When it comes to booming career opportunities, data engineering outranks even some of the most popular IT occupations. So what will it take for your data engineering resume to outshine everyone else’s when job competition is fierce?
Resume.io offers abundant advice and tips to give you a winning edge. Our job search resources include more than 300 occupation-specific resume samples and writing guides.
Here’s what we’ll cover in this writing guide, alongside adaptable resume examples for a data engineer:
- What a data engineer does
- How to write an impressive data engineer resume, starting with the best format and general guidelines
- Optimizing the impact of each resume section: header, summary, work history, education and skills
- Layout and design hints for an eye-pleasing, reader-friendly result.
What does a data engineer do?
The emergence of big data opened ever-widening floodgates to career opportunities for data engineers. Expertise in this IT subspecialty of software engineering has always been highly sought by corporate, government, and non-profit employers spanning an infinite number of industries. Today, more than ever, access to reliably accurate, high-quality data is a critically important success factor for organizations deciding how consumer or stakeholder needs can best be met.
Making that data available is the responsibility of data engineers, who design, build, operate and maintain data infrastructures and platforms. While data scientists and data analysts seek and interpret vast volumes of digital information for the benefit of executives and other end-users, data engineers create the systems for collecting, validating, storing and processing it.
A top-trending tech job
The BLS has projected that the number of jobs for database administrators and architects will increase by 8% between 2020 and 2030, in line with the average for all occupations.
Even brighter job market forecasts have come from industry insiders.
- LinkedIn listed data engineering as a rising star data science job in 2021, with a 35% average annual growth rate cited in the 2020 U.S. Emerging Jobs Report.
- A 2019 Dice Insights report put data engineers ahead of computer scientists, web designers and database architects in a hottest tech job category.
- IBM predicted the demand for data engineers would soar by 28% between 2017 and 2020, with almost 60% of the jobs being in financial, IT, insurance and professional services.
- More recently, in a July 2021 “Top 3 data roles” post, IBM identified data engineering as one of the jobs most affected by the growing importance of AI. The Future of Jobs Report 2020, reflecting LinkedIn, Coursera and World Economic Forum research, estimates that by 2025, 85 million jobs may be displaced by the shift from tasks performed by humans to machines.
How to write a data engineer resume
Getting started with your data engineer resume is simple and straightforward if you follow these guidelines.
1. Include these essential sections, each serving a vital purpose:
- Employment history section
- Education section
- Skills section
2. Don’t exceed a single page.
3. No two versions of your data engineer resume should be the same. Each customized approach reflects the specific employer’s or client’s needs in presenting yourself as an ideal match. Show that you’ve researched the job requirements scrupulously, starting with the posted application instructions.
4. Your job research findings will equip you to include enough of the right keywords in your resume. This will optimize its chances of passing through the applicant tracking systems (ATS) that most larger hiring organizations use to screen online document submissions.
Choosing the best resume format for a data engineer
If most of your relevant job experience was acquired in employee positions, then the most commonly used chronological format will work well for your data engineer resume.Your employment history is traced in reverse order from most recent to earliest jobs.
For entry-level job seekers, or those who have worked independently in consulting roles, a functional resume format may be suitable instead. Your most relevant qualifications are organized in relation to specialized skills, projects and clients. For a middle-of-the-road approach, a hybrid (combination) resume format blends chronological and functional elements.
For more writing and formatting insights, check out our related software engineer resume sample, data analyst resume example, IT specialist resume example and network systems analyst resume sample.
An eye-catching header makes your resume stand out from the rest and look inviting to read. It leaves no doubt about who your resume belongs to and your occupation. And by prominently displaying your contact information, you make it that much easier and faster for duly impressed recruiters to get in touch with you — hopefully for an interview.
Take the extra step of aligning the visual styles of your resume and cover letter so that they look like a matching pair. This will be readily apparent in the header.
Resume summary example
Your resume summary consolidates everything you want recruiters to know first and foremost about your worthiness for this data engineering job. Sometimes called the profile or personal statement, it’s a tersely telling synopsis of who you are and what you’ve accomplished, highlighting your most persuasive professional and personal attributes.
While seizing this opportunity to connect directly and instantly with hiring decision-makers, keep the focus on what the employer or client needs and how you’ll fulfill that when hired. Imagine causing other job contenders to feel worried about their own less impressive resume summary.
Limited page space calls for concise and precise wording in your resume summary, without selling yourself short. Pepper your language with descriptive and dynamic action verbs, alongside ATS-beating keywords.
Below is a data engineer resume example summary you can customize.
Senior data engineer experienced in working across the different stages of the data pipeline, including acquisition, integration, ODS and real-time data marts. Adept in working quickly and efficiently in close collaboration with analytic, engineering and other stakeholders.
Employment history sample
Being ruthlessly selective about the achievements you showcase in the employment history section can be your secret weapon in a data engineer job competition. It’s a safe bet that many of the other best contenders will take a more generic approach and fail to target the hiring organization’s specific needs and wants.
The more work experience you have, the more challenging it may be to single out the most relevant high notes to strike the right chord with recruiters in every targeted version of your resume.
