DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,980 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,,

Just wondering...I still have a while left in school for all my training and certs. I was curious how everyone made out getting their first Networking Job...(ie: before they had experience)

I'm sure alot of you started out on Help Desk..which I'm sure I'll start out as myself. The only thing I'm worried about is finding my first job fresh out of school with not any on the job experience. I'm very knowledgable with it, but I'm sure companies like to see past employment within the field. I pretty much live and breathe computers, but my past employment is in the financial field as management.

I'd like to get into at least a Help Desk job even before I finish school if possible. I'm have the A+ cert and should be Novell certified by the end of this month. I know alot of you think certs don't mean a thing...I somewhat agree, but I'm just letting you know where I am. I begin my 2K classes next month. Once school is over, I don't mind relocating either.

So, care to share some stories? I'd like to hear some "First Networking Job" tales and advice on how to jump into the market.

Thanks guys.....
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,574 Posts
This isn't about me, but my brother. He landed a job about 6 months before he technically graduated from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. He started off as pretty much a "Joe Do All" for the company he works for, but within 6 months he became the sys admin and second in command of the IT department for the entire region his company does business with.

He had no on the job experience. It all came from school and personal life. He kept plugging away until he landed a job, and he is now pretty happy. Its long long long hours (80 a week isn't unusual) but the pay makes up for it.

My advice would be not to expect something to land in your lap. Apply for what you want to end up doing. Sometimes you get lucky and they'll hire you even if you have no experience.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,676 Posts
Nothing but bad news here :(

I have 1 year experience at helpdesk as well as having my A+ and MCP (working on the MCSE).

I, too, know what I am doing, and did not just study to pass the tests, I learned hands on to know what I was doing!!! I have many computers at home and maintain a network there as well.

I am currently taking a Cisco class and teaching myself Linux.

I try to show them that computers are my life (which they are, if you couldn't tell by this website dedicated to the Intrepid)

However, I have sent many resumes out lately and have had no luck at all :(

Any suggestions for me, as well!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,676 Posts
Also, I'm not aiming too high. I know I'm not gonna start making a huge salary.

Just want an opportunity to gain experience and knowlege :)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,574 Posts
You just got to keep plugging away guys. My brother sent 2 maybe 3 dozen resume's out all across Canada (where I am originally from) before he got anything.

Two interviews and job offers in the same week. Just keep diligent and it'll come. He accepted the better of the two and has now been there almost a year.

[ July 19, 2001: Message edited by: LHSer ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
I've gotta agree with sending out as many resumes as you can. It's my fifth and last year here at Purdue for CPT/TNT. At job fairs, which there are like four a year, I usually give out about 20 resumes per fair. If you get your name in there enough you'll start to get recognized. As for experience, I just so happened to land a job here in town for part time during the year and and internship this summer. Luckily I started out building their servers and entirely redoing their R&D software lab network almost single handedly.. good experience. I know I'll get an offer here when I graduate, now the question is will I get a better one somewhere else. I just have to say keep as many contacts out there as you can and continue to make more. I know that friends of mine that have already graduated might be of a big help here soon. Ok thats enough typing for me, now its back to work. :p

[ July 19, 2001: Message edited by: 98PurdueIntrepid ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
I gotta say something that noone seemed to have mentioned. It's also about who you know. But you have to show the people that you know what you can do.
Before I graduated, I was working for my school, not so much helpdesk, but techsupport. I was also one of the computer consultants on campus, you know, the ones that play all the time, and sometimes tell you not to be so loud in the lab.
Basically gaining some knowledge while playing at the lab (UNIX, Sys Admin, OSs, programming, perl, etc...) My friends knew I was on the right path, and they got me a job where they work, and once they moved to another job, in less than a month, they wanted me to follow them there. So you're doing the right thing by letting people know you're looking, but you also gotta make sure you have a kickass resume... embellish it until you can no more. But be sure not to lie on there, because you will get caught!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,574 Posts
I have to agree to the "not what you know.." theory to a point. Its nice that you have friends that brought you along from one job to another, but most people don't have that option.

