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Top 12 Network Engineer Skills to Put on Your Resume

In today's ever-evolving digital landscape, a network engineer's resume must showcase a blend of technical prowess and soft skills to stand out among a sea of qualified candidates. Highlighting the top network engineer skills effectively communicates to potential employers your capability to design, implement, and manage complex network infrastructures, ensuring you're seen as a valuable asset to any team.

Top 12 Network Engineer Skills to Put on Your Resume

Network Engineer Skills

  1. Cisco IOS
  2. Juniper Junos
  3. BGP (Border Gateway Protocol)
  4. OSPF (Open Shortest Path First)
  5. MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching)
  6. IPv6
  7. QoS (Quality of Service)
  8. SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol)
  9. VPN (Virtual Private Network)
  10. Wireshark
  11. SDN (Software-Defined Networking)
  12. AWS Networking

1. Cisco IOS

Cisco IOS (Internetwork Operating System) is a proprietary operating system that runs on most Cisco Systems routers and switches, providing a rich set of networking protocols and functions for routing, switching, and network management.

Why It's Important

Cisco IOS (Internetwork Operating System) is crucial for Network Engineers as it provides the core functionality, security, and performance features necessary for configuring, managing, and troubleshooting Cisco network devices, ensuring efficient and reliable network operations.

How to Improve Cisco IOS Skills

Improving Cisco IOS performance and efficiency involves optimizing configurations, updating software, and ensuring security. Here are concise steps with external resources for a Network Engineer:

  1. Optimize Configurations: Streamline configurations for better performance.

  2. Update Software: Keep your IOS version updated to patch vulnerabilities and improve features.

    • Cisco Software Central provides software downloads and update information.
  3. Secure Your Network: Implement security best practices to protect against threats.

    • Cisco IOS Security Configuration Guide details security setup.
  4. Enable Routing Protocols Optimization: Adjust routing protocols for efficient network traffic management.

    • Cisco Routing Configuration Guides cover routing optimizations.
  5. Use Quality of Service (QoS): Prioritize critical network traffic to ensure performance.

    • Cisco QoS Solutions provides a guide to implementing QoS.
  6. Monitor and Analyze Network Performance: Regularly monitor network to identify and resolve issues.

By following these steps and leveraging Cisco's extensive resources, Network Engineers can significantly improve the performance and security of their Cisco IOS environments.

How to Display Cisco IOS Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Cisco IOS Skills on Your Resume

2. Juniper Junos

Juniper Junos, also known as Junos OS, is the network operating system used in Juniper Networks hardware, including routers, switches, and security devices. It provides a unified code base that ensures consistent operations, automation capabilities, and advanced network services for simplified management and enhanced network reliability and security, tailored for the needs of network engineers.

Why It's Important

Juniper Junos is important for a Network Engineer because it provides a stable, secure, and scalable operating system for routing, switching, and security devices, enabling efficient network management, automation, and advanced configuration capabilities across diverse environments.

How to Improve Juniper Junos Skills

Improving your skills with Juniper Junos as a Network Engineer involves a combination of hands-on practice, theoretical knowledge, and staying updated with the latest advancements. Here are concise strategies:

  1. Official Juniper Training: Start with the official Juniper Networks Certification Program (JNCP) which offers courses from beginner to advanced levels.

  2. Junos Documentation: Dive into the Junos documentation for in-depth understanding and latest features.

  3. Lab Practice: Utilize GNS3 with Juniper router images or vLabs for hands-on experience in a virtual environment.

  4. Online Forums and Communities: Engage with the Juniper Networks Community to exchange knowledge, tips, and solutions.

  5. Automation Skills: Learn network automation with Junos by using tools like Ansible or PyEZ. Start with Juniper's Automation page.

  6. Stay Updated: Follow the Juniper Blog and Juniper on Twitter for the latest news, updates, and trends.

Focusing on these areas will significantly improve your proficiency with Juniper Junos, making you a more effective and knowledgeable Network Engineer.

