Business Analysts are often underrated.

At least that's what they want everyone to believe.

A typical Business Analyst would love to stuff his/her resume with all the technical jargons they can muster. And why wouldn't they? The profile itself is a seamless integration of business and technology, and it's entirely justified to showcase everything that you can do.

But what they forget is that the recruiter perusing through their resume is, surprise surprise, a generalist. You can replace all the jargons with geology terminology and they still wouldn't blink an eye.

And to be fair to them, why should they? If a recruiter is going through dozens of resumes on a daily basis, with each resume looking like a poor cousin of the pervious one, it would take a lot more than a few jargon-laden lines to grab their attention.

Our 2018 Guide to Writing the Perfect Business Analyst Resume containing a BA Resume sample will tell you how to go about it. After going through this guide, you'll find out how to:

  • Make a Business Analyst resume that will get you more shortlists than anyone else
  • Incorporate key skills and showcase technical expertise on your Business Analyst resume
  • Additional tips, samples and examples to help you land an interview at your dream company
  • Business resume sample and busines resume examples to get you started with your resume for business

You can utilize the tips mentioned in this guide to prepare IT Analyst resume, healthcare BA resume, entry level business analyst resume, risk analyst resume, business analytics resume, etc.

You can try our famed resume builder for access to premium designs and pre-filled templates. Making a Business Analyst resume has never been this easy!

Broadly, we'll cover the following:

Without further ado, let's get started!

Best Format for Business Analyst Resumes

Your Business Analyst resume will contain the following sections:

  • Contact Details
  • Professional Summary
  • Key Skills
  • Professional Experience
  • Education
  • Publications (optional)
  • Additional Sections (Interests, Hobbies, etc.)

How do you arrange all these sections in the resume? How will you decide the order in which these sections will appear? The answer to these questions lie in the format of the resume.

It's the format for your Business Analyst resume that will dictate which section goes where, and in what order.

Consequently, there can be 3 possible resume formats for you to choose from:

Reverse-chronological Resume

The most common resume format across the world, this format starts off with your current or last held profile, and continues from there till you reach your first work profile and the Education section.

This format is ideal in cases where you are looking to continue in your present industry/sector and are not particularly looking for a cross-sector switch.

Additionally, it can be used in cases wherein your career trajectory has been pretty straight-forward and is marked by the absence of any long gaps in employment.

Here's an example of a reverse-chronological resume format in action:

02.-Reverse_chronological_resume_format_business-analyst

The only downside to this format is that it can't be used by individuals who are looking to enter the job market after a long hiatus. This format doesn't allow you to hide your employment gaps.

If you are looking for a solution to that problem, the next resume format might be the answer for you.

Functional Resume

The sections in this kind of resume format are arranged on the basis of skills (or functions) and not the work profiles. You begin by listing out your entire trajectory without mentioning anything in the relevant work profile.

Instead, you create a separate section in which you group your achievements under various skills. You then proceed to elaborate those skills by highlighting instances from your previous work profiles.

While a format like this allows you to hide your employment gaps, there are certain drawbacks to this resume format:

  • Not ATS-friendly: Most ATS find it difficult to parse resumes belonging to this format. An ATS first scans the work profile and then looks for points underneath that, but if the same is missing, most ATSes will reject the application.
  • You can't perpetually hide your employment gaps forever. Recruiters are trained to read between the lines, and a functional resume screams that there's something which you are hiding from them.

Here's an example of a functional resume to clear all your doubts:

03.-Functional_resume_format_business-analyst

Combination (Hybrid) Resume Format

As the name suggests, this resume format is the combination of functional resumes and reverse-chronological resumes. They can majorly be of 2 types:

  • Grouping under the Professional Experience section: Here, we follow the reverse-chronological format which involves starting off with your present or last-held profile. But within each work profile, we create sub-headings around relevant skills which you picked up in that tenure.

This allows the recruiter to quickly scan for only relevant points which they are looking for, and ignore the rest.

If you've the job description handy, you can tailor your entire resume according to that and use this resume format to direct the attention of the recruiter to where you want.

The following example demonstrates this type of Combination (Hybrid) resume:

04.-Combination_resume_format_analyst

  • Grouping of skills under a separate section: Instead of grouping relevant skills under the corresponding work profile, we create a separate section of Summary of Skills on the top.

Through this resume format, we replace the traditional Professional Summary section to instead create a targeted Skills section. You can identify the desired skills which the recruiter is looking for in the JD and prioritize them on top, while highlighting instances from your previous work profiles to substantiate those skills.

