How do I rewrite my academic CV to a business analyst resume?

CV and resume – Differences

You might have heard or read the terms CV—curriculum vitae—and resume being used interchangeably. However, since you’re on your way to creating your business system analyst resume, it’s essential to know that the two differ.

There’s no absolute limit to the length of your CV when it comes to academic CV writing. A resume, on the other hand, is generally one to two pages long. Also, a CV is used to list educational background and accomplishments, whereas a resume is used primarily to highlight work experience and skills.

Here are some other significant differences between a business analyst resume and an academic CV:

CV Resume
●        Begins with education, followed by experience. ●        Begins with industry-related work experience, followed by education.
●        Highlights published works, presentations, seminar certificates, etc. ●        It might not highlight publications but can include an additional page on published work/certificates received if highly relevant to the position applied for.
●        Used to apply for academic positions, fellowships, grants, scholarships, etc. ●        Used to apply for professional work positions in companies, public/private sectors, etc.

Rewriting academic CV to a business analyst resume

Now that you’re a bit more familiar with academic CV writing versus a business system analyst resume let’s look at how to construct the perfect business analyst system resume.

Step # 1 – Pick an appropriate format

Before you start thinking of how to impress your future recruiters and with what, you need to select the format. This will include changing your academic CV’s design to a reverse-chronological one. In such a format, you list your most recent work experience first.

After that, you need to decide whether your business analyst resume is going to be:

  • Functional resume: focuses on your skills in the case where there’s a gap in your work history and/or when your skills are more potent than your work history.
  • Combination resume: used when you have both the skills and the experience suitable for the job. This resume format is a combination of both reverse-chronological and functional resume formats.

In his article published in ERE Media, Dr. John Sullivan—corporate recruiting strategist—mentions how choosing a resume format that can’t be scanned can decrease your hiring chances “by a whopping sixty percent.”

Furthermore, many major corporations use Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) to filter and discard lower-level resumes…ones with an inconsistent, unprofessional format.

So, how does one ignore that? Choose a suitable format and stick to it throughout.

Step # 2 – Plan your resume’s layout

Academic CVs generally follow Times New Roman, with headings in bold, preferably in 14pt font. A business analyst resume might have more sections and headings than an academic CV, such as a separate page for online course certificates you might have obtained about business analyst skills.

Whatever the case might be, you need to remember that recruiters won’t have time to sit through a resume that’s difficult to read. They have many applications to review. As such, your resume needs to be readable without missing anything out.

You can use the following resume format as a starting point:

  1. Margins: one-inch on all sides
  2. Font: professional as well as unique font; should be easily readable.
  3. Font size: 11-12pt for texts under headings; 14-16pt for headers
  4. Line spacing: 1.0-1.15 line spacing
  5. Resume length: shouldn’t exceed two pages; a single page is generally more preferred

Step # 3 – Select a business analyst resume template

A template will serve as a ‘blueprint’ of sorts, guiding you in where everything is supposed to go. If you’re using Microsoft Word thinks it’s enough of a tool, you’re mistaken. Word is great and all, but it doesn’t stick to resume formatting as you need it to.

For this purpose, you can either download a business analyst resume from an online source or use an online resume builder.

In either case, you still need to tailor the resume according to the format and layout mentioned above.

Step # 4 – Decide what will your business analyst resume include

As mentioned above, the purpose for which an academic CV is used varies from that of a summary. One focuses on skills, while the other on experience. As such, your business analyst resume should ideally (not necessarily) include (in this order):

  1. Summary
  2. Work experience
  3. Contact information
  4. Skills
  5. Education

Additionally, you may also include the following on a separate page at the end:

  1. Awards, certifications, etc
  2. Languages
  3. Hobbies, interests, etc

However, note that while these last three sections aren’t required, you may include them—especially certifications and awards—if they’re highly relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Furthermore, providing proof you possess so and so skills by listing awards/certifications received about them…now that’s a huge plus. It will significantly improve your chances of selection. It also shows your recruiters you back up your claims with solid evidence.

Step # 5 – Start building your resume

Now that you know what goes into a business analyst resume and where it’s time to put it all together and make a resume that will make your recruiters want to call you back immediately.

