You're going to industry events to network with data science hiring managers and they don't seem very interested in someone with your background.
You've been told networking is crucial to getting a data science job. So you've started going to industry events to make connections and chat with data science hiring managers. While you're confident that you have the right background, the people you've spoken to don't seem very interested in you or your background.
Data Science hiring managers will only take you seriously when you convince them to take you seriously
The key to having data science hiring mangers take you seriously is that you need to "convince them". That is, who you are, what you do, and what you say has to communicate to them that you are a data scientist and that you can do a data scientist. Which means you need to prove to the Data Science hiring manager that you a) know what you're talking about, b) you're interested in what they and their company is interested in, and c) you can add value through your data scientist skills.
When networking with a data science hiring manager communicate that you know what you're talking about
The way that you do this is two-fold: a) do data science projects and b) keep up with data science news. By doing data science projects and developing a data science portfolio you will be forced to learn about, use, and be able to defend different tools, approaches, results, algorithms, and libraries. In turn you also want to have a short description prepared ahead of time of each project you've done using industry lingo. This ensures that in a casual conversation at an industry you can mention work you've done related to the event and/or what your person you're speaking with has shared.
By keeping up with data science news, you will be aware of the companies in the news, the libraries and tool sets being used, how people are applying data science, and industry specific controversies and happenings. This ensures that you have an opinion on data science matters that you can defend and share with others. Every industry has it's own lingo and concerns and by showing you can speak about the industry knowledgeably, you will be more likely to be taken seriously.
When networking with a data science hiring manager communicate that you're interested in what they and their company is interested in
The way that you do this is two-fold: a) do research about the industry event and attendees ahead of time and b) ask the person your chatting with more about their role and projects. By doing research about the industry event and attendees ahead of time by looking at the attendee list and the speaker list, you'll have a better idea of whom you are likely to meet and what they do. This will give you a chance to study and prepare ahead of time for potential discussions that you may have with various people in attendance. Additionally, you may even discover new projects or people that you'd like to make a connection with.
By asking the person your chatting with more about their role and projects, you'll show that you are interested in them and what they do. People take people more seriously who are interested in the things they are interested in. This will give you a chance to learn from the data science hiring manager as well as learn about the the projects and tools they are using. This will serve you well for this conversation and future conversations where you will have picked up the lingo and parlance that is used to describe data science roles and data science projects.
When networking with a data science hiring manager communicate that you can add value through your data scientist skills.
The way you do this is two-fold: a) do data science projects where the result adds value and b) communicate this value and why it was important to you. If a company hires you they are going to want that value to be more money or how to make others work easier. Until they hire you however, you can focus on making the world a more valuable place. By doing this it shows that you have the skills to put data science to good use and that you are as interested in the tools and math as you are in the results. Afterall, Business stakeholders don't care at all what models and technologies you use, they care more about the insights you can generate for them.
After you've done a few data science projects, make sure you can communicate what insights and value were generated and why they are important. By having this prepared ahead of time, it will allow you to share with others what the project was and what it did in such a way that the person listening to you will get what you are saying. This will show them that you can communicate and that you can add value through your data science skills.
To be taken seriously by a data science hiring manager, you must communicate that you a serious data science candidate
Going to industry events to chat with and make connections with data science hiring managers is incredibly demoralizing if they don't seem very interested in you or your background.
To make them interested in you and your background, you need to prove to the Data Science hiring manager that you a) know what you're talking about, b) you're interested in what they and their company is interested in, and c) you can add value through your data scientist skills.
The next time you decide to attend an industry event to network, make sure to prepare ahead of time so that you'll be taken seriously and so that you can make connections and get one step closer to getting a data science job. Good luck!
Your next action...
Your next action is to come up with a 30 second description of the last data science project you did. First try saying it out loud. Then write it down. Then improve it so that it communicates your knowledge and insights well enough that someone hearing it for the first time would have no choice but to take you seriously.
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