General discussion

  • Creator
  • #2180366

    Job Hunting


    by steviejay ·

    I’ve just recently graduated from Uni with a BSc in Applied Computing and now I’m job hunting. The nature of the course I sat denotes that I’ve sort of become a “jack of all trades but master of none” where I’ve been submerged in a great many aspects of the IT field yet I have never fully specialised in one and I think this is starting to affect my employment chances. From what I did learn at uni and from my own knowledge I’m aiming for the tech support sector however I’ve applied for several jobs and I haven’t even got an email back informing me that I was unsuccessful.

    I was wondering if anyone could suggest if there was anywhere I could go or focus on in an attempt to better my chances of finally getting my foot in the door. I believe the biggest problem is my “lack of experience” as most tech support jobs insist upon a number of years experience. Is ther anything I can do to get experience so I can further my chances or perhaps any other tips to get myself on the IT career ladder?

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3081042

      Try Club Fed

      by jeefray ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      Experience does count but with Federal employment, just being willing to take the job at the salary levels available, is all you need. Watch out for the velvet rut, however, as you sink in and realize that money vs security can be the trap of your undoing. A comfy Fed job, with benefits is nice and you will probably have no competition, as the Federal gov is notriously slow to adopt technology of any kind. You could be “King” of your own hill but never a mountain.

      • #3094925


        by hamed.khalili ·

        In reply to Try Club Fed

        Well, We’re kind of in the same boat mate. What I would suggest you to go and do is get a microsoft cert or cisco cert to get your knowledge more focused instead of knowing a bit of everything. About Experience, you’re absolutely true, but again by providing a certification on your uni degree you’re gonna impress the employer and that’ll increase your chance of landing a job.
        Hope you to get a job ASAP.

    • #3081034

      Where are you based?

      by neilb@uk ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      This is an international forum and it’s easier to give meaningful advice if we’ve got the right country!

      • #3080998

        based in Scotland

        by steviejay ·

        In reply to Where are you based?

        yeah, my bad, I realised after writing it I’d messed up. I’m based in Scotland, UK and I’m starting to feel I may need to move down to England to find work

        • #3080987

          You don’t say where in Scotland

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to based in Scotland

          Right now there seems to be a lot happening in Glasgow or you could try Dublin. Hope you’re flexible as regards relocating and if you aren’t involved in any long term relationships; you should be. Home is a place where you hang your hat.

          [b]Dawg[/b] ]:)

        • #3080985


          by steviejay ·

          In reply to You don’t say where in Scotland

          I’m currently in Glasgow which I always thought would be brimming with chances to get on the ladder but all the sites I look and newspapers I look at seem to be barren. Originally I thought it was due to the time of year but because of Uni fee’s I owe quite a bit of money so I’d quite like a job.

          I’d rather not move but if I don’t get a job soon I may not have any choice.

          For applying for tech support jobs what skills would be best to highlight in your resume. You can’t exactly say “oh yeah, I help my mates all the time”

        • #3094549

          Don’t limit yourself to newpapers adds

          by fregeus ·

          In reply to Glasgow

          Hi Stevie

          If things are the same in your neck of the woods as they are here (i’m in Canada), you should not limit yourself to just looking at newspaper adds and sites.

          You have to go and knock on doors, present yourself to the IT community, go to shows, make yourself some business cards, even if your are looking for a perm job instead of contractual. Go see headhunters, ask them what the companies are looking for, where to go, who to see.

          You have to sell yourself out there as much as possible. I absolutly hated doing that a while back when i was looking for work. But its what got me a job. And i have over 10 years experience.

          SELL SELL SELL.

          Good luck and a happy new year to you and your love ones.

        • #3094529

          A few more ideas

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Don’t limit yourself to newpapers adds

          It is a great idea to not limit yourself to newspapers and internet ads. There is a lot out there that doesn’t get advertised, and you should never close any doors that might lead to an opportunity.

          First, use your personal network. You went to school with a number of people. They know people. Talk to them. Let them know, without being pushy, what you are interested in, and ask them to keep you in mind if they hear anything. Ask them what they are looking for, and do the same for them. You will be suprised at how many opportunities you come across that might not be a fit for you, but might be a fit for someone else.

          Talk to headhunters sure. Don’t turn up your nose at contracting either – its a great way to get a varied resume. You can use contracting to try on a role before making a permanent committment. Many people prefer contracting.

          Do some target marketing. Draw up a sketch of your ideal job, and then think about the companies that would have that kind of role. Do a little research, find out who would be the hiring manager if they had a position. Do a little more research , and write a marketing letter – this is who I am, this is what I can offer. Ask for an informational interview – just a short interview where you can find out what the job would be like and what the environment is like.

          Target 10 companies. Follow up your letters with a friendly phone call. Review your results – if you didn’t get any good feedback, then change your letter and your resume to get better results – repeat as necessary.


        • #3094515

          Try internships

          by libtechcu ·

          In reply to A few more ideas

          It’s too late to get experience doing work study at your college, but you may be able to do an internship either at your college or with another company. This is not only a great way to get experience, but to get your foot in the door.

        • #3094438

          Thank you.

          by ghill123 ·

          In reply to A few more ideas

          These are some good ideas, I have seen ad’s for internships but not too many.

          I’ll do what you are sugesting.

          Thank you.

          Greg Hill

        • #3095371

          skip the news ads

          by jimmy ·

          In reply to Don’t limit yourself to newpapers adds

          I myself have changed jobs a few times. In the end of my undergrad I found out that (in the US at least) the jobs in the paper are mostly worthless. Almost half or more are there becuase of equal opportunity and candidates have usually already been picked and approved. I would suggest several methods at once which has worked for me.
          First and foremost, friends and family. Nothing is better than knowing someone. This almost always can at least get your resume into the right hands or an interview.
          Second, post your resume, and apply to jobs you would like.
          Third, staffing agency, pick a reputable one and HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE!!!!
          They will do what you ask, but if you give them a yard, they’ll take it a mile.
          Tell them what you are looking for, but also what you’ll take and what salary range your looking for. The more you tell those guys the better of an idea of what you can do and how they can sell you means the better and faster you get a job from the third option.
          I would also suggest a statement from the book “What color is your parachute”, when looking for a job, clock in and out 9-5, 5 days a week, don’t get distracted, or you could be looking a long time.
          After all that, it is exactly what fregeus said, SELL SELL SELL. Once you get the interview, you have to sell them on why you are the best candidate. most companies are looking for the best candidate for the least amount of money.
          If you can market yourlsef better than your competitors this is where you win. Have the buzzwords on your resume and quantify your expreience on your resume, but when you get the interview. SELL SELL SELL! It has always worked well for me by answering the questions with similar projects or experiences I have had to complete. Everyone says they can do it. You can win by explaining how you did it.
          It is also turning into an employees market out there, so forge ahead and don’t lose hope.
          Best of luck to you.

        • #3252742

          Only One Job In 10 is Ever Advertised – What Are You On?

          by stoppedtowatch ·

          In reply to Don’t limit yourself to newpapers adds

          Only one job in ten is ever advertised, only 10 per cent of those are any good. That nets out to 1 percent that are any good.

          Newspaper ads represent the bottom of the job barrel: entry-level jobs, high-turnover positions, straight commission sales, scams, multi-level marketing sales, recruiting or ‘fishing’ expeditions, salary researchers, personnel and government agencies paying lip service to diversity hiring and one percent occasionally a good job or two for which a hundred percent of the competition is applying.

          If you’re an uneducated job-hunter you’ll spend hours of your time slaving away.

          Don’t feel bad about this! Nobody taught you how to do it right and those that tried – well their job hunting opinion was hardly well-endowed.

          Here’s what to do with ads. Don’t answer them all. Answer a select few. Spend no more than 5 percent of your valuable job search time on want ads. Give yourself a limit of one hour to look at the ads and pick out the top ten. really go after these ten. As for the rest you’re interested in, just spin off a quick resume.

          First call all ten. Tell whoever answers that you are doing research on companies like theirs for possible career choice. Then ask knowledgeable questions like: ‘What unique competitive advantages do you have in the industry? and so on.

          Now decide if you want an interview. In your letter to the company use the information you got from your phone call. Focus on what you know about the company and how you can contribute. Cover enough ground in the cover letter so you only need a one page resume, if that. Actively follow up to set an interview.

          Sorry didn’t mean to rant. If you’d like to learn more and get yourself a free ecourse on greatest Career Change Mistakes:

        • #3252720

          Job Website

          by vawns ·

          In reply to Glasgow

          Hi Stevie,

          Have you tried I used it to get my last 3 jobs and it’s never let me down yet!

          Hope this helps and best of luck with the job hunting,


        • #3095518

          how you job hunt

          by cb0503 ·

          In reply to You don’t say where in Scotland

          Hi Stevie

          Well I graduated some time ago, but I do work in Glasgow, and I am (vaguely) IT – tho not “support” (Project management).

          I have some questions – you mention newspapers and sites… how else are you looking for jobs ? Did you know that around 80% of jobs are NEVER advertised ?!

          Are you only looking at perm jobs, or will anything do ? I came back from abroad to a 4 month contract – 2 and a half years later, they just made me permanent 😀

          And finally, what checks have you done on your CV ? You comment about not being able to say “well I help my mates out..” which makes me wonder if you are marketing and selling yourself as well as you might ? I got a review done of my CV – cost me something like ?25 and was very useful – and I should be reasonably good at CVs, having been on the other side of the fence and had advice previously – but someone did comment that my CV was “dreadful” !!

        • #3094893

          IT job hunting is more personal than personell

          by maldain ·

          In reply to based in Scotland

          The best bet for finding a job in the IT field is find local user groups and start attending their meetings. Network with the people there this will allow you to get to know the people and more importantly the companies where you can target your job search. One thing about IT jobs is they almost always go to somebody that is known to the people in the IT departments. Target areas in these user group meetings that interest you and soon you’ll have job.

          What I’ve noticed in my more than 20 years in the business is the best jobs in any industry don’t make it to the want ads or the head hunters.

        • #3094839

          I’ll second that

          by blueknight ·

          In reply to IT job hunting is more personal than personell

          Maldain makes an excellent point. Get acquainted with folks in your local user groups and get to know them… talk shop with them and let them know what your skill set is and what you’re most interested in. Once you get comfortable with them, make it known you’re looking for a better position and ask if they happen to know of any openings. When something comes up, you’ll hear about it early on. This is generally where the best jobs end up getting filled.

          One other note: If you haven’t done so already, craft your resume so that it showcases, or emphasizes, the skills and experience that relate more to the position you really would like to have. That should increase your chances of obtaining an offer in that area while still conveying the breadth of your skills and experience.

          Don’t be disappointed when you don’t receive acknowledgement that your reseume was received, OR that you weren’t selected for a position. In my experience, those are scarce. Many firms simply receive too many applications to make it practical respond to each one. From what I’ve seen, many of those I have received communications from seem to care more about their employees and how they are perceived in the labor market. Let us know how it works out.

          Best of luck to you.


        • #3094825

          I’ll third that

          by kirby5 ·

          In reply to I’ll second that

          50% of the jobs I have gotten have been through networking. Maybe the professors at your school have been contacted about jobs? What technology interests you? Read up on it and join a maillist/message board/newsgroup.
          Apply for jobs you may not *really* want. You ahve to start somewhere. Expect to be there a year. After that see if they can expand your position a bit, or upsell yourself and job hop.

          I started doing the job hopping. I would max out what I could learn at a position and move on.

          The first job took me 4 months to get. Since then it has been much better. You hold on to the current job until the next one opens up.

