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7 Nov 12 Recruitment Trends

How to write an effective and attractive Systems Administrator CV . . . "Digital" style!

 

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If you’re a Systems Administrator and you are working / want to work within the digital space then there are some certain, unwritten guidelines and rules that you should take into consideration when preparing your CV for submission to companies and recruiters alike. 

 

So, I have put together five simple tips to go by when thinking about writing (or rewriting) your CV and gearing it to companies in the Digital space. I have based the following on a Linux Systems Administrator but the same would obviously go for Windows, Solaris and any other platform.

 

Technical Expertise:

Don’t overload the CV with technical jargon. I know that this may be difficult and is easier said than done, as many Sys Admins have an abundance of experience and want to get everything down on paper. The best thing to do is to have a skills matrix, which sits best (in my opinion) at the top of the CV just beneath the personal statement / statement of intent (see point two). This should detail all the technologies you have used in your career so far; listing them and essentially rating them, as explained below:

 

Technology/Platform

Experience

Competency

Linux

4 years

Expert

Ubuntu

3 years

Advanced

 

. . . and so on . . .

 

Personal Statement:


The first thing on your CV should be your name, of course, followed by your address etc if you wish. The next part should be a short paragraph of around 5/6 lines which I like to call the “Personal Statement” or “Statement of Intent”.

 

Here, you should briefly explain a little bit about yourself , your personal and professional qualities, what you have achieved so far in your career and what you are looking for next and why.

 

Tailoring Your CV:


If you are in the position where you have viewed the job specification or advert for a role that you’re interested in, then it’s always a good idea to tailor the CV to that specific role. A lot of Digital / Media / “Webby” companies at present are using some of the following technologies / tools:

 

Puppet

Cobbler

Chef

Nagios

Cloud hosting (Amazon AWS)

Ganglia

Git

Bacula

There are lots more . . .

 

CV Structure and Layout:


Layout: No matter what your profession is, it is absolutely imperative that the CV is well laid out and is as clear and as easy to read as possible. Most recruiters (either in-house or agency) have hundreds of CVs to look through on a daily basis so if they see a CV that is pleasing to the eye, they are more likely to read on. If the CV looks a mess from the start, it’s very likely that it will get lost with all the other ‘unattractive CVs’ out there. Even things that you may think are trivial, such as selecting a suitable font, are actually very important. The CV needs to say to me “I’m a great candidate, I am looking for a job, I’m a decent guy/gal and you need to call me for your vacancy”.


Company & Team Fit: Your Personal Characteristics:


This is moving slightly away from the CV focusing more on you as a person but it is hugely important. Nowadays, and especially in the Digital Media space, it is becoming increasingly important for candidates to have the personal traits and characteristics as well as being technically adept for the company and role in question. This is not to say that you have to have an interest in football, tennis or tiddlywinks to get on with the people in that particular organisation. But, if a company’s employees are going to spend over eight hours a day, five days a week for the majority of the year with you, then they’re going to want somebody who is approachable and someone they can feel relaxed with.

 

I have lost count of the amount of times that I have received feedback from the client reading something along the lines of . . .  “Technically excellent but we didn’t feel that he/she was a good team fit, therefore we will not be progressing”.
 

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By Luke

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