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Data Science & Analytics Job Search Guide: Resumes, Interviews, Job Offers, & More

November 2, 2020

Over the past several years, we’ve shared a plethora of resources on the Burtch Works blog related to job searching, specifically tailored for data scientists and analytics professionals.Since this year has led to a lot of uncertainty (with more certainly on the way), we thought it might be helpful to compile ALL of these posts together in one place, to create a comprehensive guide through the job search process as well as developing COVID-19 trends, that you can reference regardless of whether you’re looking for a new position, or simply want to be prepared.

Job Search Resources for Data Scientists & Analytics Professionals

1. Job Search Prep: LinkedIn Profile Tips

LinkedIn is often your first chance to make an impression on a recruiter or HR professional, so even if you’re not currently looking it’s wise to keep it up to date and make sure it’s a good reflection of your skills! This post was shared by our marketing research team, and their tips for creating an effective LinkedIn profile are very helpful.

2. Resume Tips: Best Practices

Want to make sure you’re submitting the best resume you can? Our quantitative team shares their tips for resumes including the best way to format resume bullets for analytics experience, what to include, when to include hobbies and personal interests, and more.

3. Resume Tips: Including Internships/Project Experience

Internships and project experience can be a great addition to your resume if you don’t have too much work experience. But how should you include them?First, we recommend putting internships and academic project experience in a separate section on your resume along with:> Company or industry> Business problem or question> Types of analysis/modeling used> Tools you used> Results of your analysisInternships or academic projects are likely to be more impactful than personal projects, so we recommend only including personal quantitative projects if they’re relevant to the role or industry you’re applying for.

4. Tips for Working with Recruiters

Of course we may be slightly biased, but recruiters can be an immense resource not only for your job search, but also to keep in touch with what’s going on in the hiring market! Staying in touch with a recruiter can also help you be better prepared for future job searches so that you know what skills to work on so that you can reach your career goals. And yes, we have a few tips for you on working with recruiters like us!

5. Interview Prep: Company Research

Companies love candidates who show strong interest in them! Show your interest in the firm by doing your due diligence. This should be more than just looking at their website. Research them in the news, what kinds of headlines have they been making, strategies and goals, etc.Here are several areas to make sure you review before you speak to anyone:Company

  • News/developments
  • Strategies and goals

Interviewers/hiring managers

  • Review LinkedIn profiles for people you’ll be speaking to
  • Are they published? Mentioned in an article? Written a blog? Common interests?

Job description and requirements

  • Original posting you applied to
  • Any correspondence you’ve had with recruiters or people at that company
6. Interview Prep: Zoom/Skype/Video Interview Tips

Even before COVID-19, many companies were starting to use video interviews as a way to speed up their hiring process. We’ve found that the best way to be prepared is to practice and test everything (your background, technology, interview strategy, etc.) beforehand, so here are our video interview tips to get you started.

7. During the Interview: Questions to Ask

It’s important to ask questions during your interview – both to show your genuine interest in the role and also to understand the scope of work from someone doing the work or close to it. This is especially critical for data science & analytics roles, because there can often be variations in job titles and descriptions from company to company.Below are some of the basic areas to think about when asking your interviewers questions, and you can check out this blog for more information on titles and job levels in data science & analytics.Structure / Role

  • Who does the role report to?
  • Responsibilities? Management expectations?


  • Tools/methodologies used
  • Types of data
  • Where is the data coming from?
  • Data structured vs. unstructured?
  • Time spent on analysis vs. data management vs. other tasks
8. During the Interview: Salary Negotiation Tips

Salary negotiation is an area we get asked about a lot as recruiters! Luckily we have a handy resource for data scientists looking to negotiate their salary, including how to approach asking for more.

9. During the Interview: Presentations & Demonstrating Strategic Thinking

Now more than ever, data science & analytics roles require someone who can translate their analysis into action, think strategically for the business, and communicate these findings to senior leadership. Having strong technical skills is a good foundation, but you need to be able to demonstrate that you can turn that into value for your company and team!Check out this post for our tips on how to improve and demonstrate your ability to think strategically. And, since many companies are requiring interview presentations as a way to evaluate strategic and communication skills, check out this post for our guidelines on quantitative interview presentations.

10. After the Interview: Follow-Up Emails

Thank you emails after interviews are a key step in securing a position, and this includes Zoom interviews! This post includes follow-up email best practices including: how to include additional information about your analytics experience, who to send to and when, and at what point to start thinking about getting back in touch if you haven’t heard back yet.

11. Evaluating Job Offers

So once you have a job offer, how do you make a final decision about whether it’s the right fit for you? There are many areas for data scientists and analytics professionals to consider including:> Compensation: salaries & bonuses> Benefits and other perks> Relocation (many employers are still aiming for eventual relocation)> Negotiation – what can be changed and what can’t?> Company fit and technology adoptionFor more of our tips on evaluating each of these areas before accepting a job offer, check out this post.

12. What if You Have Multiple Job Offers?

What should you do if you’re trying to evaluate more than one job offer at the same time? While this certainly opens up your options, it can be a potentially sticky situation if you don’t handle it properly! Here are our tips on how best to manage having multiple job offers at the same time.

13. Getting Started in a New Role: Onboarding

As many have pointed out, the massive shift to working remotely for many professionals can lead to challenges when onboarding into a new company or position. While it’s always been prudent to be proactive about your own onboarding when starting in a new role, communication and setting expectations are even more important when you can’t see everyone in person every day. This post shares six steps from career coach Tim Ressmeyer on how to start off on the right foot.

14. How to Keep Up: Continuous Learning & Developing Your Network

Networking and expanding your skillset are the best ways to reach your career goals and keep moving forward. How can you do this? Check out this post for our career growth strategies, including networking, how to prepare, and ways to broaden your analytical skillset and knowledge.

COVID-19 Trends

Clearly the pandemic has had an immense impact on job searching and the hiring market, and more changes are likely on the way as companies (and professionals) continue to manage the developing effects of long-term remote working environments (among other things).To learn more about how COVID-19 has impacted the analytics community, check out our latest research with the IIA on layoffs, WFH situations, and industry/region variations.How is the hiring process changing to keep up, and what trends are our recruiters seeing on the horizon? This excerpt from our 2020 data science & analytics salary report shares our key developing trends.

Other Resources: Breaking into Data Science, Working Remotely, and More

  1. Data Science Recruiter Q&A Excerpt: Resumes, Bootcamps, and Learning New Tools
  2. Breaking Into Analytics & Data Science: Skills/Tools to Learn & How to Transition
  3. The Pros & Cons of Working Remotely in Analytics
  4. The Must-Have Skills You Need to Become a Data Scientist

We hope you find these resources helpful!

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