AI Guild #datacareer
The Validated CV
Get more interviews and better employment offers.
Finding a good 1st and 2nd role in #tech and #data may be a bit of a struggle. Yes, the number of jobs available continues to proliferate. However, in the 2020s, the difference is that talent is now abundant due to the rise of online learning, bootcamps, and university courses.
What would be if you had a CV with validated technical and business skills that make you stand out as #ready-for-hire?
The AI Guild Validated CV
- Recognized instantly by hiring managers for its distinctive technical profile and professional mission statement.
- Allowing you to cut your search time and costs by half or more.
- Giving you inside access to Europe’s leading practitioner network in #data and #tech.
The Validated CV is based on prior work with 200+ experts and talents on their CV and professional mission. It has an impact on hiring managers and companies.
Requirements for a Validated CV
You will benefit from a Validated CV if you have the following.
- Demonstrable technical skills with Python, R, SQL, and other relevant languages.
- Willingness to figure out which data role is your best choice, at what type of company you want to work for, and which domain or industry you might prefer.
- Commitment to search proactively for the following role with the help of the AI Guild and your network.
Essential elements of your Validated CV
The AI Guild CV has the following four essential elements.
- Technical Skills
- Data Experience
- Business and Organization Skills
- Professional Mission
Sometimes I see a CV with a long list of technical keywords or a mixed list of technical and business skills. This approach makes it difficult for the hiring manager to understand and evaluate your profile.
Here is a suggestion on how to structure your technical skills section.
- Categories like programming, databases, visualization, statistics, mathematics, analytics and modeling help guide your reader and enable human resources to understand your profile. Use categories to organize and highlight your skills profile.
- Additionally, you can use concepts like data analytics, science and engineering, or machine and deep learning for profiling your technical skills. Such ideas highlight how you match the typical roles in a company.
Especially for Python, R, and SQL, it makes a difference if you have been a regular user for six months or three years. Please indicate your level of proficiency, e.g., state the number of years or use a visual system (like dots) to enable your reader to grasp your skills level at a glance.
Moreover, depending on your profile, your level of proficiency also matters. For example, if you are interested in machine learning, you should demonstrate (some) ability in scikit-learn.
In sum, please remember that the technical skills section is often the first impression that your reader has.
Experience matters. I noticed that people starting a data career often have data experience — e.g., online learning, university studies, company internships, side projects, and competitions — but make little of it on their CV.
Here are two suggestions on how to make your experience count more
- The vignette, i.e., describes a relevant data experience in detail.
- The data project list, especially if you have accumulated relevant experience over time.
The vignette means you can describe a specific project or experience in simple terms — not bullet points but prose with a compelling title. It works well if you do one of the following in 60–75 words (4–5 lines).
- Communicate the data project process and impact to a layperson.
- Answer the what, when, who, where, why, and how of your project.
- Go into detail on data type and size and its handling, showing the usefulness of your work.
The project list means you have a portfolio already, possibly also from a first role or previous job. The idea is to list your best 3–5 projects, write a vignette, and provide a repository link.
Why is data experience significant?
For companies, it is the foundation of expertise. Some consider data engineering the foundation of all roles, e.g., data analyst, data scientist, machine learning engineer, a software engineer. Even if a company has dedicated data engineers, your experience with data, especially in your chosen domain or industry, remains the foundation of your work.
Business and Organization Skills
Some CVs I see include a list of soft skills. Also popular is a statement that one is, e.g., a highly motivated professional, team player, self-starter. While these claims indicate how you see yourself, they do not reveal what you have done and your proven skillset.
Here are two suggestions on presenting your business skills convincingly. They help you get more interviews and help structure some of that interview conversation.
- If you already have business or industry experience, review your track record, highlight 2–3 proven skills by giving examples, and add 1–2 developing abilities.
- If you are transferring to industry (after a Ph.D. or Master’s), then use the notion of transferable skills to highlight 3–5 skills you have acquired that are highly relevant in a business environment, and provide examples.
Business skills are not just soft skills. Please consider the complete set of skills you have, such as analytical skills, sales, funding, business development, communication, presentation, reporting skills, or leadership experience.
For each skill that you claim, you would want to substantiate the skill with a couple of examples that clarify how much or how often you exercise the skill and to what effect, e.g.
- Extracting information from large datasets, i.e., more than twenty thousand features from hundred-plus samples.
- I have given 15 international conference presentations in 3 years with audiences of 150+ in languages X and Y.
- I managed two international teams with up to 10 members by coordinating the project plan and supervising the delivery of the project work packages.
The section highlighting your business skills is an excellent way to close your CV. It reminds the reader of the (potential) business value you bring and indirectly serves as a call-to-action to send you an interview invitation.
Almost all CVs include a profile statement or summary. After glancing at the technical skills section, hiring managers often look next at your statement. Yet, all too frequently, this statement focuses too much on the past, emphasizing previous positions or roles.
Here are two suggestions on maximizing the value of your profile statement and making the reader take note.
- Use a clear and straightforward professional mission statement. Some of the best and most exciting mission statements are one sentence only. They clarify how you change the world and make it a better place. Here is an example from an AI Guild member: “I am bringing machine learning skills to the energy industry to help decarbonize the supply of heat and electricity.”
- Provide a forward-looking profile and search statement on your next challenge.
For a forward-looking statement, you would typically open with the role you are looking for, e.g., I am a Data Scientist or a Machine Learning engineer. If you had a different role previously, you would next mention that as your background. The second sentence would highlight your expertise and experience. A third sentence would clarify what domain(s) and type of companies are interesting to you. A final sentence indicates where you are looking (locations) and when you are available.
The forward-looking profile statement’s value is that the reader can quickly determine a (potential) match. Also, such a search statement helps very much with referrals. If it is obvious what you are looking for and your network can also act on your behalf, make connections.
Getting your AI Guild Validated CV
Ideally, you start the validation process six to three months ahead of when you want to sign an offer. The Validated CV may be a helpful check or pivot to get your more relevant interviews if you are already looking actively.
You can start the personal and simple process at any time via https://www.datacareer.eu/validated-cv.