        • #3096626

          Hit the local user or profession groups

          by johngpmp ·

          In reply to IT job hunting is more personal than personell

          I agree that hitting the local user or professional associations is a good way to land a job. IT tends to be more of how do you network within the community and how you present yourself. Certifications are good, but you better be able to back it up with some experience (even if it is only in school) and good personal (soft) skills (i.e. verbal and written).

        • #3078149

          Pro bono and volunteer work is a good idea

          by cernan68 ·

          In reply to Hit the local user or profession groups

          It’s true that the job recession has eased up a bit. Many people I know find jobs within 2 or 3 months of getting laid off, and most find work within 6 months. This is a major improvement over how it was 2 or 3 years ago.

          When I was “on the bench” for a while, I did pro bono and volunteer work. I helped my local PC User’s group develop their public website, did some free DBA work for them, and taught some programming, MS Office and IT project management classes for them. This way, my resume didn’t have a gap in it. When recruiters ask me how much my salary was, I say $0.

          The contacts I mades at the volunteer job helped me find actual paying work within a few months.I also got some strong job references from them. My references tell recruiters the same thing that a former employee might: my technical skills, my management skills, my people skills, etc. I remain active at the PC User’s group and still teach classes and do a little volunteer work.

          Having a place to go to three days a week, like I did, makes it seem less like you’re not working. That’s because it IS work, it’s just not paid work — but it can lead to paid work.

        • #3078863

          local users group

          by mtiservices ·

          In reply to IT job hunting is more personal than personell

          How do u join this local users group? Whats the best one out there?

        • #3259755

          For Project Management user group

          by johngpmp ·

          In reply to local users group

          To find the local Project Management user group, go to and look under “Global Membership and communities” tab for the chapter web page. The actual address is

    • #3080977

      Job Hunting

      by ghill123 ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      I have experience but similar to you my experience is spread out and the one thing that I do master is obsolete “dBASE” (some people don’t know that dBASE matured to quite a powerful oop language) but doesn’t have a place in the market and probably never will.

      I guess I would like to know the same thing as you?
      What is out there that is really in demand.
      I have seen some ugly pay scales for programming these days, is it just me or is the pay scale going down for programmers?

      Greg Hill

      • #3080921

        It’s called ‘Outsourcing’

        by libtechcu ·

        In reply to Job Hunting

        Of course salaries are going down! The companies have annual quotas for over 85,000 H1-B visa immigrant workers a year…..And they keep telling Congress they need more because there aren’t enough “qualified” American IT workers (meaning people we can pay less and treat like indentured servants). A Republican controlled Congress means they’ll keep listening to the Companies. Someday they’ll figure out that fewer employed/well-paid American workers means less money for the workers to buy their products and goods….. Why do you think we’re in a recession!

        • #3094534

          Lots of talk about a good economy right now

          by ghill123 ·

          In reply to It’s called ‘Outsourcing’

          Lots of talk about a good economy right now.
          This is an interesting contrast.

          Greg Hill

        • #3094528

          No jobs in CNY

          by libtechcu ·

          In reply to Lots of talk about a good economy right now

          I live in upstate NY. Cost of living (and taxes) are high, wages are low and there are very few jobs in technology with lots of unemployed/underemployed competing for them….

        • #3096239

          No Jobs in Central Ohio …

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Lots of talk about a good economy right now

          … that don’t require a laundry list of skills and pay PRC wages.

        • #3096052

          same in North East

          by computeach247 ·

          In reply to No Jobs in Central Ohio …

          As far as I know pretty much the same thing North East Ohio. I have seen some jobs reposted over & over, not much pay or decent budgets for IT.

        • #3094918

          Waiting on the Indian Casinos

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to same in North East

          … to win over the Taft administration.

          I can learn how to deal Texas Hold-em & blackjack as well as anyone. More solid and stable future there than in IT to be sure.

        • #3096642

          I’m not sure I trust the statistics

          by ·

          In reply to Lots of talk about a good economy right now

          The Bush administration has gamed the statistics in a number of ways. For example, you can’t fight expensive foreign wars, relieve hurricane victims, grant tax cuts, and balance the budget. Notice that interest rates are going up? The government is competing with private enterprise for capital: greater demand leads to higher prices (the price of capital is interest). At the same time, you’ll notice that more high tech work is going to India. You can’t have jobs going off shore without creating unemployment here.

          Unless current policies are stopped, the only thing the US will be good for is making movies and growing wheat, corn, barley and soybeans.

        • #3080464

          Losing jobs in Ohio

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to I’m not sure I trust the statistics

          Latest stats say we are going to lose some more this year.

          Hell, Jeff, the USA won’t be any good for growing staples either, as farmers will only want to pay 50? an hour too.

          This whole “Chinese pay scale” thing is like heroin: It is killing businesses left and right. And like the addict lying on the floor of a filthy restroom with the needle still stuck in their arm, American businessmen will not realize until it is too late that you can’t kick your workers to the curb and expect them to buy your product at the same time.

          You can fight wars, relieve hurricane victims, grant tax cuts, and balance the budget if business does thier part by maintaining upper-middle class pay scales for most jobs.

        • #3095458

          Take your future in your own hands!

          by consultant-1 ·

          In reply to It’s called ‘Outsourcing’

          There aren’t many areas in the US where IT jobs are hard to find–just depends on your skills. Of course, a college degree usually contributes nothing to your initial job skills. It is the certification process which counts the strongest here. Do you have industry certs? If you don’t have a CCNA and an MCSE (or MCAD if you’re a developer)then you’re not playing. This has not changed much. My first real job in IT back in ’93 could only have been possible with my CNA. Since then, it’s gotten worse.
          Can’t blame the industry for this–there are so many lamers out there who don’t know their stuff, at least the certifications separate the men from the boys! College? It’s like a high school diploma now. The real learning comes from the certification process and experience.

        • #3078198

          Certs help!?

          by hashbrown ·

          In reply to Take your future in your own hands!

          I would have to disagree with you on Certifications seperating men from boys. I’ve worked with far to many people that have MCSE or higher certifications, and guess how they got them? Cram Exams and other lame-o methods.
          Just because you can memorize information doesn’t mean you can apply it! I’ve worked in IT for 20+ years and I can tell you I’ve met more than my fair share of idiots that went and got the certification and ended up working for me because some dumb manager thought that meant the person knew what they were doing. Then I had to clean up their mess after I fired them for their screw ups. No, certification only opens the door and gets your the interview. It doesn’t prove you know what your doing. Until Microsoft and others can better control their tests I won’t trust anyone that only has certifications. Any IT Manager that hires only based on Certs is an idiot.

        • #3078047

          Dumb or Dumber

          by kaoshe ·

          In reply to Certs help!?

          As someone who has the IT certifications and the IT degrees, I solely agree that some people who have certifications know nothing once they leave the testing room and those who have degrees have no real practical knowledge in the IT industry.
          However as demonstrated by this discussion, there is no basis for determining if the certifications are not producing IT gurus. IT recruiters should be looking for applicants with passion and/or experience in the IT industry. Applicants with passion for the job will quickly develop the skills necessary. Even experienced IT so called experts may only know how to reset a password, which takes a long time to learn!
          IT managers should give steviejay a go, he could be your next IT prot?g?.

        • #3079675

          Negative Attitude towards Certs?!

          by mwebster ·

          In reply to Certs help!?

          Who would ONLY go by Certs?! Their has to be some experience! I know some peole that have sooo much experience in Net Admin that they will NEVER need certs.

        • #3077505

          it takes more than certs to get a job

          by bg6638 ·

          In reply to Negative Attitude towards Certs?!

          To get a job in todays IT market you need 3 things: 1) BS in CS/MIS. 2) At least 3-5 yrs exp. in IT. 3)ALL of the following certs: MCSE, RHCE, CCDP & CCVP, CISSP, and preferably a CCIE. If your resume is missing *ANY* of those items, your chances of landing an IT job in Michigan/Ohio, are next to zero! Why? Hiring mgrs and recruiters are being overwhelmed with applicants! It is not uncommon to get over 100 resumes from a single newspaper ad, and 500+ from an ad on Career Builders/Monster. It is just their way to cut down the number of ad responses.

        • #3077484

          That’s a pretty ridiculous observation

          by cernan68 ·

          In reply to it takes more than certs to get a job

          I have none of those certs and I’ve been working in IT for almost 20 years. My cousin used to be an Oracle DBA and is now a project manager doing data warehouse work. He has none of those certs, either (tho he did get certified in Oracle back in the late 1990s and he has his PMP cert, as do I).

          I also have to observe that the certs you listed are mostly for people in IT networking work. Even there I can show you several of my IT colleagues who only have an MCSE or MCSE + MCP and they have been able to find jobs. They don’t have any Cisco certs under their belts.

          And what about the non-technical certs, such as PMP, Six Sigma, MS-Project Blue belt, RUP, ITIL, etc.?

        • #3078946

          Certs are the new degrees!

          by tnelson ·

          In reply to Take your future in your own hands!

          Certs say about as much as a degree does, which isn’t necessarily good. I worked on a team with a couple of certified (SCJD) folks who could quote you chapter and verse of theory, but who couldn’t code their way out of the proverbial wet paper bag. I’ve also run into people with four-year degrees who had the same problem. All a piece of paper says is that you cared enough to put some money down, not about any real abilities.

          That said, most of the people I know who have certs and/or degrees are plenty skilled, but on paper you’d have trouble distinguishing them from the “paper programmers” (until you got to the “experience” section of their resumes).

        • #3097876


          by hashbrown ·

          In reply to Certs are the new degrees!


        • #3097694

          But Why

          by emmanuel sibanda ·

          In reply to true

          Why is that experience that is acquired through informal services not recognised after all IT is a dynamic discipline. If a person can prove that he/she has the competency to deliver as expected why should they not be offered the job. Because they have not certs and degs.

          I think this should be revised.

        • #3098752

          Then go out and get what you need

          by cernan68 ·

          In reply to But Why

          If companies want degrees or certs, then get off the message boards and just go out and get what you need to meet employer requirements.

          As a far as degrees are concerned, while it’s true that someone with only an Associate’s degree can learn how to program and do DBA stuff, as that person moves up into greater responsibilities, it would be expected that the person has the breadth of general knowledge and the formal training in analytical reasoning that can only come from a formal education. That’s why bachelor and master’s degrees are sought out.

          Re: Certs. Certification saves hiring managers time in filtering out resumes. It’s easy to say that you know .NET or Oracle or Cisco or that you are experienced in project management. You just need to put it on your resume (and maybe your uncle or cousin can give a “reference” saying, “sure, he knows that stuff”). But having the cert is a stronger verification. Some certs in particular, e.g., the PMP cert, requires that you prove eligibility and years of experience before they will even let you sit for the exam. This helps recruiters verify that you actually have the experience you claim to have. So why not sit for the exam? Especially if NOT having it is holding you back from getting hired. It seems like a no brainer to me.

        • #3252841


          by ghill123 ·

          In reply to Take your future in your own hands!

          I agree that certs are vital these days but I don’t agree with you at all the Certifications seperate the men from the boys.
          When I was running a small break it fix it business in 93, ever person with a cert could not answer simple question. Some of these guys had 2 certs and a bunch of honorable crap from some college but when it came to knowing about the real world they were lost. I experienced this first hand. Recently I came pull a company out of the pits of IT HELL because of a few certified dumb asses that were in way over there heads. Fixed all of there dumb ass mistakes, oh the company was sued for IT related stuff too that certified people help cause.
          I am sure you have knowledge being that you have worked in the field for years now but I doubt you knew much when you first got your Cert.

