Cecilia Vu, a Los Angeles-based data analyst and solutions engineer at Esri, recently graduated from Springboard’s Data Analytics program, where she completed 400+ hours of hands-on course material, with 1:1 industry expert mentor oversight and two in-depth capstone projects.
While at Springboard, Cecilia mastered skills in analyzing business problems, data analysis, presenting business insights to different stakeholders, SQL, Python, PowerBI, and Tableau.
After graduating, Cecilia received three job offers from companies impressed with her data analysis skillset.
Below, Cecilia shares her tips and tricks for job hunting as a data analyst.
Before starting your search for jobs and even before you receive your Springboard certification, I’d highly recommend you take the following steps.
Step 1: Build a list of your dream companies and rank them
This Springboard exercise helped me in organizing my companies.
Step 2: Network early on via informational interviews
I personally conducted a lot of informational interviews before completing my Springboard certification and afterward. Some of my connections were even able to provide me referrals after I completed the Springboard program. Similarly, you can also ask your network to provide you feedback on your resume or cover letter.
Here is a general template I used to request informational interviews via LinkedIn. There are other templates that you can find online.
Hey [Name of Recipient],
My name is [Your Name] and I’m currently undergoing a career transition and have taken an interest in [Career Field]. I came across your name through LinkedIn and wanted to connect. If you have the time, I’d love to schedule a 30-minute chat about it!
Step 3: Prepare a list of questions before talking to your recipient
Don’t forget to introduce yourself at the beginning of the call! Some questions that I asked during my informational interviews were:
- What advice would you have for someone starting out in Data Analytics?
- Tell me your story, how did you end up at your company?
- What was the interview process like when you had applied?
- What are some qualities that would help me excel at this role?
- How would you describe the company culture?
Step 4: Send a follow-up
If you end up talking to the person you cold-emailed, make sure to send them a follow-up message thanking them for their time and letting them know that you will stay in touch with them. Their time is valuable, so make sure to make the most out of it.
Thanks again for taking the time to chat with me about your experience and job. I hope that we can keep in touch in the future – I’ll definitely keep you updated on where I end up going!
Looking and applying for jobs
Use the below tips and tricks to help get the most out of your job search when applying for data analytics roles.
Tip 1: Use the LinkedIn search bar to look for jobs based on your skills, instead of titles
When I was looking for jobs, I wasn’t sure what job title suited me best. Instead, I inserted skills that I was confident in to filter out for jobs to apply for.
Tip 2: Find job postings that were listed that same week
By applying to jobs that were recently posted, you’re putting your application as the first in the recruiter’s queue of applications.
Tip 3: Look for jobs that suit your skill levels
At the beginning of my job search, I would blindly apply to jobs that required 5+ years of experience – resulting in a lot of rejections. When I looked for jobs that required 1-2 years of experience, companies were typically more responsive, because it was more aligned with their targeted candidate pool.
Congrats! You’ve landed a couple of interviews with your dream companies! Here are some ways to shine in your interviews!
- Create a Google docs with answers to common interview questions and use the General Outlines feature to navigate to particular questions during your interview. This document helped me readily answer most questions the interviewers would ask me.
- Make a list of projects you’ve completed or initiated in your last job. Your employer will ask for examples of your leadership and your analytical capabilities – make sure you can back it up with a few examples from your previous jobs.
- Do your research on the company and reference during your interview. Look for some of their core values and how you’ve displayed those values in your own line of work during your interview. It’s also beneficial to look at some of the key projects/case studies the company has completed to gauge which past job experiences would be relevant to their company.
- Ask your recruiter for any tips they might have on the process. Recruiters want to help you succeed in your interviews! So make sure that you ask them questions about the next steps of the process, as well as what you should expect during each round of interviews.
- Send a follow-up e-mail after every interview. Writing a thoughtful follow-up expressing your enthusiasm about the job, thanking the reader for their time and including anecdotes from your conversation shows strong soft skills. In the past, this has left strong impressions on my employers.