The Data Analyst job position is seeing unprecedented attention over the past couple of years.
Businesses collect copious amounts of information and this precipitates the need for a person in charge of making sense of that data.
“Data analyst jobs are projected to grow by 27% (or 31,300 jobs) from 2016 through 2026, much faster than the average.”
As demand for data analysts grows, the field becomes more competitive. There are many candidates competing for the same position.
The role of the resume becomes even greater in such a competitive environment.
What this guide will show you:
- Choosing the right Resume Template for your Data Analyst Resume
- Why the Data Analyst Resume Summary or Resume Objective is so important
- How to make your Data Analyst work experience easy to read and powerful
- Matching your Data Analyst skills on your resume to the job opening
- Top 10 Data Analyst certifications to include on your resume
- The best way to show education on your Data Analyst resume
- What Data Analyst duties and responsibilities to include in your resume
- How to get an entry-level Data Analyst job
Not a data analyst? Check out these related resume examples:
- Data scientist resumes
- Entry level data analyst resumes
- Data engineer resumes
- SQL developer resumes
- Tableau developer resumes
- Financial analyst resumes
- Investment banking analyst resumes
- Business analyst resumes
- System analyst resumes
Choosing the right outline for your data analyst resume
What should your data analyst resume outline include?
- Objective or summary
- Data analysis Experience
- Technical skills
- Data projects
- Soft Skills
In your data analyst resume, it’s good to include information like certifications you’ve taken, projects you’ve worked on, and specific skills. These can be anything from handling data and using the best statistical methods to explaining what said data means. Make space for all of this in the resume outline you choose!
Choosing the perfect data analyst resume layout is easy
Resume templates differ wildly, so you will need to think carefully about the best format to present what you have to offer. Recruiters spend too little time on each resume, so your resume template will serve two main purposes:
- Grab the attention of the recruiter, helping you stand out in a pile of other applicants;
- Guide them through your professional experience and skills, proving you are a viable candidate they should invite to an interview.
- Basic layout - If you’re an entry level data analyst or fresher, you’re not likely to have enough experience in the field to really fill up a resume. This single column design works well when you have less content but want it to look great aesthetically anyways.
- Professional layout - This is a classic layout, ideal for someone who’s already got a few years of data analysis experience and is perhaps looking to move up in their career.
- Simple layout - If you’re a senior data analyst and have plenty of relevant experience to show off, this more compact layout is ideal. It manages to fit in tons of information without looking clutters. The result is a data analyst resume that’s not showing off, but has plenty to show.
- Creative layout - If you want a lighter and more modern feel, this layout is perfect. It shows you’re ready for the 21st century economy (you are a data analyst after all) while avoiding anything too flashy or out there. This would work well if you’re looking for a higher level position which mixes regular data analysis with management.
Here’s what you should consider when choosing a data analyst resume layout:
- Make sure your data analyst resume is easy to read and the design naturally guides the reader through the different sections.
- Don’t bury your greatest achievements in your experience section - make sure they stand out with a separate section in your template.
- You might like to dedicate a separate template section to data analyst projects you’ve worked on, especially if you have little formal experience in the field.
- Data analyst certifications are important. Include them in your resume to show potential employers you spend time constantly honing your skills.
- Make sure you include skills that are not only related to data management, but to visualizing results and communicating them to stakeholders.
Nailing your data analyst resume header is more important than you think
Whether it’s a CTA or a regular hiring manager, the first thing someone is going to see when they look at your data analyst resume is the header. That’s why, simple as it may seem, it’s essential to get it perfect.
A data analyst header should have the following:
- Your name and any relevant certifications like CCA or EMCDSA.
- Your title, this should be as detailed as possible and include details like “entry level” or “senior” if relevant.
- Your contact info, be sure to use a professional email and add a phone number in case the recruiter needs to call you.
- Websites showing your work, this could be a personal site, LinkedIn, or somewhere like Github. The point is to show that you post your work, collaborate, and network, all great qualities for a data analyst.
The second examples screams “phoning it in” while the first says “I’m a proud data analyst ready to show what I can do and learn.” Obviously, the second is the message you want to be sending.
Why the data analyst resume summary or resume objective is so important
The resume summary or objective can serve as a trailer to your resume - it has to get the attention of the reader and keep it.
To write an effective resume summary or objective, you need to think about your impact. What have you helped the company accomplish?
Back that information up with hard data - after all, this is something you need to do on a daily basis as a data analyst.
You can tell this one almost gets it right, but vague wording makes this sound meaningless. What makes you motivated? What certifications to you have? Of course you’re eager to grow and learn, what data analyst isn’t?