          No offense just telling true stories from trenches of the real world.
          I recently spoke to the manager of IT for County Goverment, he told me clearly that the Certs and Education are more important to the smaller businesses but not key to hiring someone for the real large companies.

          My problem is that the one thing that I do real well is obsolete and I could have avoided that if I would have stepped out of my comfort zone. Now I am paying for it.


          Greg Hill

      • #3095368

        Here’s an idea

        by issinho ·

        In reply to Job Hunting

        I hate to say it, but for an IT professional, you need Certifications to get by most HR Managers. Especially if you don’t have a lot of experience to back up your education. I have been hunting for a job as well and was able to get on with a company without certifications.
        The problem is that I am doing stuff that I didn’t have training for in College. I was schooled on PC/Network support/repair. Now, I’m a Mainframe Operator for a large Grocery store chain. If I had gotten the certifications, I would, probably, be doing what I wanted to do.

        As to the Pay scale: That’s what happens when everyone and their dog goes into a particular field, the field gets saturated and companies can get away with paying less for services because there are so many that are willing to work in the area regardless of the pay.

        • #3095760

          Not the problem at all

          by libtechcu ·

          In reply to Here’s an idea

          The real reason for the low wages is that companies got away with convincing Congress they needed H1-B visa immigrants because there weren’t enough “qualified” people for the jobs (what they actually meant was enough people who would work for low wages). There is LOTS of documentation of this if you look for it. The companies are STILL telling this to Congress, even with so many IT people out of work and/or under-employed! They are still bringing in 85,000 immigrants a year. Everyone in IT should be writing their Congressman!

    • #3095506

      I know exactly what your going through.

      by amomntintym ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      Sorry to read about your current post degree dilema regarding and I might add, like many, many of us others who seem to be making our career in “unemployment”. I to am someone who knows a little bit about a lot of things, and yet also don’t seem to have an area that I can say, “I have forgotten more the most will ever know” under my education belt. Now that I have probably depressed you for any hopes of a brighter future, here my helping hand.

      Take a step back from your current opinion towards what you think you don’t know about computers, current technology and any of the other life experiences you have and just put them to the test. Seek out one, just one, person who is pulling their hair out because of their computer or someone who just wants to get that darn All-In-One printer to actually work right, and offer them some aide. If after one hour of watching you, they don’t express you to “be totally amazing” with your skills and knowledge your education has provided you, then they are either just to darn full of themselves or they currenly hold all the Cisco and Microsoft Certifications you are striving for.

      Aftering reciently graduating in the feild “Computer Networking Systems”, I to have hit the pavement hard and with no promising hope. Until I was asked by one friend to help out another, in hopes I might figure out what was wrong with their system. One phone call and 3 question later their month and one half headache was gone. Because of this, that person landed me 3 more side jobs to yeild me a nice bit of pocket change to at least give my daughers Christmas presents to open under the tree.

      Now for my long and drawn out advice. If you think you beleive you only have a little bit of knowledge and don’t have all the bells and whistles to make you selliable to Big Brother CEO, think again. What you do know is at least 30 times more than the current average PC-gaming public and in comparison your a “Computer GOD”. Good luck and don’t give up. Your jobs out there. Best of luck to you.

      • #3095339

        its tought to get your foot in the door

        by robtheman ·

        In reply to I know exactly what your going through.

        i graduated august 2004 with a B.A – Information systems couldnt find a job for 6 months. My first job was a 1 month contract configuring laptops. after that i made my way to a field tech position and now im a jr. system/network admin. The jobs are there you just have to keep your head up and keep going you will be rejected many times. Just be ready when the opportunities present themselves and show what you know and that you have the enthusiasm and ability to learn new skill/technologies.

    • #3095505

      Similar Problem – other end of the timeline

      by don m ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      I’m interested in this discussion, but from a different point of view. I’ve just turned 50 and I’ve been in the IT game for the last 25 year, 15 years as a project manager. Until now I’ve found that, except for my first job after Uni, my qualifications have never been relavent – the employers what to know what can I offer them that they want. The trick is to understand what they are looking for and then present those parts of your experience (not necessarily from work) that apply.

      Having said that, I have not been able to get a job for most of last year (contract or permanent) because my experience is “too broad” or “does not match our immediate requirements”. I’ve even had the “the job vacancy has been put off for X months”, “You are too much of a consultant for this PM job” and “you are too much a PM for this consulting job” etc etc etc.

      I am wondering if there is an age barrier (as well as a [lack of] experience barrier) in our industry that I have hit? I hope not as I feel I have far too much experience to just let waste – and at my age the salary is not so(!) important.

      Is this perhaps just the way our industry is moving these days?


      (PS I’m in Melbourne, Australia)

      • #3095492

        Reply To: Job Hunting

        by cb0503 ·

        In reply to Similar Problem – other end of the timeline


        Boy do I relate to that ! I’ve experienced something similar (I carried on job hunting as long as this job was still a contract and hence “insecure”).

        And I shouldn’t really be hitting ageism as I’m still (just) below 40. But I do get the “not the right skills” and “too senior” explanations as well.

        However, I have a feeling these are simply the easiest way for a recruiter to explain why they rejected you, whereas the reality may simply be “not the right fit” or “not on spec”. A lot of the job specs I see are very poorly written (even worse than my old CV – LOL), so its hard to really tell if you are on spec or not ! And these days the recruiters will be dealing with a lot higher volume of applications, thanks to the internet and all that…

        Whats your ratio of application:interview ? I tend to find that I do quite well at interview (tho second is still “no good” in job hunting 🙁 ) but its getting them to interview me in the first place which is the real challenge. I have a feeling you need some way to stand above the “average” and get their attention (statement of the obvious, but easier to say than do when the job specs are short and sweet !)

      • #3095482

        Marketplace more competitive

        by rod8 ·

        In reply to Similar Problem – other end of the timeline

        Hello Don,

        Yes, I agree with you that the industry is indeed changing. I’m in Sydney, Australia and have found that for every job advertised online there are several hundred applicants that are applying. Hence, the recruiters have had no choice but to eliminate those resumes that don’t have an ‘exact’ fit. They want for example at least three years of specific experience in funds management or banking to manage a SAP implementation. And if you don’t have experience in BOTH financial services and SAP then unfortunately you are not short-listed. When I am hiring, I don’t discriminate on age so I don’t think age is your barrier. I am guessing that perhaps your resume is not a perfect fit for what the recruitment person is looking for. I’ve found that using the words the recruiter uses in their ad in my resume to illustrate why I am the best person for the role because of my extensive experience has given me a greater success rate.



      • #3094911

        In the US, 50 is too old …

        by too old for it ·

        In reply to Similar Problem – other end of the timeline

        … to be changing jobs. Better be thinking about buying into a coffee house with a Wi-Fi connection if you want to stay in IT at all.

        • #3094856

          50 too old? How so?

          by jackuvalltrades ·

          In reply to In the US, 50 is too old …

          I am genuinely curious how you arrive at that conclusion. Now, it so happens that I agree that 50 is not a great time to be shifiting jobs, but my reasoning is primarily economic in nature; i.e. retirement investment.

        • #3094764

          He arrived at that ‘conclusion’ via ignorance, Jack

          by lando56 ·

          In reply to 50 too old? How so?

          Here we go again! Yes there are some ‘age’ problems in about any business. It’s those that make silly comments like that that are behind the times. Experience is the driving force in many job qualifications, and you can hardly have good experience when you’re in your 20’s or so.

          With the Boomers retiring and Social Security becoming nonexsistant (retire at 65? Forget it! It will be more like 70-72 very soon… main reason; lack of workers supporting potential retirees. BTW, I’m in the States)the work force will be forced to take a harder look at older personnel if they like it or not. Funny thing is, employees find older workers more reliable and with those with years of experience, a priceless source of information.

          And please!… none of this nonsense about older workers not keeping uptodate in IT. I’m 49 and can (and have) ran circles around degreed kids in some areas of IT, especially in regards to REAL world situations. Been there… done that in other words.

          Keep your chin up Jack 🙂

        • #3094745


          by jackuvalltrades ·

          In reply to He arrived at that ‘conclusion’ via ignorance, Jack

          I, myself, am 46 and can also run circles around most IT folks, younger and older, degreed or not. I also happen to agree with you: experience ultimately triumphs.
          Now, all of that having been said, IT workers are still largely viewed and treated as corporate bottom-feeders. As a consequence, employers will settle for a prospect who is far less qualified in the interest of keeping their own ideas of comps and benes. I’ve seen it happen time and again. Naturally enough, the applicants who fit this skewed version of reality tend to be younger. Now the kicker to this scenario, and incidentally one that may be quite beneficial to the original author of this thread, is that because the employer has just bought themselves a great deal less than they need, much of the more difficult tasks are outsourced to consultants. Strangely enough, consultants tend to be very good generalists.
          Further thoughts?

        • #3094611

          I disagree

          by bg6638 ·

          In reply to Agreed.

          I’m in my early 50’s, worked in IT for 30+ years as a COBOL & DBase/Foxpro programmer, but also worked with DOS 1.x-6.0, NT 3.5, 4.0, Win2k, Win2k3, Exchange, SQL, ISA Server, etc. I was displaced nearly 2 years ago, due to a corporate bankruptcy. It is next to impossible just to get an interview, and recruiters will turn you away if your resume doesn’t say B.S. in MIS/IT, 5-10 yrs exp., MCSE 2k & 2k3 with messaging and security, RHCT, RHCE, CISSP, CCNA, CCDP, CCIE, CCVP, and a raftload of other certs too! Do companies want an IT person, or a professional test taker? I thought that experience would triumph, but that does not seem the case. IT jobs seem to be on a steady decline. My last two interviews were with small companies that decided that they did not want an IT mgr, and would simply outsource whenever needed.

        • #3078421

          THERE IS HOPE!

          by el_guariqueno ·

          In reply to Agreed.


          I too, have experience the “challenges” of age, I am 52 Yrs old and competing with the younger IT generation out there. I was told once by a friend who worked in a HR dept that one reason many companies prefer hiring younger persons is simply due to the fact that they are willing to work for lower wages as opposed to a older person with so many years of experience. Furhermore, retirement calculations, a 50 years old most likely by laws of nature be gone in 15 or so years in comparison with a 25 yrs old. However, there is hope, I agree with the opinion of those who say that companies are in need of mature employees who can offer a more vast experience in the field, its not only tech knowledege, but PR and people skills as well. I have worked for oil companies and they seem to be the best in term of salaries btw.

          Best regards and good luck to you all!


        • #3077482

          IT has its own hiring quirks

          by cernan68 ·

          In reply to He arrived at that ‘conclusion’ via ignorance, Jack

          RE: Experience is the driving force in many job qualifications, and you can hardly have good experience when you’re in your 20’s or so.
          – – –

          Lando, what you say may be true in general, it’s not true in IT.

          Yes, of course people in their 40s have more experience and skills than people in their 20s. It’s a no brainer. But do hiring managers always use their brains?

          In IT, they like you to have 3 – 7 years experience in a certain technology. There are few specific technologies that have a very long shelf life. Therefore, in the minds of the 38 year old project leader / manager, a 26 year old has enough years of experience, why hire an old, middle-aged 42 year old who probably knows dBase III and/or COBOL? (Even tho knowing or not knowing those old languages will not impact their current knowledge of current technologies).

          Look at an computer programming and IT Services company, like Accenture. They have very, very few people over 35 there and the majority of people there are in their 20s. They even make fun of people with lots of experience, diss’ing it as useless experience.

