STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
You have to have the right skills, but the problem is so does everyone else who doesn’t get knocked out by the software that prioritizes resumes. What is unique about you? How do you convey your passion for the business and for data science? When I used to hire people that’s what I would look for! Oh, and if you know someone in the team that’s a big help, see below!
WORK YOUR WAY INTO THE UNTAPPED JOB MARKET
So the simple strategy is to become that guy/ girl that everyone knows. The “throwing your resume on a pile of other resumes approach” may not work awesomely well for you!
- You need to coffee date the heck out of everyone in data science in your local area.
- You have to attend data science meetups
- You need to be seen and known everywhere
Then you can make it in to that secret club where there are jobs that aren’t advertised, but are offered. Maybe they haven’t gone to the job site yet, maybe the company gave up looking for someone like you, who knows? But there are heaps of jobs out there that are never advertised, they are based on personal recommendation from someone in the company.
COMPANIES MAY HAVE UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS OF YOU
You may see those crazy “5 years of experience and 3 PhDs required for this grad job” offers. What is happening there is clearly a disconnect between the data science team, the hiring managers and HR. I would personally suggest you avoid those jobs, if they can’t articulate succinctly what they want from an employee it doesn’t look good for you if you do get the job.
YOU MAY HAVE UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS OF THE COMPANY AND THE ROLE
For the benefit of everyone:
Don’t worry about getting a cool title. It will happen, get a job working with data and then move across to data science from there.
"YOU SHALL NOT PASS" GETTING PAST CV SCREENING ALGORITHM
These days most CVs are screened with software that knocks out about 80% of applications. To improve the chances that your CV isn’t in the pile of rejects make sure you work off a master CV template and optimise keywords based on those described in the job advertisement.
Here’s a great way of checking to see how relevant your CV is. Run the text through this CV scoring website and see what it returns. Check out suggestions and fix up your CV based on this feedback. It isn’t perfect, but this is about as close as you can get to a CV resume scanning algorithm.
Here I uploaded a sample resume I found on the internet. It was too long, and it did indeed lack depth!
NEVER GIVE UP
Getting your first job in any field is going to be hard, but data science is still immature, ill defined and new to most people. The role of a data scientist won’t be the exact same thing in two different companies.
Be nice to recruiters, be nice to fellow travelers you meet on your journey to get a job and just be patient. This is probably the hardest thing you will have to do in your career. The good news is it is all up from here!