Business analysts are experts in identifying problems at all kinds of companies and proposing solutions to help make them more profitable and competitive. Business analysts tell companies what they’re doing right and wrong, and they explore options for correcting the latter. For anyone seeking a job in this field, a flawless business analyst resume is an absolute must. Otherwise, you’ll be trying to promote yourself as a fixer of other people’s problems while overlooking problems with your own approach.
Business analysts are well-paid and in demand, making competition for these jobs stiff. To set yourself apart from the crowd, your resume should be as finely honed as your business analysis. Resume.io is here to help with job-winning resources that include more than 300 occupation-specific writing guides and free resume examples. Let’s get started with an approach that enables you to find clients where your analytical skills are valued, where you can help shape a winning business strategy, and where you can earn good money while you’re at it.
This writing guide, business analyst resume guide, with examples and writing tips, will help you find clients where your analytical skills are valued, where you can help shape a winning business strategy, and where you can earn good money while you’re at it.
This business analyst resume guide, along with corresponding business analyst resume examples, will show you how to:
- Beat the electronic obstacles designed to narrow the applicant pool
- Write your resume in a way that gets you noticed by the companies you want to target and land job-winning interviews
- Choose the best format for structuring your business analyst resume
- Optimize the impact of each resume section: header, summary, work history, education and skills
- Make layout, design and formatting choices to impress recruiters and HR personnel
What does a business analyst do?
Many businesses do things a certain way because they’ve always done them that way — even if their approach is all wrong. The job of a business analyst is to evaluate a company’s processes, identify problems and inefficiencies, and propose structural and strategic changes that will make the business more profitable and more efficient.
A business analyst’s job is to improve a company’s overall performance and thereby its competitiveness. Business analysts often work as independent consultants, and their first job is to conduct a thorough review of how the business does business. Like a mechanic who is asked to repair a car, business analysts first have to figure out what’s wrong. Then they identify, propose and often help to implement changes to reform the systems and processes that are making the company perform at a suboptimal level.
Many business analysts are specialists in specific professions or departments within a company. Others are generalists who may propose changes anywhere in a company’s approach to doing anything.
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The business analyst job market
Business analysts are in high demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for “management analysts” (which includes business analysts) are expected to grow by a whopping 14% between 2020 and 2030. That compares to an average growth projection of 8% for all occupations over the same period.
According to the same source, management and business analysts earned a median annual salary of $87,660 a year in 2020.
Employers will expect you to have at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field, but more than 34% of business analysts have a graduate degree, according to the International Institute of Business Analysis.
Bottom line: Opportunities abound, but so does the competition. Targeting your search and creating a clean-looking and professional business analyst resume will give you the edge you need.
How to write a business analyst resume
A business analyst resume should generally be one page only, divided into the following components:
• Summary (sometimes called profile or personal statement)
• Employment history
Heading off the right way
The header is the attractively designed section at the top of your resume that contains your name, occupation, address, phone number and email (and possibly your photo and/or LinkedIn profile, or some other link that highlights your professional accomplishments).
The main reason for the header is so that prospective employers know how to reach you if they’re interested. But it also serves as an important design element on the page, making your resume look more attractive at a glance. It may contain a color element, creative use of typography, an imaginative layout and perhaps icons for your address, phone or email.
You can review some of the business and management resume examples at Resume.io to get an idea of what well-designed resume headers look like. You can make any one of these your own by simply clicking on it and replacing the existing text with your own information.
This will save you the trouble of trying to design your own header. And it will leave you with just four other things to do, which we’ll talk about further below.
Most employers rely on ATS software to perform the initial sorting of resumes. In fact, 98% of Fortune 500 companies use some type of ATS, according to Jobscan. It doesn’t matter how perfectly your resume reads if it doesn’t reach a hiring manager’s eyes.
ATS scans your resume and uses keywords, phrases, skills and experience to score your candidacy. Only the top-ranked resumes make it past this round. So how do you raise your score past the threshold?
Here’s how to make ATS work for you:
- Use your analytical talents on each job listing to discern what the employer is looking for in a resume.
- Notice the most frequently used words and phrases in the listing.
- Place those words and phrases in your business analyst resume without forcing them in where they don’t fit.
Choosing the best resume format for a business analyst
The most commonly used chronological resume format makes it easy for job candidates in most occupations to organize their qualifications and experience. Recruiters generally prefer this structure for easily reviewing work history listings below employer headings and dates, in order from most recent to earliest.
