I really want a job that's advertised at the uni I work at at the moment. The jobis for a business analyst, but it's really a low level job as far as I can tell - liase with IT services to select new software, make it work properly, train staff in new software, do everyday program maitenance, write/find and adapt user manuals (probably down to quite basic levels) doccument descisions, and from my knowledge of the department, make theeir dysfunctional databases actually work systematically. I'm not properly qualified for it, but I'm pretty sure I can do the job. And I can hope that the tradition of universities having few applicants for their jobs continues, so my knowledge of the higher education research sector will compensate for my lack of qualifications in information systems or business.
If you are still reading, i'd appreciate help if you have some time or expertise to spare.... For reference, not because I expect anyone to read it, the actual job add is here.

I''m trying to adress the key selection criterea, and these ones are giving me the most trouble, so I'd appreciate if anyone could proofread and comment upon the following.  (Bat please forgive my slight hyperbole regarding the canon role)


A degree with at least 4 years subsequent relevant experience in information systems development or business systems analysis; or extensive experience and management expertise in technical or administrative fields; or An equivalent combination of relevant experience and/or education/training.

For more than 15 years I have been actively involved in chairing committees and managing project teams in unpaid roles, with serious responsibilities. The majority of my major project experience has been event based, a situation where no slippage of timelines is permissible. I have been responsible for bringing in all my projects on budget and on time, which was important in organisations with very small operating budgets where a single budget overrun could bankrupt the society.

I believe that my ability to evaluate existing projects, determine strengths and weaknesses, and analyse risks in projects is what has made my projects a success, no matter how difficult the situation.

I have a degree in arts and an honours degree in science, which while not directly relating to business analysis, have taught me very valuable skills in analysis and documentation.

Experience / Skills / Knowledge / Attributes:

Demonstrated ability to maintain and administer existing information systems through the application of upgrades, patches etc as well as day-to-day user management and queries. This does not require programming or pure technical expertise but rather the ability to liaise with groups external to Swinburne Research when required and negotiate priorities in the best interest of all parties.

I am currently responsible for administering a database of honours given to over 2000 people. When I began in this role, the data was of very poor veracity, I have been responsible for validating data and undertaking research projects into past data where poor data reporting practise had occurred.

I lead a team of data entry and data validation volunteers, and am responsible for instructing them in use of the database, and assigning achievable tasks to each volunteer who may have wildly differing skillsets and quantities of time to dedicate to the project. I also write and improve and update existing user guides for this software including documenting procedures relating to data entry and database installation and maintainance.

I work with a programmer on this project, and am required to evaluate the merits of potential changes and improvements to the database and am responsible for making the executive decisions regarding programming direction.

I am also responsible for applying updates, patches and installation of new versions of software, and accurately identifying, reporting and prioritising bugs and monitoring progress towards their resolution. I also, with guidance from the project programmer, have been requirerd to execute very simple sql commands (using phpmyadmin) to import data and remove faulty data.

As the data represents honours given within a society to thank skilled and dedicated members, society members are dedicated to achieving perfect data, despite initial data reporting being quite poor. Society members feel ownership of the database, and are encouraged to comment upon data which may be incorrect. This creates a very real need to keep accurate and up-to-date data, as my work is constantly monitored and commented upon by hundreds of clients.

Finally, the bigger ask........
IF you happen to be a business analyst, or work extensively with business analysts, AND
IF you have worked with me on a commitee, project, or have objectively analysed many of my organisational outputs, AND
IF you think I could do this job, AND
IF you would be willing to say so to this employer,
......please let me know.

IF you answered no to do you think I could do this job, I'd really appreciate constructive critsiscm as to why not, perhaps in a private message.  Really, I know it's not considered polite to not speak up in such a situation, but I can take critiscm well, and I'd really hate to waste my time applying for this type of job only to find out I was wasting my time.  And who knows - you might suggest something I can easily fix.

From: [identity profile] bar-barra.livejournal.com

Of course you could do this job! Good luck with it all.

From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_sabik_/

A few comments... not sure whether they'd make it better or worse, but I guess consider them...

* unpaid -> volunteer (probably sounds better)

* Seems to hesitate between "society" and "organisation", even within one sentence ("... organisations with small operating budgets ... bankrupt the society").

* 2000 items is rather a small database, and (if I'm placing it correctly) the consequences of fault or outage are minimal; perhaps emphasize it more as a learning opportunity taken rather than an achievement in itself?

* The text seems relatively long for what it's saying. Knowledge of basic SQL is buried at the end of a fourth paragraph where nobody will see it.

Finally, if there's a business analyst who knows you and knows you can do a job like this, I suspect the more effective way would be to directly get you one :-)


From: [identity profile] teffania.livejournal.com

Good suggestions. I'll be doing some editing.

2000 people, each with dozens of records tied to them. (Which is a much bigger number than the databases I hope to be working with). But if you read it that way, then using the number is probably silly.

Well spotted about the SQL- it is deliberately buried. I don't want to be asked any technical questions about it, as my sql knowledge is extremely basic. More I have enough familiarity to happily apply a suggested patch command, than can actually use any commands. But I figure not being scared away by it completely has gotta count for something, and being able to apply a patch or import a fresh copy of the database has gotta count for something. maybe.

Finally, I'd love it if a business analyst did. But the ones i mix with are likely to have BA jobs that require programming.

From: (Anonymous)

Just my two cents

This paragraph sticks out in my mind
"I have a degree in arts and an honours degree in science, which while not directly relating to business analysis, have taught me very valuable skills in analysis and documentation."

It was the word "not" that caught my eye. I scanned your entry like I have done in the past when choosing applicants to interview.
I think it more emphasis what you haven't got and it doesn't state that those skills from arts and science are transferable. To my mind it does not link the skills you have to the job you are applying for and it downplays what you do have.

I would put something more like a polished version of
I have a degree in Arts and a honours degree in Science. My work in these degrees has taught me very valuable skills in analysis and documentation. I will be (or am?) able to apply these skills successfully to business analysis.

If you can add examples to back that up it would be better.

Sharon N.

From: (Anonymous)

I think at some point in the interview the fact that this experience is from a society devoted to re-enactment and research of the medieval and renaissance periods is going to come up. So maybe be upfront about that?

pfh has very little experience applying for jobs

From: [identity profile] teffania.livejournal.com

It's a uni job, so I expect the selection panel to find the sca more intriguing than "too wierd". I'm planning on having the sca (or at least medieval reenactment) mentioned in the resume that's attached to the key selection criterea, but I just wanted them to read a bit in business terms first. I'm hoping that will get them in the right mindset before they find out what it really is.

I've noticed recruiters flip right past any resume section labelled "voluntary" without even reading it, but if I get to talk to them about the contents of those sections, their jaws drop at the scope of the work.

From: [identity profile] polly-jl-morgan.livejournal.com

Hi Tiff,

Good luck with this. A couple of quick comments- when you are discussing your volunteer work, maybe some numbers would be good. e.g. describe a typical event you have run - (how many people attended, what sort of coordination work was involved, if the budget was significant maybe put in a rough figure for it). Emphasize that you excel in working as part of a team.
I agree with Paul's comments about mentioning the SCA - I reckon be more upfront about what it is - describe it as a Historical society or something with X thousand members.



From: [identity profile] teffania.livejournal.com

"typical" (read best achievements) events will be listed in the resume. I'm reworking it now re your suggestion to add more figures and budgets. Although I don't think anything under $5000 in budget is worth mentioning.


teffania: (Default)

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