Crafting Your Data Engineering Resume: Tips + Examples

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

A professional resume helps you stand out from the crowd and expands job opportunities. Learn top techniques to improve your data engineer resume.

[Featured images] A hiring manager's hands holding a paper resume over a desk

Applying to jobs can feel overwhelming, but crafting a strong resume will help you feel confident in your job search. A good resume should emphasize your strengths and effectively demonstrate your experience. It should also be tailored to the position for which you're applying. Use the following guide to ensure your data engineering resume is competitive and impactful.

Elements of a successful data engineering resume

You will need to use your resume several times throughout your career.

To make your job search more efficient, consider starting with a base resume. You can think of your base resume as a template that you'll adjust slightly each time you apply to a new company. A base resume should include at least some of the skills mentioned above, as well as any relevant hands-on experience.

Crafting a basic, foundational resume first will make it faster and easier for you to update and adjust your resume in the future.

1. Formatting

The first step in creating any professional resume is to choose an appropriate format. A great format ensures that you present your achievements and experience in a way that is attention grabbing and easy to read. Data engineer resumes are typically done in one of two formats:

1. Reverse chronological. A reverse chronological resume presents your experience from most recent to oldest. This is the typical format because it displays the most advanced roles and responsibilities first. 

2. Functional. A functional resume showcases skills before experience. If you have more relevant skills than professional experience or your last job doesn't adequately reflect your strengths, a functional resume might be the best way to represent your abilities.

Additional formatting points to consider include recommended font, font size, and margins. Generally, it's best to use a non-distracting, easy-to-read font like Helvetica, Calibri, Times New Roman, or Arial. Twelve-point font and one-inch margins are standard for resumes.

Read more: 16 Resume Tips to Help You Apply with Confidence

2. Data engineering skills

Your resume is your first impression to potential employers. Think of it as a way to give employers a preview of the thoughtfulness, organization, and professionalism you'll put into your work. It's important that your resume not only reflects your data engineering abilities but elevates them above the competition.

Read more: What Is a Big Data Engineer? A 2024 Career Guide

In-demand technical skills

Here are some of the top skills employers on Indeed look for in a data engineering candidate [1]:

  • Programming skills. Many data engineering roles require coding abilities. A few relevant programming languages that stand out on a data engineering resume include Python, SQL, Java, R, C/C++, and Scala. You can learn more about in-demand programming languages and access resources to get you started here: Popular Programming Languages in 2024.

  • Familiarity with data warehousing platforms. Data engineers are responsible for managing large amounts of data. Comfort with data warehousing platforms like Amazon Redshift or Google BigQuery is an excellent strength to include on your data engineering resume.

  • Ability to work with analytics software. Working efficiently with analytics software is an essential skill for data engineering candidates. Popular data analytics software includes Apache Hadoop, Tableau, and Azure Data Factory.

  • Knowledge of operating systems (OS). It's crucial for data engineers to possess a strong understanding of operating systems. The most common operating systems are Microsoft Windows, MacOS and iOS [2].

  • Data visualization capabilities. Being able to translate complex data points into easily digestible language or visual aids is a highly attractive skill to employers. You can build your data presentation skills and earn a certificate for your resume with IBM's online specialization, Data Analysis and Visualization Specialization:

People skills for data engineers

In addition to the technical skills mentioned above, data engineers should consider refining the following people skills as well:

  • Communication skills. Part of a data engineer's job is to share analytical insights with other organization members. For this reason, data engineers must be excellent communicators.

  • Problem-solving abilities. Data engineers help develop solutions to the issues they identify through data analysis. Being able to leverage your findings into actionable insight is critical.

  • Ability to work independently. Data engineers often work with other departments and teams in an organization. However, much of their time is spent collecting and analyzing data on their own. The ability to efficiently work independently is a valuable skill.

Enhance the skills above and earn a certificate for your resume from an industry leader with IBM's online specialization, Solving Problems with Creative and Critical Thinking:

3. Tailor your resume to specific data engineering jobs

Tailoring your resume to a certain job helps hiring managers visualize you in the context of that position.

When scanning hundreds of resumes, employers often look for relevant keywords that indicate you possess the required experience and qualifications. To make sure your resume has the most relevant keywords, you can start by looking over the job posting you're applying for.

Examine the skills, training, and knowledge requirements and compare them with your academic, field, and prior work experience. Based on this, you can prioritize certain sections of your resume and use keywords to mirror the employer’s requirements.

Tip: use resume keywords

In some cases, employers may use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to scan for keywords automatically. To learn more about optimizing your resume for ATS keywords, check out Resume Keywords: How to Find the Right Words to Beat the ATS.


Data engineer resume examples

Many data engineering resumes highlight similar skills and qualifications, but different titles may require different responsibilities. Updating your resume for the specific role you're applying for shows that you have put thought and effort into your application. It also helps demonstrate your most valuable and relevant capabilities. 

Data engineer intern resume example

Interns are not expected to have field experience in data engineering. Instead, your focus should be on demonstrating your abilities. Show that you can perform basic technical skills and be willing and able to be trained in more advanced concepts.

