Is okay to put on a resume?

Is okay to put on a resume?

You took a free online course to add to your credentials in hopes of getting a data science job. Perhaps, you’re like a friend who asked us a few weeks ago “Is okay to put on a resume?” especially since the DataCamp website is focused on teaching R for those wanting to becoming a Data Analyst. Maybe instead of a DataCamp course, you’ve taken one of the free MOOCs?

This is a great question given all the free resources, bootcamps, github projects that tell you what you need to learn, and websites focused on teaching you the basics of data science tools. After all, if you’ve gone through the trouble of learning something, should you be able to put it on your resume?

You want to stand out from others based on the data science training work you’ve been doing. You want a recruiter / hiring manager to look at your resume, see the course that you took, and tell you to come by for a chat about what you’d like to do.

Unfortunately, that’s not the way things work at the moment. The reason for this is that because there are so many courses, MOOCs, websites, experts, and mentors out there teaching their own version of “Data Science”, that it’s hard for recruiters and hiring managers to actually judge what you learned, how well you learned it, how in-depth you learned it, or whether you copied the answers or actually did some coding.

What we told our friend is the following: most people will not know what DataCamp is, nor will they know what it does, nor will they know what you learned, nor will they know why it matters to the job you are applying, nor will they know what you studied, nor will they know how well you learned it, nor will they know in-depth / broad the curriculum was.

What if there was a simple, repeatable process for creating lines on your resume that you made you stand out in the right way, to the right types of people?

You can start to develop great material for your resume with a simple change in your thinking. Rather than expecting people to know what you did at DataCamp or another MOOC, you should tell people explicitly what it was that you did. Remember - “Show, Don’t Tell”.

We continued with the advice to our friend with the following:
For class work you did (hopefully a project), write out the following:

  • Describing what you did
  • How you did it
  • What tools you used
  • What techniques you used
  • What data you used
  • What types of modeling you did
  • What you learned
  • Put a link to GitHub and/or a blog write up

This gives a much more clear picture of what you are capable of and what you have seen.

And maybe, but perhaps not, mention that you learned it by studying at or at an MOOC. Then, and only then, is it going to be taken seriously by someone looking at your resume.

Get to it and good luck! And remember - “Show, Don’t tell” and help people understand what you have learned by making it very clear what it is that you did, how you did it, what tools you did it with, what data allowed you to do it, and what you learned.

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