Tech & Work

Critique this tech's successful CV and cover letter

One TechRepublic member has gotten great results from his resume during previous job searches, but he'd like to improve it before attempting a jump to systems administrator. Check out his resume and cover letter and offer your advice.


TechRepublic member Donny Parrott isn't necessarily looking for a new job, but he is open to the possibility. He's currently performing the duties of systems administrator for the Knox County Health Department. He hopes to "officially" move into a sys admin role—complete with title and appropriate pay—in the near future. Parrott said that although he feels he's currently underpaid, the job is quite a good fit for his skills. So he's taking a laid back approach to finding new possibilities for employment.

"I have my resume submitted to employment sites like Monster and have configured those sites to notify me of potential matches to desired opportunities," he said. "One of those matches was an opportunity I am now looking into. If this opportunity works out, great; if not, I am still in a good position."

His resume has demonstrated results
Over the course of his career, Parrott said he's used the same resume—updated with each new job, of course—with good results. He estimates that he's received approximately seven interviews for every 10 times he's sent it out. The secret, he believes, is a detailed cover letter that complements his resume.

"Now I have not been hired to all positions for which I interviewed, but the fact that I am asked to take part in an interview makes me feel that the resume is in decent shape," he said.

Although his resume is unorthodox in it's listing of employment dates, he said he's rarely questioned about them.

"Usually, the questions asked are about the concurrent employment of my consultant/contract opportunities and my standard job," he said.

Suggest improvements
Parrott submitted his resume for critique by his peers at TechRepublic. Do you have advice for improving his resume or cover letter that might help him move up into a system administrator's position?

He'd appreciate any feedback you can provide. Take a look at Parrott's cover letter, shown in Figure A, and his resume in Figures B and C, and offer your insights in the discussion below.

Figure A
Parrott's cover letter


Figure B
Parrott's resume, page one


Figure C
Parrott's resume, page two


Would you like to have your resume critiqued?
We're posting member resumes to allow you to learn from one another as you search for bigger and better tech positions. If you'd like yours to be the next resume featured in an article like this, send it to us in Microsoft Word format with identifying details shielded if you want to remain anonymous. We'd also like to know about your current job (or lack thereof) and what kind of work you've been searching for and for how long.


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