How is your business analyst job search going?
If you are finding it hard to get a business analyst job, then you need to update your business analysis skills, hands-on experience, cover letter, resume or interviewing skills.
If you are not getting any phone calls, call backs or invitations for BA job interviews, then your business analyst resume or cover letter is weak.
If you are getting business analyst interviews but not getting job offers, then your BA job interviewing skills are weak.
This post discusses how business analysis skills, hands-on experience, resume or job interviews interact while starting a new business analyst job.
Step 1 – Start With An Effective BA Cover Letter
If you are sending out resumes for business analyst jobs and you are getting little feedback, phone calls or job interviews, then you have to stop and do something different.
Start by looking at your resume and cover letter and then endeavor to answer this question honestly:
“Do I have sufficient business analysis skills and experience for the jobs I am submitting to?“
The challenge facing business analysts is that the business analyst job market is highly competitive and there are no clearly defined or widely accepted standards of excellence.
Since anyone can apply a business analyst job with or without the requisite business analysis skills and experience, you will need to go the extra mile to distinguish yourself from the pool of job applicants.
That is why you may have to follow the plan that I will share in the rest of this article …
Step 2 – Make Your Business Analyst Resume Standout
Think about this, if you live in Washington, DC and you are looking for a business analyst job without a strong business analysis background, you may end up sending your resume to hundreds of employers in the Washington, DC area.
The problem is that everyone else within Washington, DC who likes the idea of becoming a business analyst will also be sending their resume to the same employers!
Now most of these well-intentioned folks will be saying the same thing on each of their resumes, which will be something like this:
- I can do this job
- Give me the job please
- I need this job to pay my bills
- I want to become a business analyst
- I like the idea of becoming a business analyst
Though these job applicants are well-intentioned, they are all making the same mistake of selling good intentions instead of their professional expertise!
Don’t make the same mistake of selling good intentions! Differentiate yourself by focusing on the results that you can achieve. Say something along these lines:
- I have a lot of skills or experience in this domain or industry …
- I have gained a lot of skills through training and real-world jobs in this domain …
- I have done excellent work for others in this industry and I will do excellent work for you too!
- My skills are sharp and I have been keeping up with the changes in this industry or domain …
The Hiring Manager is going to trash everyone whose resume is screaming “give me a business analysis job, please!” and only invite, interview or hire those whose resumes are saying: “I am a very capable, talented, skilled, experienced, trained, professional business analyst“.
So, before you start sending out your resume out again, first take a minute to answer the question: “does my resume demonstrate strong, up-to-date or effective business analysis skills“.
If you answered yes, then you are on well on your way to starting a business analyst job.
There are several ways of building up your business analysis resume to the level where it clearly demonstrates skill, capability, handson domain experience or professional expertise.
One of these is by getting hands-on business analysis training and the other is by getting hands-on business analysis coaching.
Step 3 – Prove Your Competency As A Business Analyst
The following is an e-mail that I received from a business analyst looking for a business analyst job in London. It has been edited for brevity and it demonstrates the point I’m making in this article:
I’ve recently applied for around 15 Business Analysis jobs in London and have had absolutely no feedback at all.
I have an excellent CV (as many agencies have commented) …
So I decided that I would use the covering letter which accompanies my applications as a vehicle to showcase why I would be suitable for the Business Analysis role. A ‘killer’ covering letter, if you like.
Except that 15 applications later with no feedback at all (not even a ‘thanks but no thanks’), I’m finding myself not knowing what my next step should be…
Also I now doubt very much that my Cover letter is ‘killer’, I have attached this and was wondering if its possible for you to have a look and advise me on this…
Thanks in advance Kingsley for your time and help
The business analyst cover letter discussed here demonstrates the candidate’s strong interest in the business analysis job, which is good.
However hiring managers, won’t interview or hire because of your good intentions or interest in becoming a business analyst.
They will only interview or hire when you demonstrate that you currently have the relevant business analysis skills needed to get the job done.
There is a big difference between proof and intention
Hiring managers want to interview or hire business analysts that demonstrate or prove via their cover letter, resume and business analyst job interviews; the skills needed to do the job and not business analysts who intend to learn on the job, train on the job or get mentored after they are hired!
In other words, Hiring Managers do not care about your potential to become a good business analyst or your interest in the business analyst career or your past successes in other professions.
They only care about your current business analysis skills, experience or education, period!
If you are not getting business analyst interviews or phone calls, it is because your resume demonstrates fewer business analysis skills or hands-on experience than that of other job applicants.
The only way to remedy that situation is to get more business analysis skills and hands-on experience!
Step 4 – Take Lots Of Business Analyst Job Interviews!
You need to solve the business analysis skills and hands-on experience problem before you can solve the problem of getting business analyst job interviews.
If all you are doing is just sending out resumes with the hope that someone will hire you because of your desire or interest in business analysis, change your strategy.
Your business analyst resume must stand out from the piles of resumes on interviewer’s desk.
First, increase your business analysis skills significantly, then get a lot of hands-on experience and then finally send out your resume to hiring managers … in that order.
If you follow the plan in this article, your resume will stand-out because it will demonstrate that you are actually capable of doing the job.
So, my advise is “get way from selling your intentions of starting a business analyst job” and first learn business analysis through training or coaching, then search or apply to the jobs you are qualified for do.
Practice these principles when you are in the market for a job and you will find yourself ahead of the game.