How to Craft the Right Résumé for a Big Data Position

By Jason Williamson

Résumés are an important part of landing the right big data job. Résumés are living documents that, once written, should be kept updated as work experience, education, and skills evolve. Many people maintain a baseline version of their résumé and create specific versions of the résumé for different job positions. This practice allows them to keep a résumé ready for short-notice, high-urgency opportunities that sometimes arise.

You may have multiple different positions you’re qualified for; in this case, you’ll want to maintain résumés specific for those positions. For example, if you have skills both in software development and computer system administration, you’ll have two versions of the same base résumé. In one version, your software development skills are emphasized, and in the other version your system administration skills are featured.

How do you tailor a résumé for a position? Some information — such as education — will remain constant across résumés, but the following sections of the résumé should be customized:

  • Objective: This section at the top of the résumé is where you list the position you’re seeking. Use concise, focused language to state exactly what type of position you’re looking for.

  • Technical skills: Many people have multiple skills; especially in the technical field, listing these skills can become overwhelming. Position the most relevant skills at the top of this section, and possibly omit skills that aren’t relevant. The idea is to quickly show the person reading the résumé that you have the skills necessary for the job, not to overload her with a glossary of technical terms.

  • Work experience: Place additional emphasis on the specific work you’ve performed that is relevant to the position you’re seeking. List the specific duties you’ve performed that will help you get the new position higher up in this section rather than at the end. Provide more descriptive narratives of how you performed that work so it’s clear and obvious to the résumé reader. Using a strong, active voice that clearly shows you working in the area for the position you’re seeking is critical.

Crafting a résumé for a specific position isn’t difficult, and the more information you have about a position, the more you can customize a résumé for that position. If you’re serious enough about a job posting that you’re applying for it, then be serious enough to create a résumé that will more likely get you that position.

You aren’t looking for a “job”: you’re looking for a position, opportunity, or career. If you tell a prospective employer you only want a “job,” ask yourself if that makes you sound more or less dedicated to the position? People perceive jobs as lowly positions you do just to make money to pay the bills, but a position, opportunity, or career denotes a higher calling requiring a greater degree of professionalism and commitment.

When corresponding with prospective employers for professional positions, refrain from calling them “jobs,” and focus on nobler motives — you’re “seeking a position or career” or wanting “to take advantage of an opportunity.” Yes, many people use the term job generically, but job is a relatively weak word and should be avoided in formal discussions.