Other resume formats are worth looking at for less straightforward work history and skills content, especially if you have not consistently held employee positions. Working independently as a business analyst in consulting positions, for instance, might be a reason to consider a functional resume format. The same goes for any industry where specific expertise or niche markets are relevant. Hybrid (combination) resume formats, with both chronological and functional elements, are another versatile option.
Business analyst resume summary example
On your business analyst resume, this is your first real chance to make an impression with your professional personality. The summary occupies valuable space at the top of your resume, so use it to make your case. Writing your summary (also known as a resume profile or personal statement ) is a vital linchpin of your resume. You have two or three sentences to highlight your personality and your achievements, your successes and your professional image.
So how do you focus your resume profile?
One way to filter through wordy job descriptions or to find patterns in groups of listings is to plug them into a word cloud program such as Wordle or WordArt. These programs design images in which the most frequently used words in a text block appear in the largest font. For example, you can expect to see the word “analyst,” but you may be surprised at some of the other words that show up. When added to your business analyst resume, those surprise words may give you the edge, because other job-seekers may overlook them. ATS software and job recruiters won’t.
Separate the job listings by industry and create a word cloud for each one. Different industries may prioritize different skills and qualities.
The art of a great profile
You have a powerful list of keywords, but there is a lot more to a resume profile. The list is a suggestion of sample words you may use if they fit organically into your description. Remember, you will have space in your employment history to enumerate all your achievements. In the resume profile, you want to engage the recruiter, who does not necessarily have an analyst’s background. Instead of using a lot of technical terms, lighten up your resume personal statement by mentioning your people skills, too. Much of a business analyst’s job requires communication and coordination among departments.
If you are new to the workforce, think about college projects, volunteer work, or experience you gained in internships or summer work for your profile.Below is a business analyst resume example summary you can customize.
Below is a business analyst resume example summary you can customize.
Experienced and passionate business analyst with over eight years of experience evaluating and improving business systems for well known organizations. Dedicated team leader with the ability to effectively manage and achieve project goals, leveraging my complex understanding of systems engineering concepts. Proven track record of effectively researching and analyzing business processes, and procedures and designing and implementing business solutions.
Employment history sample: Highlight the right stuff
Now is the time for some humble boasting. Present examples of previous work in the work experience resume section as a series of achievements, successes and milestones of professional growth. What are the key accomplishments a business analyst should highlight to compete in the job market? Business analysts are charged with evaluating past and present data to find patterns that will improve an organization’s decision-making and business operations. Business analysts also inform management teams about the results of their analysis when they affect business trends. Some senior business analysts interact with clients as well. Here are some steps to take when creating this resume section:
- Create a master list of successes in previous positions and the skills you used to achieve them.
- Think of concrete, results-driven examples of each, with data if possible.
- Example: Analyzed five years of purchasing data and developed streamlined process for 12% savings
- Analyze each job listing and focus on matching your achievements to those your potential new employer wants in a new hire.
- Describe each accomplishment using strong action verbs; include successful projects and their results when possible.
If you were promoted during your tenure at a job, be sure to note that. It indicates that you made valuable contributions at previous organizations.
As a business analyst, you will be expected to outline problems, opportunities and solutions for your organization. Have you succeeded in these areas already? Use samples in your work experience to show off those achievements. Also include any budgeting and financial forecasting expertise.
- List your jobs in reverse chronological order
- Mention the years you worked for each employer
- Use numbers, projects and achievements to illustrate your accomplishments
- Leave unexplained employment gaps
Health-care business analysts make on average 15.2% more than the average analyst, according to the International Institute of Business Analysis.
Business Analyst, Columbia University, New York
October 2017 - August 2021
- Managed 10-person team of business process consultants.
- Redesigned and implemented user documentation for system training within the university.
- Lead process-improvement focus groups as part of the university initiative to achieve functional design within its user systems.
- Guided efforts to improve technology systems in a real and cost effective way.
- Worked tirelessly to improve the university's overall performance by assessing billing, workflow, and customer relationship management and productivity.
Business Analyst, Citigroup, Dallas
September 2014 - September 2017
- Lead and conducted in-depth analysis of business performance versus business goals.
- Managed the reporting of business intelligence efforts and all relations to Citi Private Bank’s Global Managed Investments (GMI) group.
- Oversaw design, regulation, and daily management of principal projects.
- Managed and supported business risk and worked to develop and implement strategic solutions.
- Reported all necessary information to the Chief Operating Officer for Citi Private Bank’s Global Managed Investments (GMI) group, and worked closely with her to achieve and maintain goals.
