Machine Learning Resume: Tips, Examples, and Writing Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

A well-crafted machine learning resume can help you stand out from the crowd. Learn what you can do to craft an eye-catching resume that lands your an interview—and maybe even a job.

[Featured image] A machine learning engineer wears a blue blazer and glasses and proofreads their machine learning resume.

When searching for a job in AI, you'll want a well-crafted machine learning resume to help you stand out from the highly competitive (and crowded) pool of applicants. A great resume has the ability to not only highlight your skills and experience but also to demonstrate clearly why you'd be a great fit for the machine learning job to which you're applying.

But what do you need to do to effectively translate your experience, skills, and achievements into a compelling resume? And how do you boil it all down to just a page or two of material?

Here, you'll learn everything you need to know about crafting a compelling machine learning resume. From proper formatting to identifying the right skills and using action words, this article has all the information you'll need to make a machine learning resume that actually gets noticed—and maybe even lands you a job.

Machine learning resume tips

Crafting an eye-catching machine learning resume requires careful planning, consideration, and attention to detail. Tailoring your resume is key, along with choosing an easy-to-read professional format that allows you to include all your relevant skills, experience, and achievements.

Here's what you need to know do it.

1. Tailor your resume to the industry in which you'll work.

Machine learning is a broad field composed of many different roles within a wide range of industries. When first starting your machine learning resume, it's important to first identify the exact type of role to which you'll be applying and the industry in which you'll be working.

By understanding your niche, you'll better be able to tailor your resume to both the industry and type of job to which you'll be applying. Common industries for machine learning jobs include retail, technology, health care, and financial services. Common jobs include:

Once you've effectively identified the job and industry in which you'll work, you can better tailor your resume.

2. Format your resume to highlight what matters.

Resume formatting can be confusing to many people because there isn't any one-size-fits-all approach they can rely on. But the key to strong resume formatting is the same as for most designs: Keep it simple.

Recruiters will likely only be looking at your resume for a handful of seconds, so it's important to lay everything out as clearly as possible. So, here are all the sections you should include in your machine learning resume from top to bottom:

  • Header: Your header includes your name and contact information, including a link to your LinkedIn profile if you have one. 

  • Summary: Your summary is a short bio summarizing what is to come in your resume. 

  • Experience: This section is critical because it is here that you show you have relevant machine learning experience, listed in reverse chronological order. 

  • Education: List your education here, with your highest qualification at the top. 

  • Skills: Include skills mentioned in the job description for the role you’re applying for. 

Read more: How to Use Resume Sections to Shape Your Professional Story

What about font?

We all love a fun font but when it comes to your machine learning resume, it's best to keep things strictly professional.

Use an easy-to-read font like Times New Roman, Arial, or Helvetica, and put it in 11-12 point font size for the body text of your resume. Section headings, meanwhile, should be in bold 14-16 point font size.


3. Craft a resume summary or personal statement.

Your summary is a short bio (around 4-7 lines) providing an overview of who you are, your relevant skills and experience, and what you can bring to the position. On your machine learning resume, you'll use this section to highlight the key reasons you're an ideal fit for the job to which you're applying.

This is your sales pitch, and how well you write your summary will likely determine if a recruiter will read on and if you will be shortlisted for the job. A strong summary should include the following information:

  • Experience: Identify relevant prior experience you may have had.

  • Impact: Identify the concrete impact you had at work.

  • Skills: Indicate skills relevant to the position that you may possess.


Senior machine learning engineer with five years of experience developing machine vision within a start-up environment. Extensive experience in deep learning and deep reinforcement learning, and natural language processing.

Read more: How to Write a Resume Summary [+ Examples]

4. Highlight your machine learning experience.

The experience section of your resume is crucial to demonstrating your prior work accomplishments and highlighting your relevant skills. This is where you'll list all your previous related jobs, including your job titles, the companies at which you worked, the dates of your employment, and describe the relevant duties you performed.

When describing your prior work experience, focus on your concrete achievements and their results rather than just listing your duties. Recruiters like to get a sense of how you actually performed in your previous jobs because it gives them a clear sense of how you'll likely perform in your new one.

To craft concrete achievements in the work experience section of your machine learning resume, use the STAR method. STAR stands for “Situation, Task, Action, Result.”  For every bullet point in your experience section that demonstrates an achievement, think about the situation (your role), the task (the overall goal), the action (what you did to reach this goal), and the result (the measurable outcome).


