There are few things in life more daunting than hunting for a new job. Heart palpitations while in front of a panel of interviewers and trying to present yourself in the best possible light is difficult enough as it is, even without knowing that you’re just one of dozens—if not hundreds—of candidates.
When the stakes are high, and the competition is fierce, you want to apply every tip you can to increase your chances of landing your dream job as a business analyst. This compilation of useful business analyst job-hunting tips is a condensation of the collective experience of many business analysts.
Make Your Resume Stand Out
Just because you’re not a graphic designer doesn’t mean that your resume has to be dull. While I would suggest staying away from colorful, design-heavy resume templates, you can explore more interesting ways to present your CV. It often doesn’t take much more than a flattering ID photo and some basic formatting changes to make your resume stand out. Also, ensure that your CV reflects the experience and qualities needed to perform well in the advertised position. I always recommend tailoring your CV to each job application and to suit the peculiarities of the industry and country in which you are applying for a job. This requires some level of groundwork and research but once you get it right, you’ll start to receive feedback from the companies you apply to.
Establish A Strong Social Media Presence
If you’re not a social media person, using the Internet to present yourself as a capable professional with many skills to offer can be tough. You need to realize however, that a strong social media presence is expected as it demonstrates your commitment and drive. If I had to pick just one social media network, I would go with LinkedIn, which is a business and employment oriented social networking service. There, you can create an online resume, show off your certifications, past experiences, professional achievements, and, most importantly, network with like-minded individuals as well as companies you might be interested in working with.
Earn Professional Certifications
Professional certifications are great because they demonstrate a mastery of specific set of skills. Imagine you’re an interviewer. You have ten people applying for a job, each with four years of work experience at a different mid-size company. Since you don’t know any of the ten companies or the persons concerned, it’s hard for you to tell just how demanding their previous work was and how skilled they are as business analysts. When you see a widely-recognized business analyst certification on the resume of one of the interviewees however, you are able to attach some credibility to their application and abilities.
Work On Your Soft Skills
Soft skills include communication, listening, teamwork, leadership, mentoring, flexibility, creativity, negotiation, presentation, and even determination, among many other valued skills. For business analysts, soft skills are often just as important as technical skills because so much of their work involves talking with people, listening to customers and stakeholders, and presenting complex information in a manner that makes it easily digestible and clear. Demonstration of your soft skills during the recruitment process can help you leave a positive impression on your interviewer. HR people can often spot a person with poor soft skills from a mile away and are less likely to rate such an individual highly.