Landing a job as a business analyst is not necessarily more complicated than landing other jobs.
That being said, it is important to follow relevant best practices to increase your chances of landing a BA job. I'll divide my five tips for business analyst job seekers into two categories:
- Tips for before you get to the interview stage.
- Tips for when you have an interview date.
Landing A Job Interview
The content of your resume matters to prospective employers. It does not matter if you have your resume lying around as files ready to be fired to a dozen emails or it's a summary accessible to complete strangers on your LinkedIn account. There are three things to take note of if you want to make a great first impression with recruiters so that you can get to the interview stage.
1. Don't leave employment gaps empty
The job market is tough. Chances are some of us have employment gaps. It can be a gap of several weeks or months. Employment gaps can be the bane of a good resume so you should not leave them like this. There's a strong probability you were not idle throughout that period.
Let recruiters be aware that any time gap you have in your resume was dedicated to self-improvement and skills' advancement. For example, you may have learnt an extra language during that period. Document all the relevant skills you acquired during the period you were off work.
2. Be professional and use business analysis terminology
Recruiters are just that – recruiters. Many of them are not as experienced as you are because they are not business analysts. Showcase your professionalism and use relevant terminologies on your CV or cover letter. You must not overdo it, however. Throwing in the occasional “requirements elicitation” or “use cases” will at least demonstrate to anyone looking at your CV (whether it's a HR professional or a Senior BA) that you know what you are talking about. They are not hollow words when you use them.
3. Highlight your proficiency with honesty
There are two groups of people who do not usually succeed in finding a job: those who are dishonest and those who viciously underestimate themselves. You have the skills and it's only natural to put a focus on some of them, depending on the job position, context and the employer's requirements. Communicate your experience in a professional manner, explaining what solutions you provided to the problems you encountered. Be honest and confident but avoid exaggeration.
Always tailor your resume and cover letter to emphasize the core skills that employers are looking for.
Scaling the Job Interview
If it so happens that you have already fetched an interview, that's good news.
What can you do to stand out at the interview?
The following tips may be considered cliché, but they are cliché because they work. Tame the anxiety beast and remember these key points to scale the interview:
4. Be an enchanting story teller
Remember the highlight your proficiency bit from above? Interviewers are likely to ask you how you coped with a problem at your previous workplace.
Tell the story of how you tackled the problem and provided a solution. Take your time to craft a comprehensive response. Instead of adopting a laconic approach to the conversation like, “Yes, I had such a problem and managed it”, provide a vivid, in-depth tale that demonstrates your business analysis skills.
In order to put your best foot forward on the big day, practise answering the common interview questions you are likely to encounter.
5. Show interviewers you are a thinker
Since you are interviewing for a Business Analyst position, employers will expect you to show them that you can think in an analytical manner. Some BA interviewers like to puzzle interviewees with mind-boggling questions that require quick thinking and on-the-spot analysis.
Calm your mind and be creative.
Keep these tips in mind and you will surely increase your chances of ending your job search and working as a business analyst.
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