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by Dorian Martin | August 19, 2020


Whether you’re a recent graduate or an experienced developer, it’s never too late to dive into a data scientist career. Data science is a field with a wide range of specializations, from database and domain management to statistical analysis and data visualization. According to Data Science Society, demand for data science professionals has grown by 28 percent in 2020 alone, with 92 percent of companies investing in big data.

Since it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd of likeminded data science specialists, here’s how to optimize your resume to better fit the needs and expectations of organizations looking to hire data science experts.

Getting the basics right

The first thing to remember, when creating any resume, is that outdated contact information can cost you a great position. To avoid that, make sure to always double check your email, physical mailing address, and social profiles (especially LinkedIn). Your employer will likely search for you on social media to verify that you’re indeed who you say you are, so sprucing up your socials can improve your odds of landing the interview.

It’s also important that you keep your resume is no longer than a single page. According to Small Biz Genius, corporations receive about 250 resumes for a position on average, with recruiters spending about six seconds on each resume. While this might seem unfair and unjust, it’s important to place yourself in the shoes of employers. They want the right data science expert onboard as soon as possible, and limiting your resume to one page will help them cut through the fluff and get straight to the important parts—your skills, competencies, and experience.

Highlighting your soft and hard skills

In order to optimize your data science resume, you should always start by doing research on the company you want to apply for. Different startups, small businesses, and corporations will naturally look for different skill sets and characteristics in their candidates. Some might prefer hard skills because they operate on a small scale and need programming experts. Others might want specialists with soft skills to work in their development teams. Look for companies that interest you, and then approach resume writing with their candidate profile in mind. This will dramatically improve your odds at landing the data science position you want.

Regardless of whether you place emphasis on hard skills or soft skills, both should find their place on your data science resume. Even small companies with a focus on software development will want to see soft skills in their candidates’ resumes. Take some time to reflect on which soft skills you identify with. These can range from time management and self-discipline to teamwork and leadership skills. As the name might suggest, these skills revolve around human interaction and project management, not so much on data science itself.

Hard skills, on the other hand, represent programming languages, software knowledge, and other applied skills. Here, you can include expertise in Python, SQL, and R, as well as visualization tool skills in Flare or Tableau. Write both sections for your resume and emphasize the one which your future employer will likely place higher than the other.

Listing your projects and measurable outcomes

Data science is specific in that it allows you to showcase your coding and visualization skills through the resume itself. While including code in your resume isn’t an optimal solution, you can always host it on a third-party platform akin to Behance for visual artists. You can create a GitHub profile and post any freelance work or sample code you’ve worked on to help your employer understand who you are.

Include real-world projects you’ve worked on, as well as personal projects and coding experiments to showcase your data science range. Simply include your profile name or link in the resume (especially in PDF form) to make access to your projects easier. Showing your skills as a data scientist in concrete, measurable values, and KPIs will do wonders for your chances of landing the position you want.

A final note

It’s important to keep in mind that you’ll need to know your resume backward and forward before you go into an interview. Your interviewer will likely ask very minute and detailed questions about the information you've included. So make sure to prepare small answers to questions in regards to everything on your resume, including your past projects, skill set, positions, and education.

Dorian Martin is a writer, editor, and education expert with a keen knowledge of digital marketing, business development, and best dissertation writing services. His career extends toward research and writing about AI, blockchain, data science, and their related fields. Dorian is a blogger and constant contributor to Essay Supply, where he aims to further his writing style and publish valuable content for readers worldwide.