How to Display Juniper Junos Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Juniper Junos Skills on Your Resume

3. BGP (Border Gateway Protocol)

BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) is the core routing protocol used to exchange routing information across the internet, enabling interconnectivity between different autonomous systems (ASes). It is crucial for ensuring network paths are efficiently determined and data packets are correctly routed across diverse networks on the internet.

Why It's Important

BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) is essential for Network Engineers because it enables the routing of data between autonomous systems (AS) on the Internet, ensuring global connectivity and optimal data paths for efficiency and reliability.

How to Improve BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) Skills

Improving BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) for enhanced network performance and security involves several key strategies:

  1. Route Filtering: Implement route filtering to control which routes are advertised and accepted. Utilize prefix lists, route maps, and AS_PATH filters to prevent inappropriate or malicious route propagation. Cisco Route Filtering Guide

  2. Route Aggregation: Use route aggregation to minimize the number of routes advertised. This reduces the size of the routing table, improving performance and reducing resource consumption. Route Aggregation Strategy

  3. BGP Security: Implement security measures such as BGPsec for path validation, RPKI (Resource Public Key Infrastructure) for route origin validation, and MD5 for session protection. These measures help mitigate risks like route hijacking and unauthorized announcements. BGP Security Best Practices

  4. BGP Optimizations: Optimize BGP performance by tuning BGP timers, using route reflectors for scalability, and enabling BGP Multipath for load balancing. BGP Optimization Techniques

  5. Monitoring and Analysis: Continuously monitor BGP sessions and analyze traffic patterns using tools like BGP Monitoring Protocol (BMP) and Looking Glass servers. This helps in identifying anomalies and making informed decisions. BGP Monitoring and Management

  6. Education and Community Engagement: Stay informed on best practices and emerging threats by engaging with communities like NANOG (North American Network Operators' Group) and RIPE. Participation in these communities can provide insights and collaborative opportunities for improving BGP security and efficiency. NANOG | RIPE Community

By implementing these strategies, a network engineer can significantly improve the performance and security of BGP in their network infrastructure.

How to Display BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) Skills on Your Resume

How to Display BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) Skills on Your Resume

4. OSPF (Open Shortest Path First)

OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) is a link-state routing protocol used in IP networks to distribute routing information between routers dynamically. It calculates the shortest path for data packets based on Dijkstra's algorithm, ensuring efficient and loop-free routing within an Autonomous System (AS).

Why It's Important

OSPF is crucial for Network Engineers as it enables efficient, dynamic routing within large, complex networks by calculating the shortest path between nodes, ensuring optimal data traffic flow and network scalability.

How to Improve OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) Skills

Improving OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) performance involves several strategies focused on optimizing its operation and efficiency within a network. Here are key points to consider:

  1. Network Design: Carefully plan your network topology to avoid unnecessary complexities. Utilize OSPF areas to limit the scope of link-state updates. Cisco OSPF Design Guide

  2. Hierarchical OSPF Design: Implement a hierarchical OSPF design using a backbone area (Area 0) and multiple non-backbone areas. This reduces the size of the routing table and limits the propagation of link-state updates. Understanding OSPF Areas

  3. OSPF Timers Adjustment: Fine-tune OSPF timers (Hello, Dead, Retransmit) according to your network's requirements to improve convergence time without causing unnecessary traffic. OSPF Timers

  4. Route Summarization: Use route summarization at area boundaries to reduce the size of the routing table, thus improving OSPF scalability and efficiency. Route Summarization

  5. Load Balancing: Utilize OSPF's ability to perform equal-cost multipath (ECMP) routing to distribute traffic loads evenly across multiple paths. OSPF Load Balancing

  6. Use of Stub Areas: Configure stub areas or totally stubby areas where appropriate to further reduce the size of the OSPF database. Stub Areas in OSPF

  7. Monitoring and Troubleshooting: Regularly monitor OSPF performance and troubleshoot as necessary to maintain network health. Tools like SNMP, Syslog, and OSPF-specific debugging can be invaluable. Troubleshooting OSPF

  8. Authentication and Security: Implement OSPF authentication to enhance network security and prevent unauthorized routing updates. OSPF Authentication

By focusing on these areas, Network Engineers can significantly improve the performance and reliability of OSPF in their networks.

