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  • #2177075

    Advice is greatly appreciated


    by snorider ·

    Hello. A friend recommended this site to me so I just recently joined. I?m looking for any advice from the IT world on how to get into this business. Next fall I will be graduating with a B.S. in Information Technology and wanted to know the best way to get my foot in the door. I?ve read some posts that say lack of experience will hurt me, but others say the degree with help. What are your thoughts to using headhunters as an aid in my job search? Also, knowing my experience is minimal which entry level jobs should I be concentrating on?

    Thanks for any advice given.

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  • Author
    • #3351639

      Headhunters work for the companies that pay them

      by jamesrl ·

      In reply to Advice is greatly appreciated

      Not you. Learn that one right away. Headhunters make their money from the hiring company, and thats who they work for, thats what they are structured for. Their interest is in making that sale, and what they are selling is you. This may or may not always be in your best interest. I have had both good and bad experiences with headhunters.

      You don’t say what areas of IT interest you, or what you studied. But you have the right idea about taking an entry level job – but look for an entry level job in a company that you’d like to work for in the long term, one that has something like your “dream job”.

      If you need experience, you may try contracting or even volunteering – non profits could always use the help and may only be able to pay with a good reference, but sometimes a good reference can be very valuable.

      Networking is key. Keep in touch with your clasmates – find out where they are landing and see if they will keep their eyes and ears open for you. Let your family and friends know that you are looking, and what you are looking for. Go to trade shows, join interest groups. Look for vendor presentations, many of which are open to the public. Make contact cards – like a business card with more info about your strengths and areas of interest.

      Good luck – let us know what your interests are – I would bet there are others here in your field.


      • #3351599


        by snorider ·

        In reply to Headhunters work for the companies that pay them

        I noticed after I submitted the message I forgot to mention the field I’m interested in. I would really like to get involved with the networking aspect of IT. I’ve taken several electives pertaining to networking, i.e. TCP/IP, LAN/WAN, Unix, etc… I also know this isn’t something a newbie can just jump right into.

        Never thought about volunteering but that’s a good suggestion.

        • #3351591

          Breaking in

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to thanks

          Many people look down their noses at help desk, but if it gets you in the door….

          Find some of the larger organizations that have their own help desk and a large network. Try to get your foot in the door with an entry level position and then work from there. If you show drive and initiative, you can move from department to department, and its easier to do that than to land straight into a networking job. Some companies encourage this by providing for cross training. Ask about this during the interview.

          As far as volunteering goes, if you want to build networking experience, volunteer to set up a website or look for a charitable organization who would like to upgrade their network without spending a bundle.


    • #3351635

      Gotta get it

      by gralfus ·

      In reply to Advice is greatly appreciated

      Experience is going to be needed to show you can do the job. You are facing a lot of excessed IT people looking for jobs. Volunteer, join IT groups, anything to get your name out there. Most of the jobs posted publically pay squat, and word of mouth is still the best way to find a good job. Anything you can do on your own to demonstrate real working knowledge is helpful, such as building systems, networks, servers, using different OSs like Linux, etc.

    • #3351615

      Getting your foot in the door….

      by caestelle ·

      In reply to Advice is greatly appreciated

      I just graduated from college with a BS in Information Technology last May and I am one of the few in my class that has landed a job in our field. I would say the thing that helped me out the most was taking a full time internship right after graduation. This gave me some of the “real life” experience that is desired and also allowed me to make some good connections which eventually led to the full time position that I am in now. So, my advice would be to look for an internship at a reputable company that will help get started in the industry.

      • #3351604

        Excellent advice

        by amcol ·

        In reply to Getting your foot in the door….

        My son graduated from an Ivy League school in May 2003 with a B.S. in a combined IT and business discipline. The job market he entered was horrible, and in point of fact six months after graduation about 75% of his class was still unemployed.

        He, on the other hand, landed a great position almost immediately. The reasons:

        1. He’d done internships while in school and had the equivalent of two years’ practical work experience in addition to his academic coursework (not to mention the money he’d earned).

        2. He didn’t limit himself in any way. He was willing to work in any industry, at any level, in any geography, doing anything remotely related to his major field. Anything to get his foot in the door.

