December A Great Time to Make a Data Career Transition: Here is How

career advice job hunting resumes Dec 13, 2022
Data Scientist searching for open positions

If you have been thinking of making a career change, December is one of the best times of the year to start. The end of the year is when businesses are finalizing their budgets and often will have new positions become available in January. Given the recent layoffs, the competition for these positions is going to pick up quickly in the next few months and you need to be ready. Another good reason to be vigilant now for new opportunities in data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and advanced analytics is because others are "taking the month off." By working now, you can get ahead of the competition.

Five ways I suggest you start:

1. Compile Materials (Resume, Etc.)

Locate and update your resume, gather the information for your references, and compile your portfolio materials. This would include examples of previous works, articles written, even volunteer opportunities. Be sure to update your references on your job search and help prepare them for some of the questions that they may hear from potential employers.

2. Prepare Job References

There are at least two aspects to the task of preparing your references. One, let your references know that you intend to search for a position in data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, or advanced analytics and that they may be contacted. Also, share your resume and a link to your LinkedIn with your references so they will be familiar with your recent updates and accomplishments. As an added step, you could also consider hiring a career services firm (such as Up Level Data. LLC) who can professionally audit your references to ensure they provide unreserved positive and enthusiastic endorsements of you and your work.

3. Research Job Descriptions in Data Science, Machine Learning, Advanced Analytics or Artificial Intelligence

Get familiar with the language that companies are using in their job descriptions and various phrases to use in your resume that will cater them to employer applicant tracking systems (ATS). Using the same language from the job description will increase your chances of getting your resume through the computer screenings and into the hands of a person. For more on that check out my training on ATS. For example, make sure you also look at positions and how they’re using synonyms related to data science including machine learning, artificial intelligence, and advanced analytics.

4. Find a Career Coach to Review Your Path, Strategy, + Materials

Career coaches do more than just find you open positions. Career coaches know the standards of the field and understand exactly what it takes to land the position you want. They will make sure that you will apply with your best foot forward, sending you into the interview process with confidence. The best career coaches will deliver more than they promise. Here is a buyer’s guide you should consider when looking for a data science career coach. Hint: Some of the best career coaches offer unlimited career support by video, telephone, email, and text messages! For the best value, look for unlimited support, for flat fees.

Take advantage of the many free resources there are. For example, at you will find not just one free booklet, but multiple. You will also find other resources that, at the time of this article’s publication, includes multiple on-demand online instructional videos.


In conclusion, do not wait to see your ideal job get posted to get ready, you may already be too late by then. Most of the career transition work is done before you even hit apply on a posting. Make sure you are ready when the time is right by preparing your materials, researching the field, and hiring a career coach. Make this next year your best year by landing the position you’ve been looking for.

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