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Current Job market for those with experience

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by UKDarkstar, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    I thought this may be useful to those who have been in the industry and are currently job-hunting.

    My background is that I set up my own business some 10 yrs ago as an IT engineer / consultant. Unfortunately, due to lack of business my company went into liquidation towards the end of last year and although I started again it hasn't worked out financially. So, I'm back in the job market.

    I've been looking for 2 months now without success (3 interviews) and am mainly going via agencies. I'm not in a position to relocate and am surviving on scraps from odd jobs as they crop up plus the woefully inadequate Jobseekers Allowance of £60 quid a week.

    Having run my own business and employed engineers I have a good all-round technical knowledge but nothing specific for a niche area. I did start an MCSE back in 2000 but the training company went bust just after we had finished the A+ and N+ course (wasn't sitting the exams anyway, these were just for background knowledge). I have been a MS Registered Partner and attended tons of seminars and courses via that but, of course, you don't get certificates and it's a slightly unusual way of getting knowledge. My CV is attached just showing the relevant bits of my work and experience.

    OK, state of the market :

    Yes, there are plenty of IT jobs out there. Most jobs are coming via agencies and having had long discussions with people at Hays and Reed the word is that the market is going for very specialist niche positions at the moment and that employers are taking a long time to make their minds up about candidates.

    CV's :

    Most agencies will strip your CV out and put it on their own database so they can search for keywords. This is vastly different to when I left Uni in 1990 as a (slightly) mature student ( at twenty-eight) when you were advised to keep your CV to two pages and print it on quality paper etc.

    No more, these days it seems. Recruiters rarely see a printed CV and agencies will remove contact info etc and generally ruin your layout. Concentrate on a key profile paragraph at the start and when listing experience. Do it as bullet points and get those keywords in e.g. don't say "server" say "2003 server". Say SQL, Exchange etc and don't assume that the reader will know you have that experience just because you say you have worked on servers and networks.

    The other CV problem is that you may need to tailor it for each specific job. Mine is general at the moment as I'm looking at IT Manager type roles. I'm also looking at Service Manager stuff and would change what's listed to bring out those qualities that are required for the role.

    Specific Job Market :

    As above, Hays told me that last year they would have had around 6 jobs a month for a general jack-of-all trades type like myself but currently these are few and far between. So, know what role you want and get that CV geared to that role.

    CV Writing :

    After a couple of what I thought were good drafts I enlisted the service of a CV writing firm who also allow revisions for specific jobs and will submit your CV to agencies. This costs but I have already had more feedback and a couple of interviews since they changed it.

    The "Hidden" Job Market

    I have been told that many agencies will be a "preferred" agency for a particular employer. In thse instances very often a job doesn't even get advertised. They contact the agency and ask for CV's that may be suitable for a role, interview and appoint so you need to be on good terms with the recruiters. I usually ring round every couple of weeks or so for a chat with them.


    So, to sum up, I'm still optimistic that something will turn up. I'm plugging away for some certs to beef up the CV, regularly talking to agencies, tweaking the CV if I remember anything else (especially for niche roles) and generally trying to keep busy and focused on the job hunt.

    If anyone else is in the same (or similar) boat then feel free to contact me for any more info or to share your experiences !


    View attachment IT work summary.doc
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  2. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Hi UKDarkStar, for starters your CV looks too cluttered and this would not attract a lot of attention job wise. I do understand you've ran your own IT support business for over ten years and do not underestimate that.

    However, you need to re-adjust your CV by taking of the profile and adding your working project and experiences on the first page immediately after your name and address.

    Please, see this section under forum column "Employment & Jobs" as there is a thread entitled CV and Job Search for New Starters in IT.

    Although, you are not a new starter in IT the principles stated there would help you. Best wishes and keep on plugging away, as something would come sooner that you'd thought:)
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  3. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Thanks

    I hear what you say but that is contrary to all the advice/comments from agencies and the pro CV service. :blink
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  4. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    It is what would get you noticed more, having your experience displayed second immediately after your name and address. The agencies can not be trusted they're just sales personnel interested in whom they can place to start earning a bulk.

    I cannot comment on the CV pro's as I have never used them, however I'd advice you also looking on www.computing.co.uk/jobs and get yourself a good book on interviews. Best wishes:)
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  5. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Thanks for the link.

    The CV as shown has already been prepared by these people :

    http://www.ukcareerservices.com/

    using one of their specialists in IT :dry
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  6. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I'd say its still needs a fair bit of work, it looks a bit busy, its very hard to see your main skillset in a ten second scan, which is all most people will give you. The general layout and presentation is not good, everything is too bunched up and its hard to pick out the important stuff. Running your own business is very commendable but your CV effectively leaves no track record or reference information. If you sell yourself on financial planning and your business was unprofitable you put yourself on a bit of a sticky wicket.

    You need to really emphasize your strengths more, maybe try networking with business partners, arrange references from previous employers and business partners, add any other relevant previous employment, maybe mention what the turnover was for the business. What are your core skills ? How many people did you employ and manage ? If you have technical skills what are they ?

