Ultimate Data Engineer Resume Writing Guide with Examples

Ultimate Data Engineer Resume Writing Guide with Examples

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Ultimate Data Engineer Resume Writing Guide with Examples

Volen Vulkov Avatar
Volen Vulkov
8 minute read
Updated on 2020-07-07

Writing a Data Engineer resume?

Hold on to your Terabyte scale speed for a minute, and picture this:

Everyone out there is writing their resume around tools and technologies.

BigQuery, Airflow, etc. are taking a lot more space than achievements or challenges.

You must be tempted to change your name from "John Doe" to "Bigquery John Doe".

But, the Director of Data Engineering at your dream company knows tools/tech are agnostic.

And, all he wants to see is what challenges you've faced and how you solved them.

Catch 22 in tech hiring - recruitment won't start with the Director of Data Engineering.

Instead, a recruiter will be the first person to screen your resume. They are most likely to tick boxes.

Get it now? Your resume has to pass both of these to land an interview.

Seems like a lot? Don't worry, we wrote this guide just to help you with that!

This Data Engineer resume guide will teach you:

  • Data Engineer resume samples and examples that will help you land that interview
  • How to discuss the projects, skills, and professional objectives
  • How to explain your data engineer experience and achievements on your resume
  • Get way more job interviews by writing the perfect data engineer resume

Data Engineer Resume Sample

Check out our full guide on how to review your resume for additional tips.

Looking for related resumes?

How to write a Data Engineer resume

A good Data Engineer resume experience will ensure that your data pipelines aren't going to break at 3AM.

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

Further, it helps to show that you continuously improve tech stack and architecture. And that your practices of clean and testable code reduces tech debt.

The focus of a Data Engineer resume should be on:

1.  Displaying a solid technical skillset

2. Communicating the challenges you faced and how you solved them

3. Show that you're a critical thinker

4. Display that can you easily learn a new tech stack

Tech stack varies from company to company. That's why the first three would be most important to a Director of Data Engineering.

If you're an Entry Level Data Engineer, show you know more than just spelling TeraData and SAS.

It's established that resume summary and experience are going to be important.

After those two, we also have:

1. Skills

2. Certifications

Combining all 4 (plus bonus sections), your resume should have the following sections in it.

The most important sections of a Data Engineer resume:

  1. Resume header
  2. Resume summary
  3. Resume experience
  4. Technical skills
  5. Certifications
  6. Achievements

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

You’re probably underestimating the importance of your Data Engineer Resume Header

Let’s pretend that you are a Data engineer at Apple, and imagine your resume header looks something like this:

Mark Costanza
Big Data Engineer

While this may seem good, there are many important details missing.

Consider that this is the first thing a recruiter sees on your data engineer resume—So make the most of it!

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

Mark Costanza
Big Data Engineer
Boston, MA

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

It builds a real connection.

So, always add your Github, Stackoverflow or personal portfolio to your Data Engineer resume header.

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

Let’s nail down that professional experience statement.

Show you can write and 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 of what your talents are and how you can benefit their organization.

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

2 Data Engineer Resume Samples - Summary

Data specialist experienced in a broad range of technologies. Looking for roles as a data engineer in an esteemed organization.

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

Another resume experience type that’s all too common is the following:

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.

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

First, when hiring managers look for Data Engineers they see that very few people actually have more than 5 years of experience in Data. So, when you list that upfront, it helps them.

Second, the resume summary talks about your true passion (architectures, scale and data intensive apps).

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

How should you frame your Data Engineer resume experience?

It isn't uncommon to see Data Engineer resume that has work experience listed like:

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

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

That's not good enough for obvious reasons. But, it also shows that you aren't focusing on hiring manager's psychology. Ignoring that will get you rejected.

To get a better perspective here, let's take a look at how FAANGs hire Data Engineers.

FAANGs (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google) 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

With the exception of a few - pretty much everyone looks at hiring Data Engineer's the same way.

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.

2 Data Engineer Resume Samples - Experience

Data EngineerNovotel Inc
04/2017 - 06/2019
Boston, MA
Company Description
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.

Now, let’s take a look at some experience wording that is much more information to your future employer.

Data EngineerNovotel Inc
04/2017 - 06/2019
Boston, MA
Company Description
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

Notice how the resume experience tells a more fulsome entire story about the roles and skills?

This combination of experience, skills, and achievements is the perfect experience description for hiring managers to digest.

How to describe the duties of a data engineer on a resume

Here are some sample work experience responsibilities to consider for your data engineering resume:

  • Designed, tested, and maintaining data management and processing systems (list specific ones).
  • Worked closely with team members, stakeholders, and solution architect.
  • 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 efficiencies 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, you will have to be creative on how to present your more limited working experience.

If you have empty space or gaps, you can either:

  • Give an example of how in the past you’ve delivered data to a business client in the most efficient and compliant way possible.
  • 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 understand how to 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.

Which skills do employers look for in 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 are familiar with should make up your data engineer skills section.

8 Soft skills to include on a data engineer resume

  1. Team work
  2. Communication
  3. Adaptability
  4. Creativity
  5. Problem-solving
  6. Interpersonal skills
  7. Work ethic
  8. Time management

8 Technical skills to include on a data engineer resume

  1. Data pipelines        
  2. Programming skills: SQL, R, Python, Java, etc
  3. Big data: Hive, Pig, Spark, Hadoop, MapReduce, etc
  4. Cloud: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure,
  5. Database skills: MongoDB, Oracle
  6. ETL Pipelines
  7. Machine learning
  8. Data analysis

How to include your certifications on your resume

Certifications tell a recruiter what any amount of words can’t—you’ve been officially certified in certain skill sets.

These are more important for technical positions like data engineering, and should be included in any resume you write for these positions.

Top 17 Data Engineer certifications worth including in your resume

  1. AWS Data Engineer Certification
  2. Google Data Engineer Certification
  3. Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences
  4. Certified Analytics Professional
  5. Cloudera Certifications
  6. EMC Proven Professional Data Scientist Associate (EMCDSA)
  7. MapR Certifications
  8. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Data Management and Analytics
  9. SAS Certified Data Scientist Using SAS 9
  10. MongoDB Certified Engineer
  11. HDP Apache Spark Developer
  12. HDP Certified Developer Big Data Hadoop
  13. Hortonworks Certified Associate (HCA)
  14. IBM Certified Data Architect – Big Data
  15. IBM Certified Data Engineer – Big Data
  16. Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite 11 Certified Implementation Specialist
  17. SAS Certified Big Data Professional

Key takeaways:

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