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Getting your foot in the IT door

By DBAwannabe ·
Hello Everyone,

I'm hoping that some experts on this board can help. I'm currently in school to get an associates degree in CIS/Database Analysts. I work with MS Access a lot and get a chance to work on SQL Server, on occasion. I'm learning about SQL server in school, but what I need to know, is what is the best way to get my foot in the door of an IT shop?

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Hopefully your school has a placement service.

by stress junkie In reply to Getting your foot in the ...

Certainly the easiest route is to use any placement service that your school offers. If it hosts job fairs those would also be good. Job fairs at other schools are just as good. In these cases the employers that participate will expect to find someone directly out of school. That will be the most difficult thing to overcome if you just go to employment agencies and compete head to head with experienced people.

Another approach is to look for very small businesses that need a DBA but don't have a lot of money to pay someone. It can be difficult to identify these businesses but they are out there. Check the job ads in your local newspapers.

Don't completely rule employment agencies out. They know who's looking and what different businesses can pay. A good recruiter can find legitimate interviews for you.

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Look through the phone book

by Oz_Media In reply to Getting your foot in the ...

Select companies that YOU want to work for.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!! Reasearch the company online, find out what they do and get an idea of how they think, look for buzz words used in their service offerings and sales pitch that say how they like to conduct business.

Write out a breif description of your skills and what YOU can offer that you feel fits with their company's profile. Use their own buzz words in your presentation. It's creates familiarity and garners attention.

Phone the secretary and ask for the president's (or owners) name (yes just ask for it), one you aregiven the name WRITE IT DOWN!!!!

Ask if he/she is available, usually not, when you hear NO, just ask when would be the best time for you to call back. If you are asked what the call is for, just sya you want to introduce yourself, as that's IS what you are seeking here anyway.

CALL back, and CALL BACK AGAIN, you WILL get the person on te phone. Introduce yourself, give a breif outline of your skills, goals, and what you are looking to achieve. THEN ask if he/she would be able to spend some time with you, over coffe even, to offer some insight as to how to enter his company.

YOu will be simply shocked at how responsive owners and presidents are to this approach, managers and HR departments will never like this approach but owners will love it, until you try you just have no idea, once you do it's actually really exciting.

So go ad meet a few, show them your resume, tell them your goals and ask for their help. They will be mroe than happy to offer advice, they will even tell you about friends with companies that you should approach, often putting in a good word for you or givign you a direct number to call them. THis is where it gets even more exciting, you will have owners and presidents HELPING you find work.

Ir's a buzz, NEVER talk money until you are offered a position, then negotiate it, you have been hired based on your skills, drive and value, money negiotiation at this point will often see you earning more to start than most who have worked there several years.

This is proper netowrking, going to peer groups once a week/month is pretty useless, everyone else is looking for work, they are not able to offer it though.

Don't hang out with people who are out of work, don't hang out with people who are looking for work, get meetings with those who OFFER work or know others who OFFER work.

I have had a meeting with an employer for a job I had NO skills or qualifications for, and had him say, "WE" need to find you the right company. Aqnd he did, gave me a friend's number and he even called and pitche dme to him, I was given the job with barely any effort on my part, with not a single cert, not a day in college, just drive. And that's exactly how most of todays entrepeneurs have built their own

The other way is to get all your certs, apply to svereal thousand ads and online offers, meet with retarded HR personnelle and IT managers and hope for he best, good luck on that one.

Anyone who thinks this can't be done, is welcome to come visit and I will prove you wrong, or if you want to fly me to YOUR town, I'll show you just how it works there so you can't use the geographic excuse, 'not around these parts'.

It's the masses who have no presentation skills or drive to seek a career (of choice) this way, that makes it so easy and successful for others. Thank god for the complacency of the masses.

Good luck, enojy your meetings,have fun with potential employers, it's a blast and you'll get so motivated from it, instead of being defeated by countless anonymous resumes being sent out to god knows who.

