I’m Ryan Lewis, Resource Lead for Acorn Recruitment. For over two years, I’ve specialised in sourcing Business Analysts and Project Managers.
These are roles that I thoroughly enjoy recruiting for, perhaps due to the people element and project nature that allows for a more in depth discussion than other roles available within the IT sector.
So what makes a good Business Analyst (BA)?
So why is it that in recent months the BA / PM’s CV’s I receive on a daily basis don’t illustrate any of these skills? In 2017, as I’ve been recruiting for more of these roles, I’ve discovered that very good candidates are slipping through the cracks and not getting the interviews that match their skillset and prior experience.
After spending time speaking to a variety of Hiring Managers and HR Departments the feedback has included the following:
- The CV in question has no relevant details
- The prospective employer can’t decipher what they do on a day-to-day basis in their current role
- There’s no example of how they’ve added value
Does this feedback sound familiar?
Not to worry, I’ve pulled together some top tips to ensure you succeed.
My top tips for the perfect CV
- Ensure all of the formatting in your CV is consistent. Make sure you use correct grammar and avoid spelling mistakes. It also pays to adopt the same font type and style throughout. In being consistent, you are demonstrating a high level of attention to detail which is the kind of skill needed day to day to produce UML / requirements documentation.
- Divide your CV to include a personal summary, key skills, employment history, certifications / education and any relevant personal interests you have.
- Within your personal summary, it is extremely important to describe your character with accuracy. Remember, a very important trait in any successful project is the right people working in the right team.
- Provide your employment history. I would recommend giving employment dates, prior companies worked for and job titles. You can also give a bit of information about the company and then have a section for key responsibilities and key projects / achievements.
- This is an area where many should take note; when describing your key responsibilities, be consistent and make sure you highlight any deliverables / measurables you currently work to.
- Within your key responsibilities section, ensure you include information on who you report into (job title) and any client / candidate information if external – the client will be able to relate to this from the experience they have.
- For all you software BA’s/PM’s - this section can even be home to descriptions of the project methodology or the languages the developers you work with code in e.g. working within an Agile environment liaising with teams of .Net and Java developers to create solutions.
Key projects / achievements
- This is the place to demonstrate the value you’ve added to your current / previous employers – make sure it’s all about you! Companies pay less attention to the team – they are employing you!
- You should give a concise overview of projects and then provide tangible achievements / results of the projects you have worked on.
- This could include money saved, delivered ahead of time, award received, contracts won, etc.
- Also, use this section to mention any challenges / problems you faced and how you overcame them. In doing this, you can demonstrate a strong problem solving ability.