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Stephanie at 84.51° shares advice for data science job searchers

Stephanie at 84.51° shares advice for data science job searchers

 April 24, 2019

Stephanie Leuck is a University Recruiting Manager at 84.51° and she has shared some great advice with Dataquest on how to get a job in data science.

Vary your skillset 

For Stephanie, a successful applicant should have experience in work related to data science - and varied skillsets and originality can help.

“I'm looking for examples of projects that get at different skill sets,” she says. “You know, statistical projects or data science oriented projects, business analytics.”

These projects need to show that applicants “have the critical thinking and problem solving that a data scientist needs, as well as some of the coding experience," she adds.

“If [your project] is a more original idea or original thought, that's going to add more weight."

Check out GitHub

Stephanie also urges aspiring data scientists to get onto GitHub - a resource that she describes as "essential".

“A GitHub or website is a great resource because it's easy to access,” she says. “It's something you should put on your resume, but make sure that it has valuable information on it and it's up to date and it's active. Otherwise it can hurt you.”

“I think GitHub is an amazing tool that basically lets you show that you can do the work without actually having a job. There's not a lot of industries where you can do that.”

Think about that cover letter

The majority of data science applicants do not send a cover letter to Stephanie, but if you're going to include one in the hope of standing out from the crowd, then make sure it's clear and thorough.

“If we're in the fall and we're looking at thousands of resumes, I don't have time to also look at your cover letter," says Stephanie. 

"More often than not I see [a cover letter] hurt the candidate because it's just too vague, they have the wrong company listed, or it has actually made me question: ‘Do you know what you want to do with your life?’”

“If you submit a cover letter,” adds Stephanie, “make sure it's a good one. Make sure it's tailored to the company, make sure it has some valuable information in there. The idea is the cover letter is supposed to speak for you beyond what's on your resume. Don't repeat your resume for me."

Be a team player

But what is 84.51° looking out for specifically in applicants? Stephanie says that teamwork is vitally important.

“We don't want somebody that just sits here behind a computer and codes,” she says. “We need somebody who's going to be a contributing team member.”

“We work in teams. We're a heavily collaborative work environment here, so the ability to work on a team with a shared vision is really essential. Part of that is being open to feedback and being receptive to feedback, and also being willing to offer constructive criticism when needed, like challenging the status quo.”

 “We like to see people that are involved things outside of just their coursework,” Stephanie adds. “That can be student organizations, networking organizations, community organizations. Certainly it helps if they're data science oriented or technically oriented. Participation in case study competitions, hackathons… these are all great things to showcase on a resume because it tells us that you most likely worked in a group.”

And if you've been involved in a team project, put that on the resume.

 "That gives me a springboard to say ‘So, who were you on that team? What was your role? How would your teammates have described you?’ And I can start to get to some of those soft skills to get an idea of whether you are a team player," says Stephanie.

Join talented women like Stephanie at 84.51°

 84.51° is always on the look for naturally curious people to make them better. Search and apply for one of the very exciting jobs at 84.51° today.


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