Having a good CV is the key to landing more interviews and network administrator your dream job. However, with the definition of the network changing for many organizations, the role and skills of network administrators are changing faster than ever.
In this guide, we’ll cover the main steps in creating a network administrator resume – and some things hiring managers look for to find a network administrator who can thrive in fast-paced environments.
Characteristics of a Well-Written Network Administrator Resume
As you study job descriptions and think about skills, project experience, and keywords to include on your resume, remember that behind every accomplishment or successful project is an important story.
“Focusing your resume on traditional technical skills won’t set you apart from other network administrators with similar results,” noted Jennifer Hay, certified resume writer, career coach, and founder of IT Résumé Service.
The best resumes tell compelling before and after stories and provide talking points and examples to bring up in interviews. Stories connect your actions and decisions to business and technical value and add dimension and depth to your resume, Hay continued.
Instead of just listing your abilities, ask yourself these essential questions to incorporate your experience and qualifications into a story:
- What were the challenges you faced and how did you use Essential Skills to solve them?
- Who did you work with, what was the team dynamic and what happened?
- How have your actions helped?
- What were the lessons learned and how did you share them with others?
For example, describing how you learned to manage network security and performance to adapt to remote or hybrid working is a great way to demonstrate adaptability, demand forecasting, and collaborative problem solving. It’s also a great way to showcase experience with modern tools, networking components, and architecture patterns such as unified endpoint management, virtual desktop infrastructure, zero-trust security models, remote gateway hardware, etc. Or perhaps you were instrumental in implementing edge computing to manage the explosive growth of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Every network administrator has a story worth sharing.
In addition to overseeing infrastructure health and performing network monitoring and preventative maintenance, there are other core skills that hiring managers will look for. These are absolutely essential to include in your profile and work history sections:
- Experience with a metrics-based approach to monitoring and identifying network performance issues.
- Since network administration is not a job done in isolation, here are examples of how you have partnered and collaborated with the security team.
- Examples of how you provided operational design requirements while working hand in hand with engineers and architects.
- Examples of your ability to anticipate, anticipate extreme changes in usage and traffic volumes and engage in proactive capacity management.
How to Write a Profile Summary
Your profile or opening resume is the first thing an examiner sees and quickly describes who you are and how your work history will add value in future roles. Hooking the reader starts with a concise, catchy, believable, and casual brand statement that answers five questions:
- What are your most significant personal traits?
- What is your role as a professional?
- What are the important things you do?
- Who wants or needs you to do these things?
- How do the things you do help people?
The brand statement is followed by three to five bullet points that summarize your most relevant qualifications. Hay shared this example:
Senior Network Administrator who works across the organization to ensure reliable and secure digital communications in an age of data dependency and distributed workforces.
• In a senior role, oversees the health of the infrastructure, supporting available, reliable, performing and secure environments.
• Uses a metrics-based approach to monitor and identify operational performance issues and provides frequent status updates to keep management informed of issues and resolution timelines.
•Partnership with security teams to implement policies, processes and best practices to prevent, detect and monitor unauthorized access.
How to write a summary of work experience
Work experience is another essential section of your resume because it connects the dots between your previous experience and the role you’re pursuing, supports your brand, and brings your story to life. It also gives the reviewer an idea of how you achieved a goal or solved a problem, what tools and soft skills you used, and who you worked with.
Under a brief description of each position, use about five to seven bullet points and sub-points to describe your main accomplishments using the PAR system:
- What was the problem?
- What action did you take?
- What was the results?
The selected examples below show how to list your work experience (you can see a full resume example here):
Senior Network Administrator, Company Name December 2019 to Present
In an industry driven by business, social and technological change, providing network management, threat reduction and optimized design solutions that facilitate remote working for 5,000 employees worldwide.
• Provided requirements for designing an overall DMVPN architecture that improved connectivity and eased implementations. Network restructuring to include strict ACL, firewall, IPS/ID and role-based access.
• Reduce security risk by 20% while lowering costs with machine-speed, expert-level automated threat hunting.
• Worked closely with the Network engineer and Network Architect to quickly implement a WFH/Hybrid workforce experience with a stable and fast network infrastructure.
-Provide feedback during the implementation of Auvik’s cloud-based network monitoring to create visibility into home networks.
-Using real-time hardware metrics to monitor performance and proactively prevent issues.
• Worked with the security team to improve security posture with a zero-trust model designed to reduce risk and increase productivity. Includes new network hardening process, authentication, Cisco for network redundancy, Oracle Cloud for failover, and VMware for replication.
Final Tips and Features of an Effective Network Administrator Resume
To encourage reviewers to read your resume, limit the length to no more than two pages. Focus on the past 10 years and eliminate graduation dates and older technologies. It won’t help if the skills you list are outdated or irrelevant to the job. Besides:
Your resume must be machine readable and humans: A .docx or PDF file is generally compatible with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and human assessors. If you want to use graphics or images to tell your story, create multiple versions of your resume.
The inclusion of a toolkit is optional: Having a dedicated section for technical skills and tools allows recruiters to quickly verify qualifications, but to land an interview you still need to explain how you used them in your work history section. As Hay pointed out, “A CV that simply lists the things you produced and the technologies you used is ordinary at best and boring at worst.”
Hobbies or non-professional interests should support your brand statement. For example, if you have done personal projects that used the skills needed for the job, include them (with a practical link) in your application.
Models are good: However, to capture the attention of both automated and human reviewers, make simple changes/customizations to match the job description and organizational culture before hitting “Submit”. Even better, use a free tool like job search Where Curriculum vitae written to compare your resume to a specific job description, make changes, and bypass applicant tracking systems.
Be sure to include hot certifications and courses: You should include best certifications, vendor certifications, and courses that demonstrate expertise in fundamentals, security, emerging technologies, and a passion for continuous learning. (Also, more specialization and skills will allow you to potentially negotiate a higher salary.)