By Paessler Editorial Team • Apr 4, 2017

The 7 Questions Your Resume Should Answer If You Really Want the New Sysadmin Job

The only thing between you and your dream job is that mountain of applications on the HR Director's desk. This is how to make sure that yours lands in the winners pile. Anyone who wants to be invited for a personal job interview must make sure that his application answers questions that haven't even been asked.

Based on the job ad, try to identify what the company's "problems" are, such as growth, digital transformation, reorganization, location change, etc. Based on that, determine the hard skills and soft skills that the IT administrator they are looking for should have. Then tweak your application based on this list:

  1. Relevant Skills: Naturally, technical skills are essential for an IT administrator. But be sure to focus on skills that are relevant to the job in question. (And remember: List the most important ones first. Nobody needs two pages of skills, and fire eating does not belong on the list.)
  2. Successes Instead of Functions: If you want to land on the "winners pile," turn your previous positions into success stories. The CAR method will help: What [C]hallenges did you have to meet, and what [A]ctions did you use to get what [R]esults. And start with the ones that apply to the job you want. Chronology only emphasizes how much the others are actually out of date.
  3. Continuing Education That Counts: Academic degrees can provide an advantage for any job seeker and should be part of your application. However, depending on the position you're applying for, industry certifications may be even more important than academic credentials. Continuing education and training measures, courses and conferences should precisely suit the job in question. Too much irrelevant information turns you into an unfocused "Jack of all trades."
  4. Buzzwords Are Out: Avoid terms like "team player" or "strong communicator". They have lost their meaning because they are used too much. Describe concrete projects in which you have worked together with others. And prove your penchant for communication in your application. Or as they teach in creative writing seminars: Don’t describe, show!
  5. Use Keywords: When HR employees read job applications, they look for keywords that reflect the applicant's technical expertise and experience. The reason: It's the most efficient way to work. In many cases, the best keywords are ones you can pick right out of the job ad.
  6. Interests Aren't Very Interesting: No HR employee cares if you can cook, paint or play the triangle. (Olympic gold medalists, world's renowned master chefs and "American Idol" winners are an exception.) Only include interests if they're directly relevant to the job or company, for example, if you have specialized knowledge of their industry, in addition to your IT skills.
  7. Don't Lie: Plenty of people tell "white lies" when describing previous jobs, experience and successes. And sure, there are grey areas. But keep in mind that HR employees are trained to recognize false statements, and if it happens during a job interview, you may see that dream job go up in smoke. For IT administrator positions, you can expect to be asked complicated technical questions about the products and technologies you claim to know. If you can't answer these questions, your interview is over.