A data science job is a data science job, right? Well, not exactly. Because every organization has its own culture, way of working, and team size, jobs for data scientists come in many shapes and sizes. The complexity and scope of data science projects, the organizational scale, and technologies used are all important for the actual role you’ll be applying for. The AI maturity level of an organization should fit with your own maturity level and ambition.
With so many companies around Amsterdam doing something with Data Science these days, it’s difficult to discover where you fit in. So, how do you figure out where you want to work? Before you can apply for a job, I’d recommend to first decide what kind of role you’re looking for, find the right community, stand out from the crowd and do your due diligence.
In this blog, I will guide you through the three steps of landing the best data science job for you in Amsterdam. Or in another city of choice, of course.
1. Start looking
You can’t find the right job, if you don’t know what you are looking for. When you have decided on the type of role that fits your personality and ambition best, it’s time to start browsing job boards.
Think About What You Want
First of all, start by deciding on the type of data science job you really want to be doing. Some data scientists excel in in-house roles, while others prosper in consultancy or freelance roles. Each specific type of data science role has its own benefits. We encourage you to go for the role that gets you going the most. Obviously, here at GoDataDriven we are a bit biased towards consultancy.
Consultancy for us means we are working simultaneously on several projects at various clients in the Randstad area. So, at any given moment, we could be building a cloud-based data platform, training a machine learning application to predict the daily demand for millions of loaves of bread, building advanced algorithms to reduce energy waste on a nationwide scale, or kickstarting data innovation labs at large multinational corporations. One of the major benefits of consultancy is that you are quite flexible but still have the security of a permanent contract and a team you can rely on.
So, make sure to think about the type of role is best for your – in-house, freelance or consultancy. Whatever choice you make, rest assured that you made a good choice.
For years, job boards have been an important source of information. It’s hard to imagine a job search without them. Good places to start or the obvious platforms like Indeed or Linkedin. For more specific job searches based on domains, company size or job-type, there’s also ample choice. Honeypot for example is a great place to start looking for developer positions. Is working at a startup or scaleup what you’re after? Then Dutch Startup Jobs is your new start page.
2. Learn About Different Companies
Personally, I find job boards a great way to discover which companies are actively hiring. Making a decision however takes more than just reading a job description. Luckily nowadays there are good options to learn more about a company, which, frankly, still too few people use.
Meetups and Events
People hire people. Make yourself visible within the right communities. The tech industry in general and the data science community specifically host a whole slew of meetups. These get-togethers can prove a great opportunity to connect with other people working in the data science field. Meetups are typically free and many of them host various talks from the people working there about projects they’ve done and problems they had to overcome. Even if you aren’t looking for a job, meetups are worth your time to visit. Events allow you to expand your own network and form new relationships that can prove useful when you do want to switch jobs.
Meetups are also a unique way to distinguish yourself. Instead of simply submitting your resume like everyone else, at a meetup you are nearly at your first interview. More and more people are choosing a career in the data science field and it is paramount that you stand out from that crowd.
I do have to emphasize that the success of attending meetups lies in your own hands. A meetup provides no added benefit if you do not take the time to socialize. So, go ahead and put yourself out there; introduce yourself and talk to people you’ve never met before. Instead of just visiting a meetup, why not submit a presentation and take center stage to show off your latest work or insights?
With GoDataDriven, we are very active in the meetup and events scene. Take a look here and we might see you at one of the next events, physically or online.
Learn About The Company Culture
Most companies nowadays realize the importance of a great careers page. A good careers page tackles many questions you might have about an organization, like:
• What is their culture like?
• What are important values to them?
• What is the purpose of this company?
It might seem silly, but companies who’ve clearly defined values and purpose and live by them, will see this reflected in their culture. A company website can also provide you with information about your potential new colleagues; the people working there. You could consider reaching out to them and ask what it’s like to work there directly. So, instead of having a chat with the responsible recruiter or manager, you could reach out to someone who’s already working the organization you’ve set your eyes on. Interested in my colleagues and their stories? You can check them out here.
Another good source of information on a company can be to check out their reviews on for example Glassdoor. You’ll find honest reviews by former applicants or employees about that employer as they are posted anonymously.
Now you know what kind of role fits your personality and ambition and you’ve done your research and due diligence, it’s time to commit and apply for a position or multiple. I recommend not to apply for too many positions at once as it will become difficult to be invested in all the processes and employers. It’s a two-way street here, the interest must come from both ways.
Applying to a position means leaving a CV which can be a great subject for my next blog: what makes a great CV?
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