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This post is contributed by Burtch Works’ data engineering recruiting team.

Curating a resume can undoubtedly become a challenge, especially for an early career data engineer or machine learning professional. Accurately portraying your skills, breadth of experience and knowledge within a few short pages is the key to landing a position in today’s market. 

There are many online guides about how to write a good resume, along with a variety of opinions on what works; questions around the latest style, layout and how many pages it should be, making this an extremely subjective topic. 

We have written the guide below to give you some useful tips around curating your resume, based on feedback from clients about what they expect to see on a Data Engineer’s or Machine Learning Expert’s resume.  

So how do you go about making sure that your resume does give the right impression and get you that interview opportunity? Refer to our guidelines below for what to keep in mind. 

Structure is Important: 

A good structure should typically follow this order: 

  • Name and contact details – We suggest listing your phone number and email address, as well as a direct link to your LinkedIn profile. Listing your contact details first is always best practice, this ensures that the hiring manager or anyone reviewing your resume knows exactly how and where to reach you. 
  • Personal Statement/Summary (3-5 sentences) – This section should give the hiring manager a clear understanding of your skillsets and your professional experiences in a short, easy to digest format. Be sure to include any technological expertise, as well as a holistic view of your career path. 
  • Key Skills and Technology Experiences (SQL, Power BI, Python etc.) – Be sure to eliminate any outdated technologies and only list tools that you are comfortable with. 
  • Employment History in Chronological Order with Dates – List both company name and job title, as well as your individual contributions and use of your technology toolkit. 
  • Education – List any relevant details regarding your educational background including your area of study and graduation year. 
  • Interests – We encourage you to include any technology organizations you are affiliated with. The goal here is to showcase how your personal interests coincide with your professional goals. For example, we recommend that university graduates list any technical associations they joined while completing their education.  
  • References – If you choose to include any references, be sure to include their contact information as well as your professional affiliation. We also recommend that any references you include are recent, specifically from the past two years. 

However, do not be afraid to deviate from this structure to demonstrate your relevance for a particular position more effectively; be sure to personalize your content to match the job description.  

As far as design, keep it simple. The design elements should not take away from the content you are presenting. 

Also, be sure to cross reference all employment history with your LinkedIn profile to maintain consistency. 

Content: 

The content included in your resume should be concise and clear.  

With regards to the key skills, technological tools, and techniques you typically employ, specific information is vital. Be sure to quantify your achievements with actionable initiatives.  

We encourage you to include details around the specific projects you have worked on while highlighting your technology toolkit. 

Adding these snippets of key information won’t take up a lot of valuable space but will help give your prospective employer a more detailed understanding of your skills and level of competence, ultimately, helping boost your chance of receiving an interview. 

Consistent Format is Key: 

Use a clear layout and include headings to create separation between each section. Within each section use bullet points to define your role, responsibilities, and skills rather than paragraphs full of lengthy sentences and commas. This will help to make the content far easier to scan for key information and is more likely to grab the attention of the employer. 

Keep the whole document relatively short, 2-3 pages maximum if you are a professional with extensive experience. For those that have individual project or contract backgrounds, it is understandable that their resumes tend to be a tad lengthier. 

Be sure to pay attention to grammar, spelling, and font sizes. Ensure all information displayed on your resume is accurate: dates, company names, skills, and experiences with various technologies and tools. 

Resumes are Customizable: 

Lastly, remember that your resume should be tailored to fit each role you are applying for. 

Study the job descriptions and highlight relevant pieces of information to showcase your skills and experiences that align best with what the company is seeking. 

Although resumes are meant to be a professional document, you can still have fun with it. Recently, we have been seeing an influx of resumes with interests and hobbies listed. Make sure the content you are presenting is not only relevant, but is also interesting and engaging.

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