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Trying to start a new career

By Elliot Baird ·
I left the Army 3 months ago and retrained in IT. I passed my A+, Net+, MCSE W2K and my CCNA all in 8 weeks. It was hard work but I thought it would be worth it. The only thing is I dont have much real experience. I have applied for over 100 jobs across the UK but haven't even had an interview as yet. How do I get experience? How can I get an interview? How can I show an employer that I can do the job?

Any advice for someone trying to start a new career?

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Try temp or contract work

by James R Linn In reply to Trying to start a new car ...

To build up experience and contacts.

It will be hard to get a permanent position with only certifications. But someone might take you on for a short term, and you can then prove yourself.

You could also look for non-profits who could use some "free" help - it could help boost your resume. Most charities can't afford enough IT help and have some projects waiting. You give them some labour and they will give you a reference.

Good luck.

James

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Questions

by LordInfidel In reply to Trying to start a new car ...

How did you get all of those certs in 8 weeks?

(don't take this the wrong way)
Either your a flippin genius or you went to boot camps.

If I was an employer, and I saw all of those certs but no experience, I would seriously doubt your abilities.

What I would do, is remove all of the certs except for the A+ from your resume and apply for the entry level job.

Giving you the benefit of the doubt and Assuming that you are a flippin genius, when you get to the interview or land a job they will be able to tell that you are knoweldgeable and will give you a chance.

I'm more apt to hire someone with no experience who has their A+ then one who has their MCSE/CCNA. After all, I did not pursue my MCSE until a year after I was in IT, and then it took me 4 months to pass my exams. My CCNA and RHCE was after my MCSE and each of those took almost 6 months each of studying.

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by Elliot Baird In reply to Questions

I went on a training course which was not a boot camp, it used the official teaching guides from Microsoft and Cisco. I also read every book a could get. I put a lot of hard work into getting through my exams.

If you are wondering if I used braindumps, I looked at one for AD Design, wish I hadn't I almost failed that exam.

Do you think it would work removing most of the certs from my CV?

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If it was me doing the hiring

by LordInfidel In reply to

I would'nt look at you. I'm just being honest.

In my mind, I can not see someone with no experience getting all of those certs within an 8 week period without some sort of coaching.

I don't doubt that you put hard work into it. But would I hire you as a network engineer responsibible for the security and routing for my network. **** no.

So yes, remove the certs except the A+. I can gurantee that the IT director is very leery when he sees all of those certs and no experience.

(this is just my opinion) I'm personally leery of all(most) schools. There are few I would actually attend. The ones I would consider/plan on going to is vendor specific schools where you need to go to it in order to learn the info (ie. Checkpoint's certs and the CCIE which I would be going to just to be around my peers so that we can help each other pass the exam. The CCIE is an intensive hands on exam that is extremely difficult to pass without attending some sort of "camp".

But I would never go to a school to let's say get my MCSE or CCNA. Those should be certs that you go for when you have already been in the field and know the principles behind each one.

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by Elliot Baird In reply to If it was me doing the hi ...

Thanks for being honest. I know that I don't have the same knowledge that a lot of people taking the exams have. I did feel that the exams were too easy to pass without having any real hands on experience. I found most of the information was in thebooks then I used the time on the course to put it all into practice.

I will take your advice and see if it makes any difference. Thanks.

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But I have my A+ and still.....

by apache5056 In reply to If it was me doing the hi ...

Yes, I have my A+ and some history in the IT field at a local bank (took a part-time summer job to fill in for those on vacation) and still don't have anything coming in except the 'Postion has be filled by a more qualified person' letters. It has been a little over a year and no job on the horizon so I have gone back to school to make myself a more valued qualified person. I understand the enconmy is bad but is it really?

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Positions Applying for?

by LordInfidel In reply to But I have my A+ and stil ...

What positions were you applying for?

Obviosly Server Operator, netwk eng and admin positions would not be viable.

Were you applying for entry level positions?

Most Mid level positions will take more then just the A+. The cert will/should just get you in the front door for tech support/help desk.

I'm only speculating to the positions you were applying for.

With his scenario, he has too many certs with no experience. When people like me see that we get turned off and don't bother looking further.

Experience goes a long way. I don't want to mislead anyone when I say that by just putting the A+ on there that you will get a job at 50k yr. But you should be able to land the 20-25k yr entry level tech support job.

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Entry level and then some

by apache5056 In reply to Positions Applying for?

Yes, I have applied for entry level, help desk, IT grunt, and a few others that I don't qualify for (hoping they might have something else open or opening in the near future). I seem to get more calls for interviews for the 'Others' than anything else. I just don't see to many entry level positions open up in my area.

I have gone back to a local university for a MCSA cert. I will add the MCSE at a later date. I will be looking at a CCNA cert from the recommendation of a good friend that is an admin for a large web company based in Canada.

I have been around for some time and understand money or the lack of.. :-) I know I would not qualify for a 50K a year postion and would be perfectly content with 30-35k a year. If I wanted to get rich, I'd buy lottery tickets but there again... it takes luck...haha!

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Do the 20-25k thing for a little while..

by ghstinshll In reply to Entry level and then some

.....Unless you live in Boston or somewhere expensive.

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I got that feeling too...

by ghstinshll In reply to Positions Applying for?

You have to start out at the low end, regardless of your experience, pay your dues, use benefits to further your career (tuition reimbursement or training) and then push on and up.

You need to be methodical and plan this out with small steps slowly taking you in the right direction. When you're in that position, you can't wait for it to happen like some of us have seen others do in their careers.

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