          The point is, in the IT world, you have young managers hiring very young kids. There is little respect for the years of business application development, business analysis, database design, testing, project planning, etc. etc. etc. that people over 40 have. It’s just a reality of the IT field.

          So while experience may be the driving force in many job qualifications, hiring managers seem to see the opposite to be true when it comes to IT jobs.

        • #3252916

          Name calling, how professional

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to He arrived at that ‘conclusion’ via ignorance, Jack

          I must be just an ignorant, because at 50 I can’t go out an get an interveiw for any job I am more than qualified for, and have an interest in doing.

          It’s not that I can’t get past the HR pros who are stuck on “a degree means more than experience”. Oh no.

          It’s not that I sit down to “technical interviews” where any two of the “managers” combined age is still less than my 50, and the interview redounds to back slapping, aren’t we great, team player, frat house yakking. Nope, that’s not it.

          Heck, the last contracter interview I went out on, the lead interviewer was more interested in my recruiter’s accent than asking any questions about my skills.

        • #3094736


          by hankers ·

          In reply to In the US, 50 is too old …

          Hmmm, I just changed jobs 17 months ago, just before my 62nd birthday (company closed up altogether). I took a bit of a pay hit to get in the door, but have been back at pay level enjoyed last at last company for almost a year, with signs of continued increases. And, I hope to be working till at least age 70, as long as God gives me good health, and I enjoy my work.

        • #3252914

          Good for you … (Diversity question)

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Really???

          … how did you get past the “diversity” question?

          You know: Blah, blah, blah, our company believes in diversity, how dos a 50+ year old white guy in a suit bring diversity to the table?

      • #3094905

        Age’ism or ???

        by darksidegeek ·

        In reply to Similar Problem – other end of the timeline

        When HR or certain hiring managers screen resumes, they almost always make unfair assumptions. (This is why, for instance, that people claim that Certs are critically important even when they aren’t. They make an easy yardstick for screeners who are unrealistic in their expectations, ignorant of what the position actually entails, or simply overwhelmed with responses.)

        As for the age barrier issue, while I am sure there are some clear-cut age biases, the underlying issues are probably the more typical:

        If you are older and more experienced, the assumption is that it equates to “higher up in the salary range”. Does a hiring manager feel that you would be “too expensive” or, as much as they might love to get someone of your experience, that they could get someone else cheaper?

        If the company’s workforce on the whole is younger, what are the social implications of bringing an older employee into the mix? Will there still be a cultural fit?

        Whether at the screening stage or into the interview, these kinds of assumptions are often made. And for some people it is hard to convince them otherwise. They may even vocalize “do you have a problem with XYZ?” and even when you answer an enthusiastic “No, and in fact that is what I love most of all!” they still may not believe you.

        In short, you can shout your value proposition from the rooftops, but sometimes its just (unfairly) out of your hands. It really depends on the openness of the hiring company.

        • #3094643

          Spot on

          by rod8 ·

          In reply to Age’ism or ???

          Hello Darksidegeek,

          You are spot on with your summary of what drives the recruiters’ decisions of whether to ignore a resume or not.

          Unfortunately, this is the reality of things and hence it becomes a numbers game. The solution is to focus on what you are good at and enjoy and to KNOW that there MUST be a company out there that is just screaming out for your unique set of skills. The trick then is to keep applying for quality jobs and if you tell a your good story to people long enough it will eventually fall on good ears.



      • #3095860

        Yes, there is an age barrier

        by mckinney91 ·

        In reply to Similar Problem – other end of the timeline

        My mentor, an unbelievable guy, Masters in Physics and a 25 year computer contractor who after a year and a half of no work is making $95.00 an hour at age 59. According to him the age barrier is around age 42-45. I am 47 and it is true for me.

        • #3078144

          Move from hands-on to PM or BA work

          by cernan68 ·

          In reply to Yes, there is an age barrier

          Once you pass 45, few people will take you seriously as a developer or technical expert (unless you are a known guru in your field). This is true even if you have more years with the latest technologies than a newbie with only 3 or 4 years experience with the same technologies.

          One thing I do is just drop the earliest 10 years from my resume (which also makes it shorter).

          But what has really worked for me is reinventing myself. I am only emphasizing my project management and business analysis experience. I earned my PMP (project management professional) cert from the Project Management Institute ( ). I also have been focusing on one industry (financial services) to build up my “industry” specific buzz words on my resume.

          While companies are uncomfortable with highly experienced technical people in their 40s (and older), they are comfortable with mid-career people with Project Management and industry specific knowledge. The PMP (and CAPM) certs have suddenly become hot, along with Six-Sigma green/brown/black belts, and MS-Project orange/blue/black belts.

          So you need to let go of the VB.NET and Java and Cisco Networking and Oracle DBA stuff and reposition yourself to be perceived as something that recruiters find appropriate for someone your age. It may be unfair on the part of the recruiters (and the kids who disrespect anyone over 28 in IT), but it’s a reality.

          Moving into the BA and PM lines work also makes you less vulnerable to offshoring. It’s harder to offshore the, so called, soft skills. But make no mistake, these are real skills that companies are looking for. Few 28 year-olds have these skills.

        • #3078830

          Ah – There’s the rub…

          by don m ·

          In reply to Move from hands-on to PM or BA work

          That’s just the problem…. I have already done that (BTW I’m the one that started this particular thread on ‘age’) – I have my PMP and I’ve been a PM for the last 15 years and done high level business process consulting on and off for the last 10.

          I’m now seen as “too far removed from the practical aspects of the work”. I’ve also noticed (at least here in Melbourne, Australia) that there is an increasing number of job ads for “technical PM’s” in the (in my opinion) false impression that you can have 2 jobs done by the one person (after all ‘anyone can play wth a Gantt chart’ and so be a PM – its not a full time job 😉 ).

          The analogy I sometimes use is that of an orchestra conductor. They may have come up through the ranks playing the trumpet or flute, but their job is now not to play an instrument any more. Their job is to coordinate the efforts of everyone else to create the required result. You can’t conduct a symphony orchestra if you have to keep rushing off to the percussion section to play your bit.


        • #3097489

          Those are good points

          by cernan68 ·

          In reply to Ah – There’s the rub…

          Re: there is an increasing number of job ads for “technical PM’s” in the (in my opinion) false impression that you can have 2 jobs done by the one person (after all ‘anyone can play wth a Gantt chart’ and so be a PM – its not a full time job).

          Yes, there has been a trend in the last few years leave some of the PM headcounts out of the budget (purpose: save money) and just give the PM tasks to the top hands-on person, who will be expected to continue being hands-on at the same time. Alternately, they will recruit for a hands-on level spot, then tell the candidate that it is mostly a PM spot. When you ask “why is this a programmer or DBA level and not a manager level, the reply is “no budget for a PM level, only for a hands-on level title.”

          The problem is that the companies just do not understand the value of project management. It has to be sold to them. One of the things that is taught in PMP training is that the PM should only do PM work, otherwise he or she will give his own, hands-on or BA, work priority over his more important PM work. Another thing is that without dedicated project management, the project will not be planned, executed or controlled properly and the cost and schedule will slip, not to mention missing out on scope items and not being prepared for unexpected events.

          Unfortunately, until more companies learn this, they will continue to expect their orchestra conductors to rush off to the percussion section to play their bit, leaving the rest of the orchestra in chaos.

      • #3257720

        Don, given a thought to Training?

        by neildsouza ·

        In reply to Similar Problem – other end of the timeline

        Hey Don,

        At 50 that’ a ton of experience… How do you feel about giving
        back what you have learnt to the IT sector? In other words, why
        don’t you consider being a trainer to some of the newer recruits.

        I know that it is not what you’re looking for, but at some point
        you should understand that working is enough…

        Training people is very rewarding. I’ve personally done it and it
        is immensely heartwarming to see your protege grow up right in
        front of you. I’m sure some computer institutes will be glad to
        give you a hand.

        If you’re not a people person then as another member
        suggested, open up a Starbucks with a Wi-Fi connection and
        hope your coffee is good enough to keep people away from you


    • #3095495

      Similar to me

      by namco ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      Hi – I graduateed in 2003 with a BSc in Internet and Communications Technology – this is even more jack of all trades than applied computing so I kinda went through the same thing. Also am based in Scotland (Dundee) and found the job market tough.

      You mention tech support – is this really what you want to get in to? I know as a jack of all trades its easy to apply for anything and everything, programming, web design, tech support, IT management etc. Problem is if you work your way up as tech support for a year or two then decide you want to go back to programming, for example, it may be difficult to change and u may go back to square one.

      It might be best to think about what kind of role you want and maybe set a time frame in which to apply for these roles, after which you can start to apply for roles in other fields within IT.

      There are loads of computer gamin jobs in Dundee just now, with Dave Jones, the guy who created Lemmings, creating xbox 360 games – (advertised on

      Having a diverse degree is ultimately a good thing – you can use your CV to market yourself towards a particular role by emphasising more on what you did at uni in that area – I’ll send you my CV if you like

      have a look at its a dodgy looking site but they have brought together the Scottish job searching sites well – it’s good for a quick daily check of uni jobs, nhs jobs, council jobs, and job centre jobs (some organisatations always advertise with job centre – councils etc)

      Good luck!

      • #3095489

        Scottish papers

        by cb0503 ·

        In reply to Similar to me

        LOL – for the local/scottish guys, you are probably already aware but there do seem to be an awful lot of jobs advertised in the Employment sections where you can easily see that they are advertising because they have a requirement/obligation to (normally the public sector ones). I haven’t applied for any of these but wonder how many have “internal candidates” sitting behind them (cynic… me ??!!)

        • #3095481

          don’t be to cynical

          by namco ·

          In reply to Scottish papers

          At the end of the day, employers need the best person for the job, internal applicants don’t always get the job

          Myself and 2 mates graduated – I got a job in a uni who advertised in local paper and they both got jobs in NHS – again advertised in local paper

    • #3095491

      Some tips on what’s hot

      by rod8 ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      Hello Stevie,

      Right now you could focus on obtaining additional certifications to add to your resume to set you apart from the sea of resumes and start you getting call backs from recruitment firms. I am not saying that these are cheap but you had asked what you could focus on to become more employable out in the marketplace.

      What’s hot right now in Sydney, Australia are:

      1) An MCSE 2003 certification.
      2) Any certification from Cisco.
      3) Specialise in Security. I have been told by the recruitment firms that right now they are screaming for anyone with any security qualifications. Say a CISSP?
      4) They also find it difficult to find good DBAs.

      As for climbing the IT ladder, over time I would be looking to get certified in:

      a) Project Management – most of IT are now project based. (PMBOK and Prince2)
      b) ITIL – framework for best practise service delivery.

      Don’t worry if you feel that you’re a jack of all trades because that is what a uni degree is meant to do. That is, give you a broad overview. When you land your first job you will understand more of what it is you like and will begin to focus on your specialty from that point onwards. I’d rather be a jack of all trades coming out of uni rather than a master of an obsolete or outgoing technology.

      Good luck with your job hunting and never give up!



      • #3095372

        What’s Hot???

        by zalewr ·

        In reply to Some tips on what’s hot

        I am IT middle mgmt in a lrg org… Our architecture group has championed an infrastructure trend for servers over the next 5 years away from MS and hardware specific UNIX (AIX, Solaris, etc.) to Linux on Intel. This commodity based model will be inexpensive up front but I suspect that there will be an huge demand for support of that “brave new” infrastructure…

        • #3094646

          Thinking outside the square

          by rod8 ·

          In reply to What’s Hot???