    Hope this helps, in todays climate you really need to be at the top of your game, best of luck !

    dave
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  7. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    I personally would not use a specialist CV company considering we're talking about a career in IT.

    It is the experience that counts time and time again as I had a CV similar to yours in the past and was not getting any where till someone from a recruitment agency sat me down and gave me the low down.

    It was not too long after that I gained role in the IT career field and this is over four years again. I would also recommend you invest this book as well as read the feedback on it. See link below:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Perfect-Int...40/ref=pd_sbs_b?ie=UTF8&qid=1214051250&sr=1-1
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  8. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Got that (and the CV one too) :)
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  9. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Interesting !

    This is the first draft from the "pro" CV writer and I've submitted it a few times and had more success and positive feedback from that than my own previous effort using the "Perfect CV" book. Had a lot of experience writing CV when I left uni as a mature student and figured that if the "pro" could get the CV in better shape then it was money well spent.

    I would make it clear that the business did not fail due to poor financial management. The financial model was sound and there were contributing factors (both on a personal health front and a business front) to it's failure. It was not a one-man outfit but there is inherently a difficulty in picking out key features to present on a CV.

    As I haven't followed a traditional IT route the CV pro suggested listing from MS Partner courses to back up the skills which are listed. I have a MS Gold partner as my main IT referee and you are just viewing the IT extract from the CV. Prior to that I was in Financial Services and am told that there is no point in listing that as anything from over 10 years ago is irrelevant.

    The CV pro has removed the turnover and staffing bits which were there previously so, thanks to your comments, I will raise this with him again.

    In terms of making points, if I said "MCSE 2003 passed" then recruiters/employers would know what that it. As I have not done that but have "equivalent" via MS Partner Courses and experience it is difficult to find a way of highlighting this. Also, I am not after a support engineer position.

    If you have any other suggestions then please chip in
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  10. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Well bear in mind this is just my opinion, and I'd get multiple opinions.

    I'd maybe try a different fonts/sizes, add in some line breaks, lose a few bullet points and add a Curriculum Vitae title.

    Mention what level of Microsoft partner you made, as the lower levels are fairly easy to achieve.

    If you are uncomfortable mentioning turnover or staffing levels maybe just mention 'medium' sized company or something, ensure they know that you are not a sole trader and man management was involved. Mention the companies successes where possible.

    Maybe target Project Manager roles if thats your strength and change the summary section to emphasize this.

    The training you have undertaken is good but it is not the same as an MCSE in most peoples eyes, maybe consider getting your MCSA as soon as possible if you want to sell yourself on a technical basis.

    Knowledge of finance is a key asset to some companies so should make the most of it but in measureable verifiable ways where possible.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  11. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    There is a lot in there, but its to 2 pages, so thats a good length usually.

    I think the initial section (Which is untitled) is in large saying what you want, what I was taught re sales was that you need to say what you are offering to the companies and how you can improve and help them.

    I think a few short statements such as "Offers a wealth of experience in IT management, both systems (if true) and the business processes, expertese in systems such as (fill in which is appropriate to the role) and is currently certifying this experience with ITIL and MCSE qualifications.

    Im not a fan of using OTT sales jargon, so seeing something such as "Exceptional communication skills", im sure this is CV "guru" speak, but something like "Able to converse on both technical and a non technical level" sounds less salesy and more in line with humanity.

    Professional expertese, that really is just a list of buzz words (sorry that sounds harsh, it isnt meant to be), if i were reading that I would be instantly turned off, that is definitely for the benefit on the recruitment search engines, not for human eyes.
    I think you should move some of these to achievements (such as motivation) with examples of how you achieved these.

    I think the achievements is a good idea, but you probably need more, and they would need to be more specific, with additional information re how you achieved these results.

    Remember you will be working for someone else, so the part about developing business, im wondering whether thats really what someone would want, most businesses want a staff member, not an entrepeneur who may leave to start his own venture.

    Otherwise it looks like you have all the traits needed for managing, push the organisational side, such as the dealing with tendors, managing staff and SLA's but i would focus your wording really depending on the role you are applying for.

    Good luck
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  12. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Lets rid ourselves of a few fallacies here
    this is a CV, not a resume
    ALL experience is relevant, however old it is
    more than two pages is PERFECTLY acceptable!

    Both very COMMON mistakes to make, please don't

    a CV is an entire history of your skills and employment, your university skills, it is NOT A RESUME!!
    Anything learned in financial services, and your IT experience are ALL relevant ESPECIALLY if you are going for management roles, your technical skills are not the leaders in a management role, your MANAGEMENT skills are, for 10 years running your own business I expect to see A LOT more detail, big projects, client names, client references (although perhaps located somewhere else), technologies used, roles and responsibilities in each major project and then some!