How to Display OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) Skills on Your Resume

How to Display OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) Skills on Your Resume

5. MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching)

MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) is a high-performance network protocol that directs data from one network node to the next based on short path labels rather than long network addresses, avoiding complex lookups in a routing table and speeding up traffic flow for high-performance telecommunications networks. It supports a range of access technologies, making it versatile for integrating heterogeneous networks.

Why It's Important

MPLS is important for a Network Engineer because it enhances data flow efficiency across networks by enabling faster packet forwarding and flexible routing, supports QoS (Quality of Service) for managing bandwidth and prioritizing traffic types, and simplifies the integration of heterogeneous network technologies and services.

How to Improve MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) Skills

Improving MPLS efficiency in a network involves optimizing performance, reliability, and cost-effectiveness. Here are concise strategies for network engineers:

  1. Capacity Planning and Network Design: Regularly evaluate network traffic and plan capacity accordingly to avoid congestion and ensure optimal performance. Capacity Planning

  2. Quality of Service (QoS) Tuning: Implement and regularly update QoS policies to prioritize critical traffic and ensure bandwidth allocation aligns with business needs. QoS Best Practices

  3. MPLS Traffic Engineering (TE): Utilize MPLS TE to dynamically route traffic based on bandwidth requirements and network congestion, optimizing path selection. MPLS Traffic Engineering

  4. Layer 3 VPNs for Segmentation: Deploy MPLS Layer 3 VPNs to enhance security and traffic separation, ensuring reliable and secure communication between distinct network segments. Layer 3 VPNs

  5. Regular Network Audits and Updates: Conduct frequent network audits to identify and rectify potential bottlenecks or vulnerabilities. Ensure all MPLS devices are up-to-date with the latest firmware and software patches. Network Audits

  6. Hybrid MPLS with SD-WAN: Consider integrating SD-WAN with MPLS for enhanced performance, reliability, and cost savings, particularly for cloud-based applications. SD-WAN and MPLS Integration

  7. Monitoring and Management Tools: Utilize advanced monitoring and management tools for real-time visibility and control over MPLS performance and SLAs. Network Monitoring

By continuously assessing and optimizing these aspects, network engineers can significantly improve the efficiency and reliability of MPLS networks.

How to Display MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) Skills on Your Resume

How to Display MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) Skills on Your Resume

6. IPv6

IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) is the most recent version of the Internet Protocol (IP), designed to replace IPv4 to accommodate the growing need for more Internet addresses. It utilizes 128-bit addresses, significantly increasing the number of available IP addresses and improving routing efficiency and security features for internet-connected devices.

Why It's Important

IPv6 is crucial for a Network Engineer because it provides a vastly larger address space to accommodate the exponential growth of internet devices, ensuring global connectivity and enhanced network efficiency. It also introduces improved security and simplified network configuration features.

How to Improve IPv6 Skills

Improving IPv6 deployment and performance involves several key strategies, tailored to the needs and infrastructure of a network. Here are concise recommendations:

  1. Education and Training: Ensure that network engineers and IT staff are well-versed in IPv6 features, benefits, and implementation strategies. IPv6 Training by the IPv6 Forum is a good starting point.

  2. IPv6 Address Planning: Develop a clear and scalable addressing plan to accommodate future growth. Cisco provides a comprehensive guide on IPv6 Address Planning.

  3. Security Measures: Update security policies and tools to fully support IPv6, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and other security appliances. The Internet Society offers insights on IPv6 Security.

  4. Quality of Service (QoS): Ensure QoS configurations are updated for IPv6 to maintain service quality across the network. Juniper Networks has resources on QoS for IPv6.

  5. Dual-Stack Implementation: Run IPv4 and IPv6 in parallel to ensure compatibility and seamless transition. The RIPE Network Coordination Centre provides a guide on Implementing a Dual-Stack Network.

  6. Monitoring and Troubleshooting: Utilize IPv6-compatible tools for network monitoring and troubleshooting to quickly address issues. SolarWinds offers IPv6-ready Network Performance Monitor tools.

