Resume Tips for Business Analysts | What Recruiters REALLY Evaluate on Business Analysis Resumes
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“What do Recruiters REALLY evaluate when reviewing a Business Analysts resume?” We got input from 10 Senior PMO/BA Recruiters from Apex Systems, one of the world’s largest tech staffing and solutions organizations, who has a dedicated PM/BA Recruiting practice and supports 80,000+ jobs a year.
Here is what these 10 Recruiters shared, who have a combined 100+ years of experience supporting Business Analysts during their job search!
- I always find myself looking for certain Agile keywords since all of the BA jobs I’ve supported lately require Agile experience. I seek out any experience with user stories, agile, scrum, sprint, standup, product owner, product manager, etc. – Jamie Allen
- I’m looking for answers to these questions as I evaluate resumes: “What specific deliverables were you responsible for? What methodology did you work within? What tools did you work with? What types of team members did you partner with? What’s your stakeholder engagement experience? What types of projects did you work on?” – Emily Pentico
- I want to see day-to-day duties of how you actually use tools vs. textbook duties. If you mention you used SQL in your skills section of your resume, then explain how you used it to retrieve data for reports and analysis. Or explain how you created business process flow diagrams with Visio. - Marissa Ramirez
- I typically evaluate and look for 6 things: type of clients/organizations, industries they’ve worked in, their tenure as a BA as well as their tenure with each client, specific projects they have worked on, and their methodology/framework experience. – Carolyn Vojick
- I’m trying to envision the interaction the resume owner has with stakeholders and the teams they support. I seek out resumes that can articulate the ability to effectively bridge the gap between business and technology. I like to see a clear definition of the prospective candidate's project environments (Agile/Waterfall), their writing and diagraming capabilities, tools used for project tracking and documentation, and project specific objectives/successes/outcomes. – Marco Salinas
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- Communication is huge for Business Analysis professionals, and this starts with written communication. I want to see a resume that is well-written with minimal spelling, grammar and formatting issues. I want to know who you interact with daily and what industries you’ve worked in. Are you more business focused or hands-on technical? What types of requirements do you gather (business, process, technical)? What were your projects about and what software did you work with? What software methodologies were you involved with (Agile, waterfall, etc.)? – Healea Dupuis
- KEY WORDS are everything. Many companies will use the title BA but the day-to-day responsibilities might not match up. When recruiters are searching and evaluating resumes, they are really looking for the context, not just the job title. Include words like requirements, liaison, gather, documentation, BRDs (Best practices for Requirements Documentation), etc. – Kristen Daylor
- I am really evaluating the project work they have done, what types of projects supported - are they more technical or functional and what stakeholders did they work closely with. – Brianna Andre
- Structure and content are everything. If a Business Analysis professional’s resume isn’t properly structured, and the content isn’t clear and concise, what does their requirements or process documentation look like? My main advice to business analysis professionals when creating their resumes is to focus on three categories: 1.) Scope of project – inclusive of methodology/approach, 2.) Deliverables – what did you personally deliver for that project? and 3.) Tools – what tools did you use to deliver those deliverables? – Blake Walz
- I'm really looking for: What do they have in their resume related to what is required from a technical standpoint? Also, what they’ve done around gathering requirements, writing functional specifications, and creating and/or writing out reports and visualizations. I’ve been trying to determine just how technical they are too, and the extent they acted as a liaison between the business teams when supporting projects. – Levoy Young
- Unlike more technical skillsets where the lack of a required technology can rule a candidate out immediately, Business Analysis professionals generally come from a variety of career upbringings and hiring managers are looking at more than just your last job to define you. They are certainly looking at your recent experience, but they are also looking at that job that you held as a Claims Adjustor for 3 years prior to becoming a BA. Take advantage of everything that you choose to include in your resume. Something that you did in that Claims Adjuster role led a hiring manager to believe that you were qualified to be a BA. Be sure to highlight those things in your summary of that role. This allows previous roles to serve as tools rather than placeholders and can add to your perceived level of experience if that is in question. – Kevin Mueckl
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About The Author:
Cate Murray is responsible for managing the nationally based talent acquisition strategies of the Apex Systems PMO and Business Analysis Practice and holds her PMP certification from PMI.