Over 2,000 mentors available, including leaders at Amazon, Airbnb, Netflix, and more. Check it out

The One Thing Data Science Recruiters look for

Use this simple hack to supercharge your Data Science resume
Robert Tan

Product Manager, WaveHQ

Secure a Six-Figure Salary in Data

Are you looking to scale new heights in your data career? I'm a former Data Scientist turned Product Manager who has been on hiring committees, created screening tests, interviewed numerous candidates, and helped people secure roles at leading companies like Ada, TD Digital, and Uber. Through these experiences, I've found a common pattern: talented individuals whose resumes don’t do them justice.

I take immense satisfaction in seeing professionals excel and secure roles they're passionate about. In this post, I'm going to share an invaluable hack to amplify the impact of your data analytics resume.

Who Will Benefit?

The principle discussed here is best suited for roles focusing on product or marketing impact, such as Data Scientists, Product Analysts, and Data Analysts. However, even if you contribute through process or infrastructure enhancements, or a people manager, this tip could still be a game-changer.

The Resume Hack: From Good to Great

Let's contrast two examples first:

Example 1

Data Scientist, Chase Bank                                                                                                 New York, 2021-2023

  • Designed and executed A/B tests with Product to improve email campaigns, boosting click-through rates by 32% and contributing $20 million annually. Conducted analysis through R and SQL.

Example 2

Data Scientist, Chase Bank                                                                                                 New York, 2021-2023

  • Proactively identified growth opportunities and persuaded the VP of Growth to conduct an A/B test for onboarding flow (R, SQL). Guided Product to reduce funnel friction, increased conversions by 32%, and generated $20 million annually.

Why Does This Hack Work?

If you were a recruiter, which candidate would you prefer?

Did you opt for the second example? If so, here's the little force working on the inside: You are positioned not merely as a "Task Taker", but rather something called an "Agent of Change".

Great data professionals are proactive and influence business decisions. They don't wait for instructions; they seek game-changing insights and persuade stakeholders to act on them.

Here's what I consistently find that separates the Great from the merely Good:

It comes down to the ability to find and communicate surprising, on-strategy insights.

Good to Great

The last point is key to understanding why this hack works, and is also something that fuels other "hacks" as well. Let's take a second to break it down:



You get big points if you are the one that found the insights or originated the hypotheses, rather than being asked by a business unit Director or a Product Manager to look into a particular hypothesis.

The reason being is that the best analysts don’t have to be told what to do. Because they’re naturally curious, they’ll go off on their own and find interesting things. Neither their manager, nor the business stakeholders have to be worried about finding ways to occupy your time!

Words to Consider:

  • Proactively Identified
  • Self-initiated
  • Independently Led
  • Discovered
  • Unearthed

Words to Be Careful With:

  • Assigned
  • Tasked
  • Collaborated
  • Developed


Simply finding the insight itself is insufficient towards achieving great results. Being able to synthesize your complex analysis into easily digestible format is key for non-technical business stakeholders, be it in slides or writeups. As data people, we often pride ourselves in our technical ability but what truly separates the good from the great, is the ability to successfully take the next leg of the journey. To synthesize and communicate your findings in a business-friendly way. If you are to be an Agent of Change, you will need to influence others around you, be it product managers, directors, VPs and the like.

Words to Consider:

  • Persuaded
  • Influenced
  • Presented
  • Guided
  • Advocated

Words to Be Careful With:

  • Reported
  • Informed
  • Shared
  • Briefed


The best insights are usually preceded by something like “hmm… that’s weird”, or “no… this can’t be right!”. An important ingredient of what makes Insights valuable simply comes from the surprise factor. By nature, this means that you will have to ask questions that others are not asking or identify issues or opportunities that others are not thinking about. When in doubt, follow your curiosity and don't be afraid of going down the rabbit-hole.

Words to consider:

  • Revealed
  • Exposed
  • Uncovered
  • Shattered Assumptions
  • Challenged Norms

Words to Be Careful With:

  • Verified
  • Confirmed
  • Investigated
  • Reviewed


The final ingredient of an awesome insight is its relevance, or as business leaders like to say, “on-strategy”. Being “on-strategy” means that you are directly solving for one of two things that your CEO cares about: growing revenue, or cutting cost.

Example of “on-strategy” insights:

Quick win ~1 day of analysis: A business director notices a spike in monthly customer churn for a SaaS product. After some slicing and dicing, you figure it out. It turns out that the moment that the user cancels their subscription, they immediately lose access to the product so they churn twice. This insight leads the product team to ship a fix that allows the user continued access until the end of the month.

Large-sized win ~2 months of analysis: The CEO creates a dedicated team to improve product onboarding. You take the lead on analyzing leading metrics that are indicative of user retention. For example, data analysis led Facebook to create a leading metric for user retention - getting 7 friends in the first 10 days. The product and marketing teams all aligned on this as their North Star metric. The result is history.

Words to Use:

  • Drove Revenue growth
  • Cut Costs
  • Drove margin expansion
  • Amplified User Acquisition/Retention
  • Amplified LTV/ARPU

Words to Be Careful With:

  • Reviewed
  • Analyzed
  • Conducted

Key Takeaways

Recognize the difference between positioning yourself as an Agent of Change vs a Task Taker:

  • Agent of Change: Actively identifies, analyzes, and synthesizes insights, and persuades stakeholders to act, driving desired outcomes. Uses proactive words.
  • Task Taker: Diligently executes assigned tasks and collaborates when needed. Uses retroactive words.

How I can help

The hack above is only one of the three tools I use in my arsenal to help supercharge resumes and help you be recognized for what you bring to the table. It's just one tool I use to help people get their foot in the door, and change the trajectory of their careers, to get what they deserve. Are you ready to invest in yourself? Visit my profile!

Find an expert mentor

Get the career advice you need to succeed. Find a mentor who can help you with your career goals, on the leading mentorship marketplace.