Compulsory sections to include in a business analyst resume

Below we look at what you need to cover under the four main sections of your business analyst resume:

1. Summary

In your resume summary, you list down your achievements and experience. This is different from a resume objective, where you mention your professional aims and goals. Objectives don’t tell your recruiter why you’re a good fit for the company like a summary does.

You can use this section to let recruiters know just that. They aren’t interested in your goals, but in why you’d be a perfect fit for them. A resume summary can either follow right at the top before work experience begins or come at the end, right below contact information.

2. Work experience

Start in reverse-chronological order; list your most recent work history first. This is pretty much the same as listing your work experience in an academic CV. The following items should be included under this heading:

  1. Title of your position
  2. Employer/company name
  3. Work duration (either from starting to ending years alone or months coupled with years)
  4. Duties and responsibilities: When listing these as bullets or numbered items, mention the ones most relevant to your current recruiter first. That way, reading your work experience, a recruiter will know right away you have experience in skills their organization requires.

Remember, this is a crucial part that differentiates an academic CV from a business analyst resume. This section goes near the end of a CV, but it’s the first one in a resume. Make it as straightforward and factual as possible.

Tip: You can also include referees with their contact information under each position while listing work experience. It lets recruiters know you have evidence of working in said field.

You want to sound professional, not just relevant. Don’t use common verbs like ‘make,’ ‘do,’ etc. Instead, go for more sophisticated verb words while listing your work experience, such as:

  • formulated
  • conceptualized
  • initiated
  • modified

…and the like, depending on what kind of duties and responsibilities you’re highlighting.

Did you know?

…that by 2024, research predicts business analyst positions to grow by 19% potentially. That should give you ample time to start gathering professional business analyst experience to showcase on your resume!

3. Skills

Unlike in academic CV writing, resume writing doesn’t primarily serve to emphasize skills. However, that doesn’t mean skills aren’t necessary for a resume. Applying for a position like that of a business analyst implies listing all relevant skills.

Relevance is a crucial factor here: you need to let your recruiters know how your skills will benefit their organization. And you can’t do that if you don’t list down your skills, to begin with, now can you.

Tip: Divide your skills into hard and soft skills. Some of the most commonly sought-after skills for business analysts are:

  • Hard skills: Analytical software, benchmarking, financial analysis, as-in analysis, gap analysis, risk analysis, swot analysis, wire-framing, etc.
  • Soft skills: Time management, communication, organization, word-under-pressure attitude, cooperation, improvisation, etc.

4. Education

After skills-versus-experience, an academic CV differs mainly from a resume in terms of education. The former lists education first, while the latter mentions it last (assuming the awards/certifications section isn’t included at the end).

A few myths are circulating for a very long time about how to list your education in a resume correctly. The truth? Just keep it factual and orderly, such as in the following format:

  1. Degree type (bachelors, masters, etc.)
  2. University name
  3. Duration of degree(s)
  4. GPA, honors, courses, and any other additional item you think is relevant to the post you’re applying for

5. Contact information

This is also another crucial yet simple-to-cover section of your resume. Keep it as readable and straightforward as possible because you don’t want any digit or even a dot misplaced. Include the following items in this section:

  1. Full name
  2. Professional title: in this case, that would be ‘business analyst.’
  3. Phone number
  4. Email: Use a professional email address, preferably one that includes your name and not one you probably used as a youngster. For instance, [email protected] is an excellent format to follow, rather than say something that looks like [email protected].
  5. (Optional) Location

The following samples of the contact information listed on a resume might help clear your doubts, if any:

Optional sections to include in a business analyst resume

6. Awards & certifications

This section would showcase your:

  • Recognition for your commitment to work.
  • Third-party marketing courses, such as those from Coursera, edX, etc.
  • Awards from any fieldwork you might have done.

7. Languages

If you decide to impress your recruiters with additional languages you speak, rank them by proficiency, that is:

  • Native
  • Fluent
  • Proficient
  • Intermediate
  • Basic

8. Interests/hobbies

Some argue whether this is a ‘professional’ aspect to include. But it might strengthen the picture of your personality in the eyes of recruiters. Who knows, they might even consider hiring you based on an interest their organization requires to be a productive team member.

For instance, a bank may be looking for a clerk who’s socially pleasant to deal with, convince potential clients to avail certain banking services, and so on.