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Data Scientist Resume Format: Which One to Choose?

Learn which resume format will work best for your data science resume, depending on your seniority level and career circumstances.

June 1, 2024

As a data scientist, representing your technical prowess, analytical thinking, and problem-solving skills on a resume is crucial for landing that dream job. The way you organize your expertise can significantly impact the hiring manager's impression. The three standard resume formats—chronological, functional, and combination—each serve different purposes and audiences. Choosing the right format and ensuring your resume is impeccably formatted can make all the difference in your job hunt.

The Three Standard Resume Formats and Which One to Choose for Your Data Science Resume

1. Chronological Format

Structure: This format lists your work experiences in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position. Sections typically include Contact Information, Professional Summary, Work Experience, Education, Skills, and Certifications.

Best For: Data scientists with a solid employment history in the field.

Why: This format clearly outlines your career progression and highlights your consistent contributions.

2. Functional Format

Structure: This format emphasizes skills and experience over the timeline of your employment. Sections often include Contact Information, Professional Summary, Skills, Projects, Work Experience, and Education.

Best For: Data scientists who are changing careers, have employment gaps, or are recent graduates.

Why: This format allows you to showcase your skill set and technical capabilities, compensating for limited or non-linear work experience.

3. Combination (Hybrid) Format

Structure: This format merges elements from both chronological and functional formats. It typically starts with a Professional Summary and Skills sections, followed by a reverse chronological Work Experience section.

Best For: Data scientists with a diverse skill set and a consistent work history.

Why: This format gives you the flexibility to highlight both your skills and work experience effectively.

How to Format a Data Science Resume Professionally

1. Fonts and Font Sizes

Fonts: Use professional and readable fonts like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman.

Font Sizes: Use a 10-12 point font for the body text, and 14-16 point font for section headings.

Consistency: Ensure consistency in font type and size throughout the document.

2. Line Spacing and Margins

Line Spacing: Use 1.0 to 1.15 line spacing. This keeps the resume neat and readable.

Margins: Set margins to 1 inch on all sides. This provides ample white space and prevents overcrowding.

3. Sections and Ordering

Contact Information: At the very top. Include your name, phone number, email, LinkedIn profile, and GitHub if applicable.

Professional Summary: A brief overview of your qualifications and career goals.

Skills: Use bullet points to list technical skills (e.g., Python, R, SQL, machine learning).

Work Experience: List relevant roles in reverse chronological order. Include job title, company name, location, and dates of employment. Use bullet points to describe achievements and responsibilities.

Education: Include your highest degrees first, along with school name, degree type, and graduation date.

Certifications: If applicable, list professional certifications relevant to data science (e.g., AWS Certified Data Analytics, Google Data Engineer).

4. Dates Format

Consistency: Use the same format throughout the resume, such as MMM YYYY (e.g., Jan 2022).

Placement: Align dates to the right to maintain a clean, organized look.

5. Final Touches

Proofreading: Check for spelling and grammar errors.

PDF Format: Save and submit your resume as a PDF to preserve formatting.


Choosing the right resume format and ensuring it’s impeccably formatted can highlight your strengths and set you apart in the competitive job market. Whether you opt for the chronological format to showcase your career progression, the functional format to emphasize your skills, or the combination format to balance both, your resume should be clean, professional, and reflective of your expertise as a data scientist. Leverage these insights to craft a compelling resume that communicates your value effectively. Happy job hunting!

Editorial note: The first draft of this article has been created by AI. It has then undergone a normal editorial process, with our Editor-in-chief, Michael Tomaszewski, a Certified Professional Resume Writer, ensuring the advice in this piece is factually correct, in line with the best resume writing practices, and written in a clear, readable manner.

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