Above all, be sure the work experience examples you do choose to showcase are framed as accomplishments, rather than job description duties. Help employers or clients start to picture you in a future success story chapter. Taking their perspective, pull out some hard data to quantify results and outcomes that your efforts made possible — savings, efficiencies and productivity gains, for instance.
A portfolio of your data engineering projects, linked to your resume, is a great way to show potential employers what you can do for them. It may include projects you’ve completed on your own or as part of course training.
Below is a data engineer employment history resume sample you can modify.
Data Engineer at Ellisen Group, Seattle
August 2017 - Present
- Worked closely with stakeholders across departments to design, build and deploy various initiatives within the data platform.
- Developed, deployed and maintained data services using Rudderstack/Snowplow and Snowflake.
- Prepared and presented reports, analysis and presentations to various stakeholders including executives.
- Designed best practices to support continuous process automation for data ingestion and data pipeline workflows.
- Increased the efficiency of data pipelines that processed over 100 TB of data daily.
Data Engineer at Kirk Enterprises, Seattle
June 2013 - June 2017
- Designed and implemented data solutions best suited to deliver on our customer needs.
- Provided excellent leadership by recommending the right technologies and solutions for a given use case.
- Completed software development life cycle experience including design, documentation, implementation, testing and deployment.
- Continually explored new technologies in an effort to always grow and uncover better ways to solve problems.
- Developed an updated ETL System using Python 3.10.
Database Administrator at Reckon Technologies, Seattle
June 2011 - May 2013
- Provided technical support to resolve or assist in resolution of issues relating to database management systems.
- Interacted with end users, opened support tickets with software vendors and identified and implemented solutions for software application issues.
- Worked closely with third parties and IT partners to resolve issues.
- Recorded and documented the help desk request problem-solving processes.
CV skills example
Try to avoid overstating the obvious when it comes to highlighting hard skills on your CV that come with the territory of data engineering. Remember that much of your computer expertise will not only be shared by other job candidates but also expected by recruiters. Give careful consideration to any technical abilities that other contenders might lack or overlook as possible game-changers. Putting your own unique twist on otherwise generic skills can tip the scales in your favor. Sometimes an adjective or adverb is all it takes.
On the other hand, obviously, your resume must include any skills that the employer has stipulated as mandatory or preferred. Whatever and however specified in the posted job application — be it Tableau, SQL, Python or Java — make sure your resume skills wording matches exactly.
Pay special attention to the soft skills you selectively add to the mix. Shed light on your work ethic, collaborative style and communication strengths. For instance, employers and clients may be interested in your ability to explain technical data concepts in the context of business solutions.
Check out a data engineer CV sample for the skills section below.
- Data Analysis
- Technical Documentation
- Research & Development
Data engineer resume education example
Always start the education section of your resume by listing your computer-related degrees in reverse chronological order, from highest to lowest level. Omit high school information unless that’s your highest level of graduation.
Although some data engineers have entered the field without a degree, it’s not uncommon for employers to require or prefer at least a bachelor’s degree. Typically, graduates have majored in computer science, software engineering, data science or information systems.
Otherwise, give thought to some possible ways to leverage your education listings resume to the best advantage by showing regard for continuous learning. This is critically important for anyone pursuing an IT career path. On-the-job training, certifications, online boot camps and other skills development programs you’ve pursued on your own can be influential additions to your resume.The same goes for professional association memberships, the interest of keeping your knowledge up to date and peer networking.
Below is the education section from a data engineer resume sample you can modify.
Master of Science in Computer Science, Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR
September 2011 - May 2013
Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, Seattle University, Seattle
September 2008 - May 2011
Resume layout and design
Before anyone actually reads your resume, there are points to be scored for the layout and design. A user-friendly resume document should appear flawless, uncluttered and orderly at arm’s length.
But that’s not to say ordinary is the impact you’re striving for, nor does pristine have to be bland or boring. Doing visual justice to your professional attributes requires layout, design and formatting choices that are eye-pleasing, as well as polished.
Sleek, streamlined and uncomplicated can be the end result you achieve even with the addition of graphic elements and color. As long as these are sparing touches that make your resume easier to read, without distracting. Enhanced legibility is also your goal when considering fonts, page margin widths, line and paragraph spacing, and overall white space
It should go without saying that your resume must be character-perfect and bug-free in every other sense. Enlist others to proofread carefully. Then tweak further and reboot.
Engineering your resume layout and design can be time-consuming and complicated, but professionally-designed resume templates can give you a head start and help avoid costly errors.
Key takeaways for a data engineer resume
- An outstanding data engineer resume could give you a competitive winning edge in one of today’s most dynamic job markets.
- Showcase your most relevant qualifications as achievements that the prospective employer or client will be keenly interested in. The more extensive your work experience as a data engineer, the more selective you need to be in deciding what to emphasize.
- Optimize the impact with impressive facts and figures to substantiate measurable outcomes that could be replicated if you are hired.
- Be sure not to overlook the vitally important soft skills that could set you apart from other technically qualified job contenders.
- Check out our adaptable data engineer resume sample for more ideas on creating a header that commands attention.