The Best Business Analyst Resume Skills and Keywords

Enlisting the right skills in your business analyst resume can help you achieve three things:

  • Grab the recruiter’s attention amongst a pile of resumes.
  • Portray yourself as a self-aware and confident candidate, which means a great first impression and higher chances of landing interviews and jobs.

In this blog, I will share a list of skills and keywords that you can include in your business analyst resume to increase your rank in recruiter screening scans. I will also share a business analyst resume sample to show how you can add those keywords to your resume.

One of the best ways to do that is by optimizing the keywords in your business analyst resume for an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). An ATS is a software that recruiters use to analyze resumes and shortlist candidates.

How do ATS systems work? The average ATS scans a resume for “keywords.” Keywords are nouns or noun phrases that describe specific skills required from a job. There are two types of keywords: hard keywords and soft keywords.

Hard keywords are those that can be quantified or that someone can take a test for. This can include business analysis tools like SPSS or Tableau. Soft keywords are skills that you cannot test for but they are critical to succeeding at your job, for example, strong interpersonal skills.

The employer enters a list of hard and soft keywords into the ATS and waits for the software to return a list of shortlisted candidates whose resumes have those keywords.

To succeed, your business analyst resume must contain the hard and soft keywords an employer wants.

Top Skills for Business Analyst Resume :

After studying a large variety of business analyst job descriptions and postings, I have created the following list. They contain some of the most important skills and keywords for a business analyst resume.

Business Analysis

  • Process Mapping
  • Product Innovation & Improvement
  • Business Transformation
  • IT-Business Alignment
  • Business Process Improvement
  • Project Management & Prioritization
  • Metric Development

Customer Service Excellence & Leadership

  • Client-Needs Assessment
  • User Requirement Gathering
  • Stakeholder Relationship Management
  • Cross-Functional Collaboration

Data Analysis

  • Data Visualization
  • Product Management
  • Data Warehousing
  • Statistical Analysis Tools
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Analytics Reports & Dashboards Development
  • Business Intelligence & Reporting

Technical Support

  • Troubleshooting
  • Solution Building
  • System Testing
  • Automation Technologies
  • Automation Development

Tools & Technologies

  • Power BI
  • Looker
  • Tableau
  • SQL
  • Excel
  • Python
  • Qilksense
  • MicroStrategy

Business Analyst Certifications

  • IIBA Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA)
  • Certification of Competency in Business Analysis (CCBA)
  • IIBA Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)
  • IIBA Agile Analysis Certification (AAC)
  • IQBBA Certified Foundation Level Business Analyst (CFLBA)
  • IREB Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering (CPRE)
  • PMI-Professional in Business Analysis (PBA) Certification

Business Analyst Associations

  • International Institute of Business Analysis
  • Association of Business Process Management Professionals International (ABPMP International)
  • Project Management Institute (PMI)
  • American Management Association (AMA)

How to Add Keywords Throughout Your Business Analyst Resume

You might feel tempted to include as many of the above keywords into your resume as to improve your chances of getting a job interview. But that’s not the right way to incorporate skills and keywords into your business analyst resume. This approach may help you pass the ATS scan, but you will fail when a recruiter reads your resume.

“This person has included all the right keywords in their skill section but I’m not seeing the proof. I’m not sure if they’re a good person to call in for an interview.”

I’m sharing two ways to prevent this from happening to you by using snippets from a business analyst resume sample.

1. Maximize Use of the Visual Center

One of the best places to add keywords and skills is the top one-third of your resume, also known as the “visual center.” This is the most valuable piece of real estate on your resume because this is where you make a critical first impression on recruiters.

If the visual center succeeds in engaging the recruiter, they’re more likely to read the rest of your resume as well.

This is how I added keywords and skills to a client’s visual center:

skills for business analyst resume visual center

By placing the keywords towards the top of the resume, I immediately highlighted the client’s skills. Additionally, this adds weight to his candidacy.

Many job seekers try to include keywords in this visual center area. However, instead of striking a balance between hard and soft keywords, they stuff their professional summary full of self-descriptors or irrelevant soft skills. These resumes often have little to no hard keywords in the visual center.