          Hello Zalewr,

          As a CIO for a public company I moved their whole server farm from Windows NT to Mandrake Linux. This was a brave step back in 2000 when Linux was not yet mainstream. There are distinct challenges when attempting to move onto a Linux on Intel architecture which we had to overcome in the early days but the payoff was tremendous in terms of licensing costs, cheap components and control of network. With Windows NT everyone was just installing printer drivers at their own leisure compromising their branch office servers. When I rolled out Linux, I gave them a white box, no keyboard, no mouse, no monitor. Requested that they plug in the ‘blue cable’ and power and I would do the rest from head office. Even if someone managed to connect a keyboard and monitor to the new server, many would not know the Linux command line and hence they’d leave it alone. As a result, network availability jumped up to the high nines as the servers were no longer going up and down like a yoyo and unlike NT I have not had to reboot the servers at all on a regular basis.

          Understand that I don’t want to start a Windows vs Linux firestorm here as I am an MCSE myself and have a lot of respect for Microsoft. It was the right decision for my employer at the time. I am just offering you my assistance if you do get stuck with your migration plans onto the Linux environment.

          Finally, I agree with you in that one of my biggest hurdle was that it was hard to find back in 2000 an abundance of people who knew how to administer a Linux network.



      • #3095288

        New Year

        by steviejay ·

        In reply to Some tips on what’s hot

        I’m hoping that the new year will change my fortunes. I’m at the point of taking any job, regardless of how bad it may be just to get my foot in the door.

        I’ve talked to alot of my friends and they’re keeping an eye out for any jobs they hear of in their respective companies because as someone said earlier, it’s possible some will be advertised internally first

        thanks for the website I’ll keep checking that 🙂

        I’m also slightly optimistic, in the past few days the jobs on s1jobs has almost doubled (3000 odd to around 5500) so hopefully I’ll be able to find at least ONE which I can use to further myself, cause I owe the education authorities big and I don’t want them to break my kneecaps heh

    • #3095486

      Tough luck … but it’s possible

      by kovachevg ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      1. You need to find entry level positions. Such are available in states like Nebraska, or Wisconsin. They require up to 1 year of professional experience and you can probably site projects you worked on at school without mentioning that they were school projects – like designing, implementing, and maintaining a web site.

      Plan to spend about a year but less than 2 years on a job like this.

      2. Try internships. Although they claim interships are short-term assignments, many companies will keep you there after the internship period is over if:
      A. They need you, and in most cases they do because otherwise they wouldn’t have opened the position.
      B. You have developed additional capacities on the job that make you valuable in addtional areas. Doing someone else’s job can carry you through but I recommend focusing on new things that just start to become important for the company. This way you will be the only one who has the expertise and guess whom they will need? To tarin a new person also costs money, so that works to your advantage.
      C. If you don’t ask them for more money. Very often a position is called an intership because of the budget for the position is limited. Have in mind that to a CFO IT staff is just as expendable as a secretary, a plumber, or an electrician. Additionally, IT staff is increasingly seen as utility cost rather than a strategic partner in business (crime, haha).
      D. On the interview, don’t create the impression that you are “jack of all trades”. Instead, tell them what you are mostly interested in like “This job offers me a chance to contribute to the new initiative of your comapany and to enahce my programming skills”, but follow with “I am open to covering for you in other areas (aka support)”. No one likes support. But you can use it to your advantage to get closer to people who understand the business processes of the comapany. Put a smile on your face and try to work out the problem as quickly as you can. To you it may be nuisance – to them it is what prevents them from doing their jobs. Then on the next day follow up to make sure everything is in order. Ask the question in a moderately loud voice so that everyone can hear you are doing a good job. The answer will be what you needed to be, because you fixed the problem on the previous day. Even if it is not, just show that you care and fix it again. The important thing is that you create your reputation. That goes a long way beyond the internship. Trust me.

    • #3095485

      I empathise

      by denbrown ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      Dear Stevie

      I empathise with you. I had been in a job for 15 years and got stuck in a rut. A sudden awakening was the site being closed. I realised that although I could do the job, my employer never sent me on any certifiable courses as they didn’t want me to leave afterwards (not the best payer). So I only had “Attended” course certificates. No use for a job.

      Not being particularly well paid I could not afford the MCP ?1500 courses. I managed to get a couple of MOS courses under my belt, but Tech Support does not seem to be either well paid, or a good career path.

      I wish I had gotten into SQL or Oracle. Database jobs seem HUGE at the moment in the NW of England. I am teaching myself whilst stuck in a BORING job as desktop support, but I cannot get an interview for a job as I have no certs or experience in SQL.

      Get into your friends and family circle. Ask about job vacancies. I got my current job via a friend of a friend. They may not be the “ideal” job, but they bring in the money. From there you can gain work experience and start to network with suppliers and customers.

      Good luck.

      • #3094848

        How to get the job?

        by itstech ·

        In reply to I empathise

        In the world of IT, businesses are not going to hire those without experience. I’m not saying you don’t have the potential to be a great worker, but businesses are not going to depend on the inexperience to make sure their technology works. I was in the same situation two years ago. Fresh out of college with a degree in Computer Engineering. I couldn’t even get an interview. So I volunteered to gain experience and now I am very marketable and get job offers left and right. You may have to sacrifice working for little to no pay now, but down the road it should pay off. You need to gain experience first…even if that means working for peanuts.

    • #3095476

      How are you applying?

      by 2manycerts ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      Today its so easy to click a button and ship off a resume. And it’s just as easy to click a key and delete your e-resume’.

      My advice to IT job hunter is to get off your lazy @$$e$ and beat the streets. Walk into 5 or 6 large offices a day, fill out applications (whether or not they are hiring), call department managers and say “hey, I know your not hiring but I would like to work for your company — can I meet with your for a cup of coffee and discuss how I can position myself for a job in the future”.

      Many job seekers expect a job to fall from the sky. “O many thanks God of High Paying Jobs for bestowing this gift unto me”.

      They call it “foot in the door” for a reason. I foot in the door is not a job — a foot in the door is what door to door salesmen used to do to prevent a prospect from closing the door (saying ‘no’). They WORKED to EARN the business.

      Too bad they don’t teach that in college.

      And WTF is “several jobs” — SEVERAL????? You should apply for several a day. Shesh.

      And spend this down time getting some certs… college is good, certs are good… college+certs is better. And it shows how haven’t been sitting on your butt waiting for a job to appear.

      • #3095285

        thanks man

        by steviejay ·

        In reply to How are you applying?

        thanks 2MANYCERTS, I’m realising now that’s exactly what I need to do. get off my ass and make things happen. I can’t simply arse about online all day looking at websites, I need to take it to them and make them give me a job….

        • #3080045

          Active job search and balance

          by cruisingsoftware ·

          In reply to thanks man

          2ManyCerts had some good advise. During business hours actively search for jobs, apply, and network, network, network! Make sure that employers can get a hold of you. Then after business hours I would suggest changing gears. Maybe get of the house by going down to the local bookstore, coffee shop, or library and do some reading.

          If there is some area of technology that you are interested get involved in it. Join a local user group or an open source project. This will also increase your skills and your network.

          If you still do not know where to begin with open source but would like to explore it you can jump on which I am starting as a way to give back to the open source community and to also increase my network.

          Good luck on your job search.

    • #3095472

      Have you tried the web

      by terry ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      Try registering yourself at you can set up filters for you area of interest and location and they’ll them send you a daily email with jobs that may interest you.

      Happy new year and good luck with the job hunting

    • #3095469

      Were creating our own problems.

      by gprinsloo ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      ALL IT related jobs are at risk.

      1. The internet has made users seem experts.
      2. Virtual programming is causing low cost labour wars.
      3. The freeware/shareware tendency is taken to imply labour costs as well as software/OS’s.
      4. Replace tendencies with cheaper hardware only needs SwapNikens no longer Technicians for repairs.
      5. Most middle/top management are capable of using DBengines, Spreadsheets and Wordpro packages and as such has caused IT and secretarial positions worldwide to suffer their demise.

      Solution, I do not see in the short term. The unfortunate truth is that as I have seen in this discussion MORE and MORE IT folk are taking less $$$’s and doing odd jobs to SURVIVE. This results in a power client who knows he can get someone at half the price and WILL CONTINUE doing so.

      • #3095830

        Translates to more interesting jobs

        by rod8 ·

        In reply to Were creating our own problems.

        Hello gprinsloo,

        I agree with your list of changes that’s happening in the workplace. As users become more sophisticated with regards to technology, it is only natural for the more mundane work to be phased out. This isn’t all bad as who wants to receive a hundred phone calls a day just resetting someone’s forgotten password. As technology becomes available everywhere, our jobs as IT professionals evolve to more interesting and challenging work than just resetting passwords and setting up new users. We start to become what they’ve called “Knowledge Workers”. The good thing is once you’ve mastered a particular skill knowledge workers are able to work from anywhere…most begin to work from home. And for those who travel for hours through congested traffic to and from work this is a welcome trend.

        So the trick is to keep your pulse on what skills are in demand in the marketplace and continuously learn new skills at every opportunity.

        I’d rather hire an experienced programmer and pay more per hour and get the project done in 3 months than hire a junior and have the project drag out to 18 months. There is no substitute for experience. If they are willing to pay half the price then they risk extending the deadline for their project. Basically, you get what you pay for.



        • #3095787

          The what lacks is User/Client Education

          by gprinsloo ·

          In reply to Translates to more interesting jobs

          I cannot agree more with the term YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

          Its the only benefit of virtual offices. Making experts available to the needy.

          The only challenge facing us is sifting the GOOD from the BAD before things get UGLY. (In Remeberance of good viewing from old faithfull Clint and the gang.)

    • #3095461

      The rules of employment!

      by attilio ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      The rules of employment have been changed and are in the changing mode all the time but let me help you with some:
      1) The job is not looking for you.. you have to look for the job. The first thing to look is in the industry publications. Some of these publications show on the last pages “people on the move” Well you pick up the phone to any of these people that had a promotion, congratulate them and present yourself! and ..look rule n:2
      2) Show passion in what you “want to do”. The rule number 2 just say that: you have to enjoy what you are doing or else move to another job!
      3) Make a list of possible jobs you like most within the IT industry and go for it! How? you will spend two max 3 day searching and studying all you need to know about that job and only after that you go fo interviews. How to become an expert? exercise for two to tree days in what you are studying, need more? You just finish B.Sc in Applied Computing? go back to the university, meet with the specialist in the field you want to embark and ask all the question you need to ask!
      4) Tell your future employer what YOU can do for his department and company and NOT what are the benefits the company give to the employees.
      5) Show the future employer some of your work! if you are for customer services then show some references, if you do not have them ask them to people you helped to “repair” “upgrade” etc..

      There are some good internet sites where you can search for more advise BUT first all you need to do is to change ATTITUDE about looking for work!
      This is a small advise from a person with 30 years in IT and an M.Sc in Information Technology
      Good Luck!

      • #3095045

        Getting an interview!

        by carol422 ·

        In reply to The rules of employment!

        The rules really are that tough!

        Speaking as someone who regularly has to apply them I can assure you we take no prisoners! For the last IT Junior post I advertised I had 50 applicants, most with a degree. I gave 10 interviews. I felt very sorry for all the talent I turned away but there are some basic rules many didn’t even try to follow:

        Always include a covering letter with your CV and make it personal to the prospective employer – this shows you are interested in the job being advertised (not just any job). It also shows what kind of a communicator you are so make sure it’s friendly and professional.

        Read the advertisement and highlight any skills you have that prove you can do the job even if it’s skills you’ve developed personally like helping a friend set up a wireless network. Any experience you can demonstrate is better than none.