    Forget worrying about certs, forget worrying about MS partner courses that mean nothing outside the partner community, highlight your experience! show you you did at the company for 10 years, if you managed a service desk, list it, align what you did to current ITIL stuff and show where those intersected, you don't need to be ITIL qualified or audited to of actually done service management right!
    you managed staff, elaborate, enhance,
    I would expect a least an A4 page for a role of that length, with plenty of detail in bullet points!

    get core skills and years listed in an easily readable section (mines an entire A4 page on its own!)
    Windows - xY - Expert
    Exchange - xY - Advanced
    Linux - xY - Moderate
    etc etc

    One thing I will aggree on is if you paid for that then something went wrong, the guy may well know what info to put on a CV but the formatting is crap, and yes for most agencie jobs that doesnt matter because they butcher it to no end, not every job will be an agency job, let them ruin the CV, don't do it for them!
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, VCP
    WIP: > 0
  13. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Thanks guys

    Lots of constructive criticism which was what I needed.

    Having a good think through today to bring out more of the management side of things.

    Let you know how I get on :)
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  14. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    As said the CV is very cluttered mate, also I would ditch the whole IT qualifications and training bit. Its just training events we all go through to get out of the office! I’m not being harsh but you have 10 years IT management experience so you should be highlighting that in the CV. :thumbleft

    There is no mention of the size of the customers you used to support, they could all have 5 PCs in a workgroup for all I know. Perhaps mention one project (e.g. upgraded Network from NT to 2003) and what was involved. Also you mention VoIP systems but there is no detail (it doesn’t have to be much) as to what was involved with the install.

    As Phoenix has said the formatting is awful! :cry:

    Perhaps revise the CV and post it again? 8)
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  15. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Hi Guys,

    Thought I'd re-open this as I've been in some *serious* discussion with the people doing my CV since all of your comments - needless to say the guy took it personally ! :oops:

    Anyway, he's now come back to me with the attached so once again I'd appreciate your thoughts. There hasn't been much via the agencies for about the last 10 days or so and I need to start pushing the CV out again but really do want to get it right.

    I've removed company names and contact details for privacy reasons so am just looking for comments about the content.

    I'm looking at IT Manager or Helpdesk/Support Manager roles at around the £35k mark just in the UK.

    Please don't be too savage with your comments :tune:curtain

    View attachment CV Sample CertF.doc
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  16. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    *bump*

    Any comments on the revised look guys ?
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  17. sachin

    sachin New Member

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    hi,

    I am currently working in wireless company as DSP (digital signal processing) RTOS developer where my work mostly includes debugging application in DSP chips and adding some new features in RTOS. mostly i work in assembly language.

    i have recently got an opportunity to work in Linux kernel debugging where mostly my work will be related to debugging kernel and user space and trying to figure bugs in kernel/ application. this job is within same company i m working.

    i am bit confused. i want to have ur suggestion on this. Being in 3 years on same job i feel to be in comfort zone but here there is not much career growth.

    Will it be good decision to change my domain to Linux kernel debugging? is future secured and growth is good? is there good demand of Linux kernel debugging guys?

    i will appreciate any of your suggestion for my questions

    Thanks
    sachinc
     
  18. NoCompanyIT

    NoCompanyIT Nibble Poster

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    UKDarkstar

    I'm just taking a look at your CV, specifically your career history.

    What employers would want to know is, since you are 47 years old, you started your business in 1998 age 37, but you don't say when you completed your BA or what you was doing between your BA and business startup. Let's say you completed your degree age 21, employers would want to know what you was doing for 16 years. Do you hate working as an employer for someone else.

    I think what employers would want to know is, how much experience have you got working UNDER someone else, being a team member rather than a just leader. I mean, even if you're going for a management job, you'd still have to work with superiors unless you want to become CEO or something. How do you handle been told what to do etc, as opposed to being in charge of everything yourself.
     
    Certifications: Bsc (1st)
  19. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    I'm not actually having any problem with my CV but thanks for your comments anyway. All the agencies I am using and employers where I have requested feedback have not indicated any problem with my experience or work history.

    FYI, I did my degree as a mature student and graduated in 1990 aged 28. At my level it is customary to only provide info for roughly the last 10 years or two previous employments. My running my own businesses (actually for 16 years but prior to an IT career I was in financial services) is actually a plus point as I have a wealth of business experience across different areas. I now have CITP status too and provide a copy of the evidence for that on an enhanced CV which I submit where appropriate. I don't quote the date of my degree as the degree subject is not an IT one and although there is not supposed to be age discrimination it is better for me to leave that vague.

    Discussion about working under other people is dealt with in an interview situation (and has been) and has not been highlighted as an issue either. I cover my reasons for applying and empasise working as a team but having management skills as well.

    The only issue for me is finding a suitable position with a company that is Microsoft based and recognises the value of the training and experience I have. Currently there are few positions available in the geographic areas I am able to work. I'm being a little careful here as I don't intend to trot out my personal life history on the 'net for all and sundry to read as it's not appropriate and I value some privacy.

    The purpose of this thread was to get memebrs together to spot possible job opportunities and notify those looking rather than focus on specifics of CV's etc which are well covered in other threads but thanks for your input.
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  20. NoCompanyIT

    NoCompanyIT Nibble Poster

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    Sorry if I came across wrong, I'd love to have your CV and I know running your own business is a huge achievement.
     
    Certifications: Bsc (1st)

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