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Tips for building a better business intelligence resume

I have a bachelor's degree in electronic/electrical engineering, two years' working experience teaching engineering and business development functions, and a recently completed MSc. degree in technology management. I wrote a thesis on the significance of business intelligence (BI) in enhancing customer retention in the telecoms industry. Accordingly, I have developed knowledge on the functional areas of BI, but still find it difficult to land a related job.

One of the problems I have identified is how to write a focused resume. Please -- how can I go about representing my skills on paper in order to land an interview? What skills should I highlight? With the level of my BI knowledge, I am most confident that I stand a good chance at the interview – I just need to get the interview!

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The resume is obviously a very important piece in getting a business intelligence (BI) job because it gets you in the door. But many times, recruiters will look for reasons not to call a potential recruit just because they have to go through so many resumes. A couple general tips to writing a professional business intelligence resume would be to limit the resume to three pages, use proper grammar and adopt and a more 'traditional' organization of your resume.

I would also suggest making sure you have BI 'buzzwords' incorporated into your business intelligence resume. Many times, recruiters will do keyword searches and you will want to make sure you have them in our resume so they come to the top of the list. Make sure you list the extract, transform and load (ETL) tools, reporting tools and databases you have worked with in your jobs or in your classes.

By your question it also appears you have more experience with BI from the classroom rather than from your work experience. If this is the case, you may want to look at some junior level positions and prove your business intelligence skills. I am sure you will move up quickly. Good luck.

This was first published in August 2008

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