• Chris Armbruster

Do the CV first

Updated: Aug 28

The global talent report by J.-F. Gagné identified a baseline of 50,000 practitioners in 2016. By 2020 the count was 500,000.

How to start a data career in the 2020s

As a new entrant to the field, you may struggle to get a job offer on the table, especially a job offer you care about. In contrast, practitioners with two to five years of experience are spammed with offers.


The talent market in the 2020s is crowded and will stay crowded. Some of the feedback we have heard from practitioners and recruiters.

  • There may be 100, 200, and more applications for entry-level positions for every opening.

  • Highly qualified graduates (numeracy and coding skills) may struggle for many months.

  • Starting five interview processes per 100 applications means you probably achieve above-average returns.

A problematic consequence is that talents start applying to any and all job openings. Instead, I invite you to plan your career move and clarify your focus. The AI Guild supports practitioners with free events.


Invest in your industry-ready CV first

Career changes and skills upgrades make sense increasingly. Because of cheap and free online courses, investing in data science and machine learning skills is easy. It is only your time…

However, when you think about it, you must realize there is more to a career change than just some new skills.

  • Technical skills: What is the profile of your data skills? For which role are you qualified?

  • Domain expertise: Which industry or application is your main interest? Do you understand data in this field?

Your next employer or client will want to hear about your prior data experience and business skills.

  • What experience with data do you have? Can you articulate what value you created?

  • What business and organization skills have you got? Can you prove them?

Here is a suggestion for you: First, get an assessment of your technical proficiency, understand your data experience, and show your business skills. Test your CV with companies and your network. Only then decide what further technical skills you want to acquire.

Get more interviews

By working with practitioners and listening to feedback from recruiters, the AI Guild has developed practical advice for your CV and LinkedIn profile. A CV is always a personal document with a purpose: To get you more interviews.

AI Guild members know how to guide and coach you to maximize the value of your CV, striking a balance between what you accomplished and where you want to go. If you have the necessary technical competency for a data career (and we will check this), you can easily build a profile that companies understand.


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