Resume Template: System Administrator

Systems do not function on their own. They need oversight. They require troubleshooting from time to time.
The role of System Administrator is vital to the health of companies and corporations. You will work with digital systems to organize and streamline operations and to structure data.

It is a complicated task, but we trust you’re up to the challenge!

However, before landing a job as a System Administrator, you will need to produce a comprehensive resume that will demonstrate your skills and knowledge.

It is our job to help you achieve this end.

Where to begin?

A resume is a type of system, programmed to help you acquire the job of your dreams. It is made up of key elements. We’ll show you what these elements are and how to produce them.

Summary

  1. Resume Template
  2. Formatting
  3. Writing Your Resume Summary
  4. Areas of Expertise
  5. Writing Your Work Experience
  6. Writing Your Education Section
  7. Additional Sections
  8. Resume Points to Remember
  9. Resume “Don’ts” to Remember
  10. Some Helpful Tools

Let’s begin with a sample system administrator resume to demonstrate how all the resume pieces fit together. Then we will break each section down to really drill into how to write the best system administrator resume you possibly can.

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System Administrator Resume (Text Version)

Contact Info:

Paul Newcastle
[email protected]
1 (850) 505-0642
Panama City, FL 32406
linkedin.com/paulnewcastle

Summary Statement:

System Administrator: Skilled and reliable System Administrator. Specializes in fostering robust system infrastructure, including comprehensive security measures. Experienced with providing complete oversight for business and corporate IT systems. Known for dedication and attention to the smallest detail.

Key Accomplishments/Areas of Expertise

  • Security Standards (HIPAA, SOX, PCI)
  • Mixed Platform Environments
  • Database Fundamentals
  • UNIX/Linux
  • Routine Protocols
  • Documentation
  • Diagnostics
  • Teamwork
  • Detail Oriented
  • Efficient

Professional Experience:

909 Technologies | Panama City, FL
System Administrator | May 2016 – Present

  • Address client issues and technical problems
  • Install and configure desktop software and hardware
  • Monitor and maintain system performance
  • Assure system security via access controls, backups, and firewalls
  • Train staff in new technologies and procedures

Beachside Hospice | Panama City, FL
System Administrator | April 2014 – March 2016

  • Designed, deployed, and documented system infrastructure
  • Provided oversight of all hardware, business applications, and network functions
  • Led and participated in complex system projects involving various business segments
  • Utilized a UNIX system in a healthcare environment
  • Kept management informed via progress and data reports

Gulf Solutions Corporation | Panama City, FL
System Administrator | July 2012 – February 2014

  • Rebuilt existing servers and configured hardware, peripherals, services, settings, and directories
  • Identified approaches that leveraged corporation resources
  • Completed periodic performance reporting/documentation
  • Maintained data center environmental and monitoring equipment
  • Implemented robust security protocols/standards

Education/Certifications

Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Networking
Florida Technical College, Tampa, FL
Class of 2012

Formatting

Formatting has grown in importance when it comes to resume writing.

So many companies are now using scanning bots to evaluate resumes based upon their use of relevant keywords and language.

Producing a scannable resume requires precision and focus.

Your system administrator resume also needs to be highly readable.

Hiring managers are busy people, so they can only dedicate an average of 6 seconds to reading your resume – another reason why formatting is so important.

It’s all about presenting your skills in a way that will produce maximum impact.

It is therefore prudent to use reverse chronological order as the layout option for your work experience.

This will place your most recent experience first, letting the reader know straight away what level you have reached in your career as a system administrator.

A few small, but important tips:

Choose a clean and legible font. Odd or “creative” fonts will work against you and impact your system administrator resume’s readability. You don’t want that.

Also, make sure the white spaces on your page are balanced with the text. The idea with your resume is to present a well-organized and tidy aesthetic.

Creating a Resume Summary

So how do you introduce your skill set to the reader?

With a summary!

Kick your system administrator resume off with a short paragraph that summarizes your best skills and key areas of ability.

This is the best way to get things rolling for the reader

Your summary should be 2-3 sentences in length, but you’ll need to keep your language specific.

Generalities are to be avoided.
You need to show why you are a qualified candidate with valuable and unique skills to bring to the table.

PRO TIP: Your skills are what creates your value as a candidate, not necessarily the number of jobs you’ve held in the field. So your summary should not be a work history. That will come later. Keep the summary all about your skill set.

Let’s take a moment to look at some summary examples:

Yes!

