It’s an on-demand economy, so delivering value as fast as possible (while saving time, money and resources) is a top priority for companies of all sizes and industries. And now, more than ever, they have to adopt DevOps to make it happen.
That means there’s a huge demand for DevOps pros with the skills to deploy internal tools in seconds not minutes, release new features in hours not weeks and launch mobile apps in days not months. In fact, between 2017 and 2019, DevOps job postings on Indeed.com increased by over 35%.
But DevOps is relatively new (the term was first used in 2009) and powered by a wide range of skills and roles, from actual DevOps engineers to platform, site reliability and automation engineers. That means writing your DevOps resume can be confusing. Which skills should you really be highlighting? What’s the best format to use? Do you need to write a summary, or do your accomplishments speak for themselves? One page or two?
In this DevOps resume guide, we’re breaking down how to write a DevOps resume (with examples) that helps you land a DevOps interview and a top salary.
Kick it off with an eye-catching summary
Want to get noticed faster? Show off what you have to offer (in a nutshell) by writing a resume summary. If an employer’s looking for someone with a minimum of seven years of DevOps experience, for instance, they should be able to tell right away if you’re qualified for the job (and if they should continue reading) just by glancing at your summary.
Keep it short and snappy. Aim for two to four sentences that tell employers who you are, including your skills and experience level, what your strengths are and an impressive accomplishment that’ll help you stand out. You can also include what you’re looking for in your next role (as seen below in Example 3), especially if you’re a DevOps newcomer or you’re looking to make a career pivot.
Tailor your resume summary for each job you apply for, thinking about what the employer really wants in a new hire. For an even stronger summary, avoid these DevOps resume summary faux pas:
- First person point-of-view (e.g., “I’ve accomplished X,” “Hello, my name is…”)
- More than four sentences
- Clichés (e.g., “Ready to hit the ground running,” “Team player,” “Track record of success”)
To help you craft a summary of your own, here are three examples based on your DevOps career stage:
Example 1 (Late-career): Senior DevOps Engineer with a strong background in Linux/Unix administration and 15+ years of experience automating code rollouts to deploy high-profile apps quickly and frequently. Slashed deployment time of mobile savings app by 50%. Championed the adoption of microservices at Company ABC.
Example 2 (Mid-career): Skilled DevOps Engineer with 5+ years of hands-on experience configuring and maintaining resources on AWS, automating cloud infrastructure with CloudFormation and leveraging CI/CD for mission-critical deployments. Cut the cost of a major app release by 88%.
Example 3 (Early-career): Certified Azure Administrator with 2 years of experience in systems administration and automating VM deployment for Windows and Linux with PowerShell. Looking for a DevOps role with the opportunity to maintain and improve infrastructure services on Azure.
Highlight the DevOps skills employers want the most
Now that you’ve written a killer summary, it’s time to build up a short, curated list of skills that are in-demand with employers. Here’s intel from Indeed.com on which DevOps skills employers are really looking for—so you can show off the right ones.
To fill out the rest of your skills list, reference the job listing. Which skills are listed as required and which ones are preferred? These DevOps skills might include: Docker, Chef, Puppet, Ansible, Python, Ruby, Kubernetes, AWS, Azure, Jenkins, Git, Bash and Linux.
If your skills list is getting too long (i.e., over 15 skills) omit the ones that aren’t mentioned in the job listing. It’s best to avoid skill dumping or an employer’s eyes might start to glaze over.
Career coach tip: Format your skills section into two or three columns rather than one long list so recruiters don’t lose focus. This also gives you more resume space to work with later.
Power up your resume with DevOps verbs
Your work experience bullet points don’t have to be lifeless. Ditch stiff phrases like “worked on,” “responsible for,” and “duties included,” and replace them with verbs that diversify your resume, catch the recruiter’s attention and maximize your impact, such as:
Not only will these verbs (and other resume power words like it) take your DevOps resume from blah to wow, but they’ll also force you to write more descriptive, achievement-oriented bullet points—instead of a repeat of your job description. We’ll talk more about writing impactful bullet points (using these verbs as a starting point) in the next section.
