A professional resume helps you stand out from the crowds and expands job opportunities. Learn top techniques to improve your data engineer resume.
Think of your resume as your new best friend. It talks you up, highlights your strengths, and helps you achieve your goals. As the tech industry grows, more people compete for data engineering jobs. Without speaking to employers face-to-face, your resume needs to grab the attention of employers and sell you as a candidate.
While having a resume that accurately reflects your overall strengths is important, having a resume that reflects your strengths tailored to the position you’re applying for can help you to stand out from the crowd. It can show employers why you are a perfect fit, getting you started in your data engineering career.
Your resume is typically the first thing employers will see, giving them their first impression of you and your skill set. When competing with a high volume of candidates, employers will often have to make quick decisions on who they want to move forward with. A resume that shows thought, organization, and professionalism can give employers the first taste of the effort and commitment you put into your work. In contrast, they may assume you produce messy or incomplete work if your resume looks sloppy and unfinished.
Data engineering is a technical job that requires years of training and expertise. An employer's first point of action in the recruitment process is to look at your resume to assess your skills and experience to judge whether you will be capable of the job's tasks and deserve to be shortlisted. If your resume does not reflect your data engineering abilities, the employer may choose another candidate who has more expertise reflected on their resume.
You will likely need to use your resume multiple times in the professional world. Investing time to develop a quality base resume that sells your skills and accomplishments will save you time later and represent you well throughout your professional career. If you put in time upfront, making future updates and tweaks to tailor your resume for new positions will be quick and easy.
When you create your professional resume for applying for data engineer jobs, the first step is choosing an appropriate format. Presenting your achievements in a way that is easy to read and draws attention to your most relevant experiences can help employers get an accurate picture of your skills. Typically, data engineers choose a reverse chronological format, a functional resume format, or a combination resume.
A reverse chronological resume presents your experience, starting from the most recent and working backward. This is the typical format for somebody following a progressional career path, as the most recent professional experience will represent the most advanced roles and responsibilities.
A functional resume, on the other hand, showcases skills rather than experiences. If you have more relevant skills than professional experience, a functional resume may be a better choice to represent your strengths. For those with relevant experience and additional skills not demonstrated in your most recent job (such as if you are switching fields), a combination approach can help you represent yourself.
Generally, 12-point Helvetica or Calibri font and one-inch margins are standard for data engineering resumes.
Tailoring your resume to a job help hiring managers to see you in the content of the position without having to wade through the material in your resume. When scanning hundreds of resumes, employers often look for relevant keywords indicating that you possess the experience and qualifications required by the role.
To ensure your resume emphasizes tailored strengths and contains the relevant keywords, review the job description and look for the skills, training, and experience the position requires. Based on this, you can prioritize the sections of your resume and find the keywords to use to mirror the employer’s requirements.
Customizing your work history, skills section, and summaries to include keywords helps you grab their attention quickly and makes your resume more compliant with screening software if used to shortlist.
While many data engineering resumes highlight similar skills and qualifications, different careers under the data engineering umbrella require slightly different job responsibilities. Further updating your resume to the specific role helps to show you have put thoughtful effort into your application and helps demonstrate your relevant capabilities.
Tailoring your resume is essential, and the examples below demonstrate how you may approach certain sections according to the role you seek.
As a data engineering intern, having advanced experience in data engineering isn’t expected. Instead, you want to convince employers that you know the base technical skills needed to learn more advanced data engineering concepts.
Often, interns have a mentor or supervisor who helps them through the learning process. When writing your resume for data engineering intern positions, consider highlighting technical skills that show you are ready to take the next step in your data engineering career path. For example, relevant skills may include your proficiency in the following:
Programming languages (ex: Java, Python)
Data extraction tools
Your resume needs a different focus for an entry-level data engineering position than a data engineering intern position. Instead of highlighting the skills that show you are ready to learn data engineering skills, you need to demonstrate that you already have the skills necessary to perform basic data engineering job responsibilities. Given that this is an entry-level role, you don’t need to have years of experience in data engineering positions. Still, you must show employers how you have demonstrated success using data engineering skills in the past. Consider including a resume summary that highlights why your background prepares you for the position. For example, your resume summary might look like this:
"Motivated data engineer with four years of experience managing databases, utilizing machine learning concepts, and employing business intelligence techniques. Proven success building data pipelines and generating comprehensive data reports."
For mid-level data engineering positions, highlighting experience in previous data engineering positions or similar roles can show you are ready to take the next step in your career. Instead of just listing your previous positions, think about how you can describe your job responsibilities to showcase your skill set, achievements, and professional growth. On a mid-level data engineering resume, your achievements may look something like this:
Designed, developed, and maintained 15 data pipelines to support company growth and success
Validated and automated ML data pipeline
Continued data engineering professional education and growth by completing XX advanced Professional Certificate
Worked on a team of 10+ data engineers to design validation protocols, manage data, and create necessary database improvements
Junior Data Engineer
Acquired advanced machine learning and statistical skills through work on XX project
Spent two years learning intermediate-level database maintenance and design skills under the mentorship of senior data engineers on staff
De-bugged company software and successfully assisted with database updates
Lead data engineers typically have proven success using data engineering skills and can demonstrate expertise in this field. Applying to these positions puts you in competition with candidates with years of experience using programming languages and data modeling platforms, working with data pipelines, and applying high-level data analytics and security strategies.