Skilled and reliable System Administrator. Specializes in fostering robust system infrastructure, including comprehensive security measures. Experienced with providing complete oversight for business and corporate IT systems. Known for dedication and attention to the smallest detail.

No!

I am a System Administrator. I can set up your system, any system really. I am good at all the little details, but can do the big stuff too. If you want a great and well-functioning IT system, I am the person for the job!

The first example demonstrates the abilities and expertise of the candidate.

It gets specific and contains all the important elements of an effective summary.

Power words are included to elevate the language, bringing a flavor of action and ability.

The second example is far too general and informal.

This person does not leave an impression of professionalism or advanced ability.

Perhaps they are genuinely qualified, but the use of poor language and lack of specificity has let them down in this case.

Remember that the reader only knows what you show them. So if you’re a highly-skilled professional you need to demonstrate it!

Areas of Expertise

Since your system administrator resume should be all about your skills, it’s a good idea to emphasize those skills with a focused list.

Use bullet points to highlight your Key Accomplishments, or Areas of Expertise.

Example:

  • Database Fundamentals
  • Routine Protocols
  • Diagnostics
  • Creative Thinking
  • Mixed Platform Environments
  • UNIX/Linux
  • Documentation
  • Efficent

Include both hard skills and soft skills.

Know the difference?

Hard skills relate to your specific talents as a system administrator. They are those skills that you excel at in your work.

Soft skills are more nebulous, but no less important.

They involve personal qualities and abilities, like leadership ability, organizational talents, and communication skills.

Include both types of skills in your bulleted list.

PRO TIP: Perhaps you’ve never really considered your soft skills before. They are intuitive after all. So take time to work out what your best personal qualities are. Maybe ask friends or coworkers if you need help pinpointing them.

(See below for a helpful table of some suggested hard and soft skill ideas to inspire you in writing your skills section.)

Drafting Your Work Experience

So how have you used your skills in your career?

You’ll answer this important question with a work history, covering both where you’ve worked and what you did at each position.

Layout is important.

Reverse chronological order is the layout choice of the day!

You’ll list your most recent or current job first, then work backwards through your experience.

Focus on your relevant positions. No need to list every job you’ve ever held.

Every job heading should include:

  • The company name
  • Where the company is located
  • What job you performed there

Dates are important to include, just to bring clarity and show that you’re being upfront with your history.

However, perhaps you feel a need to leave dates off your system administrator resume.

Perhaps you only held a certain job for a short period or maybe you have a habit of letting long spans of time pass between positions.

Because of your situation, you probably feel it is a more prudent option to leave dates out of the equation.

Should you do this, keep in mind that you will be asked about dates in an interview. Be prepared with answers. Potential employers will want to know about missing dates and why you left them off your resume.

After writing out your heading for a position, use 3-5 bullet points to list the various roles you performed while occupying said position.

Be specific and use power words to help strengthen your language.

Examples for reference:

Yes!

909 Technologies | Panama City, FL | System Administrator | May 2016 – Present

  • Address client issues and technical problems
  • Install and configure desktop software and hardware
  • Monitor and maintain system performance
  • Assure system security via access controls, backups, and firewalls
  • Train staff in new technologies and procedures

No!

909 Technologies | Panama City

  • Take care of issues
  • Software and hardware.

The first example uses five detailed points to demonstrate the candidate’s abilities on the job.

Power words preface each point and really help to convey competence and an action-oriented attitude.

The second example is woefully short on details and demonstrating the candidate’s skillset.

There is nothing meaningful to be gained from the entry.

Your work experience should be a powerful demonstration of your skills being put into action.

PRO TIP: Power words are important, so you should not view them as optional. If you have trouble coming up with relevant words to use, check the job description. No doubt your potential employer has included plenty of them!

Dealing With Bots

Remember our mention of scanning bots and how they’re used to evaluate resume submissions?

Let’s talk about them some more.

Bots function through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Some systems are harder to please than others.

If you think that an ATS is going to cause your resume significant grief, consider using an alternative format for your work experience in order to beat it.

Use a paragraph instead of bullet points when writing out your position entries.

So instead of this:

909 Technologies | Panama City, FL | System Administrator | May 2016 – Present

  • Address client issues and technical problems
  • Install and configure desktop software and hardware
  • Monitor and maintain system performance
  • Assure system security via access controls, backups, and firewalls
  • Train staff in new technologies and procedures

Write this:

Address client issues and technical problems on a regular basis. Install and configure desktop software and hardware, monitoring and maintaining overall system performance.