When you do not balance the hard and soft keywords in your resume, you hurt your ranking in the ATS software. You reduce your chances of being shortlisted for an open business analyst position.  

2. Weave Keywords To Your Accomplishments

Your next job is to keep the reader intrigued by impressing them with your accomplishments. For this, merely listing the keywords in the visual center is not enough.

A common job-seeker mistake is to fill the resume with job responsibilities. This is a bad idea because recruiters already have that information. Even worse, recruiters won’t be able to tell what you accomplished. You might create the impression that you just do your job. That you didn’t have any successes!

Instead, you need to fill your professional experience section with accomplishments. This is essential because accomplishments show an improvement trajectory. They show recruiters the value you brought to the organization.

Let me share an example.

I had a Business Analyst client whose resume contained the following bullets for their latest job:

skills for business analyst resume professional experience before

It doesn’t create the strongest image of the person, does it?

Were they successful in increasing their accounts? What kind of tools did they use? Which challenges did they overcome? What automation technologies did they introduce? Was there any business process improvement that they had to do?

All these questions will go unanswered unless this person is called in for an interview.

After talking with the client, I unearthed several success stories that I turned into accomplishments:

As you can see in this business analyst resume sample, the new bullets clearly demonstrate how this candidate used his skills to solve critical business problems. Recruiters can see the metrics that were improved. There are keywords naturally incorporated into each bullet. Soft keywords are included in the stories to create a balance.

Sharing accomplishments, especially numerical ones, the best way to show an improvement trajectory on your business analyst resume.

How to Improve Your Resume

If you’re wondering how you can improve the contents of your resume, below are some questions to help you get started. Answering these questions should help you uncover some keyword-related accomplishments that will help improve the performance of your business analyst resume:

Business Analysis:

  • What technical solutions did you develop to solve critical business problems?
  • What was the impact on the company’s bottom line?
  • Do you remember identifying any unforeseen issues while analyzing a project?
  • Did you recommend improving the existing process of analyzing problems?

IT-Business Alignment:

  • What steps did you take to bridge the gap between IT and business?
  • Was there a time where you brought up an instance of misalignment between IT and business goals?

Data-Driven Decision Making:

  • What research did you conduct to support executive decision-making processes?
  • Did you identify any opportunities to increase the use of data analytics to improve decision making?
  • Did you improve any analytical processes to improve the quality of decision making?

Data Analysis:

  • How did you use statistical techniques and machine learning tools to extract meaningful data insights?
  • Did you introduce the use of new analytical tools to improve analytical processes?
  • What process redundancies did you help eliminate?

Quantitative Analysis:

  • What was the impact of developing and implementing mathematical models to support financial decisions on risk management, investment, and pricing structures?
  • What kind of quantitative analysis were you asked to do on a job or project?

Requirement Gathering:

  • What steps did you take to gather and consolidate business and technical requirements?
  • Was the requirements gathering process adequate or did you help improve it (for any project)?

Project Management:

  • What project management tools did you use to eliminate roadblocks and ensure on-time and within-budget delivery?
  • Which project prioritization protocols did you put in place?
  • What was the impact of your suggestions on operational efficiency and revenue?
  • Did you ever help prevent a project from missing its delivery deadline?

Data Visualization:

  • How effectively did you communicate complex data findings using advanced data visualization tools?
  • Did you make any recommendations to improve data visualization on a report or dashboard?
  • Did you introduce any new tools for better data visualization?

Business Intelligence & Reporting:

  • What steps did you take to strengthen reporting and internal controls?
  • Did you identify any weak areas in existing reporting processes? How did you improve them?

Process Improvement:

  • How much cost-savings did you achieve as a result of mapping operational processes and identifying and closing gap analyses?
  • Did you help eliminate process redundancies?

By asking yourself these questions, you will be able to identify accomplishments that will elevate your business analyst resume. As a result, you will create a resume that will quickly wow recruiters and get you interviews.

Besides this, you can check out my complete guide on creating a perfect resume if you want to improve other sections of your resume.

Lastly, if you’ve followed these steps and are curious about how you’ve done, upload it here for a free critique.

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