I’m not quite sure this is true , but a recruiter decides in the first six seconds whether to include a CV or resume in a shortlist. Assuming this is even vaguely true , it highlights the importance of the basics - neatness, standard formatting , clear language.
Every recruiter has a different approach. There are no hard rules, and I understand looking for a DBA job will include flexibility . Occassionally I need to recruit , and these are some of my observations.
- Stick to the facts – avoid hyperbole. I become anxious when I read statements like “I am a dynamic integrator of disparate systems” – firstly what does that mean? , and secondly , it’s not telling WHAT you do and HOW you do it. Some other examples of hyperbole include : "I'm a highly motivated individual" or "I'm deeply interested in technology"
- Overselling themselves – Lots of IT people like to talk about how incredible they are on every technology they’ve used. I don’t want to know. Of course I want to know the main skills, SQL Server Tuning, DB2 etc but I also like to understand how you solve problems, how you learn on the job, how well you know the basics. I like to hear about your daily learning habits!
- Only include technologies you can use with authority. You may know SQL Server well , and have become competent on VM or storage. This indicates you can communicate well with subject experts , but it doesn’t mean you’re an expert in Storage and VM. There’s a big difference between reading the documentation and actually troubleshooting under pressure.
- Not showing progression from Junior DBA through to Senior DBA and beyond. A narrative that includes some progression show you’ve maintained a desire to keep learning and adapting to different environments.
- Stick to fully explained abbreviations. Even though I work as a Database Administrator (DBA) , it does irritate me when in a mixed meeting of technical and non-technical staff, technical staff throw around abbreviations without any awareness of non-technical staff.
- If a Production DBA – not highlighting ability to work under pressure. The more knowledge and experience you’ve got will help you deal with pressure
- Spelling and Length of CV. This is the obvious but remember the six second rule (see above)
A bonus 8th mistake
8. Telling me to much about your personal life - Of course I like to know about people and motivations, but people send in CVs with pictures - either headshots or actions shots. Yes, it's true someone sent me a CV with an attached picture of them paintballing .