Here's an example of the skills section of a resume for a data engineering internship:


  • Understanding of the software development life cycle (SDLC) and operations

  • Knowledge of programming languages (ex: Java, Python)

  • Knowledge of database concepts and database languages (ex: SQL)

  • Familiarity with data extraction tools and techniques

  • Familiarity with data warehousing tools and techniques

  • Strong communication skills

  • Presentation experience

  • Demonstrated analytical and problem-solving skills

Entry-level data engineer resume example

Instead of highlighting skills that show you are ready to learn data engineering skills, an entry-level data engineering resume should demonstrate the basic skills you already have. Since this is an entry-level role, employers shouldn't expect years of experience in the job field.

You can still showcase your data engineering skills without a professional background. Consider adjusting the language used to describe your technical skills. Instead of being "familiar" or having "knowledge" of the concepts listed in the internship resume above, an entry-level skills section might look more like the following:


  • Knowledge of the software development life cycle and operations

  • Experience with data extraction tools and techniques

  • Experience with data warehousing tools and techniques

  • Understanding of database concepts and database languages (ex: SQL)

  • Strong communication skills

  • Excellent presentation abilities

  • Demonstrated analytical and problem-solving skills

Need help introducing yourself?

Your resume summary as an entry-level data engineer might sound something like this:

"Motivated data engineer with four years of academic experience managing databases, utilizing machine learning concepts, and employing business intelligence (BI) techniques. Proven success building data pipelines and generating comprehensive data reports." 

Read more: How to Write a Resume Summary + Examples


Mid-level data engineer resume

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 simply listing your previous positions, think about how you can describe your responsibilities in that role to highlight your skill set, achievements, and professional growth.

On a mid-level data engineering resume, your achievements may look something like this:

Professional Experience

Data Engineer

  • 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

  • De-bugged company software and successfully assisted with database updates

  • Spent two years learning intermediate-level database maintenance and design skills under the mentorship of senior data engineers on staff

Read more: 150 Resume Action Words to Impress Employers in 2024

Lead or senior data engineering resume

Lead data engineers have demonstrated expertise and professional achievement in the field. Applying to these positions puts you in competition with candidates who have years of experience. They have advanced proficiency in programming languages and data engineering tools and platforms. Senior data engineers also have experience with high-level data analytics and security strategies. 

To help yourself stand out amongst other candidates, write a resume summary that speaks to why you are an exceptional candidate. Since senior data engineers often lead teams of professionals, highlight your non-technical skills. These may include leadership or project management. Here's an example:

"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."


Big data engineer resume

Big data engineers are a type of data engineer that works with extremely large data sets. Demonstrating experience with large data sets on your resume helps assure employers you're a good fit for the position. Highlight in-demand, big data management-specific skills and how you have applied them in the past. For example, your experience section may be similar to this:

Professional Experience

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

Data Engineer

  • 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

Data engineering resume tips

The goal of your resume is to grab the employer's attention and make your achievements stand out. Consider the factors below when crafting a stand-out resume.

1. Use resume best practices

Pay attention to the layout and be intentional with your descriptions. If your resume feels cluttered and difficult to follow, the hiring manager may become frustrated and not read on. Use these tips to 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.

Craft a stand-out resume

If you're uncertain how your resume should look and sound, explore Coursera's Resume Writing Guide for templates, tips and resources.


2. Enhance your data engineer resume with projects

Data engineers are in demand because of their advanced knowledge of securely collecting, storing, maintaining, transferring, and cleaning high volumes of data. Highlighting these types of projects on your resume is a great way to stand out from other candidates. These can include academic projects, any certifications you've earned, or even personal projects you've completed on your own time.

When you describe a project, highlight your contribution to it (if you were part of a team) and how those skills apply to your desired position. You can add this into a separate project section, your experience section, or a data proficiency section on your resume. 

Guided Projects and certifications

If you do not have project experience to include in your resume, you can gain some by earning a certification or completing a 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. The list below compiles a few starter options from accredited universities and industry leaders in technology.

For entry-level/beginner data engineers:

For mid-level/intermediate data engineers:

For senior-level/advanced data engineers:

Open-source data engineering projects

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.

3. Highlight your degree for advanced data engineering roles

Pursuing higher education is not a requirement for data engineering roles, but some employers may prefer it for senior-level ones.

According to Zippia, sixty-five percent of data engineers have a bachelor's degree, 22 percent have a master's degree, and 7 percent have an associate degree [3]. Most commonly, data engineers study computer science or electrical engineering.

If you have been working in an entry-level position and are ready to take the next step in your career, a relevant degree or certification can help you prepare. Here are a few options to consider if you want to obtain a relevant degree:

Explore data engineering certification on Coursera

Enhance your resume by earning a job-relevant Professional Certificate on Coursera. In IBM's Data Engineering Professional Certificate, you'll master the most up-to-date practical skills and knowledge that data engineers use in their daily roles, such as managing relational databases, using tools like Hadoop and Apache, and deploying data warehouses.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Article sources


Indeed. "Top 8 Skills You Need To Become a Data Engineer (With Tips)," Accessed December 21, 2023.

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