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Honest Opinions Needed Re:- Relevant experience for 1st job!

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Baron210, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. Baron210

    Baron210 Bit Poster

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    Hi all,
    I would be grateful if anyone could give me an example of a job they landed (earned) in IT, but didnt quite meet the job specifications in terms of relevant experience, and how they made it through, (what the outcome was).
    Having recently completed a Cerco Course in London for "Hands on Desktop Field Support", I am now getting quite a bit of interest in the online job recruitment market,due in large part to having totally re-formatted my CV, but although i'm aiming at an entry level 1st time job, I'm also getting some interest in placing me with some Server-Side work (basic config and troubleshooting), which I fear may be beyond me.
    I have a pretty good idea that a persons previous experience relevant to a role would be uncovered in an interview, and my main "fear" if you like, is making it past an interviewer to the job, and not being able to handle it, and in turn, letting someone down because of the lack of specific skills.
    What do you guy's think, should I enlarge slightly on the truth and take the interviews, and If sucessful "muck through on what I know" (26 years of Build experience and troubleshooting, but only at desktop level, printers and hardware / software & physical setting up of networks, but no heavy server-side involvement), Or be honest, and stay sitting at home waiting for an entry level role.
    The only thing that bothers me somewhat is potentially letting my new employer down, Has anyone had a similar experience???

    Thanks Baron210 :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
    Certifications: Cerco CCSN comptia A+ & N+
    WIP: Cisco CCNA (Aiming for CCNP)
  2. twizzle

    twizzle Gigabyte Poster

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    Im in the same boat really.. especially when it comes to jobs from agencies. They ring up asking about me experience and wether i suit a role or not..... Wel to get a job they offer they tend to be strict about whats required.. so sometimes i embelish it a lil bit. Not too much, never make out to be a sever tech who can wirte new programs for security features or develop new network protocols lol. Just enough to say i've had some experience in what they need how ever small.

    The only real way to get around this sort of thing is do it at home. make that network and mess with Server OS's. then your not lying flat out as you will have had some small exposure rather than none. Then when in the job do the best you can and ask for further training!!!
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+, N+, MS 70-271, 70-272
    WIP: Being a BILB,
  3. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    I can't really give an example of such a thing, but I thought I'd make a comment anyway.

    It seems to me that you need to bolster your confidence in yourself.

    Many times I've been asked to look at something I know little about, but experience has taught me that as long as I can find books and online info covering it, and do some intensive reading, then I can usualy get started on that job.

    After that it is a case of more reading and doing.

    In any case, on many 'servers' the basic hardware is not very different, if at all, from a workstation. So your troubleshooting should not be too difficult. It is only on server specifics that you need to do the intensive reading!

    And the *method* of doing troubleshooting doesn't change at all. Keep focussed and logical and document what you find, and it should see you through.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  4. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    Did i understand correctly - 26 years of support experience?
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  5. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    It was a six-hour contract job...but I was pretty unprepared. I was in school and had earned my A+ but except for doing lab work at home and at school, I'd never done a "real" IT job. I put my CV on a number of online IT job sites. I was at a convention listening to a presentation about SAN networks when my cell phone went off.

    It was a recruiter from the east coast asking if I could do a one-day hardware rollout the next morning. I freaked. :tongue

    Of course I said "yes" and acted like I knew what I was talking about but I had no idea of what to expect. We negotiated a price and he gave me some sort of lame "test" on the phone to make sure I knew the difference between a RAM stick and a mouse.

    I showed up at the agreed upon place ontime. Fortunately, there was another fellow who was hired who had more experience so he showed me the ropes of navigating contract hardware rollouts. It was quite dull once I knew what was expected of me. We set up numerous desktops, a couple of printers and a fax machine. These sorts of jobs are heavily scripted so if you can read, follow instructions, and have a basic understanding of IT, you'll be fine.

    The experience went on my CV of course which led to other similar contract work. Each experience led to more work and improved my understanding of being a technician.

    The moral of the story is that once you get over the shock of being hired for the first time, you'll be fine. :wink:
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  6. Pete01

    Pete01 Kilobyte Poster

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    I don't think you should worry too much about misrepresenting your skills. As long as it's clear on your CV that you have the skill levels you say you do you should be fine at an interview.

    The problem is the agents, they don't know enough about skillsets to be able to filter through CV's properly. Because I have CCNA on my CV I get several calls for senior network engineer roles and every time the agent doesn't know the difference between CCNA and CCNP…It may be just one letter but it's a big difference. I am nowhere near senior network engineer level let alone junior network engineer which I explain to them when they phone but they keep ringing.

    I really think that they should put some requirements in place for recruitment agents to actually understand what their clients are looking for in candidates and to know ehat those requirements are rather than just phone people up and hope for the best.

    When you make it through to interview stage you'll get a technical interview by someone who knows exactly what the organisation is looking for in most cases your perspective new boss.

    As Harry says having the resourcefulness to find the answer to a problem is half the job. Another important aspect is knowing when enough time has been spent on a problem and when to escalate.
     
    Certifications: MCP (NT4) CCNA
    WIP: 70-669, Learning MSI packaging
  7. Baron210

    Baron210 Bit Poster

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    Yes (but this is accounting for the fact that I am talking back in the days of the holy , high and mighty, ZX Spectrum and Z80), I then progressed onto the Commodore C64, Amiga , then I bought my very first PC (a 286 without a maths co-processor), and green screen.
    My latest (baby) is a Dual Core X2 AMD 2.2 ghz 64 Bit jobby with almost a terabyte HDD space.

    I know it sounds like a lot, but its mainly experience at hobbyist level (Used to love programming the Speccy, So easy with Four colour pre-set command words - anyone remember those days) ??? :biggrin

    I have 1 & 1/2 years commercial experience to reflect on too, but have had a break from this for a while, and the market has changed drastically since i've been out of IT (Royal Mail 1st line Helpdesk)..

