I don’t often get these kind of cold call requests but they are always interesting when they come in — mostly because I admire the tenacity of the messenger. I don’t think I would have had the nerve to send someone a message without any introduction asking for advice. Then again, it’s probably something we should all learn to be comfortable doing. Sometimes the person will respond to your request.
That was the extent of the message the person sent along to me. Here’s how I responded:
It sounds like you are very qualified and likely have some exciting projects you’ve done in your past. The data science market is very robust right now so I would imagine that you could find a position, or at least get some interviews, relatively quickly.
My advice to you is to emphasize the projects you have completed. When applying to positions in addition to your resume send along a link to one of your tableau visualizations…one that you can share without repercussions. The interview process goes much smoother if you can talk through a project.
Then I don’t know about applying to larger firms and their requirements but I recommend looking at Angellist for startup jobs. Many young startups need data scientists.
We chatted a bit more after this exchange and the person eventually sent me their resume…which could use some work but that’s for another blog post.
I commit this story here just in case you’re looking for your first position in data science and want some advice. But also for those of you looking for any job and are unsure about whether you should reach out to people already in the industry.