Becoming a BA

This is a placeholder page with some basic information until I get around to writing a more detailed page.


Tips to finding a job as a Business Analyst

  • REMEMBER: Business Analyst is not just an IT field
  • Go to a local IIBA chapter to talk to other BA’s, to learn what they do and to network. If you can’t go, email them and try LinkedIn
  • Practice your skills (diagramming, etc) as much as possible, even outside of your job. If you are targeting an industry for example, look at what info is publicly available and try to leverage that info into your practice
  • Nearly every other BA I have interacted with has indicated that experience as a BA trumps certification for nearly every employer (at least for the United States), and that experience in the employers industry or with specific applications can trump a greater amount of BA experience in a non-related industry or application. So be aware that you may have greater luck applying for positions in industries you have experience in.

Resume Tips

  • Find out why a role is vacant that you are applying for, and target your resume for that reason and role.
    • What employers look for in a resume
    • A Cover letter: It helps to show that you researched the company ahead and can be a strong indicator of how interested you really are in the job and firm long-term.Education
    • Previous work experience
    • Awards, achievements, interests, and activities. Especially those related to the job/field you are applying for
  • Do you demonstrate?
    • The ability to perform the mechanics of the job?
    • The ability to handle pressure?
    • A fit for the job?
    • A fit for the organization?
  • List of Competencies
    • Building partnerships
    • Energy
    • Communication Skills
    • Stress tolerance
    • Planning and organizing abilities
    • Risk taking
    • Sales / persuasiveness abilities
    • Communications skills
    • Do list relevant software skills if they are BA-relevant. It is not only useful for the HR assessment, but just having the keywords in your resume can help it be found among the massive databases.
    • If you are an IIBA member, download the BA Competency Model and look for competencies you have already developed / demonstrated, even if they were not in a BA role
  • Be aware of not disclosing too much info about past projects if it might disclose info you should not be disclosing about a past employer (due to non-compete / non-disclosure clauses, or just sensitive information)
  • Be HONEST in both your resume and interview

Interview Tips

  • Highlight issues you have had to overcome. Don’t paint everything you have done as rosy.
  • Don’t just talk about results, but how you achieved those results and the methods used to achieve them.
  • Think ahead about standard questions such as “Tell me of a time you had to overcome adversity” and have a prepared answer. If you can make that answer demonstrate competencies related to the job you are applying for even better. But if you have a prepared answer it shows you thought ahead.


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