  7. Vendor Support: Ensure all network hardware and software vendors offer robust IPv6 support and are compliant with the latest standards. The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory provides a list of IPv6 Ready Logo Program Approved Devices.

  8. Participation in IPv6 Forums: Engage with the IPv6 community through forums and working groups to stay informed on the latest best practices and innovations. The IPv6 Forum is a good venue for engagement.

By focusing on these areas, network engineers can improve IPv6 deployment, enhance network performance, and ensure future readiness.

How to Display IPv6 Skills on Your Resume

How to Display IPv6 Skills on Your Resume

7. QoS (Quality of Service)

Quality of Service (QoS) is a network mechanism that prioritizes and manages network traffic to ensure the efficient operation of diverse applications and services, according to their specific requirements for bandwidth, latency, and jitter, enhancing the user experience and optimizing resource use.

Why It's Important

QoS (Quality of Service) is crucial for ensuring predictable and reliable network performance by prioritizing critical traffic, managing bandwidth, reducing latency, and preventing packet loss. This is essential for supporting real-time applications (e.g., VoIP, video conferencing) and maintaining overall network efficiency and user satisfaction.

How to Improve QoS (Quality of Service) Skills

To improve Quality of Service (QoS) in a network, a Network Engineer can follow these concise steps:

  1. Assess Current Network Performance: Understand your current network performance metrics to identify bottlenecks and areas needing improvement. Tools like Wireshark can help in analyzing traffic.

  2. Define QoS Policies: Establish QoS policies that prioritize traffic based on your organization's needs. VoIP and video conferencing traffic often take precedence.

  3. Implement QoS Mechanisms: Utilize mechanisms like traffic shaping, priority queuing, and bandwidth allocation to enforce your QoS policies.

  4. Configure QoS on Network Devices: Apply QoS configurations on routers and switches. Vendor-specific guides, such as for Cisco or Juniper, provide detailed instructions.

  5. Monitor and Adjust: Continuously monitor network performance with tools like SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor or PRTG Network Monitor. Adjust QoS settings as necessary to adapt to changing network demands.

Improving QoS is an ongoing process that requires regular evaluation and adaptation to network changes and organizational needs.

How to Display QoS (Quality of Service) Skills on Your Resume

How to Display QoS (Quality of Service) Skills on Your Resume

8. SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol)

SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) is a standard protocol used for monitoring and managing network devices (routers, switches, servers, etc.) and their functions remotely, facilitating the exchange of management information between network devices and management systems.

Why It's Important

SNMP is essential for Network Engineers as it enables the efficient monitoring and management of network devices, facilitating quick detection and resolution of issues, thereby ensuring network reliability and performance.

How to Improve SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) Skills

Improving SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) efficiency and security is crucial for Network Engineers to optimize network management and monitoring. Here are concise strategies:

  1. Upgrade to SNMPv3: Offers enhanced security features including authentication and encryption. SNMPv3 is the latest version and significantly more secure than its predecessors.

  2. Minimize Public Community Strings: Avoid using the default public community strings; change them to unique, complex strings. Community Strings act as passwords, and changing them is a basic security measure.

  3. Enable Authentication and Encryption: Use the SNMPv3 features for authentication and encryption to protect SNMP traffic. Authentication and Encryption help in safeguarding against unauthorized access and data interception.

  4. Regularly Update SNMP Devices: Keep your SNMP devices and software updated to patch vulnerabilities. Updating Devices helps in protecting against exploits targeting outdated software.

  5. Limit SNMP Access: Restrict SNMP access to only necessary IP addresses and users. Implementing Access Control Lists (ACLs) can help in mitigating unauthorized access.

  6. Monitor and Audit SNMP Activity: Regularly monitor and audit SNMP logs to detect unusual activities. Monitoring SNMP can highlight potential security issues or misconfigurations.

Implementing these strategies can significantly improve the security and efficiency of managing networks using SNMP.

How to Display SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) Skills on Your Resume

How to Display SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) Skills on Your Resume

9. VPN (Virtual Private Network)

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a technology that creates a secure, encrypted connection over a less secure network, such as the internet, allowing for private data transmission by providing privacy, anonymity, and security to interconnected devices.