Here's an example of this particular kind of Combination resume format:

05.-Combination_resume_format_2_analyst

For a greater understanding of resume formats, check out our comprehensive guide on Resume Formats to help you choose the ideal format for Business Analyst resumes.

Adding Contact Details/Personal Information in Business Analyst resumes

Contact details hardly get any attention in a resume. It's just your contact details, right?

Well, yes. And no.

With millions of resumes in circulation at any given point of time, the whole process can't function in the absence of any pre-established norms or standards.

Consequently, each and every section in a resume is governed by those standards. What this means is that most ATSes are programmed along the lines of those standards, and any resume not conforming to these standards is outrightly rejected.

The contact details is no different. There's no point in spending weeks on your Analyst resume if you end up bungling a tiny section which would cause your application to get rejected even before it lands on the table of a human recruiter.

Here are a few things which you can keep in mind when it comes to this section:

  • Keep a profesional email-id. That means no princess_jean@gmail.com or adam_johnson@harvard.edu. It doesn't matter if you are Harvard or Columbia, or heck, a princess. Your resume will include your education details. Not doing away with your college id long after you have graduated simply means that you still haven't moved on.

  • No need to include your complete address. Simply mentioning the area and its code will suffice.

  • Include your LinkedIn, Github, Twitter, etc. only if you think it will bolster your application. There's no point if your resume contains a link to an empty Github profile or a LinkedIn which was last updated many moons ago. It's better to leave that space empty than to include it unnecesarily and have it backfire upon you.

  • Check out the resume norms for your country or industry before you go about adding your personal details. In the US for instance, it's forbidden to include any personal details which might lead to a bias in decision-making - that includes your sex, marital status, race/ethnicity, etc.

In some sectors across the Mid-east though, recruiters also ask for your passport details. So check the requirements of the industry before you proceed.

Business Analyst Resumes - Professional Summary or Objective?

We've seen people getting stuck over the Summary vs. Objective conundrum for days at end. Recruiters are tired of seeing the same Objective section on top in dozens of resumes.

To help you maneuver through this, we like to misappropriate a JFK quote along the lines of 'Ask not what the company can do for you, but what you can do for the company'.

Recruiters are tired of seeing a shopping list of demands from applicants. Almost everyone they come across is 'excellent in communication' and 'looking for a challenging leadership role'.

You don't think you'll just be handed over a leadership profile because you happened to ask for it?

Instead, why not tell the recruiter how you plan to leverage your skills to help them achieve their goals? Showcase how your past achievements are relevant to them, and how you plan to utilize the skills which you learned in your previous profiles.

That adds more value than a generic Objective section. Here's an example:

Business Analyst with a BA degree in Economics and 5+ years of experience in the ecommerce sector. Possessing excellent communication skills and looking a role which will utilize my leadership qualities.

Aaaaand...the recruiter drifted off to the last week's episode of Game of Thrones in the middle of reading your Objective statement. And who can blame her? This doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

Now check this out:

6+ years experienced Business Analyst with a track record of leading teams in the retail sector to streamline operations and boost productivity by 45% for a Fortune 500 company. Adept at directing knowledge-transfer and preparing in-depth reports to facilitate sound decision-making by the senior leadership. Conceptualized process optimization initiatives to enhance profitability by 35%.

The first one stands nowhere in comparison to this. When you have only 6-10 seconds to grab the attention of the recruiter, you can't rely on a generic profile summary and expect to get shortlisted. You need that X-factor.

But you might be wondering if the second summary sounds somewhat unreal? What if you don't have that much experience? What if you're just starting out?

In that case, and only in that case can you use an Objective statement instead of a Professional Summary. It's also valid in cases wherein you switched from another industry to BA.

But even then, there are ways to frame the Objective section so it doesn't look like you'll die of poverty if you don't get the job. Check out these examples:

Finance graduate seeking a Business Analyst role at Facebook. Possesses in-depth expertise across various modules. Looking to utilize my certification course in Big Data to provide valuable help to senior management.

While there's nothing technically wrong with this kind of an Objective statemnent, this won't help you get shortlists. But this might:

5+ years experienced Product Manager seeking a transition to a Business Analyst role at Facebook. Can deploy expertise in Big Data to streamline supply chain and boost product sales by 56% for Facebook's key products. Track record of leading teams and initiating measures to integrate business and technology.

It doesn't matter if you are an entry-level Analyst or an experienced Manager. The key is to identify a problem which a prospective employer is stuck with, and demonstrate how you can utilize your skills and abilities to solve that problem.

Adding Key Skills to Business Analyst Resumes

Key Skills play a critical role in getting those coveted shortlists. Many applicants commit the mistake of stuffing their resume with keywords without bothering to substantiate those skills in their Professional Experience section.

