Data Analyst Resume Guide [2020]

Data Analyst Resumes Article Contents

You're ready to apply for jobs, but you're not sure if the data analyst resume you've built is enough to stand out and get you the interview.

How do you fix it?

This data analyst resume guide takes you through the key things you need to write a great data analyst resume.

Data Analyst Resume Sections

Let's look at key sections of the data analyst resume that can easily create an unnecessarily negative impression.

Contact Details

Include details on the best way to contact you via email and phone. 

Create a professional email if you don't already have one.

With the many options for free email, there’s no excuse to not address this. If you’re concerned you won’t be checking an email dedicated to job applications, you can set it up to auto-forward messages to an inbox you check regularly.

Objective

Ten years ago, it was common practice to add an objective statement to the top of any resume. You were more likely to be mailing it or dropping it off in person.

However, most resumes now are submitted online. 

You're applying to a specific job when you submit your resume. 

That job IS your objective.

There's no reason to include an additional objective statement that elaborates on the many different areas that you find interesting. 

Rather, objective statements now have the opposite impact from what people expect.

They tell the employer that you're only partially interested in the job you're applying for and are likely sending out dozens of applications or more.

Work Experience

How much work experience should you write about on your data analyst resume?

Several factors impact the length of your work experience section, including the stage of your career, the number of jobs you’ve held, and the number of positions you’ve held within each company.

Interns & New-ish Grads

Limit your resume to one page with your job history taking up about 1/2 page. 

Since you have limited experience, there is no reason to have a long resume. 

Mid-Level Analysts

If you have several years of career experience, your resume can be up to two pages with your job history taking up ¾ - 1 page.

Include all your recent work experience with details, focusing on skills and deliverables related to data analysis.

Focus most of your resume on your most recent positions.

Experienced Analysts

As you move further along in your career, be more selective in what you highlight from your early work experience. High school jobs should be excluded.

For early career positions, it can still be valuable to show the company, position, and dates, but you can edit to not have any details or show a very select few points to describe your responsibilities. 

Regardless of your experience level, your resume should stay under 3 pages.

Education

Include degrees, trade school programs, and relevant certifications.

Leave off your GPA (unless you recently graduated and it's at least a 3.0). 

Skip details of specific classes. Your degree already shows that you've learned those skills. 

What if you're looking for an internship or your first data analyst job? 

Select up to 5 key areas of training that are most relevant to the job. 

Data Analyst Resume Format

When it comes to resume formats, a practical resume format beats a fancy one to increase your chances of success at landing an interview.

Over 90% of large companies and a quickly growing number of small companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to manage all their applicants. 

You know how much data drives businesses so it makes sense that job applications follow this same pattern.

ATS works by converting the resume you submit into a standard basic format (without fancy text styles or formatting).

This stripped down content then gets matched to the job description and keywords and skills identified by the hiring manager as important.

Applicant Tracking Systems automatically reject more than 75% of applicants.

By optimizing for this technology, you can put yourself in the top 25% of applicants - a significant advantage!

A resume that's tailored for ATS is also going to be well formatted and easy to read when a person is reviewing it. 

Error Free

You have an almost unlimited amount of time to produce a resume.

If you can’t deliver well formatted, error free documentation now, why will an employer expect you can work well and deliver professional results when you’re under a deadline?

Take time to make sure your resume is free of errors and clearly communicates your strengths.

Check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.

Reading your resume out loud is an effective way to catch errors you might otherwise overlook. 

Functional over Flashy

Almost everyone has seen really creative and aesthetic resume templates.

While these are nice in theory, most of these formats completely ignore the need to work well with ATS.

They sacrifice readability and function for eye-catching design.

Unless you are applying to a job in a creative industry, your potential employer would rather see a professional and clean resume, even if you think it looks generic.

Let your resume content, not the layout, be the part that is unique to you.

Data Analyst Skills

What types of skills should you include on your data analyst resume?

Cover both technical skills and soft skills. Both are valuable to your future employer in different ways.

Technical Skills

You have technical skills if you're going to be working in data analytics. 

Don't just include a list of skills or systems that you're familiar with though.

Put your data analyst skills into your work experience.

Whether you have experience with 1 tool or a dozen, this shows proof that you actually know how to use them.

Putting data analyst skills in the work experience also gives you a chance to explain the impact you’ve had.

Technical skills examples include:

  • Programming languages (Python, R, SAS, SQL, ...)
  • Visualization tools (Tableau, Power BI, QlikView, ...)
  • Machine learning
  • Algorithm building
  • Analysis methods

Soft Skills

Show your soft skills on your data analyst resume as well.

Similar to your technical skills, don't just include a list of skills. 

Instead, include examples of these skills in action within your work experience.

Soft skills examples include:

  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Persuasion
  • Adaptability / Flexibility
  • Critical Thinking

Keywords for Data Analyst Resume

There is direct overlap between data analyst skills and keywords to put on your data analyst resume. 

Focus on keywords that are central to analytics - data modeling, prediction, analysis, data cleaning, etc. 

Also spend time looking at the data analyst job description that you are applying for. What keywords does it use? 

Data Analyst Resume Tips for Changing Careers

How do you write a data analyst resume if you're changing careers and have limited experience?

Look for opportunities to connect your other work experience to analytics.

You may not have worked as an analyst before, but chances are strong that you’ve done something analytical in your past jobs. 

Highlight how your other experience makes you a good candidate.

Maybe you have expertise in the industry or the company. These are valuable skills even if they aren’t directly related to analytics.

Mention the steps you've taken to learn analytics. This shows initiative and drive which are great skills to have.

Why trust this guide?

What makes The Career Force qualified to teach you anything about data analytics or resumes? 

That would be me - Jen - the person behind all the content you'll find on this site. 

I built a career in analytics and data science and have over 15 years of experience (including reviewing thousands of resumes for many analytics positions).

These are my top insights into what sets apart a great data analyst resume from the hundreds that will be submitted for most data analyst positions.

Additional Resources

Want even more help building your data analyst resume?

Check out my step-by-step training to quickly write an effective resume.

Based on a proved resume template, learn exactly how I build a data analyst resume from scratch.