Why It's Important

A VPN is important because it ensures secure and encrypted connections, providing safe data transmission over public networks, essential for protecting sensitive information and maintaining privacy and confidentiality in a network infrastructure.

How to Improve VPN (Virtual Private Network) Skills

Improving a Virtual Private Network (VPN) involves enhancing its security, speed, and reliability. Here are concise strategies tailored for a Network Engineer:

  1. Upgrade Encryption Standards: Employ strong encryption protocols like OpenVPN or WireGuard to ensure data security. OpenVPN | WireGuard
  2. Optimize Server Performance: Regularly update server hardware and software. Use load balancers to distribute traffic evenly. Load Balancing
  3. Implement Split Tunneling: Allows selective traffic through the VPN, reducing bandwidth and improving speed. Split Tunneling
  4. Use Robust Authentication Methods: Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) to enhance security. MFA
  5. Monitor and Manage Bandwidth: Prioritize critical traffic and limit bandwidth-heavy applications. Bandwidth Management
  6. Conduct Regular Audits: Regular security audits and vulnerability assessments to identify and fix flaws. Security Audits
  7. Stay Updated: Keep VPN software and protocols up to date to mitigate new vulnerabilities. Patch Management

Implementing these strategies can significantly enhance the performance, security, and reliability of a VPN network.

How to Display VPN (Virtual Private Network) Skills on Your Resume

How to Display VPN (Virtual Private Network) Skills on Your Resume

10. Wireshark

Wireshark is a network protocol analyzer that enables network engineers to capture and inspect real-time and historical data traffic on a network, facilitating the troubleshooting, analysis, and debugging of network issues.

Why It's Important

Wireshark is crucial for Network Engineers as it enables real-time packet capturing and analysis, facilitating the identification and troubleshooting of network issues, enhancing security through anomaly detection, and optimizing network performance.

How to Improve Wireshark Skills

Improving your Wireshark skills as a Network Engineer involves mastering its features, understanding network protocols deeply, and staying updated with the latest advancements. Here are concise steps and resources:

  1. Learn the Basics: Ensure you understand how to capture and analyze packets effectively. Official Wireshark documentation is a great starting point.
  2. Master Filters: Filters drastically improve your efficiency. Learn to use both capture and display filters to isolate relevant data. Wireshark Filter Guide.
  3. Understand Protocols: Deep knowledge of network protocols helps you make sense of captured data. Resources like IANA Protocol Registries can be invaluable.
  4. Use Customization: Tailor Wireshark to your needs through profiles, coloring rules, and custom columns. This Customization Guide can help.
  5. Automate with Lua: Learn to write Lua scripts for automation and custom dissectors, enhancing your analysis capabilities. Lua in Wireshark.
  6. Stay Updated: Follow the Wireshark blog and subscribe to forums like the Wireshark Q&A to keep up with new features and use cases.
  7. Practice: Engage in real-world troubleshooting and participate in challenges or capture the flag (CTF) competitions. Practice is key to mastering Wireshark.

By focusing on these areas, you can significantly improve your proficiency in Wireshark, making your network analysis and troubleshooting tasks more efficient and insightful.

How to Display Wireshark Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Wireshark Skills on Your Resume

11. SDN (Software-Defined Networking)

SDN (Software-Defined Networking) is an approach to networking that uses software-based controllers or application programming interfaces (APIs) to direct traffic on the network and communicate with the underlying hardware infrastructure, allowing for more flexible, efficient, and scalable network management and configuration.

Why It's Important

SDN (Software-Defined Networking) is important for a Network Engineer because it centralizes network management, simplifies configuration changes, enhances flexibility, and improves network performance and security by allowing for more efficient resource utilization and rapid adaptation to changing network conditions.

How to Improve SDN (Software-Defined Networking) Skills

Improving SDN (Software-Defined Networking) involves enhancing its flexibility, efficiency, performance, and security. For Network Engineers, here are concise strategies:

  1. Enhance Network Programmability: Focus on developing and using more sophisticated APIs that allow for dynamic, programmable network configurations. Cisco DevNet offers resources for learning and implementing advanced network programmability.