When you go through as many resumes as a typical HR does, you won't even take a minute to see if a resume is genuine or whether the applicant decided to paste the Job Description in his/her resume.

Business Analyst profiles are highly nuanced and can differ from company to company. If you were a Business Analyst in 3 companies, the 4th company which you are targeting might expect a completely different set of skills.

The Job Description is the key. It gives an idea of what all a recruiter is looking for. You can then tailor your skills along the lines of their requirements. You can list out all the skills which you have acquired across all your BA profiles, but there's a high probability that a majority of them won't be relevant to the recruiter.

To clarify this through an example, here's a sample JD for a Business Analyst profile:

  • Acquiring data from various sources and maintaining data

  • Carrying out regular data cleansing and standardization

  • Interpreting data and analyzing results using statistical techniques

  • Identifying, Analyzing and Implementing trends or patterns in complex data sets

  • Generating useful reports and dashboards - Regular and Adhoc

  • Assisting management in strategic decision making

  • Setting up and maintaining automated data processes

  • Essential
    Problem solving/analytical skills
    Attention to details
    Collaboration and teamwork

  • Desirable
    Communication
    Raising Productivity/ Planning & Organizing
    Building relationships

If you were to source a few significant Skills from this JD, here's how you can go about it:

JOB DESCRIPTION KEY SKILLS
Acquiring data from various sources and maintaining data

Data Sourcing

Database Management

Carrying out regular data cleansing and standardization

Data Sanitization

Data Standardization 

Interpreting data and analyzing results using statistical techniques

Statistical Methodologies

Data Interpretation 

Identifying, Analyzing and Implementing trends or patterns in complex data sets

Trend Analysis

Datasets Analysis

Pattern Recognition

Generating useful reports and dashboards - Regular and Adhoc

Reporting

Report Generation

Dashboard Management

Assisting management in strategic decision making

Leadership Support

Strategic Decision-making

Setting up and maintaining automated data processes Process Automation 

Prioritize your professional/hard skills over soft skills - this is not to say that soft skills have no value in a resume. In the above JD for instance, there's an emphasis on communication, relationship-building, etc. So you can include those skills in your resume, but the priority should always be your professional skills.

HIRATION-TIP: Anyone can use the JD to stuff their resume with keywords. Your task is not to fool the ATS but to convince the recruiter. It's always better if you are only using those keywords which are substantiated in your work profiles below.

For points in the JD which you are unable to reduce to a single keyword/phrase, but which you think might be important, you can include the same in the Summary section.

For a more detailed guide on Key Skills in Business Analyst resumes, check out our in-depth guide on Resume Key Skills to answer any doubts which you might still have left.

Technical Skills

A resume for Business Analyst is incomplete without a Technical Skills section. You can divide your Skills section into Managerial/Professional Skills and Technical Skills.

Like with all other sections, for your Technical Skills as well, the JD is the ideal way to proceed. But the only way this section differs from the rest is that you can go over and beyond what is mentioned in the JD when it comes to technical skills.

Make sure you are only adding those technical skills which are elaborated in the work profiles below.

There can be two ways to present your Technical Skills.

MYSQL

Mainframe
HTML

Microsoft Office Suite

SAS

Crystal Reports

 

This is the simpler way, but not entirely effective. For instance, if you possess 10+ technical skills, and if you go about adding them in a format like the one above, it's going to be a difficult for the recruiter to scan it for relevant information.

The ideal way is to group all your Technical Skills under relevant sub-headings. This is how you can represent the skills mentioned above in an alternative way:

Languages: HTML, C, C++, Javascript
Database: MYSQL
Tools: Crystal Reports, Microsoft Office Suite, SAS

This makes it easy for the recruiter to scan this section for useful information. As and when you work on your technical proficiency, you can classify your technical skills under different sub-headings as well.

Professional Experience section in Business Analyst Resumes

This is the sine qua non of your Analyst resume. How you frame points in this section determines whether or not you make the cut.

A profile like Business Analyst will contain lots of technical jargon and methodologies. It's essential that you maintain a balance between the terminology and overall meaning to make sure that a Generalist HR going through your resume will be able to extract relevant information.

A rule of thumb is to go for only those methodologies and techniques which are listed in the JD. For everything else, you can tone down the terms to only showcase the impact that you were able to deliver.

The only way to measure how 2 (or more) Business Analysts will fare is the quantifiable impact that they have delivered till date. Going on and on about the job roles without highlighting your achievements and performance figures will only put you at par with a hundred other BAs.

