Tag Archive for job

Writing A Successful Technical Resume

With so many people out there looking for a job right now, I thought it would be nice to compile some tips on writing resumes in the technical field.  Individual results may vary, but these are a few things I have learned:

1.  Always include a Skills section if you are going to post your resume to a form.  The reason why you are doing this is to provide a list of searchable skills.  If your resume is vague, it will never show up in any queries the company may conduct in the future.

2.  Do not under any circumstances whatsoever use a template for your cover letter.  Take the time to specifically type out how you qualify for the position, what skills you consider critical to the company’s success, address any gaps between the desired skills and what you know, and make sure it feels like a letter addressed to the company.  This brief effort, as simple as writing an email, will get you the attention you deserve.  If you apply at the same company twice, using a template twice may make the potential employer question your sincerity.

3.  Take notes while on the phone discussing your resume.  This will expose any areas you can improve and shore up potential problems.  Recruiters and hiring managers are scrutinizing every detail now.  If more than one interviewer expresses concern regarding information or you find yourself discussing skills not on your resume often, it is probably time for some editing.

4.  Keep multiple file formats on hand.  I have a Word, PDF, and text version at all times.  There is no data standard for on line job board systems and formatting can take away your dream job in a heartbeat.  I upload the Word version, print the PDF version, and copy and paste the Text file.  This system seems to fit 99% of the time.

5. Pay very close attention to the job details.  The days of blasting out your resume to 200 employers until someone gives you a chance are long gone.  There are specific hardware, software, and years of experience requirements that will disqualify you immediately.  It is better to assume a quality over quantity position in a finicky job market.  You will get more responses and interviewers will be less stressed with everyone.  They have very difficult decisions to make and their performance is also being scrutinized.

This is just a brief transfer of my own personal experiences.  If you have any others, please feel free to comment.

Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide

As a System Administrator, I am constantly looking for the ultimate commands to make my job easier.  Moving files around, renaming files for archival purposes, downloading updates, and building reports are a lot easier with scripting.  This is another document for the reference library, folks.


Linux Data Link Library for The Ironman Watch

Ahhh… the good old days. I had ones of these DataLink watches when I started flying on my first tech job. It saved a ton of time and helped me reschedule several flights, including one where I was north of the border without my luggage. Forget about cellphones, pdas, and wireless internet connections. All I needed was a pay phone and my watch. Sadly, the battery’s dead now. Maybe as project, I will try to get this working again… without the headaches of Windows 95!


Admin Tools Available on Ubuntu 7.10 (and other debian derivatives)

When I was strictly a windows admin, I spent a lot of time digging around try to find the perfect utilities to provide the little extras that make a system run properly. Things such as the AdminPak, almost anything on sysinternals, etc. made my job so much easier. I spent a little time digging through the Add/Remove Programs feature of Gutsy recently and am amazed at the magnitude of options for sys admins that are available now. These are the tools I have recently been working with in no particular order:


This tool will allow you to create and burn an iso of all the packages in your apt cache. The strongest benefit of being able to do this not waiting for updates to download on each machine. It is also helpful for any computers that may be isolated from the Internet for security reasons (i.e. the ones with personal files that should remain personal). While working in the corporate world, there was always that one machine hiding in a corner that no one else had updated in years. I was always the one crazy enough to touch it. Having a tool like this saves the time you would normally spend staring at a progress bar.

Disk Usage Analyzer

While harddrives seem to increase in capacity every few months, we can’t expect everyone to go out and grab a terrabyte all at once, right? Included by default in the past few Ubuntu releases, this application allows you to dig down into a harddrive and answer the all important question of where all that storage went that seemed like plenty 6 months ago. It works on pretty much anything mountable (including the thumbdrives that I constantly run out of room on).

Boot-up Manager

Remember how msconfig could turn a crawling 98 box into a racehorse again? Ubuntu has a tool called Boot-up Manager that provides similar capabilities. With it, you can control services and modify your startup and shutdown scripts. Very handy for experimenting with servers that don’t need to start all the time.

Gnome SSH Tunnel Manager

Tunnel, tunnel, tunnel. When in doubt as to your access, tunnel the traffic. gSTM allows you to store SSH tunnel configurations and enable these connections on the fly. This is ideal for remote administration of those insecure services we try our best to avoid making public (telnet, vnc, web, etc.).


Mounting an iso image has never been easier. Why would you mount an iso image? Because you can, of course!


The top command is very useful, but Htop adds a few features, such as a full path to the command that is running and graphical representations of resource usage.


Find all those extra packages that loom around after testing.

User Profile Editor

A tool to graphically configure all profile settings, with the ability to clone settings among users. This is an absolutely necessary tool for multi-user systems. Create a new profile and select Edit, an x-session pops up on the screen. Ideal for setting up menus for my daughter’s profile where she won;t need access to tools such as User Profile Editor.

In closing, I want to emphasize a piece of knowledge before I spend tons of time defending myself in comments. I know these packages exist for other distros. I know Gnome is responsible for some projects and most of the rest are sourceforge projects. I am just rather impressed by the recommendations my favorite distributor is choosing for their repositories lately.

P.S. The usual disclaimers about modding your own system apply. Do not complain if you some how break your system using these tools. Proceed with caution, sharp tools are these.