A lot gets said in just 55 words. You know their level, get a snapshot of their experience, their certifications, what they want in their next role, and even their motivations. But what if you’re an entry level data analyst?
This resume summary strikes the perfect balance between sounding qualified and professional along with conveying a deep passion for the field.
What you should include in your data analyst resume summary:
- An elevator pitch that presents what your value to the company will be.
- Hard data on what your impact has been.
- A hint about your motivation and interests.
- Who you are and what your personal qualities are.
- Why you’re a valuable hire.
- What is your motivation and career trajectory.
This information will help recruiters decide if you’re a good culture fit for the company and whether or not the company can accommodate your career development dreams.
If you will be adding a cover letter to your application, you might want to expand on this information there and skip the resume objective or summary altogether. This is not a required section in your resume but it may play a role to distinguish you from the competition.
How to make your data analyst work experience easy to read and powerful
The experience section in your resume gets the most attention from recruiters. It should represent everything you’ve learned during the years you’ve spent honing your skills.
To make sure your experience section says it all, make sure you highlight a few key bits of information.
First, make sure it’s clear what was your role in the company and what industry you were working in. Then make sure you demonstrate the impact you had on the business - and back it up by numbers.
Usually we recommend keeping jargon to a minimum, but don’t shy away from some data analyst terminology. It will convince the recruiter you know your stuff, but you’re not trying to show off for the sake of showing off.
Data analyst resume experience examples:
See the difference? The second example is vague and focuses on responsibilities. It could be used to describe the exact same experience as the first example, but the impression you get as a reader is dramatically different.
Say, you’ve worked on improving the data infrastructure within the organization. Rather than saying “Headed the internal data systems overhaul” (which is already better than what most candidates write because of the strong verbs you’re using) you can write what this led to.
Did it lead to a 10% improvement of the time for information retrieval? Did the easier process increase the adoption of regular data checks by other teams? Whatever the result was, add it - and best try to quantify it!
What makes data analyst resume experience effective:
- As a Data Analyst, you must be concise and clear - so make your bullets specific and to the point.
- Use numbers to demonstrate your impact - be specific and show your achievements.
- Use keywords and data science terminology to show you’re proficient in the field.
- Don’t opt for the easiest vocabulary - use active verbs, strong and uncommon words.
- Frame any experience in lessons learned and skills gained that will help you for this job.
What should an entry level data analyst resume experience section look like?
You may have read that last section and thought “yes, but I don’t have any experience like that in my past, what should I do?”
Not to worry, you can show you have relevant experience in other ways.
- Start by identifying all of the relevant skills from the job description (a detailed breakdown on how to do that under the Skills section below on this page).
- Find ways to show you have those skills in other jobs, projects, or education. For example, if they want presentation skills you can mention your university debate experience. Or, if they want someone adept at SQL, show that you got a free online certification.
The best way to show education on your data analyst resume
A data analyst position will often require at least a bachelor's degree in business analytics, data science, computer science, or a similar field that’s highly reliant on statistics.
If you don’t have that, but you’ve still taken a statistics course or two, don’t despair. Just make sure to highlight that information in your education description.
Here’s what you should do to optimize your data analyst resume education section:
- Include your highest education degree first;
- Highlight any math or statistics courses you’ve taken;
- Mention specific tools or database query languages you’ve worked with that also appear in the job description;
- Add anything that puts you in front of the pack - be it classes you took, honors and awards, or a capstone project that contained a strong analytical element.
Here’s an example of an education section for a senior data analyst:
Because this person finished their degree a decade ago, there’s no need to include any details beyond the basics. Their 10 years of work experience should speak for itself.
An entry level data analyst education section should look more like this:
What skills should your data analyst resume include?
A data analyst needs to have both hard mathematical and statistical skills, as well as soft skills that come into play when you present your findings or present business issues to different business stakeholders.
Of course, you’re going nowhere if you don’t have the technical skills. After all, as a data analyst you’ll be handling large amounts of information on a daily basis.
How to show your technical skills
Most technical skills can simply be listed this way (unless you have certifications for them, in which case you should include that in your certifications section). This section allows the reader to see your strengths at a glance. The rest of your resume can go into more detail about what you’ve accomplished applying these skills.
In terms of analytical skills, data analysts are usually required to have a good grasp on descriptive and inferential statistics - letting them spot customer habits, valuable segmentation criteria and other key business information.
As far as technical skills go, there is a growing requirement for data analysts to be proficient in database querying languages. Most businesses work with SQL, but there are some other options out there. In any case, learning the logic behind SQL will help you build queries in other languages, too.
