How to Optimize Your CV for a Data Scientist Career
In the process of landing an interview for a job, your CV is your best friend. The CV is your first-impression partner and your best shot at getting noticed by those recruiters. This is especially the case with industry as popular today as data science. Your competition is fierce, and there are going to be dozens of other CVs on that same pile. That’s why you need to optimize yours and make it stand out.
If you want to optimize your CV for a career in data science, all you have to do is keep reading. We’ve prepared a list of the best tips for your CV optimization that will make you look great.
Let’s take a look at our guide.
Table of Contents
● Why is My CV Important?
You may be thinking that CV optimization isn’t such a big deal. After all, if you’re qualified for the job, you should get a callback, right?
Well, in reality, things don’t run as smoothly.
The truth is, recruiters are looking through a bunch of CVs, merely skimming for information and looking for something to make them stop and take a closer look.
So, if you don’t optimize your CV, it will end up in the rejection pile within seconds. That means that your CV is important for:
- making a great first impression
- winning a chance to prove your skills and professionalism
- creating a great image for yourself before the interview
An optimized CV will open doors and get you interviews.
● How Can I Optimize My CV for Data Science?
Now that you understand the importance of a brilliant CV, it’s time to learn how to write one. Below, you’ll find our list of ultimate tips that will help you write an impressive CV.
1. Mind the Structure
The structure of your CV is the very first detail that recruiters will take a look at.
It needs to be well-organized and easy to find specific information. Otherwise, you’re going to the “no” pile.
So, here’s what to do with your CV structure:
- organize information in separate sections
- clearly label the sections with subheadings
- don’t write full, long sentences but use bullet points instead
- make it brief
- prioritize information and start with the most important
A CV that’s too long or presented as a bunch of text put together isn’t going to take you anywhere, so try making it a one-page CV.
In case you need help with organizing your information, you can google ”write my papers” and find professional editors to help you. Also, use such writing tools and services as getgoodgrade.com, Grammarly, Scribendi, and Thesaurus for vocabulary help and Canva resume templates for the visual effect.
2. Write an Opening Statement
Nobody likes to talk about themselves. Especially if you’re supposed to put a good word in for your own career and achievements.
But, apart from your valid personal and contact information, your data science CV needs to have a strong opening statement. Here’s what it should cover in no more than 3-4 sentences:
- who you are
- your professional experience
- how long have you been doing it
- what’s your biggest achievement so far
- what’s your plan or goal for the future
- something unique about you
Yes, it seems like a lot, but it’s necessary. Your opening statement gives you the chance to show a tiny bit of your personality and make the recruiters memorize you better.
Give them something to be inspired by, and you’ll have them reading the rest of your CV sections.
3. Experience & Projects
The next big thing in your CV is your data science experience and projects. Remember that nobody cares about your work experience outside this industry. So, don’t include your experience as a developer or cybersecurity expert.
Focus on the experience that’s data science-related and make sure to provide this information for each separate experience:
- a “title” (e.g., machine learning team leader)
- when it took place (e.g., March 2017-September 2018)
- the company or employer you worked for
- your tasks and responsibilities
The last point is the most important one. Briefly describe, using bullet points, what were your assignments, what innovative ideas you brought to the table, or what did you master in this project.
Do so for each project to give your potential employers the big picture of the range of your skills.
4. Key Skills & Tools
Now it’s time to specify the type of data science you do and what are your strongest sides. You could go for the option of rating your skills and tools-expertise on a scale.
- Machine Learning: Expert
- Data Visualization: Expert
- Debugging: Advanced
- NoSQL: Advanced
- Python: Intermediate
Make sure to separate skills from data science tools to respect your CV structure. Also, prioritize the most important ones, and put them on the top of your list.
Specify how well you do things and don’t try to be a know-it-all. If you try and claim you’re perfect in everything you do, recruiters will see you as someone who’s not an expert in anything.
5. Soft Skills
Data scientists should include a list of valuable soft skills in their resumes. This is where you should get really creative.
If the recruiters see you’ve put “open for challenges” or “team player” in your soft skills list, they’re just going to lose it.
Instead, truly think about the qualities that make you a better data scientist and list them accordingly. It could be something like:
- creative thinking
Get out of the box and truly commit yourself to write this section properly.
Finally, your last section should cover your formal education. Include the basic information about your education and make sure to provide the following information:
- college name
- college location
- years of studying
Feel free to include additional certificates you may have acquired over the years, provided they were issued by a credible institution.
Also, try to create a connection between your education and the job you’re applying for. Include:
- courses you took
- things you learned
- projects you had
This is especially important for entry-level data scientists and those who don’t have much work experience.
7. Adjust for Each Job Application
In the process of applying for a new job, you’ll be sending your CV to different addresses. And each job description will be different.
That means that you should adjust your CV for each new application. Here’s what you need to do:
- read the job description
- understand what are they looking for specifically
- emphasize those skills or requirements in your CV
Make the changes, especially in your opening statement, to let them know you’re a perfect fit for the job. Don’t send the same version of your CV to all the openings, or you’ll fail to impress.
● Final Thoughts
Optimizing your CV for a data science career requires you to wisely pick and organize the information you want to present to the recruiters. It may seem like a challenge at first, but it’s quite simple once you set your goal and strategy.
Hopefully, the tips shared above will guide you through the process of optimizing your CV and help you nail it.
Dorian Martin is a Writer and Editor with college degrees in computer science and mass communication. Dorian is passionate about AI, blockchain, data science, and digital marketing, all of which he aims to express through his writing and blogging contributions. In his spare time, Dorian contributes to his personal blog.