A better way to show off your merits and who you know would be to get references from school instructors, and better yet, network and market yourself. Go to computer conferences and shake hands. Hand out resumes, cover letters, disks with samples of your work. If you do this enough, you will get noticed, possibly by some very important and influential people too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,980 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I'm lucky enough to have some great teachers where I go to school. I received alot of compliments from them, and have even been asked if I was interested in teaching (I would have to go through a student teaching course review first) I was actually thinking of doing that...but I wanted to get some on the job experience before I tried teaching people how to do a job I'd never had yet. :) Thankyou for all the great ideas...and anyone hiring ? :) :)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,574 Posts
I think a student teaching position would look great and be a tremendous asset to your resume. Not only would you gain experience by putting your skills to the test, but employers would possibly think "Hey, he must know his stuff if he teaches it." Also there is the peer learning factor. You would learn as much from your students as they learn from you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,739 Posts
The candidates i like to hire the most... are the ones that *bleed* computers. I don't care if you hand me 10 letters of recomendations from teachers, parents, clergymen, blah f that. :O)

Show me that you can rip a computer apart, and put it back together, and show you can work the long hours... and not be demanding comp or overtime.

Also... presenting yourself in the interview i think is most important. I like to think im personally very good at this. I tend to come in with a real cocky attitude. Yeah it may rub some people the wrong way, but I believe it will impress others. Go to interview shops... be prepared to answer the tough questions with some well thought out responses. Ive been known to ask some tough questions during interviews.... to weed out the weak i guess. :)

Someone mentioned student teaching. The last guy i hired... i took him from New Horizions teaching school. I really liked the fact that he taught. Not mainly cause "if you teach you must really know it". Thats only true to a point... and that saying can easily go with "well he teaches probably cause he can't make it in the real world." Someone that teaches to me, has to have the patience required to deal with people calling a help desk that are already stressed out and be able to handle that situation appropriately.

Think about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,980 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Well, that settles it...I'm going to see if can get the student teaching job. ;)

Speaking of niterview techniques...my school offers so many workshops for interviews/resume/etc...Some of my friends who also go to this school think it's a waste of time....I couldn't agree less. I've been around the block and done interviews and resumes. I didn't make it as far as I have in the financial world by sitting on my butt and not knowing when to take advice when it was given to me.

Basically....you can always learn more. If you think you know something, you've only hit the tip of the iceberg. So, if you are still in school, take advantage of the workshops for interviewing as well as the workshops for the technical aspects of the job...a different perspective from your teacher or even yourself tends to enlighten almost anyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,739 Posts
Its not that i look for anything *good*. See this is where people get screwed. The way i see it, everything on the resume... i consider "fair game".

If you put on there PC hardware knowledge... i will ask you a question about installing a hard drive.

If you put something big like "installed NT DHCP and DNS servers"... i may ask what different node types you can configure in DHCP or what a forwarder is in DNS.....

If i find that a candidate puts something on there and he cant tell me about it in detail... its a big turnoff.

Morale of the story... don't put anything on the resume u cant go into DETAIL about... especially if your work history is light and you put down **** in a Knowledge section like "Cisco, Switches, DNS, Exchange, etc."

There is not a thing on my resume i can't go into detail about. In fact, there are things that I do have light knowledge about... like Routing and DNS and advanced TCP/IP **** like subnetting.... but I do not mention it on the resume at ALL. Why? Because I don't want to be asked about it. Yeah i can give them some answers but having it on there and giving half ass answers will just bring me down. Comare this to an interviewer asking me about Routing since its not on there... and i can go into light detail... they may consider it a plus... a bonus... im being honest.

