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CV and Job Search for New Starters in IT

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by onoski, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Hi all,

    Lately, there has been numerous postings of people writing in to find advise on how to break into the IT job career field and how to design their CV. I am in no doubt there are several thread and topics that has been touched on in this subject area.

    However, I like to jot down some quick pointers on this and hope it helps those just starting out in IT in terms of job search.

    CV and layout:

    Keep your CV as brief as possible and no more than two pages A4 size preferably using MS word and font size eleven.

    Secondly, don't use any fancy italic and keep it as Arial font size eleven and colour black. See below for a sketch layout or if you want call it a template.

    Name and addres


    Email:

    Telephone:

    Mobile:



    Experience:

    Please, use bulleted points

    Try and give as much example of projects you've worked on even if it is not IT related. This shows initiative, team working attributes, customer handling as well as communication and listening skills.

    I cannot stress this enough as experience is the most important element that would land you a job interview and eventually a job.

    Also use comments and statements like: I was tasked with a project of setting up a sharepoint server that would hold the company's intranet and policy document for staff reference. Please, this is just an example and should not be used, as this would be lying and I don't advocate this at all.

    Set up new computer systems for clients and family friends. Again, only list these if it applies in your case.

    Proficient in using and supporting MS operating systems, Windows XP, Windows 2000 Professional, Vista Home edition and Business edition and Wins 95/98

    Optional: Technical skills.

    Proficient in the use of MS office applications

    Build on the above examples

    There is no need for a Profile and Objectives colunm as this just takes up unnecessary space. When you do land an interview then you can tell the interviewer about yourself or objectives.

    Lastly, state your Qualifications, again using listed bulleted points.


    Finally, use spell check to make sure your spelling and grammar are okay. You can also get a friend who is experienced and has a good level of education to proof read your CV.

    Job hunting web sites:

    www.jobsite.co.uk
    www.jobserve.co.uk
    www.reed.co.uk
    www.planetrecruit.co.uk

    Look for "IT helpdesk and 1st line support roles, in the search box type in IT helpdesk or 1st line support.

    These are the starting type roles for people with little or no real world IT working experience as you'd find out they'd want someone that is customer focused, good communicator, team player and listener.

    Take the time to visit the above websites and register to get your CV advertised on their site so that recruiters can browse your CV online.

    The local newspaper can carry jobs as well so don't shun these either and plus there would be less competition as everyone gears their efforts towards the web. My first IT role I got through an advert that was listed in a local newspaper, think it was Metro.

    Another trick, after you have entered your CV on those web sites is to visit every two days and move bulleted point lines around and save changes.

    Speak to people that work in IT and let them know of your plight and interest in wanting to work in IT. Most jobs people get through networking and someone that know of someone that needs an IT support person etc.

    This would enable your CV to be back on top or in the new job seekers column. It would also be useful for you to get a good book on tips for successful interviews.

    I once used a book called "Answers to tough interview questions" brilliant would recommend you invest in this if you can, well worth it. There is also the web with a plethora of white papers and articles on preparing for interviews etc.

    The web site www.computing.co.uk has a good article on interview tips, great and its free too.


    Don't forget if still in doubt, to post and ask in this great forum Cert Forums under the forums tab and then employment & jobs. Best wishes and remember with hard work, dedication and persistence you'd land your first IT job.
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
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  2. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    The above would also tie nicely with the "Job Application" thread above:), best wishes.
     
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  3. UCHEEKYMONKEY
    Honorary Member

    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    Thanks onoski

    I was just looking for thread on CV writing, there's some good points there. But what about gaps in the employement??

    They always ask this at interviews, should you cover these up on the CV or put them down on the CV such as back packing through europe or unemployed?:blink

    One Job agency stated it was odd that I had no gaps between jobs and wondered if I was luckly or just lied!:ohmy
     
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  4. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    How would you propose covering them up? Either they exist, or they don't... so you're either falsifying a CV, or you're not. :)

    Stretching out start and end dates is a sure-fire way to get your CV binned, since hire dates and termination dates are among the only verifiable data given out by former employers these days.
     
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  5. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Honesty, would take you a long way, as I'd put down exactly what applies in my case. But whatever you do, do not lie. It might not make you very popular job wise but believe me eventually it would take you a lot further. The truth always reveals itself in time, in time. Best wishes:)
     
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  6. Ropenfold

    Ropenfold Kilobyte Poster

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    Its a bit of a problem for me, I dunno if to put down the reasons for gaps in my employment. I'm not sure how good back packing round SE Asia looks on my CV. I know I probably need to put it on there but I don't want people to think I'm going to go off on another adventure again!

    Has anyone had to put travelling on a CV?

    Its caused me a few problems already, I couldn't work at Cap Gemini as I couldn't get security clearance (I think it was the pictures of me chilling with the VC that did it :D)
     
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  7. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Ropenfold, this should not be an issue as long as you stated this on your CV that you went on a xyz holiday and adventure from this time to this time. I really think this should be seen as a positive and good thing as we work to live not live to work.

