One of the biggest hurdles facing business analysts in the current job market is the challenge of demonstrating the hands-on experience required in business analyst job descriptions
This article explains “how to improve your marketability as a business analyst by targeting business analyst job descriptions.”
Let me start by saying that there are two types of hands-on experience required for business analyst jobs:
General Business Analysis Experience: This type of experience is gained by practicing or using
general business analysis skills including Use Cases, Requirements Gathering, Requirements Modeling, Requirements Elicitation, UML etc.
Domain Specific Experience: This is gained by working or supporting a specific business function, operation or process including sales, marketing, order fulfillment, payroll
The general business analysis skills and experience is transferable from one industry or job to another.
For example, it is easy to transfer or apply Use Cases skills gained from one job to another job. We provide training for these in the Business Analysts Boot Camp
Domain specific business analysis experience may not be transferable or easy to get.
For example, a business analyst job description listing domain knowledge in the Telecommunications Industry excludes domain knowledge gained from the Healthcare Industry or the Printing Industry.
We help business analysts gain domain specific business analyst experience in the “Become a Leader” Coaching program
The lack of industry experience or domain knowledge is one of the biggest reasons why business analysts job applications are rejected.
In the rest of this article, I am going to post an actual business analyst job description (open as of the day of this posting) and discuss the business analyst domain knowledge required for the job.
You can improve your chances of landing a business analyst job, by learning how to segment the business analyst job market into specific domains or business processes and then gain the hands-on experience required for target business domains.
This strategy is highly effective for getting a business analyst job because it realistic, actionable and specific.
The reality is that you cannot get the business analyst domain experience that matches ALL business analyst job descriptions.
However it is realistic to plan on getting the required domain experience for a handful of business analyst job descriptions.
Let me summarize what I have said so far:
Segment the business analysis job market into specific domains, operations or functional areas (e.g. payroll, order processing, sales, customer relationship management)
Do not try to get hands-on domain experience that matches every business analyst job description
Do try to get hands-on domain experience that matches a select number of business analyst job descriptions
In addition to these, learn how to substitute hands-on experience properly: some business analyst job descriptions may seem out of reach because they require hands-on experience in specialized software products.
What you may not realize is that you can also substitute compelling hands-on experience in competing or similar software products even when the job description does not say so!
I am going to apply the principles I have been discussing to a real business analyst job description posted below. Note that these principles are covered in-depth within the “Become A Leader Coaching program” which is designed to connect business analysts or software developers with employers looking for qualified and talented IT professionals.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Business Analyst Job Description
Minimum Required Skills:
If you are a Jr. Business Analyst with knowledge of Netsuite’s Advanced Marketing functionality, and knowledge of Support and Customer Service features within Netsuite, or 1-2 years of relevant ERP / CRM experience, please read on!
*We will also consider 1-2 years of ERP / CRM experience with another platform other than Netsuite.
One of the Industry’s best resellers of Networking and Software technology has an immediate opening in there headquarters, located just outside of Boston. The Netsuite Analyst occupies a vital role within the company, and we’re looking for a talented person to fill the it.
Here’s what’s in it for you:
Great Base Salary and Bonus potential.
Tremendous work environment with talented colleagues.
An opportunity to work with an industry leader, award winning company.
Here’s what you’ll need to do this job:
1 to 2 years experience as a Business Analyst supporting ERP / CRM platforms, ideally Netsuite but will consider others
Experience with ERP / CRM System Administration and Customization features
Experience with cash flow statements, payroll statements and the sales process lifecycle
Ability to create reports using internal reporting tools, and/or creating custom Enterprise Reports using ODBC and Crystal Reports
Experience creating enhancements with SuiteScripts, SuiteBundler, Etc.
Implementation of new modules and features within ERP / CRM
Strong communication skills.
Here’s what you’ll be doing:
Provide support for the Netsuite system including Troubleshooting of the entire Netsuite application suite. Including but not limited to Case Management, Issue Management, Knowledgebase, etc.
Creating and running reports within Netsuite using SuiteScripts, SuiteBundler, etc.
Assisting in month end close with Chart of Accounts and General Ledger.
Create documentation and user guides.
Perform basic DBA tasks and Manage List data.
So, if you are a Jr. Business Analyst with knowledge of Netsuite’s Advanced Marketing functionality, and knowledge of Support and Customer Service features within Netsuite, or 12 years of relevant ERP / CRM experience, please apply today!
Note that this business analyst job description is for a real client in the Boston Area and is still available for interested and qualified business analysts
In the rest of this article and in the next series of articles, I will be discussing how to make your business analyst job search more relevant to target business analyst job descriptions.
#1: Hands-On Domain Specific Business Analyst Experience
You stand a better chance of getting hired as a business analysts if you couple strong expertise in specific business operations, processes or functions or domains to the more general business analysis skills that tend apply to most business analysis jobs (communications skills, requirements gathering or elicitation skills, UML skills, Use Cases skills, etc.)
The CRM business analyst job description posted above calls for hands-on experience in specific business processes including customer relationship management and sales process life cycle.
So, only business analysts who already have a background in customer relationship management (CRM) software applications or processes are qualified to apply for this job
The “Become a Leader Coaching” program provides the required hands-on business process specific experience for job descriptions like that posted above (CRM business analyst job description).
In addition, the “Become a Leader Coaching” program is currently open to subscribers of the business analyst boot camp or any of our IT Boot Camps
#2: Hands-On Experience in Common Business Processes or Functions
Sales, Marketing and Customer Relationship management business processes or functions are common to most businesses. So, business analysts who gain hands-on operational experience in these areas will find that there skills are applicable to most industries or businesses.
In a recent survey published by one of the leading outsourcing job banks, more companies are asking for help with their marketing and sales processes because of the need to generate additional income or revenue.
The “Become a Leader Coaching” program considers the importance of a domain or business process in preparing Business Analysts for that domain. The aim is to provide business analysts with compelling hands-on experience in target or select business processes or functions
#3: Match or Substitute Software Skills
The CRM business analyst job description posted above requires hands-on experience in the Netsuite CRM family of products.
However, you may not realize that in business analyst job descriptions like this, employers will accept hands-on experience in competing software products.
Also, you may not know what software application skills to substitute for the specialized or restricted skills required on the job description.
For example, you may not know that the hands-on Netsuite CRM experience mentioned above may be substituted with hands-on CRM experience in SAS, Chordiant, Salesforce, PeopleSoft (Oracle), Siebel (Oracle), SAP, Epiphany, Amdocs, SugarCRM, ZohoCRM, SplendidCRM or Microsoft Dynamics.
Remember that it is not practical to have a compelling hands-on experience in every business process or supporting software product.
That is why during the “Become a Leader Coaching” program, we provide business analysts with hands-on experience in specific business processes and supporting software applications.
In this article, I discussed “how to improve your marketability as a business analyst by learning how to target business analyst job descriptions” using a live business analyst job description.
In another article, I will discuss in more detail the business analyst – customer relationship management (CRM) job market. Note that this article is the first in a series of articles dicussing business analyst job descriptions.