[ July 25, 2001: Message edited by: DjPiLL ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
It's funny that if you graduate College with a degree and no real world experience you land a job fairly easily, and if you have 5-10 years experience in a field you get a job easy. But I have found that the middle ground folks with certs out the ass and 1-3 years experience have a tough time getting jobs. You are not experienced enough for non entry level positions and too experienced for entry level. nooo fun

When I started out for a little computer shop I just plugged away, worked hard and learned as much as I could. The first thing that I learned was that there a lot of "know it alls" in this business. And that's what it is all about with the employer, dazzle em with terminalogy but keep your daytimer filled with (800) numbers hehe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,676 Posts
You can say that again. That's exactly where I'm stuck now :(

This economy isn't helping much either :(

If I had only done this sooner (like I had planned) I wouldn't be stuck in this position :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
What I've found the best course of action to be for those that do have some limited experience is to apply for positions that have "Junior" in the title. By no means should anyone with 1-2 years of experience be applying for a "Senior" position. A good resource for finding these positions are IT-only placement agencies.

Most of the time with a junior position you will be doing some of the more mundane tasks that no one else wants to do such as tape backups, OS installs, cabling, etc. While this can be trying at times, you will be exposed to the other aspects of the IT department and how it interfaces with other business units. The thing you must do once you're in is to converse with members of the IT Department as well as the other departments. I've seen too many people go through the turnstiles with excellent technical skills but no business sense. They did not take the time to learn the business side of the technology ("I don't need to know any of that. I'm an IT guy.").

You see, once you have the skillset necessary to perform the implementation of the technology you are in essence "stuck" at that level in your career. Anyone with a year or two of hands-on experience can usually implement any technology as they (should) have a solid understanding of the fundamentals. What will help you in furthering your career is understanding how the technology not only interfaces with the rest of the business, but how it can be used to improve other business processes. Afterall, that's why companies use computers...to improve efficencies and assist in developing new ways of doing business.

There are very few areas of the IT industry that one can simply stick to learning and applying technical information and even fewer people who don't get bored or burned-out once they've chosen that path. It may take a year or two to aquire the skills necessary to truly see how technology can be applied to a given business but it will open up many doors for you in the future.

CIO's, CTO's, CEO's, and the like do not simply move up in rank because they know how to flip a few switches, type a few lines, or click a few mice. I encourage all of the "techies" that work for me to make business acumen a part of their never-ending technical learning process.

My two cents.
 

·
That rhythm is INFECTIOUS.
Joined
·
18,595 Posts
I'll echo Metalroar's comments from further up this list... For non-entry-level jobs you will have better luck finding them though a good network of contacts rather than just sending a resume somewhere cold. Especially in the current market.

Job fairs are a decent place to start - if there are any IT "events" soon go to those. Plenty of companies sponsor 'tech briefings' during the day, and several training places around here often have "tech nights" where you can come and have some free munchies and listen to a speaker from MS or Novell talk about what's on the horizon or whatever. Check the local paper too - there are many professional groups you can join to meet folks.

I found my last 3 gigs via pure networking. There was no listed 'vacancy' but after talking to them they suddenly 'found' something they have me do for them. :) Referrals from friends in-place at a good company always help.

Never burn bridges - you might have to walk across one someday!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
471 Posts
I wanted to talk about computer consulting. I've done in the in home /in business computer work for several years & have always heard people never last doing this.
Why? The pay, no matter what hourly rate you charge you won't make enough money to match even a low paying job & that's not including medicore benefits. The more you charge the few number or hours your going to be working. Just my experience, everyone wants something for nothing these day & I decided to giving.

My current situation, over almost 3 months now I have to say i've sent out 70 resumes so far. That ended up in me getting one interview, a couple of BS recruiters. Ok OK I don't have any certs, go ahead point a finger & laugh away. I did have a IT job 4 years ago which lasted 3 years & back then certs were non-existant. I'll continue searching, I do have to say while I was searching at first I wasn't check the County job boards & the School District, be sure to check those pages also in your area.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top