        Re visit your CV for every application and, again, make sure you highlight everything that is relevant to that particular employer/job.

        Do everything you can to make your CV stand out from the other 50:
        Did you sanity check the spelling rather than rely on the spell check?
        Is the font easy to read?
        Have you used your IT skills to demonstrate how well you can use basic office applications, changing font size for headings etc..?
        You’d be surprised at how many people think that a faded photocopy stuffed in an envelope that’s too small for it is good enough.
        Did you take the trouble to make sure the printing didn’t smudge and the paper came out straight? Believe me it all counts as evidence as to whether you’re likely to be just as sloppy in your job.

        When you get the interview:
        Be 15 minutes early.
        Dress appropriately for the environment you’re hoping to work in.
        Have a pen.
        If there’s a test – read the questions! I was looking for a good communicator last time and asked the applicants to ‘describe a commonly used office application’. There were 6 lines for the answer. At least 2 interviewees wrote ‘MS Word’! D’oh!!
        Don’t give the impression that you know everything and can easily do the interviewers job.
        Remember that with no work experience you’re on the bottom rung. Better to ask about training prospects than career prospects.
        Ask questions about the Company but make sure you’ve done your research – don’t ask what the Company does – you should know that or you can’t show you want the job.
        Make sure you’ve looked for the Company website -you’re in IT for goodness sake so they’ll be disappointed if you haven’t bothered! Another classic no no is to say ‘I didn’t have time’!
        IT candidates are traditionally monosyllabic and non responsive at interview – make sure you break the mould. Practice your answers to the obvious ‘strengths and weaknesses’ and ‘what are your interests’ type questions so you can prove you can converse.
        If you’re inclined to be nervous make it work for you – tell your interviewer it’s because you really want the job!

        I wish you all the best!

        Good luck!

        • #3094949

          Absolutely Right!

          by attilio ·

          In reply to Getting an interview!

          Dear Carol,
          You summarized wery well, I know, we could write a book on “How to get a Real Job in IT”. I forget .. Body language on the interview itself.. It is so important to show confidence for the job!
          Good luck!

    • #3095460

      realism about the job market

      by cb0503 ·

      In reply to Job Hunting


      to follow on from my comment about a majority of jobs not being advertised…you say

      “I’ve applied for several jobs and I haven’t even got an email back informing me that I was unsuccessful.”

      well if you are using jobsites, I’d say thats about right. My own experience is that only certain agencies follow through with a “sorry you were unsuccesful” response. And often the ones that do are sending out a formula letter so there is no feedback on why. Probably 1 in 10 email a failure letter. As you said “several” applications, you may not have hit one of those “good” agencies yet 😉

      As has already been commented, most of these online jobs will get a pile of applications, often in the hundreds – where the job value is lower, the agency fee will simply not cover the work and effort required to respond to each application.

      You should also know that some agencies post jobs up that aren’t “live” – in order to get more CVs on their database. But just because you have applied once via an agency do NOT assume that they will find your CV when they get a new job in – most I have talked to assume/expect that you will flag your interest in a role by applying again.

      But just when you figure its safe to go out there and apply, some agencies will also advise against flooding the market with your CV, so to be a bit picky about which agencies you target !

      I’d have a look at which agencies tend to be getting the jobs you want to apply for – and then ring them and ask to come in and talk to someone. You are more memorable out of those hundreds if they have met you 😉

      You really do need to see this as a sales and marketing project – where the product is YOU 😉

    • #3095459

      Job Hunting

      by esther_okai ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      Hello Stevejay congratulations on your graduation. I have two points to suggest to you:
      1. Please be more positive about your abilities, there is abosultely nothing wrong with your degree.

      2. Pray to the Lord Jesus, be specific about what you want and continue your job search. The jobs will find you. It has worked for me.

    • #3095443

      Apply to a University

      by newitguy ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      I graduated last year and also had a hard time finding a job. I ffinally a system admin position for a department at a university. I see a lot of IT personnel in the university with not that much experience so maybe give that a try. The pay is not the best but experience is good.

    • #3095425

      Reply To: Job Hunting

      by the admiral ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      You have to split your resume up into seperate areas. Don’t cram as much stuff into it to make it look like you are a swiss army knife, but seperate the knife from the sissor & toothpick.

      Make each resume specific for a position that you really want, like programming. People who are looking for programmers generally don’t want to know their last job was a dog groomer. So if it is left out, your not going to by lying. If they ask why there are missing spots in your resume, you simply mention that the resume shows off the appropriate skills for the position, and the unrelated items were left out.

      Work experience should be kept to a few sentences. If they wanted to know every last detail of your last job, they will ask in the interview, but generally, you have 30 seconds to make an impression, after that you have gone into the trashcan territory.

      If you are not experienced in the area of technology, show appropriate experience or whatever experience you have and not that you rebooted a cash register when it wigged out. You have to get really, really creative.

    • #3095399


      by mudgie ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      Employers are commonly looking to fill a particular role. On the other hand, my I.T. customers enjoy the fact that I do everything, or at least refer them to other acquaintences that can fill the role I cannot.

      Depending on your range of skills, working for yourself may be the way to go.

      BTW, don’t wait to hear back from people. Keep your name and face in the picture. Employers often hire the most agressive candidate, provided he/she is qualified. This kind of motivation usually translates into a motivated employee.

    • #3095379

      Try call centers in your area.

      by hermit47 ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      When I graduated my certification course I met the same road blocks. My first qualified job in the field was in a third party outsourced call center. They are springing up in some of the most unlikely places thee days. During my stint there I learned that there are some in India, all over Europe, and the British Isles. Most that service the electronics industry are secure sites and try to mask their local identity, but are not hard to find. Here in the US one of our largest financial institutions has an outsourcing division, but only people that have worked in the industry in this area even realize what they do. The one I worked for is a division of a much larger IT and business solutions corporation. I am almost certain that there are companies set up exactly the same in your country as well. While those companies are focused mostly on customer support type work, they also have large IT departments, and staff them from within by preference. Not that I suggest call center work for the long term, (It’s very stressful) but references from customer support experience are very respected by future employers.

    • #3095361


      by iainbuchanan ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      1. You need to get networking. It’s all very well pounding the streets and applying for jobs, but start doing some smart searching. You need to get names, go and see people, talk to them, ask for advice don’t ask for a job it just scares them. Get at least 2 other names from every person you speak to.

      2. Start updating your skills check with the BCS to find out what’s hot but don’t over do it.

      3. Also get out of Scotland if you can, it doesn’t have to be forever you can always come back once you have a few years blue chip experience.

      4. Think of taking any job that you can get. This is not the end of your career just a stop gap. It gets you money and refernces. I know for a fact that it would not be the first time that someone has got a good IT job through working in Tesco.

      Remember your selling youself not your degree.

    • #3095348

      Think More Like “Self Marketing”

      by dr. tarr ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      Having just read through the responses to date, I’ve noticed a couple of common threads, and I’ve also noticed that things are different depending on which side of the pond you reside. I am in Virginia, USA, so I may be a bit off on some details, but I have also spent time working in Bedfordshire, so perhaps I have a better view than the average US worker. I hire workers on a not to infrequent basis, so let me tell you what I do.

      I scan the resume. I am looking for the solutions to my problems. If they aren’t on the front page they get set aside and only get a second look if there aren’t any that do. In Europe the tendency is towards a CV, but they have points in common. Use proper grammar, spelling and punctuation. This is your first impression; by definition you don?t get a second chance. If you are shopping abroad this is even more important. Personalize the CV for the position. Put the qualifications the interviewer up front where they are easy to find. You might consider having your CV professionally done, but I suspect that straight from uni that isn’t needed. If you do have it done by a service, you can still edit the document to emphasize the areas the interviewer is looking for. Generic “Shotgunned” resumes tend to not get a second glance. It didn’t work twenty-five years ago when we used the postal service, and it doesn’t work today when the interviewer is inundated with e-mail.

      Given an option between a degree and a certification, I hire the cert almost every time. Why? Because that what my customers want. Your university degree proves that you have tenacity and the ability to learn, but most of the technology courses I took at school were at least three to five years behind the business world, and therefore not relevant. Uni is good, certifications are better, both is best.

      I don’t know the rules in the UK, but here on the left side of the Atlantic I would recommend that you hang out your own shingle. A business license isn’t that expensive, and then you can easily write education off as a business expense. (Note: If you go this route follow the Queen’s tax rules, and also buy insurance.) Perhaps one of our UK brethren could comment. In the states, it’s common for techies to have a side business, and it allows you to build your experience while generating some income. You might even discover a flair for it and be the next Bill Gates.

      Consider the military or civil service. HRM?s air force, navy, and army all have openings, I suspect, and in the US the starting salary is above that of an entry level worker in most fields. Your degree might qualify you for entry into an officer program, and that?s a good entry to have on the CV as well. Contact the office of your MP or (hmmm, now just how do you refer to a member of the house of Lords in the third person?), frequently they will have liaisons who are familiar with the needs of different businesses and agencies, and can often give you a point in the right direction, and perhaps an introduction. Public service does not pay as well on average as the private sector, but the benefits and job security tends to be better Find a cause you can believe in and volunteer some time to that cause. It doesn?t pay the bills, but it will gain you experience and help you to make contacts.

      Network. In person. Shake hands, kiss babies, open doors for strangers. Chat up the bloke in the lift; he might need a person to switch him from the old windows 98 computer that finally broke down to a new system with high speed access and a file server. If you talk with him, he might (probably will not) hire you. If you don’t, he certainly will not.

      Don’t turn away from contracting, but if you go that route remember that you are always looking for your next position. Many of us thrive in that environment.

      Register with temporary service agencies. I have a twenty something daughter who worked temp jobs for six years before she found that she wanted to be a banker.

      Possibly the most important but frequently overlooked aspect is communications skills. Many employers, particularly in the high end support arena, are more concerned with how well you can relate and communicate with the customer than they are about your technical knowledge. Technical skills are relatively easily taught, but command or the language is considerably more difficult to master.

      The most important bit is to remember that your CV gets you an interview, not a job. When you interview you have to appear confident and well spoken. I have typically decided within the firs few minutes whether I would hire a person, the rest of the interview is spent trying to figure out why to not hire them. Research the company so you can make intelligent responses slanted towards their business. If they have had a recent success, congratulations are in order. If they have recently had problems, be prepared to discuss solutions, but wait until the interviewer brings up the topic. Remember that frequently there are no absolute answers to interview questions. There are most likely several equally appropriate solutions, and the interviewer wants to see if you can think on your feet.

      Good luck with your search and keep us posted on your progress.

    • #3095331

      Look for smaller IT departments

      by itchem ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      As someone who manages the IT functions of a small, self-contained IT unit of two people,I am always having problems finding generalists. Even though we are small, we still have to cover a full range of computer needs such as database management, hardware support, networking, security, application design and help desk. Unlike a large IT departmetents I don’t have sufficient positions for much specialization. Therefore, the some of the skills I look for are. 1) Exposure and knowledge in a wide range of areas. 2) Willingness to work those areas and 3) Most importantly, willingness and ability to self learn about different IT areas and solve problems you have never encountered.

      While the pay may not be a good, the objective at this point in your career should be to get experience and possibly better define your interests.

    • #3094909

      Try a small to medium size non-tech company

      by robeal ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      They are the ones most interested in a “Jack of all trades,” these small companies are slowly adopting technology and they need someone who can give them tech support in a everything, but not to be specialized so they can’t afford his/her wages.