Career coach tip: Use the job listing as a source of inspiration for DevOps power words.
Prove your skills with #, % and $
You can list skills all day long, but employers won’t just take your word for it. That’s why you have to prove you can bring in real results with the skills you claim to have.
Recruiters and hiring managers value impact over almost anything else in a DevOps engineer resume, so skip your everyday tasks and talk about your accomplishments, quantifying them as much as possible. Think about how many, how much and how often (e.g., numbers, percentages, dollar signs, time quantifiers).
Think you don’t have any accomplishments worth showing off? Think again:
- What would not have been completed if I wasn’t on the team?
- What am I proud of during my time at the company?
- How did I make a process more efficient?
- How did I save or make money for the company?
- Did I receive any awards, promotions or special recognition?
- Did I ever go above and beyond my job duties?
No specific numbers? No problem. You don’t always have to know the hard numbers, stats and data behind your work to prove your impact. Here are a few examples of DevOps resume bullet points that include numbers—and a few that don’t. Mix and match both types until you have three to four high-impact bullet points (and no more than six or seven) for each role.
Examples (with numbers):
- Reduced costs by ~$2,000 each month and eliminated server sprawl by consolidating servers and databases.
- Cut down on deployment time for agile project infrastructure from over 1 month to less than 2 days.
- Automated deployments for 200+ cloud servers using Python and Bash.
Examples (without numbers):
- Deployed Docker containers to break up monolithic app into microservices, improving scalability and optimizing speed.
- Created fully automated CI/CD deployment pipelines using Jenkins to cut down on errors and speed up production processes.
- Identified build/release pipeline bottlenecks and recommended solutions that improved developer workflows.
Boost your DevOps resume with certifications
A resume isn’t just about listing your skills and hoping employers believe you—it’s about verifying them. That’s why if you have any DevOps-related certifications, be sure to include them in your education section, as long as they’re not out-of-date. Since certs typically hold equal or more weight than college degrees in the DevOps field, it’s a great way to give yourself an edge over the competition. In fact, 91% of employers say IT certifications play a key role in their hiring decisions.
Here are a few of the most common DevOps certifications that’ll make an employer’s eyes light up:
- AWS Certified DevOps Engineer
- Red Hat Certifications
- DevOps Institute Certifications
- Docker Certified Associate
- Puppet Certification
- Certified Kubernetes Administrator Program
You can even add non-DevOps IT certs (e.g., CCNA, CISSP, CSM) to sum up your knowledge and prove your tech skills. And since many employers are looking for DevOps talent with a background in programming, it’s also a good idea to add your GitHub profile if you’re actively contributing.
DevOps resume, assemble!
A resume that’s all over the place will only make employers frustrated. So now that you’ve got your content, it’s time to put it all together. Structure your DevOps engineer resume in the following order: header, summary, skills, work experience, projects (if any), certifications and education.
Are two pages better than one? A recent study found that recruiters and hiring managers are 2.3 times more likely to prefer two-page resumes over one-pagers. If you can say everything you need to say in one page, that’s great. But don’t be afraid to rebel against the common resume advice that says two-page resumes are career killers.
A good rule of thumb: If you’re an early-career DevOps professional, keep it to one page. But if you’re a mid- or late-career DevOps pro, don’t feel limited to just one page.
Want more resume formatting tips? Check out our guide to crafting a tech resume that will get you hired.
Upgrade your DevOps resume in no time
You might not be able to automate writing your DevOps resume, but now that you know the secrets behind preparing one that ticks all the boxes (impactful, eye-catching, results-oriented, visually appealing), you can deploy yourself into a new DevOps role that meets all your career expectations, whether it’s a high salary, exciting work, room for growth or anything in between.
*Methodology: Indeed.com analyzed the percentage change in the share of job postings with either “devops” or “development operations” in the job title over a two-year period from August 2017 to August 2019.
For the most in-demand DevOps tech skills, verified skills listed in job postings on Indeed.com with “devops engineer,” “site reliability engineer,” “platform engineer,” and “automation engineer” in the job title were calculated as a share of all postings over a six-month period through August 2019.