  • Developed personalized algorithms, increasing product usability by 45 percent.

  • Led a team of seven programmers in the development of three robotics prototypes utilizing machine vision.

Read more: 120 Resume Action Words to Optimize Your Next Job Search

Use resume keywords to be ATS compliant

Today, most recruiters use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to manage all the job applications sent for an open position. While these systems can be useful in finding applicants with specific skills, they can also inadvertently weed out qualified applicants simply because they don't have the right keywords.

To improve your chances of being pushed to the top of the pile, strategically use keywords related to the position throughout your resume. You can identify relevant keywords on the job positing, which will use particular phrasing to describe the work you'd be doing in the job. Use this language to guide how you describe your own past experience (but don't simply copy-paste).

Read more: Resume Keywords: How to Find the Right Words to Beat the ATS


5. Emphasize your education.

Machine learning engineers are highly educated. A bachelor’s degree is the absolute minimum requirement, but most have a master’s degree or even a PhD in a related field.

Education is important, so leverage it beyond simply noting that you obtained a specific degree. Include bullet points to show achievements on specific projects, excellent grades, awards, recognition, and scholarships. You should also highlight any local or national honor societies.

Read more: How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD?

6. Include the right machine learning skills in your resume.

The skills section is important in any resume, but specific machine learning resume skills are in-depth, technical, and essential to any position. To ensure you’ve listed the relevant machine engineering skills, look through job descriptions and include everything essential to tailor your resume and make it ATS compliant. 

Technical skills you might include:

  • Data modeling

  • Clustering algorithms

  • Programming


  • Java 

  • Python

  • Principal component analysis

  • Support vector machines

Workplace skills you might include:

  • Communication

  • Problem-solving

  • Time management

  • Decision-making

  • Critical thinking 

Read more: How to Feature Key Skills on Your Resume

7. Consider adding other sections to your machine learning resume.

You may want to include several other sections on your resume, depending on what you’re applying for, your experience level, and additional projects and awards you could acknowledge.

Some additional sections you may put on your machine learning resume include:

  • Title: A title or headline can help reinforce your professional identity. For example, under your header, you may add the title “Machine Learning Engineer” or “Machine Learning Engineering Specialist for Global Retailers.” Doing this adds extra keywords and tells the employer you are already functioning at this level.

  • Projects: A project section could help recruiters have a better understanding of your prior experience. This may be particularly helpful to students who have the skills but haven't performed them professionally yet. Rather than describing them on your resume, link out to a Github or Gitlab page.

  • Publications and conferences: If you studied at the PhD level, you might have relevant publications to list and have attended some notable industry conferences.

  • Professional associations: Being part of a professional association can show you are serious about machine learning as a professional career. For example, you may note that you're a member of the Association of Data Sciences (ADaSci) or the American Statistical Association (ASA).

  • Licenses and certificates: If you've obtained some certification, licensure, or have completed a related nonaccredited course, you may create a subsection for them on your resume.

  • Awards: If you have won any awards, either personally or as part of a team at university or work, this is a great place to show them off. 

  • Volunteer work: If you have had any volunteer roles demonstrating your workplace or technical skills, you can include them under this additional section.

8. Write a machine learning cover letter.

Once your resume is ready, you'll need a robust machine learning cover letter.

Tailor the cover letter to the position you’re applying for, the company, why you’re seeking the position, and why you’re a good fit. The body of the letter should further elaborate on your relevant skills and experience. Keep the tone professional and the whole letter to just under one page. Focus on what you can offer and finish with a call to action.

Read more: How to Write a Cover Letter and Get Noticed

Next steps

Machine learning professionals need to have a well-developed technical skill set, extensive knowledge of the field, and a strong academic background. If you're looking to land a new machine learning job, consider taking a relevant specialization or Professional Certificate through Coursera.

In DeepLearning.AI's Deep Learning Specialization, you'll build and train neural network architectures like Convolutional Neural Networks, and master theoretical concepts and their applications using Python and Tensorflow.

In Google's Advanced Data Analytics Professional certificate, meanwhile, you'll learn in-demand skills like statistical analysis, Python, regression models, and machine learning.

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