Business analyst resume education example
Even if you’ve been in the workforce for several years, you may have more recent education that will get HR’s attention. As your graduation date recedes, your education becomes a lower priority on your business analyst resume. For example, your GPA from five years ago is less important than it was when you were searching for your first opportunity.
List your bachelor’s degree and graduate degree, if you have one. Entry-level requirements for this field are a bachelor’s degree, so you don’t necessarily have to mention your high school, though there’s no harm in doing so if you have room. However, if you graduated with honors or a special recognition, consider mentioning that.
Have you completed any professional seminars, certificates or workshops? Include those as well.
Below is the education section from a business analyst resume example.
Master of Business Administration , Fairfield University, Fairfield
August 2013 - August 2015
- Graduated summa cum laude
- President of the Business for a Better Tomorrow Society
Bachelor of Finance, Villanova University, Villanova
August 2009 - May 2013
- President of the Business and Leadership Society
- Vice President of Business Without Borders • Graduated magna cum laude
CV skills example
The bullet point list of skills on your CV can help you land the business analyst position you are seeking. If you’ve already created a master list of skills for your employment section, choose your top five or 10 and organize them on your resume according to the target employer’s requirements for each job. Remember to analyze that job listing carefully to determine the most ATS- and HR-friendly skills. Because of the variety of job descriptions and industries that a business analyst may typically encounter, it is critical to focus your skills list as precisely as you do every other aspect of each job application.
This Villanova University list of sample skills necessary for all business analystsis a great starting point:
- Information technology knowledge
- Business analysis of data, documents, user input surveys and workflow
- Project management
- Negotiation and persuasion
- Process improvement
Notice that many of these are “soft skills” (mostly social or people skills). You have probably already used many of them in your career.
Be as specific as possible when listing soft skills on your business analyst resume. For example, instead of saying “communication,” try “effective communication with management and colleagues.” Play up your soft skills. A business analyst must be able to communicate. Your organization is relying on you not just to crunch data, but to understand what the data means and to solve problems and create efficiencies using your results.
Soft skills are considered “essential” or “very important” factors in hiring by 93% of employers, according to Wonderlic.
You may have to convince colleagues and management (or clients) that your conclusions are valid and your ideas have merit. That requires great people skills.
Key hard skills depend somewhat on the industry, but consider these samples for a business analyst resume:
- Visual modeling
- Business process modeling
- SQL queries
- Financial planning
The basis of your job is data analysis, so the more programs you know that will allow you to analyze and model data the better. Not everyone is a numbers person, so highlight your talent for visual presentations. Keep in mind that each job is unique, so carefully think through your list of skills for each position. Organize them in a logical manner on your business analyst resume. Try naming skills in the order of importance to your potential employer.
Check out a business analyst resume sample for the skills section below
- Strategic Planning
- Self Starter
Resume layout, design and formatting tips
As a business analyst, you may have to create visual models. Your resume layout and formatting should reflect your design sensibilities. For example, think about how you relay information in graphics. The more streamlined and balanced the resume layout the better. If you create a confusing CV format, the eye wanders … right off the page!
That’s the last thing you want for your resume, so make sure you apply the same visual principles to your CV or resume format that you apply to your business graphics: make them clean, easily readable and visually pleasing. After scanning hundreds of resumes, hiring managers want a format that’s easy on the eyes.
The good news is that Resume.io has expertly designed and HR field-tested resume templates to make the job easy. Why spend frustrating hours tweaking a resume format, when you can choose from dozens you know recruiters find appealing?
But using a template doesn’t mean your resume will look generic. All the resumes samples in our resume builder can be customized to suit your needs and personality. Your best choices will be within the professional category of resume templates, but you can also choose from simple, creative, or modern. View your resume carefully to make sure it doesn’t look too busy or contain big blocks of type.
Key takeaways for a business analyst
- Research the job market and employer before finalizing your business analyst resume.
- Getting past applicant tracking systems is your resume’s first challenge, so take this screening software into account.
- Analyze job listings to identify the resume keywords employers are looking for.
- Put a little personality into your profile/summary along with highlighting your achievements.
- Think of your employment history as samples of your achievements, projects and productivity.
- Personalize your skills list for each job. Don’t neglect the soft skills on your business analyst resume.
- Your education is most important when you are new to the job market, but becomes less important as you gain years of experience.
- Impress and captivate recruiters with a clean and visually pleasing resume format.
We hope this business analyst resume guide has provided you with useful tips, writing examples and the tools to win your dream position.