System Administrator Resume Template with Writing Tips
If you want to land a job in the increasingly competitive field of network and system administration, you’ll need a solid resume. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a projected three percent increase in sysadmin employment over the next eight years—that’s lower than average for all jobs and significantly lower than the 25 percent growth rate predicted for software developers, QA analysts, and testers. To help steer you in the right direction, here’s a system administrator resume template with writing tips.
System administrator resume template
To use this template, sign into your Google account and click File > Make a copy and save to your Google Drive. If you don’t have a Google account, you can click File > Download to choose your preferred file format.
How to write a strong resume summary
The summary section of your resume is your first chance to wow recruiters. Contrary to what you might have heard, this section can be two to three sentences long and should provide a quick overview of your most relevant skills, experiences, and accomplishments.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing your resume summary:
- Use strong adjectives to give the recruiter a better sense of who you are and what you can contribute to the company. It’s not a bad idea to consult a list of resume adjectives if you’re drawing a blank.
- Start with what you’re looking for in your next role before mentioning the skills and experience that make you the right person for the job.
- It may seem tedious, but take the time to tailor your resume summary to the job description. Even small changes can make a big difference!
Sysadmin skills to include on your resume
System administrators often get tasked with duties that other people don’t know how to do or that don’t quite fit their job descriptions. This makes it difficult to nail down what exactly a sysadmin is, let alone which skills they should possess.
Sysadmin roles can look quite different from company to company, but, in general, here are some of the main skills you should think about including on your resume:
- Problem solving
- Strong grasp on Linux and/or Windows Server
- Shell scripting for automating tasks—most likely with Bash
- Server management and cloud computing
- Incident monitoring and response
- Solid communication skills, both written and verbal
- Technical support
A good system administrator brings a mix of hard and soft skills to the table. You will likely have more skills than can fit neatly on a resume, so pay close attention to the job posting and use that to inform which skills you include.
Writing the work experience section
The most important tip to keep in mind when writing your work experience section is to quantify your work experience. This bit of advice gets repeated a lot, but what does it mean?
English teachers are notorious for telling students to “show, don’t tell” when first teaching them to write (okay, and even long after they’ve first learned to write), and for good reason. This is good writing advice, no matter what you’re writing.
The work experience section of your resume is no different. Instead of listing your responsibilities at previous jobs, show the recruiter what you did. This can include your responsibilities, but the key is to tie those responsibilities to outcomes.
What positive results did you produce? Did you streamline any processes, automate repetitive tasks, improve system performance? Write those down in a few bullet points for each past position you’ve held, and try to focus on the highlights for each job.
Top system administrator certifications
Recommending sysadmin certifications to include on your resume is akin to recommending skills to list. Some certifications will be better suited to the job you’re applying for than others, but here’s a general list of popular system administrator certifications, in no particular order:
- CompTIA+ Server
- CompTIA Security+
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
- Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA)
- Red Hat Certified Engineer
- Linux Professional Institute LPIC-1 Linux Administrator
- AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate
Tailoring your resume to the job description
I’ve said it already multiple times, but it bears repeating: tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for. You don’t have to make a new resume for every single job you apply for, but at least take a few minutes to thoroughly read the job description, paying attention to the most important qualities the company is looking for and identifying any potential keywords.
A quick word on keywords—they’re important, but don’t resort to keyword-stuffing your resume. Some applicant tracking systems have keyword scanning features, but these tend to be at larger corporations with high applicant volume. Even still, only use keywords where they naturally fit. When an actual human reads your resume, it will be readily apparent if you tried to fit in as many keywords as possible.
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