DBA Resume FAQ

30 June,2012 by Jack Vamvas

I’ve interviewed hundreds of DBAs for SQL Server , DB2 and Oracle jobs. Each DBA has a different idea of how to present their Resume (CV).

Some focus on technical skills,  others on experience. One area which many DBAs don’t highlight is the problems they’re working  on and the associated value.

 These are some questions I’ve been asked – and my responses. There isn’t one way to present a Resume , and the FAQ purpose is to stimulate some thought.

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1)  You read hundred of Resumes for a job application, how is it possible with your other DBA responsibilities ?

Once a job is advertised hundreds of Resumes filter through. The first reading is managed by the Human Resources (HR) department, they filter them based on a strict criteria. The aim is  to receive a solid list – approx 20, which I then read through and organise interviews

 2) What Resume criteria do you set for a DBA job ?

 It depends on the job. The more Senior Jobs require in the opening paragraphs some focus on risk management i.e 1) what problems does the DBA  solve? 2) describe the context 3) what is the value to the organisation.   A good example is an exercise on decreasing database outage time with minimal spend.

3) Do candidates spend to much time focusing on Resumes?

I’m not a headhunter and couldn’t tell you the “perfect” Resume, but I think candidates fuss to much. As described in point 1 – it’s difficult to read every Resume , therefore they must stand out

4) What other criteria do you use?

I like to see Resumes which are focused and to the point. For example, a format  focusing on Job Title, main areas of skills and knowledge, certifications\books authored, technical skillset,Milestones is  sufficient.

I don’t need to know their favourite football team or whether they have a Star  Wars memorabilia collection - unless it's relevant to the job!

I like to see progress in their learning. How did they start and what practises they have in place to maintain the learning. Some examples are : involvement in forums , courses, books read.

Take the DBA Ignorance , complacency and arrogance experiment

Author: Jack Vamvas (http://www.sqlserver-dba.com)


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