If you’re looking for a job in the DevOps space and want to stand out from the rest, polishing your CV is one of the first steps to take before you begin searching and making job applications. We spoke to some of our consultants who’ve had years of experience in sifting through CVs and connecting our clients to the best candidates.
Here are a few of the main things they look for when looking at a DevOps Engineer’s CV.
Eman Abobakr, Senior Cloud and DevOps Consultant stresses the importance of hard skills, and the best tech stack to make you stand out. She mentions that Terraform, (Infrastructure as Code); Ansible (Configuration Management); Azure, GCP, AWS (Public Cloud), Jenkins (CI/CD), and Python (Scripting) are valued hard skills.
You may be familiar with these and have included them in your CV already, but it is important to give examples of your skill use. Go into detail about the extent of your experience with these tools. Sure, many people may have experience in AWS but if you describe the extent of your work with it, that will help you stand out from those who merely list hard skills on their CV without further context. Explain how you’ve used specific skills, and what you’ve been using them for. Don’t forget to describe what using said skills has helped you and the businesses you’ve worked with achieve. At the same time, try not to oversell yourself. For example, if you worked on a Kubernetes group project, don’t list the actions of other people that were completed, try to specify what you took on during the project. You don’t want to be caught short in an interview due to a lack of clarification on your CV.
Siveshen Chetty, Senior Delivery Consultant says that strong experience in Kubernetes is highly valued as most companies are moving in this direction. It is probably the most in-demand skill at the moment within DevOps. In fact, many companies are more likely to offer you more money if your CV highlights your extensive experience with Kubernetes.
He also suggests becoming an expert in one type of public cloud over being relatively familiar with most services. Or expanding your scope of professional fluency to two major cloud providers, keeping your options open but allowing you to focus on really investing your time in specialising in those cloud providers. You may be able to pick up multi-cloud skills during your career but to get a cloud engineering role you’re almost certainly going to need to show significant expertise on a specific cloud. If you are very proficient with one public cloud provider, go into detail on your CV about the cloud projects you have been doing, and the types of applications you have been working with within the public cloud.
It’s not all about the hard skills, companies love people who show enthusiasm for hobbies and activities outside of work, as it gives them an insight into your personality and whether you will be a good culture fit their role. It is tempting to leave out hobbies and home in on your skills and experience, but it can also help to individualise your CV. When employers are looking at a variety of CVs with the same tech stack and experience, surprisingly it may give you the edge over another candidate if you’ve got ‘Kayaking’ on your CV. This is partly because interest in hobbies and outside of work activities shows positive psychological attributes like an eagerness for brain stimulation, teamwork, and social skills. Siveshen says that companies love a good outdoor enthusiast. Here are some useful examples of hobbies that could be impressive to a prospective employer based on transferable skills: coding or programming (for tech jobs), games/puzzles (such as chess), mentoring, or coaching/tutoring.
Another way to demonstrate your skills is to discuss the key projects that you have worked on in previous roles. Include the tech stack used, and the roles you took on during the projects accompanied by the soft skills developed during the project.
Finally, Siveshen suggests mentioning any certifications awarded around your tech expertise. Here are some examples of some good certifications:
Samantha Redding, Senior DevOps, and Cloud Consultant says that a DevOps Engineer should be capable of automating the entire DevOps pipeline. Placing an emphasis on Continuous Development and Continuous Deployment pipeline (CI/CD). To demonstrate this skill on your CV, she recommends highlighting your experience with Jenkins (as it is the most popular tool). A DevOps automation skillet is closely linked with your knowledge of the DevOps toolset, coding, and scripting languages. She also clarifies that working on Linux-based infrastructure is highly regarded, particularly as it is very secure and efficient. Including coding and scripting is vital as part of your tech stack. Tools like Ruby, Python, Perl, and Java are the most recommended, so have a good understanding of these and highlight it on your CV where appropriate.
Demonstrating that you are excellent in troubleshooting is crucial as every tech company places importance on updated documentation. Things go wrong in every organisation’s processing and troubleshooting is there to guide you through to a solution. Highlight in your CV, your ability to update documentation efficiently, and try to demonstrate how meticulous and organised you are overall in troubleshooting processes.
Employers want to hire people who have the greatest knowledge and understanding of DevOps. A good way to demonstrate your knowledge is by mentioning that you’re aware of the critical concepts in DevOps and Agile principles (this also may be a good one to discuss in the interview). An example of this is mentioning the CAMS model (culture automation, measurement, and sharing.) Or discussing some DevOps models and practices such as Agile planning or infrastructure as code. Demonstrating working knowledge of various tools, open-source technologies, and cloud services will show evidence of the depth of your understanding of DevOps.
Alex Dover, Founder, and Director of Prism Digital recommends getting involved with the DevOps community and demonstrating this on your CV. Show that you’ve done a talk or presentation at a networking event, this proves that you take an interest in engaging and educating others in DevOps, it also validates you as an evangelist and subject-matter expert. If you have attended events, it is worth mentioning as it shows your initiative in expanding your own knowledge in tech and wanting to meet other like-minded people. Not only will this look good on your CV, but help you make connections to assist you in your individual career.