It's the quantifiable impact which pulls you ahead of the game. One way is to reserve a separate Key Achievements section for all your work profiles. Through this way, you can differentiate your job role from your achievements. While the latter section can be numbers-heavy, your job responsibilities can focus on your role itself.

Cause-effect Relationship - The Princeton Formula

While you are framing points in this section, you can rely on the Princeton formula to establish a concrete cause-effect relation in each point. Simply put,

A + P + R = A

(Action Verb + Project + Result = Accomplishment)

Trust us, if you are able to use this formula across your entire resume, you'll automatically be ahead of 99% of other applicants.

The reason for that is because when it comes to updating their resume, most applicants refer to their old JD and pick out points from there. But they forget is that while JDs are responsibility-based, resumes are achievement-based.

A JD is used to list out the duties and expectations from a candidate. The resume is a document to showcase your achievements. There is an inherent dichotomy when it comes to these two documents.

Which is why solely relying on your old JD for updating your resume is a recipe for disaster. Most candidates will either fill up their resumes with responsibilities, or they'll stuff it with their achievements.

A resume for a Business Analyst containing only numbers is also not aesthetically pleasing. You need to maintain a balance between your responsibilities and achievements.

This Princeton formula is how you do that. It ensures that you not only mention your achievements, but also how you managed to achieve that. The how is as important as the what.

Here's what we are talking about:

Analyzed the production process for issues and reduced deviations

Meticulously scrutinized the production process to identify 20+ issues on a weekly basis and spearheaded the QA function to achieve a reduction in deviation by 25%

Applying this formula in all the points, while making sure that no point exceeds one line, will ensure that you weed out all the fluff and are left with only what's relevant.

Action Words/Power Verbs

Recruiters are tired of using dry old verbs in every resume. Nowadays, everyone is 'managing' everything. But you can replace these old verbs with power verbs to add an oomph-factor to your resume.

To give a very brief idea of the impact which power verbs can deliver:

Standard Verb

Power Verb
Led a team

Spearheaded a team

Completed a project

Executed a project

Reduced costs

Achieved a cost reduction 

There you go. This should be reason enough for you to refer to our 2018 Guide on Action Verbs for a comprehensive list of power verbs which you can instantly use on your resume. Instead of a really long list containing lots of words, the power verbs in this guide have been arranged on the basis of skills, making it super easy for you to go ahead and immediately use in on your resume.

Bolding & Bucketing/Sub-headings

There's no point in framing immaculate points if the recruiter is still going to gloss over them.

How do you avoid that?

Let us go through an example to provide better clarity here.

  • Collaborated with Developers to review testing of changes & Unix script manual run
  • Conducted scoping of problems & performed root cause analysis to generate targeted business insights for clients
  • Led a team of 3 Business Analysts & effectively trained ~20 members on Mainframe, SQL, Unix and other internal tools
  • Coordinated with key clients and initiated measures to understand their requirements for delivering effective solutions
  • Drafted & reviewed business-related documentation including mapping & validated BRDs as per client requirements
  • Created Process Maps to illustrate & communicate work flows for teams and other internal/external stakeholders
  • Executed Quality Analysis for mainframe jobs & collated querying results from Sybase to conduct further analysis

Now, these points more or less follow the Princeton formula, but for a recruiter scanning the resume, it only looks like a bland wall of text.

How do you transform this section into something which might actually be useful for the recruiter? Here's how:

Team Management & Business Communication

  • Led a team of 3 Business Analysts & effectively trained ~20 members on Mainframe, SQL, Unix and other internal tools
  • Created Process Maps to illustrate & communicate work flows for teams and other internal/external stakeholders
  • Collaborated with Developers to review testing of changes & Unix script manual run

Client Relationship Management

  • Conducted scoping of problems & performed root cause analysis to generate targeted business insights for clients
  • Coordinated with key clients and initiated measures to understand their requirements for delivering effective solutions

Quality Assurance & Documentation

  • Executed Quality Analysis for mainframe jobs & collated querying results from Sybase to conduct further analysis
  • Drafted & reviewed business-related documentation including mapping & validated BRDs as per client requirements

BAM!

It's not an ugly wall of text anymore. The points remained the same - merely classifying them into relevant sub-headings (or buckets as we call them) made a world of difference. And to take it a notch further, bold important phrases and words within each point to make the recruiter's job even easier.

Education Section for Business Analyst Resumes

The Education section is also often underrated like the Personal Details section we talked about earlier.

It's just the Education section, right? Jot down the degrees and you are done?

No.

