Hard skills | Soft skills | Grey areas | Company specifics | Ideal candidate
BizOps roles are highly leveraged positions that require a vast set of skills to succeed.
Your resume needs to show that:
In this post, we focus on how to best highlight these two points. Before you start, it’s helpful if you know the basics of writing a great resume. Luckily, we’ve already written about it (drafting your master resume and customizing and enhancing your resume). Reading these two posts gives you a good starting point on the principles of resume creation. Now, let’s go over the specifics of the BizOps resume.
You need to show that you have the hard skills to do the job. Hard skills are mostly tangible - you either have them or you don’t. If you have them, what is your level of experience and expertise? You want to show that you’ve mastered these skills (or at least are familiar with them). In a BizOps role, key hard skills are, amongst others, financial modeling, business case building, querying, data visualization.
"Rocketblocks was pivotal to landing my offer doing strategy and business operations at LinkedIn. There's not many resources out there that dive into the topic with such extensive drills and specific tech cases." -- Jane Wu, LinkedIn BizOps
Soft skills are less tangible, but that doesn’t make them less important. These include communication, influence, decision making, teamwork, and many others. How do you make these stand out? Play to your strengths. Focus on a few that are specifically requested for the role (e.g., mentioned in the job requirements), the ones you do have. Capitalize on those skills. The trick is that you can’t just say you have great soft skills, or rank them on a 1-10 scale. The way to show these has to be smoother, through keywords and descriptions. Here are a few examples:
Regardless of the examples and specific skills highlighted, the point is that soft skills can be made tangible in an intangible way. Be deliberate about this and make sure you have examples.
Aside from direct hard skills and soft skills, such as the ones mentioned above, there are areas of expertise you also want to highlight. These include Strategy, Operations, Project Management, Insights, amongst others. These can either fall within hard or soft skills, or have a little of both. A smart way to include these is to create subdivisions in your resume, such as the example below.
The great advantage of this approach is that it helps the recruiter and hiring manager to quickly focus on what they care about most. It also allows you to showcase these skills in a direct way. The alternative of listing experience just by title or role has the disadvantage of less clarity - the lack of grouping makes it harder to understand what is what.
In 90% of cases, companies are looking for someone who can do the job and has growth/ leadership potential. In BizOps, it’s no different. Skills and experience work as a proxy for that, but there are other ways to show it. Understanding the culture of the company and the team and what the hiring manager is looking for helps frame this. Is the company known for being formal? Are they known for being proud of their highly intellectual ability? Does the company pride itself on harnessing a relaxed environment? Or do they emphasize creativity?
Understanding these nuances can be hard from the outside, but researching about the company, reading reviews, talking to folks that work there or are familiar with the industry, and probing the recruiter, are good ways to go about it. Once you have a sense for the company, you can tailor your resume accordingly. For example:
Thinking about how your resume compares to others and to what the company is looking for is a tough exercise for anyone. One thing that helps is to remind yourself that the ideal candidate does not exist. Never be discouraged if you feel like you're not the “ideal candidate”. The ideal candidate is only a concept to help frame the role, job description, and for hiring managers and hiring teams to align against. It doesn’t exist because no one is perfect and what is defined as ideal by the company is based on their reality. No one knows what each candidate has to offer. It’s good to have this concept in mind, but it’s important not to get stuck on it and look for areas to shine outside of preconceived boundaries.
Enhancing your resume for a BizOps role is just part of a successful application. Make sure you have a narrative, a story of who you are, what you’ve done, and what you’re looking for. Ideally, these two - your resume and your story - not only align but are complimentary. By looking at your resume, the recruiter knows what you’ve done but doesn’t know “the why”. By talking to you, the recruiter knows you but doesn’t have all the details. Make the two work as one which increases your chances of success.
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