I want to get my foot on the ladder and get my very 1st business analyst job.
I have even considered working voluntarily but such jobs are hard to come by.
How To Get Your First Business Analyst Job
Getting your foot on the ladder to climb into your very first business analyst job requires taking one step at a time till you reach your goal.
The good news is that the ladder is fairly short, containing six rungs to step upon in order to be lifted up into a business analyst position.
The amount of time it takes you to get to each step is up to you.
Here is what you need to do to get your first business analyst job:
STEP 1 – Take the first step and identify the duties, roles and responsibilities of a business analyst!
A typical day as a business analyst changes constantly, if it even exists. But, there are duties, roles and responsibilities which stay the same.
The main role of a business analyst is to bridge the gap between what the organization needs and a solution.
This requires determining what is needed, deciding what needs to be done, and then implementing the solution.
Communication is vitally important in both the spoken and written form and includes many sub-skills such as negotiating, listening, and documenting everything.
Eliciting requirements – Business Analyst’s Skill
Finding out where things stand and what change is needed. This process involves gathering the information you will use to determine what steps can be taken to reach a solution.
This phase is very important, because if you don’t get it right, you’ll have to go back and repeat the process, or waste the company’s time and money implementing a solution that ultimately doesn’t work.
To elicit the needed information, you must have good interviewing skills, be a good listener, facilitator, ask qualifying questions, make sure you understood what was said, and be able to schedule and conduct meetings.
Analyzing requirements – Business Analyst’s Skill
Put on your super sleuth, problem-solving hat; and get ready to break a complex project into smaller steps.
Now is the crucial process of ciphering through what you learned and coming up with a workable solution. Once you’ve gathered the wants and needs of the organization, it’s time to put them to the test to see which ones are most important, and which ones need to be eliminated or changed.
It’s important to stay on budget and on time throughout this phase. This requires analytical skills, problem solving ability, negotiation skills, and an understanding of your financial parameters.
Validating requirements – Business Analyst’s Skill
This requires demonstrating the solution product, following through with making sure users understand it and that it meets their needs.
As a business analyst, you don’t just come up with a solution and drop it on the laps of others, then walk away. You see it through to the end, making sure everything works to the satisfaction of all of the stakeholders.
STEP 2 – Look at your resume or your skills and identify all the business analysis skills that you lack
Once you’ve read through what a business analyst does, in brief, compare it to your current skills and experience.
Hold the list next to your resume’, and begin to check off skills you’ve already attained. Whatever is left unchecked are the skills you need to develop in the next step.
STEP 3 – Study and become a more competent business analyst or enroll in some coaching & training program so that you can learn or master business analysis.
Begin to discover everything you can learn about the skills in your gap (the unchecked skills when you compared your resume’ next to the list of what a business analyst does).
Self study is the most inexpensive way to go about this, but it can also be one of the most time consuming and requires a great deal of self-discipline and motivation as no one is looking over you or offering guidance.
A more time-effective way to learn these skills is to enroll in an online training program that offers training at your convenience.
With online training, it is as though you have a private tutor at your fingertips. You can watch the training videos any time day or night, and interact with your instructor through email or online discussions.
Make sure the training program you choose offers hands-on training, which you can document to be used in a job interview, along with tests which will help you retain what you learned.
The Business Analyst Boot Camp is an excellent choice as it offers all the important aspects of a good online training course.
STEP 4 – Add to your business analysis knowledge or learning additional skills and experience.
While you are learning business analyst skills through self study or with your online training course, accent these training sessions by gaining additional business analysis knowledge and experience.
If you are currently employed, look around your current company to see if there is anything that needs the help of a business analyst’s skills.
This will take assertiveness on your part to find what needs to be done and then go after it. Volunteer to take on these projects, and make sure you document everything to add to your portfolio.
STEP 5 – Update your resume so that it reflects all your newly acquired business analysis experience.
Once you have discovered and bridged your skills gap, and added necessary hands-on experience; it’s time to update your resume’.
Approach your resume’ as if you are writing a brief summary of what you can offer a hiring company. Do not emphasize, even unintentionally, your inexperience and need to get your foot in the door.
Spotlight, instead, your achievements and back them up with your documentation kept throughout your training process.
STEP 6 – Go ahead and post your resume in a lot of places because getting a job is a numbers game!
Take your resume and send it to companies of interest to you. You can find companies who are hiring business analysts by looking online at sites like Dice.com, Monster.com, or even Craigslist.
You can also look for a job placement agency in your area that specializes in placing professionals.
Don’t be afraid to submit your resume’ to several companies.
Always accompany it with a custom-written cover letter directed specifically to address the requirements of each company’s open position.
Go up the ladder and then come back down to repeat the six steps as many times as it takes until you get a job.
Don’t be surprised if you go through this process a number of times before landing an offer.
Don’t view this as failure, or let it discourage you. Instead, view it as an extension of your training.
Every rejection, or interview you attend, gives you hands-on understanding and practice as to what you need to adjust to get it right.