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RE: Look through the phone book...

by DBAwannabe In reply to Look through the phone bo ...

What a great idea...I'm not normally a confident person, but I am a confident employee...I always put 110% in everything I do, and I know that if I don't know how to do something, I can learn...I'm going to try this! Thanks again!

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by Oz_Media In reply to RE: Look through the pho ...

DO IT!!!!!

Read it to yourself at least 20 times, this format of seeking work is no different than an actor memorizing lines to get the most natural pitch from it.

You can expect to be hung up on, expect rejection, you WILL find those who welcome your call with open arms, just keep moving on and if you get slammed, just think to yourself that it's THEIR loss, someone wants your drive.

Best of luck to you, if you have any questions or need some help, feel free to peer mail me anytime. I've been doing this since I was 16.

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Right here at TechRepublic...

by Matthew Moran In reply to Getting your foot in the ...

My Editor recently pointed out that TechRepublic has included the sample chapter, Breaking Into IT, from my book, The IT Career Builder's Toolkit..

I am not sure if they sell the book on this site or if they refer to Amazon. In any case, I cover the "Entry-level dillemma" - need experience to get experience - in some detail.

My blog at IT Toolbox also includes several references to creating/finding opportunitites:

Hope you find it helpful.

Matthew Moran
The IT Career Builder's Toolkit

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Be careful what you ask for

by GNC In reply to Getting your foot in the ...

I am currently going through the process of hiring an 'entry' level programmer. Where are they? It seems that IT personnel today read the surveys and believe they should start at the top end of whatever scale they read. I would suggest you be willing to start with a ?livable? salary, lean and move up in the company. I have advised recruitment offices that we would be willing to teach someone advanced coding; however, all I receive are individuals with salary ranges starting at $80,000. No this is not due to the recruiter ? this is what the individuals put on the employment application.

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Maybe they just don't want ...

by stress junkie In reply to Be careful what you ask f ...

... to leave money on the table. When I was looking for a regular job several years ago I knew the salary range but I put a requirement for the top of the salary range just to see what the prospective employer would say. I took a job with a significantly lower salary than the number that I had put on the job applicaton. When they told me their offer I accepted it. They asked me why I had put such a large salary requirement. I just said that I didn't know what they had in mind and I didn't want to put a lower number than they were prepared to offer. I got the job and received a salary that was completely in line with the job market at that time. Everybody was happy at the end of the day.

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Very good point.

by GNC In reply to Maybe they just don't wan ...

Who said managers can't learn. I hate to say it, but there are times where we're up to our alligator in ...... With work projects going on and reviewing resumes for 5 different positions, we - make that I - have to do a cursory look over resumes. As you point out, perhaps salary should not be a focal point. However, matching experience to that salary is important. I guess that was my point for someone trying to get their foot in the door.

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I didn't think of the context ...

by stress junkie In reply to Very good point.

... until after I had started doing something else. You're right. My comment isn't really relevant within the context of this discussion. Nevertheless, you may be pleasantly surprised if you make a reasonable offer to someone who looks right for a position but appears to want too much money. They may accept a lower offer.

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Some suggestions

by jleather In reply to Getting your foot in the ...

To augment some suggestions (and I apologize if I am repetitive) here are some thoughts.

Techrepublic has a number of articles, discussions and downloads on IT career advice. They also have a CD titled "Landing Your Next IT Job" that I have found useful (no I am not an employee or associated!??).

The phone book suggestion is good and another would be to look at your local (or if relocation is not an issue, national) news papers and web sites. Look for articles about new or small (or any) companies that may indicate the need for employees. Also the information may be useful in an interview or a "cold call".

Mentioning cold call allows me to segue to a web site I learned of here at techrepublic, Granted this seems to be directed to sales but what is a job search but an attempt to "sell yourself"? Perhaps the suggestions there will be useful.

I probably could ramble on but hopefully this will help . . .


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