To make yourself stand out amongst other candidates, including a resume summary that speaks to why you are an exceptional candidate may grab the employer's attention. Since lead data engineers often lead teams of professionals, you may also want to highlight your workplace skills, such as communication and leadership. For example, your resume summary may look something like this:
"Experienced data engineer with 10+ years of experience coordinating data system design and installation, deploying logic frameworks, and developing novel machine learning models. Proven success managing teams of 50+ entry- and mid-level data engineers, effectively communicating across cross-cultural teams, and creating highly innovative data system designs with consumer-driven focuses."
Read more: Data Engineering Salary: Your 2022 Guide
Big data engineers are a type of data engineer that works with extremely large data sets. Therefore, demonstrating experience and skills with large data sets on your resume helps assure employers you have the right skill set for the position. On your resume, consider highlighting in-demand skills for managing big data sets and how you have applied these skills in the past. For example, your experience section may look like this:
Big Data Engineering Intern
Developed advanced professional knowledge of Python, Apache Kafka, and Scala through the mentorship of mid-level and senior-level big data engineers on staff
Successfully designed novel data storage structure utilizing Google Cloud
Collaborated with a team of 10+ data engineers to manage data pipelines
Developed and constructed innovative data architectures
Performed necessary data abstraction and data acquisition tasks
Identified and deployed improvements for company data management systems
If you are looking for an entry-level data engineering role and don’t have previous experience, don’t fret. Many employers do not expect entry-level employees to have years of formal job positions in the area—if you did, you would probably be going for a mid-level position.
Data engineers are in demand because of their advanced knowledge of securely collecting, storing, maintaining, transferring, and cleaning high volumes of data. As more companies transition to storing their data digitally, the need for engineers that can help companies make and manage this transition continues to rise. Many successful data engineers have strong technical backgrounds in similar positions, such as software engineers or data scientists. These roles develop strong foundations in database management, programming languages, ETL frameworks, and other high-level technical skills.
To help you demonstrate your skills, highlighting projects on your resume is a great way to stand out from other entry-level candidates. These can include projects you completed in school, during any certifications, for any other professional roles, or in your own time. When you include a project, highlight your contribution to it (if part of a team) and how you can apply these skills to the job position. You can add this in a project section, your experience section, or data proficiency section.
If you do not have project experience to include in your resume, taking a certification course or continuing education course can provide an opportunity to complete relevant projects and showcase your skills. As a bonus, the course or certification will also strengthen your resume.
Another way to gain project experience is to complete an open-source data engineering project. These projects give entry-level data engineers experience working with fictitious networks and simulated environments to achieve real-world practice. Examples of these projects include Aviation Data Analysis, Smart IoT Infrastructure, and Event Data Analysis. You can complete these projects in your own time, which is a huge plus if you currently work in another position or have other responsibilities.
More senior roles require more responsibilities, and employers will often look for candidates with advanced degrees and certifications to fill these positions. If you have been working in an entry-level position for a while and are ready to grow your career position, a relevant degree or certification can be just the boost you need to show you are prepared to potential employers.
While a bachelor’s degree is typically sufficient for entry to mid-level data engineering positions, a graduate degree is more common in senior positions. Obtaining a master’s (or even PhD) in a relevant field such as data science, computer science, information technology, applied mathematics, or engineering can show your prowess in advanced data engineering technical skills.
Read more: Types of Engineering Degrees: Your Guide
Certifications are a great addition to your resume to show specialized knowledge in data engineering skills. Often, data engineers will gain certification in the platform they are using to demonstrate their skills and create a foundation for more advanced certifications.
Top certifications recommended to help expand your professional opportunities include the following:
Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Big Data
Cloudera Certified Professional (CCP) Data Engineer
Google Professional Data Engineer
Data Science Council of America (DASCA) Associate Big Data Engineer
Data Science Council of America (DASCA) Senior Big Data Engineer
When resume building, the goal is to grab the employer's attention and make your achievements stand out. You do this by paying attention to the layout and being intentional with the descriptions you include. If your resume is cluttered and difficult to follow, the hiring manager may become frustrated and not read on. These tips help your resume stand out:
Use professional font and spacing.
Utilize bullet points to break up large bodies of text.
Put your most relevant skills and experiences in the opening summary.
Keep your descriptions clear and concise.
Use keywords included in the job description.
Use metrics to make your achievements measurable.
Be truthful but don’t be afraid to celebrate your accomplishments.
Think you’re ready to put together your data engineering resume? One way to ensure your resume is taken seriously by hiring managers is to supplement traditional experiences with certificates and specialized coursework. This shows you go above and beyond in your professional pursuits and are committed to advancing in the field.
You'll find several opportunities to take your resume to the next level on Coursera, including the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate offered by Google and the DevOps on AWS Specialization by Amazon Web Services. When you take the time to invest in yourself, you strengthen your skill set, increase your knowledge, and open new professional opportunities.
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Employers usually consider a PDF to be a more professional format. However, if an employer asks for Word, you should adhere to their request.
For most resumes, one page is sufficient. This gives you room to highlight your most important experiences and skills and optimizes hiring managers' time to review your credentials.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.