How to write a CV for a data science job

Despite advances in IT recruitment technology, your CV remains your go-to tool for finding your dream data science job.

This means you need to craft your CV with care if you want to proceed to the interview phase of the hiring process.

Here are the most important points to bear in mind when you are tailoring your CV for a data science job:

What does a data science job involve?

Whether you have prior experience in a head of data science job or you’re completely new to the field, it’s worth remembering the requirements of the role when writing your CV.

This is because the best CV writing approach for any position is to link all the points you make back to the requirements of the job in general and the job description in particular.

With this in mind, a data science job usually involves doing the following:

  • Accessing and understanding information from multiple sources
  • Analysing or collating the data you’ve collected
  • Using that analysis to suggest valuable insights
  • Often, presenting that data or analysis to an individual or group

How to write a CV for a data science job

1) Start with a summary or cover letter

Much like any good essay you might have written at university, the opening of your CV should make the key points you intend to expand upon later on.

Most IT recruitment processes leave space for an opening statement or cover letter where you can do this. If you need to attach a CV, start with a summary that defines:

  • Where you are in your career at the moment
  • Your current skills, abilities, and experience and how they’re relevant
  • What you’re looking for from your next position

Of course, always bear in mind those key functions of a data science job when writing your summary of why you’re the ideal candidate for the role.

2) Use a clear and readable format

Though it can be tempting to go for an unusual format to draw attention to your CV, there’s a reason certain formats have become go-to classics. Split your CV into sections that cover:

  • Your key skills
  • Qualifications you’ve gained inside and outside of the workplace
  • Your proudest achievements (and why they’re relevant to this position)
  • A chronological employment history and the impact you had in each (that highlights skills or achievements relevant to this position)
  • A portfolio of publications or projects (relevant to your target role)

3) Make sure everything you write is relevant

There’s a reason for the overuse of the word “relevant” in the section above.

The most important question to ask when writing a CV for a data science job (or any role) is, “Is this relevant to the position I am applying for?”

If the answer is no, it’s usually a mistake to include it. Any IT recruitment agency or HR professional is likely to read your CV and see skills and experience that don’t position you as one of the best candidates.

The exception is if you can clearly and succinctly show how that experience is relevant to the position when you mention it in your CV.

Can I apply for a data science job without experience?

In short, yes. Applying for an entry-level data science job without direct experience is possible. After all, everyone has to start somewhere.

However, when writing your CV, be sure to draw attention to:

  • Relevant hard and soft skills you do have (and where you’ve demonstrated them)
  • How good your presentation skills are (this is a big requirement of most data science roles and it’s something you can practice in many other places)
  • Any courses or studies you’re undertaking in the field to improve your skills and knowledge

In general, as always, working with a specialist recruiter who knows how to present what you have to offer and can match you with suitable positions is always going to be the best approach to take when applying for any data science job.

Ready to get your CV into the hands of employers with the kind of data science job you want?

Let’s talk. Ernest Gordon is a specialist IT recruitment company. We have a proven, open, honest, transparent process and access to jobs you won’t find elsewhere.

Set up a cost and commitment-free chat with one of our friendly advisors today.