The digital world has taken over, and with it comes massive volumes of data. To gain faster insights, firms all over the world choose to implement methodologies to decipher this data. And for that, they need qualified data analysts.
This data helps to constantly innovate and expand businesses. Because of this, the worldwide Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics market is expected to expand to $22.8 billion by 2020, according to the world's leading research and advisory company, Gartner.
Any successful business in today’s digital world needs to be data and analytics driven. Understanding how to use data can increase an organization’s productivity, resolve customer satisfaction issues, and increase profitability. By sorting and organizing the massive amounts of data and applying the right algorithms, companies can enhance their market share and save hundreds of thousands of dollars annually as well. So data analysts who are great at their job can bring in high salaries and have room to grow.
As you can see, if you’re looking to start a career in data analytics, it can be a very exciting career. To land your first job though, you’ll need more than just a love for data. The industry is booming, and so are the number of professionals looking to succeed in data analytics. Because of this, you need to make sure you stand out to potential employers if you want to land a job you’ll love.
To succeed in the field of data analytics, you’ll need to create an outstanding cover letter and resume. But don’t worry, we’re going to review everything you need to know about perfecting your application so you’ll be one step ahead of the competition.
Present Your Contact Information Correctly
If you’re aiming for a data analyst position, you’ll need to highlight some very specific technical expertise and experience. But you have to get the basic stuff right too.
It used to be the norm to include your full address in your resume. That’s not the case anymore. Instead of your full address, it’s better to just mention your city. If your employer needs any specific information about you, well, they’ll just ask!
There’s no point in flooding them with unnecessary details. Mentioning your email address, phone number, as well as your LinkedIn, and GitHub profiles will be sufficient for your potential employers.
Choosing to add your social profiles is a good idea. Your LinkedIn profile will allow the hiring managers to get an idea of your broader skills and career history. Your GitHub profile will showcase your technical expertise and any past projects you’ve worked on. These are useful additions to your resume that showcase your value as a data analyst.
Make Your Resume Summary Impactful And Crisp
Take a look at the following data analyst summary from a resume. What can you conclude from this summary?
I am an enthusiastic data analyst with a long history of being interested in math and science. In the third grade, I was the accountant for a friend’s lemonade stand. Then, I went on to raise money for my high school drama club and got an internship at a company owned by my mother’s friend.
At first glance, you might notice that the candidate is vague about his interests. He says he’s interested in math and science, but has also been keen about accounting and fundraising. There’s nothing wrong with mentioning your multiple interests, but writing it all may give the recruiter an impression that you’re unsure about your career path.
Chuck out the details that are either irrelevant, unprofessional, or simply outdated. For instance, including your third-grade experience is completely irrelevant. In the example given, it’s also unnecessary to specify the owner of the company, especially when it’s an acquaintance.
Now, take a look at this summary:
A thorough and meticulous data analyst, with a passion for helping businesses succeed and expand. Former owner of a small business, and an MBA recipient. Possesses strong technical skills, which were instilled during substantial training as an engineer.
That’s how an ideal resume summary should sound—strong, seamless, and crisp!
Highlight Your Achievements In Data Analytics
A lot of candidates get this one wrong. They list their responsibilities and duties here, instead of writing about what they’ve achieved by describing specific outcomes and results in previous data analyst roles.
Here are a few ways of describing your past achievements that you should avoid:
- Was part of a team project
- Used computer programs to work with data
- Part of focus groups
- Did market research
There’s no clarity in these phrases. They’re vague, incomplete, and don’t add any value to the resume. Get specific, and explain how you affected the company’s bottom line as a data analyst.
Describe Professional Experiences with Strong Verbs
The professional experience section of your resume is an opportunity for you to highlight your past employment experiences - even if you haven’t held an actual data analyst job before. This is where you show the hiring managers some of your achievements. However, avoid sounding pompous. The language you use should be formal. No matter how big your achievements may be, always remain professional.
Start by incorporating bullet points with strong action verbs. Avoid using generic verbs like “did”, “worked” and “made”. These words hardly give any detail about your particular involvement in the projects or tasks. Instead use specific verbs that reveal the accurate description of your roles and responsibilities in the past projects, such as “delivered”, “conducted”, and “identified”.
These words clearly define your individual contribution to the team and company, as a data analyst or even in a related role. No matter how small the involvement may be, it’ll stand out a lot more by using the right wording. Employers aren’t going to be impressed by the multimillion-dollar service your organization delivered to clients if you had no ‘clear’ or ‘defined’ role in it. Even if it’s small, make it count.
And finally, keep these following quick tips in mind when writing your resume:
- Start by identifying all of the skills you’ve associated with the job description. This could be the typical data analyst skill set, or soft skills like clear communication and organization.
- Identify ways to link those skills to your previous jobs, projects, or education. For instance, if they require presentation skills, mention your university debate experience. Or, if they need someone adept at SQL, include a link to your free online certification.
- As a data analyst, you should be concise and clear. Therefore, make your bullets specific and to the point.
- Make use of numbers and statistics to demonstrate your impact. Be specific about your past roles and responsibilities and show your achievements.
- Try and incorporate keywords and terminology to prove your proficiency in the data analyst field.
- Don’t choose the most basic vocabulary for your resume; make use of active verbs. But only prioritize this step if you are well-versed with all these terminologies before you send in your resume.
- Highlight any data analyst experience, professional knowledge, and skills gained that can help you get the job.
- Always include your highest education degree first in the list if you’re including an education section.
- Highlight any math or statistics courses you’ve completed, even if they weren’t specifically data analyst courses.
- Be sure to mention specific tools, or database query languages, that you’ve worked with.
- Include anything that sets you apart from other qualified data analyst applicants. It can be the classes you took, certificates and accolades, or maybe a tech project that had a strong analytical aspect.
Your Data Analyst Career Starts with A Tailored Resume
The overall aim of this article is to help you create an effective data analyst resume. By following these resume tips, you can increase the impact you have on your future employers. Moreover, you can yield the best results with less effort.
Whether you’re a new or a seasoned data analyst, your resume matters. So we hope that you’ll follow this guide the next time you want to apply for a data analyst position.
If you want more tips and tricks on how to excel as a data analyst, our blog is full of useful articles to help you thrive in your career.