In this guide, we will share with you the best tips for creating a resume that will get you that interview. These tips were compiled from reading thousands of data engineering resumes as well as talking to hiring managers. We will update this guide periodically so bookmark it for future reference!
Include only relevant information
In general, you want to include the things that are the most relevant to the job you’re applying for and order those things from most relevant to least relevant.
If you have a computer science education but no professional experience or projects then you would list your education section first.
If you don’t have relevant education or professional experience but you have a few relevant projects you would list your projects section above your other sections.
Tailor it to the job you’re applying for
A common mistake is sending a generic resume to a lot of job posts at once. This approach will almost ensure your resume will never be a top pick. This also means that you can easily stand out by spending some time tailoring your resume for each job you’re applying for.
When we say tailoring it to the job, we mean:
- Using the same language the job post uses.
- Ensuring the skills/tools listed are also on your resume (if you have the experience of course).
Format it for readability
- No longer than one page.
- Don’t use special resume formats with multiple columns, colors, or icons.
- These things can hinder an applicant tracking system (ATS) from parsing your resume which could be losing you opportunities.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s break down each section of the resume in more detail.
At the very top of your resume, always include your contact info and links.
We recommend that you include:
- Your first and last name
- The city & state you’re currently living in (don’t include your full address)
- Your phone number
- Your LinkedIn link
- Your GitHub link
If you don’t have a computer science or information systems degree then this section should be somewhere near the bottom of your resume.
- Keep this section short and concise.
- Don’t include your GPA.
- Don’t include classes unless relevant.
- Do include extracurricular activities if relevant (awards, clubs, leadership).
- If you’re an older adult, remove the year you graduated because this information can be used against you as a form of ageism.
- Professional experience should always be in reverse chronological order.
- Begin every bullet point with an action verb.
- Each bullet point should be no more than two sentences long.
- Each bullet point should use the STAR (situation, task, action, result) format.
- List the skills/tools you’ve used alongside the accomplishments in your bullet points. Example: “Decreased intermittent data pipeline failures by 50% using the exponential backoff/retry pattern in Airflow”
- It shows you have experience with the skill and gives context as to what you did with it. This is generally a better approach than listing skills in a section by itself. Although, that might still be helpful in getting past an applicant tracking system (ATS).
- Each relevant job experience should have 4-5 bullet points. If you’re running out of space and have jobs that aren’t relevant you can reduce those to 2-3 bullet points.
- If you don’t have relevant experience, fill in the gaps with a projects section where you showcase your talents and skills with a link to each GitHub repo and a short description.
Need to do a project? Use this data engineering project template.
Data engineering certifications are great when you’re starting out and need to demonstrate proficiency in a skillset or technology. The issue is that most certifications aren’t valued much by employers because they are too easy to get. For example, certifications from sites like Coursera or LinkedIn learning are very easy to cheat and get high scores on.
The certifications that are valued and respected are much harder to obtain and usually require you to take a test at an in-person testing location with time limits. Studying for these exams will usually require a time commitment of a few months at minimum if you’re starting from scratch.
For data engineering certifications, we recommend (ranked accordingly):
- Always move the skills section to the bottom of the page. It’s not really helpful except for maybe getting past an ATS.
- If you have relevant experience with a certain skill or tool and it was included in the job description but you couldn’t fit it into your bullet points then you would list it here.
Last tip: don’t start from scratch - use one of our FREE data engineering resume templates!