Each and every section in a resume is prime real estate and it's up to you to make the most judicious use of it. You can mention only the degrees and there won't be anything wrong with it, or you can take it a step further.

BA - Economics (Hons.)
University of New York, '14-'17
GPA 3.1

This is pretty much how the Education section would look like in most Business Analyst resumes. Again, nothing technically wrong with it, but check this out:

BA - Economics (Hons.)
University of Syracuse, '14 - '17

  • GPA 3.9
    Excelled in modules on Analytics and Financial Management
  • Established the EcoSoc Quiz Club & organized its first ever State-level Quiz Contest which saw the participation of 80+ colleges and 300+ teams
  • Organized a Symposium on 'Socio-economic Challenges of the 21st Century' for the Economics Society of UoS
  • Won the 1st Prize in the Inter-college Debate Competition on 'Government Bailouts - Boon or Bane?' out of 70+ participants.

There's a marked difference in these two examples. The latter example might look a bit unreal to replicate for everyone, but the idea is to elaborate any project that you did or competitions that you participated in.

Additionally, if there's a certain overlap in some modules/coursework which you studied in college and the profile which you are targeting, include that as well.

HIRATION PRO-TIP: Mention the GPA only if it's higher than 3.5 You can skip it otherwise.

Additional Sections in a BA Resume - Hobbies, Interests, Extra-curricular Achievements, etc.

When it comes to additional sections on a Business Analyst resume, most candidates will include it more as an excuse than with a sense of purpose. It becomes evident when you are adding sections merely because you want to fill up space.

INTERESTS
Reading, writing, travelling, music, volunteering

This is more or less how most Hobbies/Interests sections look like. Without sounding too rude, we've got to ask: Whom are you kidding?

You might as well remove this section altogether than include something like this. Alternatively, here's what you can do:

INTERESTS:

  • Travelled to 6 countries in the last 12 months and documented the same on my travel blog (insert link)
  • Lead guitarist for 'Othello', a post-modern rock group; staged live shows in 10+ locations across New York
  • Volunteer English teacher at the local shelter home for children-at-risk; taught a class of 15 for 6 months

Now this means something, right? The key is to stay relevant and detail-oriented.

Employers know that you won't just finish what you are assigned and go home. As part of your job, you'll interact with fellow team-members, and a robust Hobbies/Interests section means you are an individual with healthy interests and have a life outside of work.

Many people shy away from listing their high-school/college achievements. Sure, you don't have to reserve a separate page for those long-gone achievements, but if you are an entry-level professional, it's what you have.

For people with 10+ years of professional experience, there's very little meaning in listing out your achievements at under-graduate levels, unless they were plain awe-inspiring or something which still resonates with you.

For candidates in the 0-10 range, however, you can mention a few significant extra-curricular achievements which you think might be relevant w.r.t the job which you are targeting.

For instance, if in college, you won a contest on preparing and presenting financial models and your current/future work profiles invariably involves that as well, you can go ahead and list that in glowing letters.

For other non-relevant extra-curricular achievements, a bit of research and smart work can go a long way.

For example, you are targeting a particular MNC and on its website, you find that the company has a separate tennis team and they regularly play against other companies. And well, who'd have guessed, you also played tennis in college. Won a few awards as well. So this achievement is instantly transformed from non-relevant to something which might be useful after all.

Key Takeaways

To recap what we just talked about:

  • In most cases, a reverse-chronological resume format will triumph over all others. But just to avoid confusion, have a look at your own trajectory and see if a functional or combination resume format might serve your purpose better.

  • If you are an entry-lebel Business Analyst, you can go for an Objective section on your resume. For all other cases, it's better if you have a Professional Summary section instead.

  • Have a separate section for Technical Skills under your Key Skills section, while keeping both the subsets strictly in accordance with the Job Description.

  • A MasterCV is how you crack the job-hunt process in the long run. A well-documented MasterCV which you periodically update (even when you are not looking for a job, especially when you are not looking for a job) is how you can customize your application according to the JD, instead of sending a generic analyst resume everywhere.

  • Make sure that you are using the Princeton formula wherever you can. It's a sure shot way to highlight you accomplishments and showcase the impact which you were able to deliver. Additionally, bolding and assigning buckets to each section will work wonders for your Business Analyst resume.

Sample Business Analyst Resume to get you started

Based on all the above tips around Business Analyst resums, here's a business resume sample which you can refer to.

This BA resume will help you aggregate everything you have read in this guide on Business Analyst resumes so you can go ahead and make a killer resume for business.

Sample-Business-Analyst-Resume

Check out our Resume Builder for access to more pre-filled Business Analyst resume templates and infinite designs!

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