    However, if a potential company has an issue with this then do you really want to work for that company? Do not sell yourself short and keep looking for the right company and employer as they can be selective and you can too. Best wishes:)
     
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  8. Ropenfold

    Ropenfold Kilobyte Poster

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    Yeah, I think I'll put it down now, I wasn't really sure about putting it down before, but at the same time but I suppose I did learn some important life skills (don't drink the tap water, Vietnam looks nothing like Full metal jacket, don't get on a train in Mumbai at rush hour....:D)

    cheers onoski
     
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  9. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Not a problem, glad to be of some help:)
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  10. somabc

    somabc Bit Poster

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    Probably because those scenes were filmed on the Isle of Dogs as Kubrick had a fear of flying!
     
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  11. Ropenfold

    Ropenfold Kilobyte Poster

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    Yeah he had to fly all the palm trees in for it!
     
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  12. steve_f

    steve_f Byte Poster

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    I wouldn't cover up gaps in employment. Once you are hired, I think HR/Payroll will be able to see your tax payment history. I'm not saying they do check this, but they can if they want.
     
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  13. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    The problem is... employers don't care about that... they care about being profitable - as they should - and getting the best person for the job... not the most "well-rounded" person who wants to enjoy life. In short, they're not in business to give you a job... they're in business to make money.

    Personally, if I received a CV with "went backpacking in Asia for three months", I'd think, "lacks focus, not committed to career" - huge red flag. On the other hand, if I saw a gap of three months on a CV, I'd think, "Likely got sacked from the previous job and had a difficult time getting back in." Getting sacked isn't good... but I'd not be questioning their commitment to their career. In the interview, I'd likely ask them what happened at the previous job.

    Just sayin'. You might disagree with me, and that's fine... but I've been on the receiving/reviewing side of resumes before. :)
     
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  14. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Michael, you are a smart man and intelligent and I personally agree with you 100% as companies exist to make a profit. However, in Ropenfold's situation he would need to bite the bullet and take all the critics that comes with it.

    To be honest after all he decided to go back packing for three months and some company might shun he's CV for this but other's might give him a chance. Either way, he'd have to deal with the consequence was what I was trying to get at.

    Wow! Mike you don't sugar coat at all:)
     
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  15. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I agree - whichever decision he makes is fine, as long as he goes into the decision armed with ALL the info. I tried to give both sides. :)

    Of course not. :) I'm more concerned with making sure you have all the info to make an informed decision, ya know? I'd rather the "harsh" blow come from me than from a horribly bad decision (which will hurt MUCH worse than me pulling no punches with my advice). And if that makes a difference in someone's career, it's all worth it.

    If they don't thank me for the blunt honesty now, they'll likely end up thanking me later. ;) Either way is fine with me, as long as they get the info to help them make an informed decision.
     
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  16. Ropenfold

    Ropenfold Kilobyte Poster

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    Its the Conundrum I'm facing at the moment, do I or do I not mention it, this simple fact is if I hadn't had gone away and a had a chance to think about my plans and what I wanted to do with my life I would probably still be in the 'lacks focus, not committed to career' mindset that Boson Micheal is referring to. It was the best thing I've done. I certainly know what I want out of life and my career now, its just how do I put that on my CV without sounding like a lentil eating hippy!

    I fully accept what BosonMicheal is saying, companies want employees who will work hard, stay around and show a willingness to develop themselves, but at the same time I'd like to hope that they can understand decisions people make at times in their life which may not be just business and career orientated, as onoski said. Because as he said, all a company expects you do is work yourself into the ground for them and have no life at all, I won't accept that.
     
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  17. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Don't misunderstand me; I never said that. I said that a company's primary reason for existing is to make money. If you and another person are applying for a job, and the other person doesn't have "backpacking trip to Asia" on his CV, then the company aren't automatically slave drivers if they hire the other guy... they are simply hiring who they believe to be the best candidate for the job: the guy who will more likely be able to contribute to the success of the company.

    Sure, eventually someone may give you a chance... but don't make it overly difficult on yourself.

    I'm simply advising that you look at this not through your eyes... but through the eyes of an employer. After all, you have to impress THEM to get in the door.
     
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  18. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Hi Mike, I think we're both implying the same reasoning but from differing perspective:)
     
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  19. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Yup! Both are valid. Just want him to see them both. :)
     
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  20. Ropenfold

    Ropenfold Kilobyte Poster

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    Cheers for the opinions guys, I hear what your saying BosonMichael and trust me, I'm not naive to the world of business, I wouldn't expect a company to hire anyone but the best person for the job. There wouldn't be any point to a vetting process if they didn't!!!

    I just have to be the best person for the job advertised :D
     
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