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Ultimate Data Engineer Resume Writing Guide with Examples

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Volen Vulkov Avatar
Volen Vulkov
8 minute read
Updated on 2021-04-21

Writing a Data Engineer resume?

Picture this for a moment: everyone out there is writing their resume around the tools and technologies they use. And recruiters are usually the first ones to tick these boxes on your resume.

But the Director of Data Engineering at your dream company knows tools/tech are beside the point. All he wants to see is the challenges you faced, and how you solved them.

It’s a catch-22 in tech hiring: while the Director of Data Engineering is looking at the big picture, recruiters are looking for how competent you are with tools.  After all, recruitment doesn’t start with the Director of Data Engineering.

Here’s the obvious part: your resume has to pass both of these to land an interview.

Seems like a lot? Don't worry. In this guide, we’ll show you how to nail both points in order to stand out from the pack.

Here’s what you’ll learn from this Data Engineer resume guide:

  • How to structure your resume to show both the knowledge of the tools you use and the bigger picture
  • How to discuss the projects, skills, and professional objectives you’ve developed
  • How to explain your Data Engineer experience and achievements on your resume
  • How to get way more job interviews by writing the perfect Data Engineer resume

Data Engineer Resume Sample

Looking for related resumes? Check out our other profiles:

How to write a Data Engineer resume:

A good experience section on a Data Engineer resume will obviously show that your data pipelines aren't going to break at 3 AM.

It will also show that your abilities are going to help Data Science and Engineering teams work more efficiently.

For that reason, you definitely need to demonstrate how you continuously improve tech stack and architecture, and that your clean and testable code reduces tech debt.

You should thus focus on the following:

  1. Displaying a solid technical skillset
  2. Communicating the challenges you faced and how you solved them
  3. Showing that you're a critical thinker
  4. Displaying that can you easily learn a new tech stack
  5. Skills and certifications

Tech stacks vary from company to company⁠—and that's why the first three points are the most important to a Director of Data Engineering reading your resume.

If you're an Entry Level Data Engineer, though, you need to show you know more than just the correct spelling of TeraData and SAS.

Resume summary and experience are important—and you need to show both.

Combining all four (plus bonus sections), your resume should have the following sections in it:

Let's now get into each of these sections, and see the best way to list them on your resume.

Don’t underestimate the importance of your Data Engineer Resume Header

Let’s pretend that you’re a Data Engineer at Apple. Your resume header probably looks something like this:

2 Data Engineer resume header examples

Mark Costanza
Big Data Engineer
WRONG

The title may look good, but there are some essential details missing.

You have to consider that the header is the first thing a recruiter sees on your Data Engineer resume—so make the most of it!

Check out the example below, and notice how small tweaks can make a massive impact.

Mark Costanza
Big Data Engineer

help@enhancv.com

github.com/mark3

Boston, MA
RIGHT

Notice the Github link, too. It gives a pretty good insight into what you work on during your free time. And it also gives the Director of Engineer an insight on how you code.

So, always add your Github, Stackoverflow or personal portfolio to your Data Engineer resume header. Overall, it builds a real connection between you and the people reading your resume.

You’ve built a good first impression so far. Let’s ensure that you keep delivering the same level of impact everywhere on your resume.

Let’s nail down that professional experience statement.

Tell your story in your Data Engineer professional summary:

Professional summaries are critical to your job application. They tell your story in a nutshell, giving employers a sneak peek at your talents and how you can contribute to their organization.

For Data Engineer resumes, these professional summaries need to be specific and quantitative.

2 Data Engineer resume summary examples

Summary
Data specialist experienced in a broad range of technologies. Looking for roles as a Data Engineer in an respected organization.
WRONG

This professional summary tells your prospective employer nothing about you or your skills. Unfortunately, this type of summary is all too common.

But check out this kind of resume summary:  

Summary
Senior Data Engineer with 5+ years of experience in building data intensive applications, tackling challenging architectural and scalability problems in Finance. Currently helping Axia with Petabyte scale data pipelines.
RIGHT

The above resume summary is good for a number of reasons.

First, when they’re mining through CVs for the right Data Engineer, hiring managers are aware that very few candidates have more than five years of experience working in Data. So, when you list the number of years of experience that you have upfront, it helps you stand out from the pack.

Second, you also get a taste of your true passions (architecture, scale, and data intensive apps) from the summary, which is a win for both hiring managers and for you.

Third, it gives the hiring manager an exact understanding of what you’re currently working on.

