The Foolproof Guide to a Great Data Science CV
A career in Data Science requires a mix of technical expertise, an array of soft skills to match and considerable experience on top of this. These three areas need to not just be grasped but rather refined and flawless to even get a top employer’s attention. Below explores how a Data Scientist should best communicate their potential on paper and how to have your CV stand out (and above) on the pile.
Get the CV basics right
Beyond the Data Science specifics, a CV must be error free and concise. As a general rule a CV should be no longer than two pages. It should be thought of as a career highlight reel, detailing enough to impress employers and leave them wanting to know more (which leads to an interview invite). A great starting point is looking at the CVs of other Data Science experts to sees how your CV compares. Look for the skills listed, the layout chosen, and the experience highlighted.
If you don’t have two pages worth of experience that is not a red flag either, a single page CV is perfectly fine. In fact, many employers look at CVs for an average of thirty seconds, so a one page CV could even work as an advantage.
Include your relevant experience and skills
Previous experience should include any Data Analytics work, Machine Learning experience and any professional work that has been published (whitepapers, blog posts - really anything that is relevant and published). This experience should integrate the technical skills used and ideally link to the technical skills referenced in the job description. Do not forget to get specific with the tools, technologies and skills used. Any coding languages known, for example, should be outlined.
Whilst this technical expertise is vital, Data Science is not purely about the numbers. The job of a Data Scientist goes beyond this analyzing, to translating the data into practical business solutions and then having the ability to communicate such findings to the wider business. Given this, hiring managers are not only looking for the technically talented. They are looking for honed interpersonal skills, which are particularly vital to showcase at the interview stage. Any previous experience where businesses have transformed data insights into business big picture changes is what recruiters want to read.
Tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for
A Data Scientist’s resume should not be approached as a one-size-fits-all approach, tailoring based on the role description is needed. This begins with extracting those emphasised points from the job description. Does this description lean towards it being a technical role? Or, is it more of a non-technical position? For the technical roles, the CV should showcase prior experience and your technical skills, whereas a non-technical role requires a bit more consideration of the job description. The specific skills listed then relate to this, as non-technical roles require a more well-rounded Data Scientist with full spectrum knowledge. Conversely, for the technical roles, the CV should be more specialised to showcase your depth of knowledge. Previous business impacts are another important CV highlight for both types of Data Science roles. It is the small, tailored details linking directly to the job description that will get an employer’s attention and showcase your understanding of the role being offered.
Add a little extra
As Data Science leans heavily on data visualisation, incorporating such things into one’s CV is an attention grabbing and impressive technique. Whilst a time consuming process, this approach will undoubtedly showcase one’s data visualisation techniques. Consider an infographic, career storyboard or interactive document.
Finally, don’t forget to include a clickable link to your GitHub somewhere on your CV. It is an important additional looked for by employers. They want to be able to see your portfolio of work as they take into consideration what you are currently working on and how frequently you are working on projects.
With the above tips actioned, your CV will undoubtedly gain employer attention. One final note, execution is everything so make sure your CV is flawless before hitting the apply button.