that information first on your Business Analyst CV.
Having undertaken the IIBA's examination and assessment of your vocational qualification, you will be a Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP), having established over 7,500 hours of hands-on BA experience.
Alternatively, the Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA) demonstrates that you have at least 3,750 hours of hands-on experience.
Next, you should list your highest level of educational attainment. This is most likely a degree. List the qualification, the establishment that awarded it and the date you completed, as well as your class of degree (i.e. 2:1, 2:2) on your Business Analyst CV.
Another qualification might be a Higher National Certificate or Diploma (HNC/HND) with further accredited workplace learning.
Finally, list any other certifications you have acquired since leaving education.
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