        3. He worked his network, or more to the point he worked the networks of everyone he knew not having too many contacts of his own. He knew not to rely on headhunters, newspaper ads, or HR departments (thanks to some wise advice from his old man) but instead he considered himself his own product and went out and sold himself. He didn’t take rejection personally, and he understood that getting work is hard work and a full time job in and of itself.

        Armed with great academic credentials, a lot of applicable experience, a highly positive attitude, a good work ethic, a nice smile (your mother was right…brush three times a day), and the willingness to do anything and everything to succeed, he landed a position within two weeks of graduation at a Fortune 500 apparel company. He’s still there more than two years later, having already been promoted.

        This is not an unusual story. Anyone can do this.

      • #3351596


        by snorider ·

        In reply to Getting your foot in the door….

        Thanks again to Ravens04 and amcol for their helpful tips. An internship would be very helpful in obtaining necessary IT skills.

        It seems headhunters leave a sour taste in everyone’s mouth so I’ll stay away from them for now.

        • #3351578


          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to internship

          I wouldn’t avoid them, but I wouldn’t put alot of faith or emphasis on them either.

          If you see something advertised that is being listed by a headhunter, apply. But don’t expect a response unless they think you are a highly viable candidate.

          I have found a couple of jobs through headhunters. I have also met headhunters who promised me the moon, asked me to do unethical things and flat out lied to me. Your mileage may vary. Don’t ingore them as an avenue to explore, but don’t count on them to find you a job.



        • #3351462

          Same Boat

          by cuteelf ·

          In reply to internship

          What I’m doing is an AAS in Computer Networking.

          What I’ve done so far is: hit job sites online, send emails to all of my teachers; not just the computer ones.

          I used to work at a big-box store, and I met someone one day with MCDBS on his shirt..and got a business card. I’ve called him currently, and I may have an internship happening…(as paperwork crawls at a drunken snail’s pace).

          I also have a biz. liscence, and do SOHO setups/cleanups etc. I get my name out that way too.

          Make a list
          Check it twice
          Send emails to teachers and students
          Send emails to everyone else!
          Get in user groups
          Go out and meet people (bookstores, bars, parties 🙂

          Put your name in the ring anyways at the headhunters place. The more eyes looking for you the better.

          Sit down with your Uni’s job service. See what you can get.

          I’ve applied for Gitmo Bay, Saudi, Wisconsin, New Mexico..and i live in ALASKA.
          Keep on it!

      • #3351594

        Good approach

        by jdmercha ·

        In reply to Getting your foot in the door….

        This is a good approach to take. And from what I’ve seen internships tend to be more intersting (and usually lower paid) than the typical entry level job.

        The key is flexibility. You’ll have much better luck if you are willing to move. Since you are still in school, check with your college’s career services department. One company I am aware of is IBM has a bunch of entry level opeings in the DC area.

    • #3351529

      Do your time

      by house ·

      In reply to Advice is greatly appreciated

      Start building your contacts now, and take part in as many projects as possible.

      You will more than likely need to do your time in a help desk/end user support position – unless you get in on help desk within a structured IT environment… keep one eye open while working on the phone. If you score a nice position, then all the best to you. 🙂

    • #3351451


      by boi1der ·

      In reply to Advice is greatly appreciated

      I’m trying to contact you with a PM.

      • #3331989

        Try again

        by amcol ·

        In reply to AMCOL…

        Don’t ordinarily take PM’s, but I’ve temporarily changed my profile. Shoot.

    • #3332287

      Breaking Into IT: The Entry Level Dilemma..

      by matthew moran ·

      In reply to Advice is greatly appreciated

      TechRepublic posted a download of the “entry-level” chapter of my book, The IT Career Builder’s Toolkit.

      Also, take a look at my blog on IT Toolbox. Notes from the Toolshed is career advice directed at IT professionals. Best of all, it’s free!

    • #3178058

      Get some experience

      by dpskiman ·

      In reply to Advice is greatly appreciated

      You might find yourself wanting to specialize early on, but get a good foundation under your belt, then take on new stuff as often as you can. You’ll end up filling out your resume with all kinds of decorations. For instance, I just took on a project implementing Mercury Application Mapping for a large banking institution. This is turning out to be an invaluable learning experience, and once I’m finished, I can double my rate for having lived through the first one. Good Luck!

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