      • #3078472

        Non tech is the way

        by irceb ·

        In reply to Try a small to medium size non-tech company

        I would fully endorse Rob’s comment. Don’t worry about specialisms now – simply because what you may think you would enjoy will almost always be different in industry to what you know from Uni.
        Concentrate on taking IT to the non-tech area, you will find that the level of pay is lower, normally because non-tech do not realise the value. BUT if the company is reward based, promotion and the pay will come as you dazzle them with solutions to their problems.

    • #3094890

      Certifcations Help

      by amar_prus ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      Hi Aspirant,

      Get some IT Certifications like CCNA,MCSE,MCDBA,etc which shall increase the chances of getting a job.

      All the best

    • #3094884

      JOAT, go small

      by darksidegeek ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      What businesses are you targeting? Large companies tend to have IT so specialized that they have people dedicated to turning screws (one for clockwise, the other for counter-clockwise :). It is hard for generalists to get their foot in the door because these companies are looking for a specific fit.

      But a jack-of-all-trades person is exactly what a lean and mean mid-size company is looking for. They can’t afford to pay for a large IT staff, so they want all the skills bundled into one or two. Aim for these.

      And if you can’t get a foot in the door, pound the pavement as a consultant for the small business sector. Even Mom-and-Pop shops have computers, and technology is advancing so fast that Aunt Edna might not be able to keep up. Not full-time, but they will have the odd job if you can get into their Rolodex. With a few of these small shops as part-time work, you can build up a good base of experience.

      There is nothing wrong with being a generalist.

    • #3094873

      What I did …

      by ricm9 ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      I was a “returning student” from a completely unrelated field. When I saw students who graduated before me were getting low paying jobs because of a lack of experience, I decided to start my own company (fixing and programming computers). I begged anyone I could find to let me do some work for them. While that never brought in much money, what that did for me was showed me where I needed to concentrate on for extra study. So before I graduated, I got a job because I was very well prepared for interview questions like “How do you (accomplish this task)” After the interview, he said, “I have interviewed about 25 people for this job and nobody was able to answer these questions correctly.” Based on having a ‘company’ for experience, and demonstrating I was able to jump right in, I was offered more money than I was even asking.

      • #3094629

        I’d hire you

        by rod8 ·

        In reply to What I did …

        Hello Ricm,

        Well done!

        With that story I can tell that you are a driven individual who is committed to continuous learning and self-improvement. I’d hire you based on that. I can take someone with drive and excellent people skills and teach them all the technical knowledge they need. However, I cannot take someone technical and then teach them people skills.

        Therefore, I’d hire you over someone who was more technical. When I was the Divisional IT Manager for a media/publishing firm I hired a carpenter and a graphic artist to become part of my IT team. They are now both technical gurus that can fix anything…with a smile. That is, they always provide excellent customer service to the IT Dept’s ‘customers’. Happy ‘customers’ equates to a fun work environment.



    • #3094847

      How to get the job…

      by itstech ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      In the world of IT, businesses are not going to hire those without experience. I’m not saying you don’t have the potential to be a great worker, but businesses are not going to depend on the inexperience to make sure their technology works. I was in the same situation two years ago. Fresh out of college with a degree in Computer Engineering. I couldn’t even get an interview. So I volunteered to gain experience and now I am very marketable and get job offers left and right. You may have to sacrifice working for little to no pay now, but down the road it should pay off. You need to gain experience first…even if that means working for peanuts.

    • #3094663

      Try Temporary Work

      by pmorrow ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      Register with a number of temporary agencies (there are lots of technical temps, not just clerical temps). Temping gives multiple opportunities, 1) you make a bit of money which allows you to exist until you find a well-paid permanent position
      2) network will increase – you may hear about jobs from co-workers, or even be hired at the location you are temping at (although that is rare as there is usually a non-hire exclusion in the temp company contract)
      3) actual ‘work’ experience to put on your resume

    • #3094653

      Join the Club, we have t-shirts

      by ross.smith ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      In the world of IT this is a very common scenario and I have countless mates from uni in the same position.

      I graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of IT (appropriately BIT for short) and in the first six months out of uni I had one interview. At the time I was working for a bank so I wasn’t worried about money, but I wasn’t getting anywhere in my chosen field either.

      The solution? Get in at the ground level doing first line support and horror of horror’s Helldesk . It sucked and drained me for a full 6 months before I was noticed and moved into one of the operations centers. After that I was able to move to another company with excellent prospect here (Australia) and the world. I’m part of a team managing a small network but with really interesting systems from POS terminals to fuel pump interfaces.

      All this because I was willing to swallow my pride and start at the bottom even though I had my BIT (and by this time various other diploma style papers)

      These low end IT positions not only give good experience in customer service but also allow plenty of time for further study… Especially if your doing night shift etc…

      Anyway, good luck in the job market!


    • #3095911

      Work for free for a while..

      by michael.gorman ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      Yes, it sounds weird, but I was in a similar position to you 10 years ago. I was very keen to get into Tech support, it seemed tailor made for my disposition…what I did was make inquiries at State government department Help Desks-asked to talk with the IT manager and request a couple of weeks ‘work experience’. They have to arrange insurance cover and other red-tape issues, so you need to be really keen and offer yourself. After working at my first placement for 2 weeks, they offered me a six month contract as one of the help desk operators was leaving-Bingo! I had my start. I strongly advise you to seek work experience placements at companies/govt depts etc
      You will be surprised what this can lead to-if you can be prepared to live on noodles for a while-give it a try, it works.

    • #3095898

      You seem to be describing me!

      by komputec ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      You’ve almost described my situation, only I have many years of experience on top of my new degree, but that experience is in so many areas that I don’t think it will be considered for any one position I’ve applied for!

    • #3095875

      Know just how you feel

      by fuddleigh ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      Hi Steviejay

      I changed career at age 40; studied at Computer Power Training Institute and had to job search with very little experience (what experience I did have was virtually irrelevant!) and spent 3 months scouring the paper and net for jobs. I finally found my dream role, but didn’t know how to apply for it. I ended up writing my resume in poetic form and it won me the job!

      We were advised (at computer school) to cold sell ourselves to companies we would like to work for. I’ve started doing that again and have found everyone I spoke to was very friendly and quite encouraging even if they didn’t have anything available at the time.

      Agents are the bane of my life and I don’t like dealing with them. Most of them are either just plain rude or don’t give a damn, and unfortunately the bulk of IT jobs are through agencies.

      My advice is to make yourself stand out somehow, be it with poetry or some other method. Scream Yes! throughout your covering letter and stress that this role is made for you.

      Be prepared to wait however. And go for dream roles only, not just any old IT role. You’ll sell yourself much better if it’s clear that’s what you want.

      Good luck!

    • #3095823

      Welcome to the party :-)

      by ftl ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      I resemble your dilemma 🙂

      The major difference is that I have a lot of experience in IT/MIS infrastructure, systems and networking…but also in building the organizations and processes that facilitate the technical operations and support operations of a technically enabled company (either providing IT or infrastructure and systems/support services). I worked my way up through the companies I have been involved with, until I held senior management positions.My training roots are military, as well as in-line with employment, for specific vendor support (Cisco, Sun, Microsoft, etc). Initially I believed this broad range of experience to more that balance with my lack of traditional education (read: BS-EE or CS). I was grossly mistaken.

      After the Bubble, companies that were hiring dropped back and punted to traditional requirements in many aspects of their technical and technical management personnel needs. I would say that you are opposite of myself, but to the point where the result is the same…a nice Catch-22. I think that you should consider evaluating the market and where the tech trends are going (for your interested area) and then drill down into some specialty via some supplemental training and some contract grunt work. At least this way you can show your willingness and desired focus to a potential employer.

      Good Luck :oD

    • #3095744

      Scoping the IT landscape

      by brian.silvey ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      I sympathize with your position. Perhaps, you can begin by informally interviewing employed people you know, even if they do not work in IT, to determine two things:

      1) The current state of their IT maturity, stablility, and requirements.
      2) Identify issues of growth, vulnerabilities, and areas for improvement in their methodology. (efficiency, speed, etc)

      By scoping out the landscape, you can determine where your skills will be most valuable. Afterall, computers are ubiquitous in the workplace. You can leverage your skills and knowledge, fresh out of university, to find a niche for yourself. Then, offer your services as a solution to the problems you identify.

      Consider the industries in your area: Medical laboratories, hospitals, banks, telecom, retail, wholesale, warehousing, government and legal offices, etc.


      Good luck to you.

    • #3095657

      help desk

      by avid ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      with or without a degree, you may have to start at the bottom and work your way up. try local hospitals and local ISP’s. I know this is most likely not what you wanted to hear after spending your time and money on a degree, but if it is experience you want, that is how to get it.

      • #3096535

        Get your foot in the door

        by cazzo100 ·

        In reply to help desk

        That’s all you want right now. Other fields you may be able to come out of college and land the high salary but not in IT. Like Avid said, you may have to work for pennies in order to get the experience.
        You also won’t get much accomplished with a few resumes’ a day. Make sure you send out double digit resumes everyday, and keep track of them (spreadsheet helps). Don’t forget thank you letters.
        Finding employment (especially right out of college)is a full time job – 40+ hrs a week –

        ….take everyones advice and do what works for you.

    • #3094939

      Job hunting

      by cathyjohnston007 ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      Hi Steviejay:
      I’d like to help you but could you please tell me what was your major or what computer courses did you take at the university? In order to get a job in IT, one must have a specialized area i.e. network administration, programming, tech support, database specialiat, architect, OS specialist, project management, etc. etc.

      Ideally, one should find out exactly what their interest is then go and get a certificate in that area. For example, one can write an exam and certified as a Network Administrator or AS/400 Specialist, or DB Administrator, etc.

      There are ways for you to knock on doors to sell your skills and be hired. But please let me know of the courses that you took first.

      Cathy Johnston, M.Sc., PMP

      • #3078001


        by steviejay ·

        In reply to Job hunting

        Unfortunately the nature of my degree means that I didn’t major in anything. It’s only now that i’m trying to find a job do I fully see the problems with not majoring in anything. the degree I done subjected me to alot. I done Java, UML, SQL, XML to name a few and also done classes with the finer points of computing such as E-Commerce, Operating Systems, AI and Computer Systems.

        I’m at the point of applying for any and all jobs I see, keeping my ear to the ground and going for anything I think I could even remotely get. I tried going into big department stores and enquiring about their IT department but most if not all seem to just give me blank stares heh

    • #3094924

      Try Ireland

      by cefecoma ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      I don’t know if this has been suggested before, but maybe you should try Ireland (Dublin, to be more specific). I applied for a job in tech support for Xerox last year, and I found many familiar names apart from that one: Creative, Symantec… most of those have their European sites in Dublin, thus making it a little bit easier for you to relocate.

    • #3078202

      Two points

      by ericktreetops ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      Point 1
      I’m currently recruiting for the government here in Brisbane Australia. Most applicants did not read the instructions on how to apply for a government job. They must send in their replies to selection criteria. That is how we decide if we will bring them in for an interview. More than 1/3 of all applicants did not send in any selection criteria at all and the rest spent too little time addressing the criteria.

      Point 2
      Don’t use agencies. A number of employers have deels with recruitment agencies and will only give you a fair interview if you come from the agency they have a deal with. I know this from first hand experience. You are the best salesmen of your skils. Most Agencies are only interested in keeping people they have on their books employed as they get a fee. Most employees of agencies who try and fill jobs can’t tell an Analyst from a DBA if one bit them on the bum.

      Good luck

    • #3078115

      Try the Monster site

      by yaa ·

      In reply to Job Hunting
      It got me a job in the Czech Republic, but there are many UK jobs posted there.

