Get your Database Administrator Resume Noticed, with a Compelling Summary

The resume summary is a very rich section designed to quickly demonstrate you've got what it takes! Let's look at two examples of very compelling resume summaries for database administrators.

1. Summary for Hiring Company Inc.

  • Oracle team leader/architect with natural communication skills and vast IT experience, primarily in Oracle Database Technologies.
  • Led a team of 16 core and application DBAs, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the single global instance.
  • Enrolled users, maintained system security, and controlled and monitored user access to the database, operating 24/7, with 40-50 concurrent users at any given time.
  • Upgraded a total of 42 OLTP and OLAP databases from Oracle 10gR2 to 11gR2 in less than 2 months.

2. Highlights

  • 8 years of experience in Oracle DBA, Oracle SQL/PLSQL development, Unix/Linux shell programming, with bachelor's degree in computer information systems.
  • Upgraded over 20 SQL servers to the latest service pack level in a 3-month period.
  • Improved vital processing jobs by reducing process duration by 60%.
  • Worked on a huge environment supporting more than 180 instances.

The goal of the summary is to: 1. show you qualify and 2. build a strong first impression. And you do that very, very quickly, in a few bullets. Also, unless you're too early in your career, you should mention how many years of experience you have. If appropriate, you can talk about your experience with recent developments or systems. Sectors or specialties you've worked in can also bring a nice touch.

Make sure your resume summary is tailored!

Always remember the job ad when preparing your summary. Maybe you'll see certain keywords in there that need to be emphasized. There's no such thing as a good one-size-fits-all resume. It has to be customized. As I often repeat, accomplishments are the strongest elements of your resume, because they make you stand out from your peers. On your resume, you want as many accomplishments as possible. But in your summary, you have to choose a few that seem most relevant for the specific job you're applying for. Which means that your summary repeats your key accomplishments. It's a smart thing to be redundant with the most valuable info on your resume! A potential employer won't mind that you insist on quickly upgrading 42 databases!

More tips for people in database administration

If you write a strong summary using these tips, potential employers are much more likely to give your resume a good read. And that's a necessary step to getting more interviews!

If you're looking for more advice specifically for DBAs, check out 5 Accomplishments to Make your DBA Resume Stand Out. But if you feel like 5 isn't enough, get the Database Administrator Resume Hacking e-book!