The data science market is growing rapidly, which means that while data scientists are in demand, the number of job seekers is also on the rise. It is not only the large companies that depend on data science. The rise of tools like business ads API solutions requires experts who can help small and local businesses. According to professional networking site LinkedIn, data science is one of the top 15 jobs that will be in demand in 2021.
Securing an internship can be challenging, as you are up against many other candidates for the coveted roles. So, how do you stand out among the other hopefuls to land that data science internship you want? Check out these five ways your application can help kickstart your career.
1. Boost your resume with online courses.
Companies value independent study because it shows initiative and a willingness to learn. One way to show this trait is to go beyond your school or university course syllabus. If you want to outshine others with the same educational background, add to it by taking online courses in specific skills or sub-sectors.
Check out some of the free online courses available from Harvard University and Coursera, and other e-learning course platforms that will give you an edge. You can also take up courses offered by Google, IBM, and Amazon’s cloud unit Azure that specialize in niche fields.
Check if the company you are applying to offers courses in data science. For example, Google offers introductory courses for its Google ads API program. Taking these courses is a great way to show your engagement with the firm. It also equips you with the skills that the company thinks are particularly relevant.
2. Build your digital profile.
Your resume is not the only thing the recruiters are looking at. Add a touch of originality with an excellent digital profile, starting with a well-written LinkedIn summary that details your journey so far.
Show, don’t tell when it comes to your skills. Take part in collaborations that enable you to gain hands-on experience on live projects, and create a Github profile to showcase your work.
3. Participate in competitions.
Winning or placing in competitions sets you apart and brings you closer to your dream data science internship. It shows the company that you are already highly skilled. The cash prizes on offer at these events are a bonus!
Start small with competitions at your college or local level. Most educational institutions hold hackathons or technical contests for students. These are great places to build your skills and gain practical experience.
You can later progress to larger competitions like Kaggle, International Data Analysis Olympiad (IDAHO), and Topcoder. These events look great on your resume and also enable you to make connections in the industry. These competitions attract undergraduates, Ph.D. candidates, and professionals.
4. Network and find a mentor
Mentors are industry leaders who guide you and help you to improve the skills you will need to excel in your industry.
Build your connections within the community and reach out to industry leaders with a well-crafted request. Find a mentor who works in the sub-sector of data science that you want to specialize in. Since this is your first time entering the job market, mentors can help you avoid professional mistakes.
They can also introduce you to the right circle of people and give you a launchpad. While you shouldn’t expect that your mentor will get you a job, networking is one of the most common ways companies recruit. If a respected industry figure takes you on as their mentee, you’ll be well-positioned to be taken seriously.
5. Customize your resume for each company.
Each company has a specific set of skills they are looking for. Ensure that you customize your CV for each application. Highlight the skills and achievements that best suit the role. According to a study by The Ladders, recruiters spend an average of 7.4 seconds on each resume. Make those seconds count!
Look at the job description in detail and ensure that your resume addresses as many of the requested criteria as possible. A generic resume will not cut it in this competitive world.
The bottom line
A data science internship can give your career an early boost and provide valuable practical experience. In this competitive market, you’ll need to stand out. To recap, here are five ways you can do that:
- Take additional courses beyond your school or university requirements.
- Create a robust and professional digital profile.
- Enter competitions.
- Take the time to network and, if you can, find an experienced mentor.
- Take the time to customize your resume for each application.
These tips will help you land your dream internship and launch your career as a data scientist. So, what are you waiting for? Silicon Valley awaits!
Nick Chernets is the founder of DataForSEO, a leading provider of SEO data for the marketing technology industry. With an API-led approach to data delivery, DataForSEO is enabling hundreds of software businesses to enhance their products with reliable, accurate, and fresh data.
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