As many businesses are adopting Tableau, it’d be good to familiarize yourself with this powerful data visualization tool. It is crucial when you need to present information to different teams in the company - or even when you’re trying to make sense of the data yourself.
How to effectively include soft skills on a data analyst resume
Technical skills are not all. Actually, recruiters seem wary of hiring a strong technical candidate who’s expecting that their role will be similar to a software engineer, and won’t be effective when communicating with other business stakeholders.
That’s why it’s good to highlight your communication skills, too. Just make sure that rather than writing a hollow “excellent communicator”, you actually mention a situation that proves your communication skills.
Here you can see how a data analyst can not just list vague soft skills but effectively back them up with examples.
Matching your Data Analyst skills on your resume to the job opening
Any resume should be tailored as much as possible to the specific job it’s being used to apply for.
To show you just what this looks like, here’s some text taken from an actual data analyst job posting on Indeed.com.
- Oversee the collection and analysis of due-diligence data, including results of the FLA's Sustainable Compliance Initiative (SCI) assessments and fair compensation program. Analyze trends and connect data across projects and departments.
- Present analytical results and data visualizations in a way that is meaningful for stakeholders and provides actionable insight. Design and prepare reports and presentations in support of the FLA's strategic goals.
Let’s see what those key words highlighted above should translate into on your resume.
Oversee: You’re going to need to show management and leadership skills. Try and include examples of times when you’ve demonstrated those qualities in your experience section.
Analyze trends: You’re going to be expected to conduct analysis, no surprise there, but be sure to use this same kind of language when describing your analyst experience.
Across projects and departments: You’re not going to be working in a bubble. This tells you that you need to show that you work well in complex organizations and can communicate effectively with people who may have a very different knowledge base than your own.
Present: Presentation skills are important, try and mention them where possible.
Meaningful for stakeholders: You need to show that you can use empathy to understand what’s important to others.
Actionable Insight: Show that you can think beyond your own work to how it’s going to be used by others in an organization to change things.
Design and prepare: You’re going to be expected to manage reports including their visual style. It would be great to emphasize any familiarity with design.
As a data analyst, you should already be used to doing this kind of deep analysis. Just think of the job description as a mountain of data you need to draw the right conclusions from.
Top 5 skills on data analyst resumes vs job offers
Because we believe in the power of big data, we conducted an analysis of over 100,000 resumes and job descriptions on Indeed.com. The goal was to understand what skills were the most in demand by comparing which skills were commonly listed on resumes vs those that were commonly listed on job descriptions.
The graph below can show you what skills are most in demand (a demand that’s not being met by current data analyst job applicants).
There’s a big skills gap in the data science field is big. A McKinsey Global Institute study states that the U.S. faces a shortage of 1.5 million managers and analysts who can understand and make decisions using big data.
And since this is a newly emerging field, university education is on par with additional certifications you can take. The certifications we mentioned above are useful for every data analyst - but especially if you’re transferring to data science from another field.
On the one hand, a certification testifies to your data analyst skills and experience. On the other, the projects you work on as part of your certification provide a proof of concept which you can showcase during recruitment interviews. You can also include these in a separate Projects section in your resume.
Other sections to give your data analyst resume that something extra
Besides everything mentioned above, there are a few final sections you may want to consider. One is projects. If you have data analysis projects that were outside of your education or formal work experience, this is a great section to show that experience.
Also don’t be afraid to include a little personality. As the job description mentioned above showed, data analysts are expected to have excellent personal skills. Therefore, showing some personality on your resume is vital.
Take a look at the company or organization’s website in addition to the job description. What personal qualities do they emphasize in their company culture in addition to the job? Now think about how you can show you’ll be a great fit.
This can be done by including your interests, or simply things you’re most proud of. You can also include sections of your favorite books, professors, or thinkers in the field which have shaped how you approach data science and statistics.
All of this goes a long way to letting you stand out from the crowd and demonstrate you’ll be more than just a data analyzing robot.
What will make your data analyst resume great? In summary:
- Concise and specific information about your responsibilities and impact.
- Overview of your data analyst experience and education that is tailored to the job description.
- Skills, both technical and soft ones matter.
- Certifications and online courses you’ve taken to extend your education.
- All of this should be presented in a clean modern resume template.
Although the data science field is very competitive, you’ll maximize your chances to land a job when you pass the first hurdle - getting an interview. A carefully planned resume will do just that.
The best data analyst resumes contain no fluff and are focused to present all key information your target audience - the recruiter - needs. It is not just an application documents - it also shows how good you are to provide concise information and insights. Something you will be doing on a daily basis once you get hired.
So make sure you prove you’re good at it, starting with the resume!