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  • Writer's pictureTiffany Teasley

13 Tips for Landing Your First Job as a Data Scientist: Strategies for Non-Technical Candidates

Landing your first job as a data scientist can be daunting, especially if you don’t have a technical background. However, with the right strategy and a willingness to learn, you can break into the field and start your career as a data scientist. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Create a spreadsheet to track your job search. This will help you stay organized and keep track of the jobs you’ve applied to and the companies you’ve contacted. Be sure to save a copy of the job description so you can refer back to it during the interview process.

  2. Apply to a minimum of 10 jobs per week. While this may seem like a lot, it’s essential to be proactive in your job search. Applying to a high volume of jobs will increase your chances of getting noticed.

  3. Customize your resume for each job. Most companies use screening software to filter and rank resumes based on how closely they match the job description. Including language from the job description in your summary section will increase the chances that your resume will be ranked highly.

  4. Connect with people at the company. LinkedIn is a valuable tool for finding connections at companies you’re interested in. Reach out and send connection requests to multiple people at the company. You can also try to set up a call or video meeting to ask questions about the company and the hiring process.

  5. Use tools like Jobscan or Jobalytics to see how closely your resume matches the job description. This can help you fine-tune your resume and increase your chances of getting noticed.

  6. Look for companies that offer internal certifications. By obtaining a job at a company that provides internal certifications, you’ll be able to leverage your current skills and work towards earning your data science certification.

  7. Create a two-page resume. While most people believe a resume should only be one page long, a two-page resume can effectively showcase your skills as a data scientist. Focus on your summary section, technical skills, and projects on the first page. On the second page, list your actual work experience and education.

  8. Focus on learning and applying your knowledge to projects. Share your projects with your network; your work will lead to meaningful connections. Don’t waste time trying to build artificial connections on LinkedIn.

  9. Network with other data scientists and professionals in the industry. Attend meetups, join online communities, and reach out to professionals for advice and guidance. These connections can be valuable resources for finding job opportunities and learning about the latest trends and technologies in data science.

  10. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated and professional. Your LinkedIn profile is like an online resume, and it’s essential to keep it up-to-date with your latest projects and experience. Use a clear, professional headshot highlighting your skills and expertise in data science.

  11. Follow companies you are interested in and engage with their content. By following companies you are interested in and engaging with their content, you can demonstrate your interest in the company and the industry. This can help you stand out to recruiters and increase your chances of getting noticed.

  12. Be proactive in your job search. Don’t wait for job opportunities to come to you. Instead, actively seek out job openings and apply to them. Use job search engines, reach out to recruiters, and network with professionals in the field to find job opportunities that match your skills and experience.

  13. Practice your interview skills. Interviewing can be intimidating, but it’s essential to job searching. Consider practicing with a friend or mentor or doing a mock interview with a recruiter. The more you practice, the more comfortable and confident you’ll be during the real thing.

Following these tips will increase your chances of landing your first job as a data scientist and launching your career in the field. Don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things — the more you learn and apply your knowledge, the closer you’ll be to achieving your career goals.

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