How to frame your Data Engineer resume experience:

It isn't uncommon to see Data Engineer resumes that have work experience listed like this:

"Used Python, Scala, HTML, XML, SQL"

"Importing and exporting files into HDFS from a...."

This is not good enough for obvious reasons. It shows that you aren't privy to what the hiring manager is looking for.  If you don’t put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes, your resume is bound to be overlooked.

To get a better perspective here, let's take a look at how FAANGs (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google) hire Data Engineers. Usually, they look for the following:

1. Language specific skills

2. Databases, ETL and Warehouses related skills

3. Operational programming problems

4. Algorithms and Data Structures

5. Understanding of System Design

It’s pretty safe to say that pretty much everyone looks at hiring Data Engineers in a similar fashion.

Now, let’s look at some specific Data Engineer resume samples.

Below, you’ll find two: one that is typical of Data Engineer resumes, but is unfortunately not best practice, and another that will help you better land that interview.

Data Engineer resume experience examples

Experience
Data EngineerNovotel Inc
Responsible for troubleshooting various computer issues and implementing solutions for Novotel.
Monitoring and troubleshooting issues with java code.
Machine learning program research.
Manage configuration changes to various product devices.
Installed and managed various python projects.
WRONG

Now, let’s take a look at some more specific wording that illustrates your experience much more clearly.

Experience
Data EngineerNovotel Inc
Built Streaming services for real time processing of 100,000 users using Java and Scala
Improvement performance of existing ETL processes and SQL queries for weekly CRM summary data
Lead migration of a legacy Data Warehouse from On-premise to AWS and Java/Spark
Developed infrastructure to process 15 TB/day resulting into 8% increase in online sales of Ad-tech division
RIGHT

Did you notice how the resume experience tells a more comprehensive story about your roles and skills?

The perfect combination of experience, skills, and achievements will grab the eye of any hiring manager.

How to describe the responsibilities of a Data Engineer on your resume:

Expounding on your rules and responsibilities is key to your resume.  Here are some sample work experience responsibilities to consider for your Data Engineer resume:

  • Designed, tested, and maintained data management and processing systems (list specific ones).
  • Worked closely with team members, stakeholders, and solution architects.
  • Ensured architecture met business requirements.
  • Built scalable and fault-tolerant systems
  • Oversaw the complete ETL process.
  • Uncovered data acquisition and analysis opportunities.
  • Found ways to find value out of our existing data, such as …
  • Integrated a variety of programming languages and tools together, such as …
  • Created data models to increase efficiency and reduce costs by X%.
  • Introduced new data management tools and technologies such as …

If you’re writing a more entry-level Data Engineer resume, be creative on how to present your limited working experience.

If you have empty space or gaps, consider the following:

  • Give an example of how you’ve delivered data to a business client in the most efficient and compliant way possible in the past.
  • Give examples of how you verify your results—input vs output in terms of aggregative amounts, or a sample of rows.
  • Give an example of how you use data structures, and how you grain/split/join data and create synthetic keys.
  • Explain your proficiency with SQL, ODBC in MS Access, and ETL batch scripts.
  • Discuss personal projects that highlight the above if you have no specific work-related examples.

What skills are employers looking for in a Data Engineer resume?

Technical skills are important for any IT-related resume, especially Data Engineering.

Any courses, certifications, programming languages, and software tools that you’re familiar with should make up your Data Engineer skills section.

8 soft skills to include on a Data Engineer resume

Soft Skills List for Data Engineers

  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Adaptability
  • Creativity
  • Problem-solving
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Work ethic
  • Time management

8 Technical skills to include on a Data Engineer resume

  • Data pipelines        
  • Programming skills: SQL, R, Python, Java, etc
  • Big data: Hive, Pig, Spark, Hadoop, MapReduce, etc
  • Cloud: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure,
  • Database skills: MongoDB, Oracle
  • ETL Pipelines
  • Machine learning
  • Data analysis

How to include certifications on your resume:

Certifications tell a recruiter what no amount of words can: that you've been officially certified in a certain skill set.

They’re incredibly important for technical positions like Data Engineering, and should be included in any resume you write for any position in the field.

Key Takeaways: What makes a great Data Engineer resume?

  • Build a reverse chronological resume.
  • Write a resume header that has links to your portfolio.
  • Show your passion and specific achievements in your resume summary.
  • Write work experience that is both actionable and quantitative.
  • List your skills and certifications in seperate sections.
  • Include certifications, but focus more on coursework and projects that are specific to the role.

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