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Desperately seeking....

By Kal025 ·
Hi all, I'm a newer member to the discussion posting arena. As such I hope I'm not overstepping bounds by asking for advice. I have been going to community college for a while now. I have gone through web design, A+, and Net+. I have posted my resume on all of the job search engines and have had no leads. I am currently a restaurant manager, and have no tangible experience in IT besides school. How can I get a job to gain experience when they all want experience to start?

Thanks

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Find a job in your previous

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Desperately seeking....

trade that needs IT skills as well. Food producers , restaurant chains etc. May be a start at business analysis or something. But basically anywhere where your previous skill set will get you a considerable way through the door.

All your support theory and even experience won't mean nothing to nobody, if you can't show that you can apply it. Back in home territory, you'll be able to talk to them in their languaage and get the experience you need to find even broader horizons.

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What Tony says, or...

by DMambo In reply to Find a job in your previo ...

Maybe you can pick something up part-time if that fits your life. There may be something like a local computer repair shop or web development firm that you can moonlight for. Offer to work cheap to start and they'll be more likely to bring you aboard. Think of it as an internship or coop job. It really will be part of your education.

Check the placement office at the school you attended.

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Some alternatives

by Tig2 In reply to Desperately seeking....

The suggestions that Tony and DMambo have made are great. Definitley do those things.

A couple of things for your back pocket... You have likely done things through college that are pertinent. Document those things. Think about times that you you built or helped build a network, times you fixed your computer or someone elses. Think aobut how you can detail those experiences.

Review your resume. Does it talk about your accomplishments? Or just your former jobs? What in your former jobs relates to the IT industry? Have you done volunteer work in IT? Have you documented it? I do graphic art for people to use in fundraising efforts. If my goal were to get a job in that field, I would document that experience.

Finally, consider smaller companies. They are a great way to learn on the job. The downside is that you frequently don't find the mentors that you need.

Oh- and check your local computer geek news for a special interest group (SIG) that you can attend. Network your tail off. When people KNOW you they will be able to help you.

You aren't overstepping. Welcome to TR!

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Check for volunteer needs`

by Maevinn In reply to Desperately seeking....

Just about every charitable group needs computer work done. SOme of them advertise for it, but sometimes they rely on walk-in offers. Start hitting the local pounds, churches, etc, and offer to be 'on-call' for specific times for specific problems. Tell them what you're doing, and ask if they'll be willing to be a reference for you on your resume. Many times, they will happily write up a list of duties, complete with frequency and evaluations--afterall, it's much cheaper to be nice to you and get the support for free. Of course--you have to set limits, so this doesn't take up all your free time--but it's a great way to get experience AND help your community.

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Getting that first job is usually the hardest

by stan In reply to Desperately seeking....

I can't tell anyone else how to overcome the "no experience" problem and get that first job. There are many ceative ways to do it. But I can tell you how I solved exactly the same problem, and what I look for when I'm hiring new people.

First, a little background. My degree was in an unrelated field and electronics was just my hobby and I was just out of school, working at a crappy job for just above minimum wage. So on paper I had no qualifications at all. The only job I could get was as a junior electronic tech, working for the university where I went to school, for minimum wage. (That job had two requirements: you had to know how to solder, and be able to lift 85 lbs, which tells you what level that job was.) I did well and started sending my supervisor weekly reports on what I had done and how much money I saved them, and got several promotions, about one every three months. So I thought I had some experience which would help me get a better paying job in private industry.

I went on many interviews and talked with every recruiter I could find, but the answer was always the same. They didn't consider working for the school I had attended "real experience". I got no job offers.

So, in frustration, I changed the rules and started my own company, with one partner who was
supposed to handle sales and marketing. I gave myself the title of Chief Engineer. I made a living that way for four years (and I leared a lot!) but the company never had the resources to expand and finally couldn't continue. But I had real experience (as well as a big title).

My next job was as Chief Technical Officer for a small start-up company, which I never would have been able to get if I had been able to get a job with an established company when I was first starting out. I was only considered because I had experience running an engineering department, even though I was the entire engineering department.

If I had started at a big company I would still have been in one of the lower level jobs. Instead, I had 5 programmers, 4 electronic engineers and 2 techs working for me, and manufacturing also reported to me.

I never wanted to be in managment. Designing hardware and writing programs is much more fun. So eventually I left and worked as an electrinic engineer for several companies (and have a few patents) and as a programmer for several other companies. Finally I got fed up with incompetent managers and again started my own campany with a group of partners who handle sales and all the business affairs, which leaves me free to do what I love doing.

So, if no one will hire you because you have no experience, create your own experience. Start a company. It could be part time until it starts to generate enough income to become full time. Develope a product or service that someone will pay for. You may never want to work for anyone else, but if you do, you will find that you have experience that your classmates may never have. Experience that will stand out from others seeking the same job.

Since I've been interviewing and hiring people for many years, and seen how they work out, I have my own set of things that I look for in a new hire. For developers, the one trait that all of my best hires have had is a real love of technology. Its more than just a job; its something fun and exciting that they would be doing even if they didn't have to work. Let your excitement and enthusiasm show. Also, I think the ability (and desire) to learn is more important than experience. Technology is always changing and experience is soon obsolete. But people who love learning new things will be a long term asset. Knowledge that the job requires is also very important since few companies can afford to spend a lot on training new hires. Experience is also important, but in my view its less important than many other things.

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