Or use a mix of the two formats, with bullet points to highlight certain roles:

Address client issues and technical problems on a regular basis. Install and configure desktop software and hardware, monitoring and maintaining overall system performance.

  • Assure system security via access controls, backups, and firewalls
  • Train staff in new technologies and procedures

Why use a paragraph?

Because doing so allows you to include more keywords in your language, which an ATS scans for and prioritizes.

However, paragraphs are text-dense and take longer to read for a human.

So when your system administrator resume gets to a hiring manager, they may or may not take issue with that.

Given this, we recommend sticking with bullet points unless you’re particularly wary of an ATS.

Your Education Section

Do you have a college degree?

Did you finish high school?

Your education section will answer these questions and more.

Begin with listing your highest level of formal education.

Example: Master’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, High School Diploma, etc.

List the name of the institution, degree earned, and your area of study/concentration.

Include minor degrees and academic accomplishments.

Even include your GPA if you desire. It could help boost your credibility if you’re just starting out in the working world.

Example:

Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Networking
Florida Technical College, Tampa, FL
GPA: 3.8
Class of 2012

You’ve probably grown your skills since you graduated. Include those details as well.

Example:

  • “Administering Complex Systems,” Professional Workshop, Miami, FL
  • “Database Management,” Online Course

Additional Sections

Sometimes we have an accomplishment or special talent that doesn’t quite fit in the typical sections of a resume.

But you can include these details in an additional section!

Such as:

  • Awards and honors
  • Publications
  • Noteworthy Projects
  • Social Media Influence
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Hobbies/Interests
  • Volunteer Work

No Experience

We all have to start somewhere. If you’ve just graduated and have little to no experience, writing an effective system administrator resume can present some problems.

However, there are some changes you can make in formatting, layout, and emphasis that will help you.

Instead of leaving your education section until last, include it after your summary.

If you have no experience, you’ll need to rely on your education credentials to boost your professional credibility.

When writing about your work experience, you’ll be listing positions that are not exactly relevant to system administration, but you can emphasize certain experience points that could help you in your new pursuit.

There will be certain skill points in your past that you can bring to the foreground.

For instance, perhaps you’ve held a job that required organization, filing, or general management.

How about skills like computer programming, teamwork, and time management?

Skills like these that you’ve acquired over time could prove useful to you in your new career.

Potential employers will recognize them and take them into account when considering you for the position.

Points to Remember

Remember to include your contact details on your resume. Your skills will be of no benefit to you if they can’t get in touch!

So list your email address, LinkedIn profile or phone number.

Use of space

We’ve provided you with the knowledge you need to utilize the space you have to maximum effect. Start your resume with a summary, followed by your work history, and then your education. This may vary according to your situation.

Utilize relevant power words

Remember that power words are a crucial tool. They help elevate and add strength to your language. Strong language implies a strong skill set!

Recruit a proofreader

Little mistakes are easy to make when writing. So it’s a good move to bring in a proofreader to give your resume a look over. They’ll catch any grammar or spelling errors.

“Don’ts” to Remember

First person language

As you write your resume, be sure to avoid use of the first person. This means that “I” and “me” are off limits. It’s considered unprofessional and takes emphasis off your skills.

Number of pages

One page is all you should need to list your skills and experience. A single page is easy to read and easy to handle.

Repetitious language

Take care not to repeat yourself. Try not to take shortcuts when writing, as it will do you no favors down the line. Keep your language varied. Use power words to help achieve this.

(We’ve put together a handy table of power words below to use for inspiration.)

Fonts and formatting

Font selection may seem like a small or insignificant element of your resume, but it’s actually a very important aspect. Use a font that looks professional and is easy to read. The same applies to formatting. Follow our tips and keep things orderly.

Some Helpful Tools:

Power Words

  • Addressed
  • Installed
  • Monitored
  • Assured
  • Trained
  • Designed
  • Provided
  • Led
  • Utilized
  • Kept
  • Rebuilt
  • Identified
  • Completed
  • Maintained
  • Implemented
  • Formulated

Skills List

Hard Skills Soft Skills
Security Standards (HIPAA, SOX, PCI) Documentation
Mixed Platform Environments Diagnostics
Database Fundamentals Teamwork
UNIX/Linux Detail Oriented
Routine Protocols Efficient
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