      Good luck!

    • #3078312

      Lower Hanging Fruits (within your grasp)

      by ran4ceo ·

      In reply to Job Hunting


      I can recommend some possible solutions based on my own experience:

      Work as a Teachers Assistance (TA) at your school or any other local college in the computer lab.

      To work as a TA provides you with the opportunity to associate with a number of students; this will be the foundation of your people networking skills. Keep your ears open and listen carefully to people who talk about job/work environments because a number of students may be part-time students that have computer related careers. Your skill in assisting a part-time student is your key to landing your next job. Have the pt-student you helped recommend you to his company for a career opportunity.

      If no pt-students in your current school, then TA in a computer school that does have career working students.

      The career world is tough competition from beginning career to retirement. So, you have to be ?out-of-the-box? creative not just smart!


    • #3080294

      Take a Tech Sales or other sales position

      by rush2112 ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      Once they teach you to SELL.

      GO sell yourself. You are the PRODUCT.

      Then get the job you want. And you will get experience which will mean editing your resume again.

      If you are uncertain where you want to work, take
      several jobs and learn from each, that will help you decide.

      Try roofing for a day, if that won’t motivate you , nothing will.

    • #3080171

      Start small and smoke em’

      by jkappler2 ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      Start by looking at small companies, especially manufacturing firms. Most in this category can’t afford high paid experts, so they have a hard time keeping personnel – high turnover – opportunity for you. Make sure your PC repair skills are up-to-date, which you can easily do at home. You have a technical degree, so that part should be easy.
      Offer your services to these companies as a deskside support person. You want your hands on technology, not just answering the phone. If you are patient enough, you will get one of these jobs. That’s how I got in and now as an IT Manager, I know that is a great entry point.
      Once you are in the job, expect to do this level of job for a couple of years. You won’t get paid well in currency, but the experience will be invaluable and will lend itself to resume bullets for better jobs or opportunities with the current employer.
      Keep a great attitude and suck up knowledge. Start working with data as much as possible. Start with excel listings of hardware and software reports and work your way into helping employees analyze their data. If you get a chance to work with a database(DB), take it. The basis of all applications is the underlying database, the GUI is just a cover.
      Take some classes in DB management, start with MS SQL Server. You will learn a ton. Get to the point where you are helping managers analyze their data.
      Managing company data and being able to do simple to intermediate level SQL programming will get you places. From there the sky is the limit.
      Good Luck!

      • #3079766

        Starting small

        by steviejay ·

        In reply to Start small and smoke em’

        I’ve actually just heard word I have my first interview soon. Even the people who offered me an interview have told me it’s the very bottom of the ladder. It’s a IT assistant technician position which is a combination of help desk and “admin”. when I asked what that meant they told me that it was basically data input. The recruitment agency seemed quite sorry at the fact that the job seemed very low down the ladder but I don’t care. If I get this job it will be brilliant and give me the much valued experience.

        Just need to sell myself well 🙂

        • #3079674

          Sounds great!

          by jkappler2 ·

          In reply to Starting small

          The key is to get in the door. Then show them that you have the persistance to solve tough problems and can work effectively with peers to solve even bigger challenges.
          Be prepared to do some late hours. This is usually the time you learn the most anyway.
          Make sure you pay close attention to details. This is a rare skillset that can iften lead to network administrator jobs.
          You are on your way!

    • #3079912

      A Fellow “Generalist”

      by your mom 2.0 ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      I, too, am what you may refer to as a “generalist” with the biggest difference that I have no degrees or certifications whatsoever.

      I don’t believe there is any one way to get your foot in the door, but this is how it happened for me:

      While computers have been an interest of mine since I bought my first used Win95 box in 1997, I never planned on making a career out of IT. Up until early 2000, I was doing the fast-food manager thing & also worked at a call center doing end-user tech support for consumer electronics. When the call center relocated to another state, I declined to go with them, and as part of the severance package they paid for me to go to a technical school, where I majored in Quake 2. 🙂

      I ended up getting a job at a distribution center when unemployment ran out (first in receiving and later on in picking) because it paid better than fast food and after working there for about six months I happened to be in the right place at the right time. The current PC Support guy at that point left due to a personality conflict with his boss (my current supervisor), and a friend of mine just got hired as a programmer at the company. He put in a good word for me and got me an interview with the supervisor.

      The interview consisted of Q & A over lunch, though I think the real purpose of the interview was to check out how I carried myself and what kind of work ethic I had. While he considered me to be rather “green”, he appreciated the logic and methodology I used to answer his questions when asked how to troubleshoot various device failures or program errors. He needed an end-user Windows support guy and agreed to give me a chance based on performance in the previous jobs I did at the company and what I did in the call center position.

      For the first couple of months my buddy the programmer showed me around and let me shadow him as he was the one filling in the void that was left when the Support guy quit. In the meantime I was given about ten or so obseleted 486’s in various stages of disrepair and asked to fix them up for various employees to use for working from home. Between handling the end-user support duties and repairing all of those old PCs I started learning much more, and soon I stopped relying on my programmer buddy altogether.

      I’ve learned quite a bit since those days and have made quite a bit of improvements. The company network used to be separate peer-to-peer 9x workgroups and now it consists of a 100+ node AD domain. I can handle any Windows issue that comes up and also do quite a bit of Unix / AIX troubleshooting and repairs. We run a enterprise antivirus, and all users are locked down through Group Policy. We’ve not had any virus outbreaks and the router logs show no breaches. End-user helpdesk issues rarely occur now, so I can use most of my time performing PM and updating documentation when I’m not involved in new projects. I’ve been involved in setting up the company intranet, handled two payroll support transitions, email administration, and helped design and install a nearly fault-tolerant 100MB ethernet network. In the past five yars we’ve gone from using one RS6000 for everything to adding 14 Windows servers and a WMS system in the warehouse. Soon, we’re setting up an enterprise-wide D2D2T backuip solution which will backup all data from user PCs and servers. I also provide pc / network support for a hotel and two retail stores owned by the same family who owns the company I work at.

      My advice: Do what you have to do to pay the bills & build relationships with the people who can help you out in the meantime. Show that you’re reliable and thorough in whatever position you fill and keep your eyes and ears open for better opportunities. Also, be willing to accept the advice of those who know more than you and learn from it. Respect the needs of your end-users and leave your ego at home. Find a company with a reputation for taking care of their employees and work your way up and into IT positions as they open.

      I realize that luck had lots to do with my situation, but it never would’ve happened if I hadn’t seen the opportunity and built a reputation as reliable, thorough, and a quick-learner. Often, an employer would rather hire from within than hire someone they know little about.

    • #3097618

      Mining sector

      by wendy ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      When hunting for IT positions don’t forget the mining sectors.
      There are a great many contacts in the industry with a great variety of suppliers who all require IT help of some sort – not just help desks.
      If not the mining industry itself, maybe one of the suppliers.
      For example, a backing quieter alarm system, a simulator and an instructor for the simulator’s usage. There are many programs that people use and the employees require training or help troubleshooting back to the servers.
      We have HP helpdesk for servers. We have Compaq for other troubleshooting.
      We purchase many updated technologies for our equipment. We have a computerised fueling system on sites.
      Please don’t sit and do nothing the world is your oyster for you to enjoy.
      Too many people do not use the internet properly or know how to use MS Office simply.
      There are many that obtain qualifications in one area and are useless to positions as they know nothing else. As you know many tasks you are employable. Start somewhere, look through mining jobs and suppliers lists and surely you will receive the position you dream of.
      The longer you wait and the information dribbles steadily away with no real valuable use to you, we will all suffer for your knowledge loss to technology.
      Make your mark. Look today and best of luck to you.
      I started only repairing and upgrading the old 386’s to now. So much has changed in such a short time and I have trouble keeping up with everything. Not a day goes past when I am not asked for help in some program, virus, server issues etc.
      By the way I am a site administrator and also have the portfolio of QA and data entry for payroll, budget reports etc etc… there is so much that fills my day I hardly have any time to do what I really love – graphics. But there I am used as well for toolbox talks and even just having the know how of setting up a simple projector to a laptop for the meetings.
      Try your luck and don’t end up on the useless robot pile.
      I hope to see your change happen soon and techrepublic post a story on the great position you have achieved.
      You have to thank techrepublic for allowing you to be posted for others to give you ideas.
      Keep up the good work TechRepublic. I know I don’t appear to read all your emails as most of them I horde in another folder for information and details to help for future use.
      I’m glad your site is on the networld!

    • #3257722

      Small Time Employers

      by neildsouza ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      A ‘jack of all trades’ isn’t quite bad as you think. Many small
      employers prefer a ‘jack’ considering the cost of employing
      multiple people for overlapping jobs.

      What I’d suggest is that you focus your CV on computer/network
      administration. But also mention hardware specifics and what
      other things you can do. That way, the boss can place you in a
      section of the company. How you grow from there is your bit…

      I was one with programmer skills, network knowledge, some
      training/presentation skills and even knew how to assemble a
      computer from scratch. That considering I am graduate of
      management. How I ended up with web design and finally as IT
      manager, I just don’t know. But trust me when I say that the
      more varied the knowledge the more you can tacke at a later

      Don’t hesitate to take up part time jobs as these will keep you
      occupied, as ou learn some of the skills that a Uni cannot
      impart, and may even get you some dosh to buy your girlfriend a
      valentine’s dinner 😉

      Keep you head up buddy. Everything is solved in due time.

      • #3094270

        small employers frugal about hiring too!

        by bg6638 ·

        In reply to Small Time Employers

        I have 30 years in IT, mostly working for small firms as a one person IT dept. At least in the Michigan/Ohio area, I have found that small firms are outsourcing their IT functions just as readily, if not more so than their larger counterparts. I am so tired of hearing “we have a hiring freeze, call back in 6 months to a year”!

    • #3132677

      Things that make you go..Ruuuhhhhnnnnn!

      by armandocanales ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      Reality Check Dude….

      The only thing these days U git to put your foot in is your mouth…& Tech Support?

      Unless you have learned to convey the smell of “Curry” in a resume’ & you are willing to work for close to minimum wage you ain’t getting no response cuz you never had a shot to begin with….

      Decision was already made before you ever sat down & shook hands w/”Haji”…

      It doesn’t matter what you have done in the past…Think of your last girlfriend…
      “What have you for me lately?” kinda has a familiar “ring” don’t it!…

      If you do get hired it will be accidental…
      “Yehhhsss my friend, we must Pheel a certain percentage of our cube farm w/….How do you poot it in America? Oh Yes…Americans!…..

      You want experience? Start your own firm…Go ahead, hang out your shingle….& make sure your landlord along w/local law enforcement knows you might be a little “late” on the rent….It’s the American dream!!!…

      Dr. Phil channeling coming though….eyes flickering…mouth open….head Tiltoned in an awkward position….
      How’s that workin’ for yah?….

      Otherwise…take the gifts the God of our Fathers gave you & walk away & never look back….They don’t deserve U….just a thought….& finally…ruhhhnnn Stevie….ruhhhhnn!


    • #2925917

      So how did it go?

      by itgirl.2010 ·

      In reply to Job Hunting

      So how was the job hunt. I noticed from the posts that this string is a few years old but I had an interest to see what happened with you gaining the experience you were looking for. As I’m sure you agree being in the IT field for the past couple of years still makes you somewhat of a newbie. However as as suggestion, I think gearing your specialty towards security within networks would be worth your while. Hope this helps as there is a big demand for security as the threats increase daily.

Viewing 46 reply threads