Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Showcase Your Competence

One of the things I recommend with resumes is that you want to show what you can accomplish. Explain on two pieces of paper, what you can do for the company that is considering interviewing you.

Sell yourself.

That doesn’t mean lie, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you need to be the guru or expert in your field. It means that you need to show what you can do for this position.

A few examples.

The Junior DBA

I don’t expect a junior DBA to have a lot of experience. However I do want them to have some passion and some talent. I’d expect a junior DBA that wants to work for me to be learning about SQL Server (or whatever platform). Blogs, projects, etc. that show me this person is trying to understand more provide reasons for me to call them.

The same impression comes from seeing them ask questions and interacting with anyone that helps them online. I would especially like to see some professionalism and courtesy.

The resume for a junior person shouldn’t be full of low level jobs. I’d relegate those to one liners, like I would for education. Instead, I’d use my parahraphs to talk about what I’ve learned. What I’ve accomplished so far with databases, even if they are contrived examples or exercises.

Senior DBA

A senior person should have lots of knowledge. I’d expect to see evidence of leading projects, performing tuning, giving me examples of solutions to harder-than-average problems on the resume. Don’t “manage 100 instance”. Tell me you’ve setup monitoring and caught issues before customers knew about them. Give me an example of a DR recovery. Show me something that impresses me in a sentence or two.

However be truthful. I’ll ask you in the interview and perhaps ask for references here.

Show Who You Are

The resume is your first chance to impress me with what you know and what you can do. I’m impressed if you worked at Google or Microsoft, but for most companies, I have no idea if it was a challenging environment, or if you rode the coattails of others. Tell me what things you have really accomplished.

And be prepared to talk about them in an interview.

Also be sure that the stories are true if I call your references or previous employers.

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