Data engineering is one of the fastest growing jobs in tech. From 2019 to 2020, reports show 50% year-over-year growth for data engineering positions, far greater than comparable senior roles in data science or back-end development.
As one of the most competitive jobs in a field that’s already difficult to break into, a well-written data engineer resume is key to landing that dream job.
If you’re at an early stage of your data engineering career path, you might not have much experience in resume writing. That’s okay – resume writing for data engineering positions is a relatively straightforward process, and shares common themes with resumes created for other roles in the data science field. Here are seven quick tips for crafting a data engineer resume to stand out.
Keep It Modern
The most important aspect of your data science resume, of course, is the content – your experiences, tech skills and what you bring to the table.
A great design won't make up for lack of expertise. But it can make a difference.
A clean, modern design makes your resume easier to scan, helps key information stand out to recruiters and creates a strong first impression. Here's an example of a data engineer resume for 2021:
One thing to note is that you want to test if your resume will still be parsed easily by the ATS systems. If they can't parse your resume, likely this means they won't be able to read your resume correctly which is almost always a bad sign.
Showcase Your Tech Skills
Hiring managers aren’t going to read every single sentence of your resume in depth– make their scanning as easy as possible. Highlight the key bits of information that they’re sure to be looking for, especially the key data engineer skill competencies.
Here’s some of the most common attributes to include:
Be sure you’re aligning your skills to the position. Chances are that you won’t be able to highlight every skill, so be selective and pick those that are in-demand and useful for the position.
Resume Pro Tip: Design your data engineering resume so your skills are prominently placed and scannable. A sidebar for contact info/portfolio and skills looks clean and is very easy on the eye.
Use a Summary to Communicate Your Experience
Resume objectives have become more obsolete lately, with concise summary statements coming back into style. Some hiring managers and recruiters only read the summary statements, so, if nothing else, make sure that this part of your resume really shines.
Here’s some of the most important information to put in your summary:
- Years of Experience (MAKE THIS STAND OUT!)
- Strongest skills and competencies + specializations
- Specific industries you’ve worked in, e.g. finance
The key is keeping it original. Your bullet points and work experiences will speak for themselves, so there’s no need to directly regurgitate every single detail that you have on other parts of your resume.
Here’s an example of a good summary statement:
Senior data engineer with 6+ years of experience in designing and scaling data pipelines in e-commerce. Most recently developed a data pipeline using Python, which led to a 23% lift in sales.
Be Specific with Business Value
Vague bullet points and experiences, especially those that don’t discuss business value, seriously detract from an otherwise solid resume.
Hiring managers are busy. They aren’t going to take the time to sift through a ton of dime-a-dozen statements (like “Used Python and SQL on a daily basis…”), so it’s best to focus on statements that quantify your contributions.
Consider discussing how you reduced costs, increased revenue, or saved company time by increasing efficiency, in conjunction with the specific skills and tools you used to solve complex problems.
Some examples of strong bullet points include:
- Led migration of an existing data warehouse from Oracle to BigQuery using Amazon S3, resulting in cost savings of $415,000.
- Maintained 99.9% uptime for a data pipeline ingesting transactional data with Spark and Redshift.
And here's an example of how not to do it:
Don't Forget Your Non-Tech Skills
As a data engineer, your resume should showcase your technical prowess, no doubt. But a common mistake on data science resumes is failing to convey the soft skills.
What's the best way to do it? Weave soft skills and tech knowledge into your bullet points and summary. This is will create a richer picture of who you are as a data engineer.
Here are some ideas for incorporating soft skills:
- Note which teams you worked with on previous projects, e.g. "Collaborated with the Product Development team on a product analytics dashboard"
- Showcase your ability to communicate with business leaders and make data accessible to non-tech colleagues
- Focus on key soft skills, including adaptability, collaboration, communication, problem-solving and attention to detail
Highlight Personal Projects
In the past, a resume typically only included contact info - name, email, phone. But in today’s environment, you should absolutely include a link to your portfolio, personal website, or GitHub.
This helps hiring managers see relevant work samples, as well as what you’ve worked on outside of the office. If you’re fresh out of school, starting to transition into data engineering, or just don’t have that much work experience in general, personal projects have the added bonus of displaying proficiency and experience in different skills.
Resume Pro Tip: Make your resume linkable. Link to your personal website or portfolio, and encourage hiring managers to click-through and take a look. Plus, make sure your portfolio link is placed prominently, e.g. in your header or on a sidebar.
Customize to the Job You're Applying To
The more aligned your resume is to the position you're applying to, the more interest it will attract.
Yes, updating your resume for every position can feel like a time-consuming chore. But it's one of the most helpful ways to land more interviews. Here's how you can do it easily:
- Update bullet points to align with the job description, especially the skills you used
- Move the most important skills from the job description to the top of your skills section
- Tailor your professional summary to the position, specially highlighting similar projects, skills and job functions that align with the position
Bringing It All Together
Remember, your resume should tell a story about you.
Hiring managers should see what kind of employee you are: how you approach problems, what you’ve done in the past and the successes you’ve had. How? Do it with data and specificity that conveys business value.
With these tips, hopefully your professional story will jump off the page, helping you land in the interview pile. Best of luck!
Thanks for reading! For more data engineering content, be sure to try out our courses to practice those key skills.