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SQL Server DBA Jobs

7 mistakes DBAs make on CV or resume

02 September,2016 by Tom Collins

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.

  1. 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"
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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
  7. 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 .


Read More

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DBA Ignorance , complacency and arrogance experiment

Sushi , daily habit, productivity and DBA (SQL Server DBA)


Author: Tom Collins (


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