Business Analyst Job Search Tips

by Heidi McLaughlin, CBAP, VP Education
Since I recently went through two major job searches in one year, I  thought it would be helpful to share my experience and my learnings. My position was eliminated from the company where I had been for 16 years. This was good because it would give me a kick in the seat of my pants to try something new and different, but bad for the obvious reasons of having to launch a job search with all of its uncertainties and difficulties. I first found a position that was a contractor position which was great except that it put me in a position to launch yet another job search just six months later. After sending probably 100 resumes, doing about 25 phone interviews and going on 8 in-person interviews, here are three things I've learned that might help those of you who are doing job searches yourselves.
  • Use LinkedIn to your advantage. Get a professional picture taken for your profile photo, in a suit. Add courses, awards, speaking engagements, and position details that gives potential employers better insight into what you've done. Sign up for LinkedIn Premium because then your job applications will appear above those of non-premium members. Apply to jobs that sound great whenever you have a free moment by taking advantage of the "in easy apply" feature.
  • Customize your resume for positions that you are really interested in. Note key words or phrases in the job description and if they apply to your background, make sure they are in your resume. Make sure your resume summary statement is written in a way as to convince the person reading it that you have the skills you need to do the job.
  • Have 10-15 stories about your work life ready to talk about in interviews. I find it helps to initially write them up as if you were presenting them at a meeting or writing a term paper so that you give yourself enough time to recall the details. Make sure you have stories you can use to answer common interview questions such as "tell me about a difficult project" or "tell me about the largest project you've worked on." Practice them until you can rattle them off as if the experience just happened yesterday and is fresh in your mind.

I've found these three things helpful and I hope they can help you in your job search. If you find yourself in the position I was in, just remember that any interest is a win and should be celebrated and that all you need is one job so if you keep at it, it will come!