    Thanks for the reply's so far... Baron210
     
    Certifications: Cerco CCSN comptia A+ & N+
    WIP: Cisco CCNA (Aiming for CCNP)
  8. Baron210

    Baron210 Bit Poster

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    26 years - Yes (but this is accounting for the fact that I am talking back in the days of the holy , high and mighty, ZX Spectrum and Z80), I then progressed onto the Commodore C64, Amiga , then I bought my very first PC (a 286 without a maths co-processor), and green screen.
    My latest (baby) is a Dual Core X2 AMD 2.2 ghz 64 Bit jobby with almost a terabyte HDD space.

    I know it sounds like a lot, but its mainly experience at hobbyist level (Used to love programming the Speccy, So easy with Four colour pre-set command words per keystroke - anyone remember those days) ??? :biggrin

    I have 1 & 1/2 years commercial experience to reflect on too, but have had a break from this for a while, and the market has changed drastically since i've been out of IT (Royal Mail 1st line Helpdesk)..

    Thanks for the reply's so far- and yes twizzle, I agree that some exposure with an O/S is better than none, so I have the following installed and running inside WinXP Pro (32 bit) Host on MS Virtual PC and VMware Virtual Workstation - WIN2000 Win2003 R2 Server and Linux (2 types Original Redhat server and XP Linux).

    Virtualising the desktop is a great way to install and try out S/W.

    Baron210 - Sorry for the DP!!!
     
    Certifications: Cerco CCSN comptia A+ & N+
    WIP: Cisco CCNA (Aiming for CCNP)
  9. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    then with 26 yrs in industry i think you should have no problems finding a job with a few certs... dont be scared about servers.. hardware i just a little more expensive! :biggrin :biggrin i know its an OS but i didnt know a single thing about sever 2003 before my first days in MCP land! The skys the limit its just how far you willing to travel to reach the stars!
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  10. unemployedstudent

    unemployedstudent Byte Poster

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    The 26 years :rolleyes: looks like experience at home, using home computers (hobby), but if this is the case, surely this is not 'real' commercial experience, which employers and recruiters are after? (Because I have a similar experience).
     
    Certifications: BAISA(hons) Degree, ECDL.
    WIP: A+, CompTIA N+, CCNA
  11. Baron210

    Baron210 Bit Poster

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    Yes, Its mainly home (hobbyist) experience, but i have previously worked as a Helpdesk Analyst, and some field support work.
    I've just got to get my "foot in the door" in a permanent job now (if there is such a thing in IT).
    I'm willing and able to work hard and take further Cert's as and when I think i'm ready, just maybe have to build up a little "self confidence"...

    Thanks again for all your input - great place for info CF!!!
     
    Certifications: Cerco CCSN comptia A+ & N+
    WIP: Cisco CCNA (Aiming for CCNP)
  12. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    The server side work sounds good so why not go for it? The chances are that if its entry level (in regard to servers) you will be creating new users, security groups, checking backups and generally taking care of the network on a day to day basis. Also there may be other IT staff there to help troubleshoot problems so you wouldn’t be left to fix everything!

    When I moved from being a first line support analyst to a network support role my first task was to do an NT to 2003 migration for a small company (20 users) that was relocating. At the time it was hard work but it was good experience!

    Don’t sell yourself short! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  13. Baron210

    Baron210 Bit Poster

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    Thanks once again for the feedback from everyone, I have just "dumbed down" my CV, because a recruiter I had posted it to told me that " Its got to much techie info on it" and that being as he only had an entry level job on offer, I would be bored, and leave the role too soon (the job was basically opening doors so as to let the "techies" in) - but better than being sat looking for work, as I am now.
    God - I am Sooooo bored, I'd even consider volunteering (working 4 free) if such a thing is possible, just to demonstrate that I can do the job.
    But, on the upside, I have managed to secure an interview on a rolling contract (entry level field support) with / but not directly for IBM (booked for next Tuesday, pls wish me luck)...

    As always - Thanks for the excellent info board - Baron210 !

    :p :biggrin :D
     
    Certifications: Cerco CCSN comptia A+ & N+
    WIP: Cisco CCNA (Aiming for CCNP)
  14. unemployedstudent

    unemployedstudent Byte Poster

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    Baron210; Good luck, break a leg. :cracking
     
    Certifications: BAISA(hons) Degree, ECDL.
    WIP: A+, CompTIA N+, CCNA
  15. twizzle

    twizzle Gigabyte Poster

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    Good luck with the interview Baron.

    Im like you in that id take anything just to get some experience and stop being bored at home. But when it comes to agencies, they wont put me forward for jobs as i dont have exactly whats asked for, or sometimes the opposite.. i have too much!! Cant win!

    Luckily i just as my G/f brother if he could throw some unpaid work my way. He has his own PC retail shop in town, He's had some money trouble so i said i'd build systems for him just so i get experience and save him some cash. He's thinking about it but i can always get big sis to lean on him if needed lol :twisted:
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+, N+, MS 70-271, 70-272
    WIP: Being a BILB,
  16. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Good luck Baron :thumbleft
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  17. Baron210

    Baron210 Bit Poster

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    Hi Guy's (gals?),

    Thanks for all of your support, I've just had the IBM interview, and am awaiting the outcome, but whatever happens, I enjoyed the experience, and had a good time.

    Follow up - as it happened I didnt make the grade this time, but i'm sure that there will be other interviews to follow, and maybe i'll get there in the end.

    Many thanks Baron210 :eek: :oops: :ohmy
     
    Certifications: Cerco CCSN comptia A+ & N+
    WIP: Cisco CCNA (Aiming for CCNP)

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