  2. Implement Robust Security Measures: Strengthen SDN security by employing comprehensive encryption, rigorous access controls, and constant monitoring. The Open Networking Foundation provides guidelines and resources for securing SDN environments.

  3. Optimize Performance: Use network function virtualization (NFV) and advanced traffic management strategies to efficiently manage resources and ensure high performance. ETSI NFV offers standards and resources for integrating NFV.

  4. Regularly Update SDN Knowledge: Stay updated with the latest SDN technologies and practices through continuous learning and training. Coursera and Udemy offer courses on SDN and related technologies.

  5. Leverage Analytics and AI: Implement AI and machine learning algorithms for predictive analytics, network optimization, and automated issue resolution. Google AI Blog provides insights into the latest AI advancements applicable to networking.

  6. Foster Community and Collaboration: Engage with SDN communities for shared knowledge, tools, and best practices. SDN Central is a platform for community engagement and insights.

  7. Test and Validate: Regularly test network configurations and security measures in a sandbox environment to ensure reliability and robustness before deployment. GNS3 offers a comprehensive network simulation tool for testing.

By focusing on these areas, Network Engineers can significantly improve the performance, security, and efficiency of SDN environments.

How to Display SDN (Software-Defined Networking) Skills on Your Resume

How to Display SDN (Software-Defined Networking) Skills on Your Resume

12. AWS Networking

AWS Networking refers to the suite of cloud-based networking services and features offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that enable network engineers to design, implement, and manage scalable, secure, and highly available network infrastructure within the AWS ecosystem. These services include Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Direct Connect, Route 53, Elastic Load Balancing, and more, providing the tools necessary for network traffic management, connectivity, DNS resolution, and network security.

Why It's Important

AWS Networking is important for a Network Engineer because it enables scalable, flexible, and secure network infrastructure management in the cloud, essential for optimizing application performance and ensuring data security across globally distributed resources.

How to Improve AWS Networking Skills

To improve AWS Networking as a Network Engineer, focus on optimizing performance, security, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. Here are concise strategies with relevant AWS documentation links:

  1. Utilize AWS Direct Connect for a dedicated network connection from your premises to AWS, enhancing bandwidth throughput and providing a more consistent network experience. AWS Direct Connect

  2. Implement AWS Transit Gateway to simplify your network architecture, enabling you to connect your VPCs and on-premises networks to a single gateway. This improves scalability and management. AWS Transit Gateway

  3. Adopt Amazon CloudFront for content delivery. It accelerates the delivery of your websites, APIs, video content, or other web assets. This is crucial for improving user experience globally. Amazon CloudFront

  4. Leverage Amazon Route 53 for a highly available and scalable cloud Domain Name System (DNS) web service, which is critical for managing public DNS records of AWS resources efficiently. Amazon Route 53

  5. Optimize VPC Configuration by properly setting up subnets, route tables, and internet gateways to ensure efficient traffic flow and segmentation for enhanced security and performance. VPCs and Subnets

  6. Enforce Security Groups and Network ACLs to provide stateful and stateless network filtering, respectively. This tightens security by controlling inbound and outbound traffic at the instance and subnet level. Security Groups | Network ACLs

  7. Utilize Amazon VPC Flow Logs to monitor and log network traffic. This aids in diagnosing overly restrictive security group rules and network ACLs, and identifying abnormal traffic patterns. VPC Flow Logs

  8. Explore AWS Global Accelerator for improving internet traffic routing to your applications by leveraging the AWS global network infrastructure, thus reducing latency and improving the performance for your global user base. AWS Global Accelerator

  9. Apply AWS Best Practices for Network Security, including the principle of least privilege in security group rules, regular audits of network configurations, and encryption of data in transit and at rest. AWS Best Practices for Security

By incorporating these strategies, you can significantly improve the efficiency, reliability, and security of your AWS network infrastructure.

How to Display AWS Networking Skills on Your Resume

How to Display AWS Networking Skills on Your Resume