Test analysts develop systems and provide diagnostic analysis for technical processes and procedures. It is an educated position that requires candidates to come equipped with a solid academic background along with a proven skill base of being inventive, adaptive to the needs of sudden changes within the workplace and supreme levels of organisation. It is a field that's in high demand, but how do prospective analysts go about securing their roles? Let's take a look at the application process.
Test analyst jobs and how to secure them.
Before candidates will even be considered for a test analyst role, they'll need to sell themselves to their prospective employers through a well-founded cover letter. Candidates who apply for jobs in a variety of fields are notorious for not knowing exactly what a cover letter is meant to provide: it should be a concise review of their most relevant experience that they're bringing to the role and what they can offer employers in terms of professional ability. It's also an appropriate forum for discussing how their previous experience helped benefit a company overall, which is something many employers wish to see.
Cover letters aren't meant to be a tell-all experience for employers. In fact, they should be no more than three or four paragraphs long. The most basic form of a cover letter includes an introduction, a discussion of their most recent relevant experience, the benefit it provided to employers, a closing paragraph stating when they're available to start working and their preferred method of contact.
The latter is of particular importance since some candidates, when it comes to test analysis not unsurprisingly, prefer to be contacted by e-mail when the standard response is by telephone. Mentioning this in the cover letter ensures employers know how to get in touch with candidates.
When candidates have passed through the cover letter stage, they'll probably have their CV read over by the prospective employer. This is where things often get difficult for candidates. While they might have sold themselves properly in the cover letter, their CV isn't up to scratch because it offers too broad of an overview of candidates. Most candidates are told to draft a CV that matches the prospective position they're applying for.
This is of particular importance when candidates have different experiences in different fields that wouldn't otherwise apply to the test analyst position, which is actually quite common in today's economy with the different types of jobs that needed to be performed in order for candidates to stay afloat. However, it won't do them much during the job search process when they're applying for professional, high-ranking positions like a test analyst.
This is why drafting a specific CV for the role is of particular importance. This doesn't mean to exclude any previous experience, but it does mean that candidates will need to tweak that experience to otherwise suit the test analyst role. For example, part-time jobs in retail or other low-level positions can be tweaked to include diagnostic references of how candidates helped solve problems in an efficient manner.
When this isn't possible, though, candidates should make a simple mention within the chronological format in order to avoid having excessive gaps, then moving onto the more relevant positions and detailing those more thoroughly.
Education needs particular attention as test analysts are required to be quite educated. The ISEB certification is one of the most widely requested test analyst qualifications; alongside a solid IT-based academic background at post-secondary level.
Finally, when the prospective test analyst has proceeded through to the interview stage, then they'll need to be prepared for the questions that are to come. When it comes to IT and other analysis roles, they'll probably be professionally focused and more scenario-based questions than anything else.
Candidates should expect several “tell me about a time when” style questions where they'll be expected to outline their proficiency with software packages, especially Microsoft based as these are the most commonly used pieces of software in the workplace, and touch on their determination to solve the problem in as little time as possible to ensure there's limited downtime to a company.
Candidates should also come to an interview prepared with paper evidence of their previous experience, which will help employers see the validity in their claims. At the very least, they should bring a portfolio of academic certificates and awards that help demonstrate a candidate's particular skill for IT and how it can be used for the betterment of a business.