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Job Hunting - What am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Ciscoppl, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. Ciscoppl

    Ciscoppl New Member

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    Hi Everyone

    This is my first post however I ve been reading posts on this forum for a while now and I can tell you that they’ve been very informative.

    Let me start by telling you guys a little about myself. I am an IT graduate and passed my CCNA few months back. I did my CCNA as I really want to build a career within the Cisco networking environment and after some experience go on to tackle the CCNP certification exams.

    Now I ve been job hunting for 2 months now. So far I ve only had 1 interview call. I used to get calls from recruitment agencies at first but even they have quietened down lately. Some days go by without a single phone call. Now I am not looking for a high paid/high responsibility job, I am just looking for a entry level/getting my foot in the door kinda job where I can learn and build from there but I don’t seem to be getting anywhere. Nobody seems to be giving me a chance. Maybe my job hunting techniques are wrong or maybe I am going about it the wrong way. That’s where I need you help guys.

    I apply for 10-20 jobs per day. The main sites I visit are: www.cwjobs.co.uk, www.jobserve.com, www.monster.co.uk, http://www.jobsite.co.uk, http://www.itjobpages.co.uk + few more. Are these good sites to look at for your first job? The keywords I use to search for potential jobs are CCNA, Cisco, Network Support, Helpdesk, 1st line. Are these appropriate keywords to be using for someone with my background? Am I on the right path cause it sure doesn’t feel like it. Am I missing something? I ve also sent my CV to companies and applied for their graduate programmes but no joy there either. I ve also had my CV professionally looked at cause at one point I thought its my CV.

    I really need a job desperately. I am broke and I feel useless. Why is it so hard to find work in something your qualified to do or can demonstrate strong ability to learn whatever it takes to do it. I believe I have a strong IT background. I also did IT in College, so that’s 6 years altogether and I see and hear about guys who just did their A+ Certification or Net+ and landed themselves a 20k job. Man that’s not fair on guys like me who have worked real hard to get where they are only for their hopes and dreams to be crushed.
     
    Certifications: CCNA + B.Sc IT(Hons) Degree
    WIP: MCP 70-270 and 70-290
  2. PaulC

    PaulC Nibble Poster

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    Keep on trying and don't let it get you down. If you're getting no where it sounds like you're aiming too high. Ultimately quals without experience won't get you anywhere fast unless you're very lucky. I've not done any Cisco stuff but been told by a few people I've worked with that have that companies won't really be interested unless you've worked with it.

    Just search for IT Support as well, it'll cover a large set of jobs. Also keep re-uploading your CV on a weekly basis, a lot of these sites list your CV and do searches via date added. Get your CV looked at, perhaps it's not well laid out or selling yourself.
     
    Certifications: MCDST;MCSA: Messaging;MCSE
    WIP: CCENT
  3. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Greetings, Ciscoppl. I'm going to ask a very pointed question; Do you have any real world experience configuring and administering Cisco equipment. If not, the chances of you getting hired to do so are fairly slim.

    I remember when I first got my CCNA. I already had my A+ and Network+ certifications. At that time, all I could get were temporary contract jobs which was a good thing because I was still in school plus working at my non-IT job full time. The closest I got to Cisco equipment was installing Cisco switches in a number of bank branches as part of a Token Ring to Ethernet rollout.

    The tasks were heavily scripted. I physically unpacked and installed the switch and various modules, connected the unit to the network and powered it up (it's a kick to actually see STP work in a live environment) and contacted the NOC (Network Operations Center) to test the connections. The NOC did all of the actual CLI configuration remotely.

    I eventually let my CCNA lapse because I never used it. I love networking but my career took another path and now I'm more on the applications side of things.

    I'm not telling you to give up on your CCNA or your goals, just set your aim a little lower for now. Take a desktop support position or something similar and "pay your dues". Once you're in a company and the IT folks learn to like you and trust you, the chances are you'll get some higher level opportunities. Just take it one step at a time.

    If push comes to shove and you need the money no matter what, take a non-IT job to pay the bills and keep hunting for a position in IT. That way you won't starve. Also, as tough as it may be to do, try not to take any of this personally. This has nothing to do with your intellegence or self-worth...we all go through this at some point in our careers and our lives. A lot of what I do is contract based and when the contract expires for whatever reason, I have to face unemployment again. It's no fun, but life happens.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  4. dominoe

    dominoe Nibble Poster

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    I think luck has a large part to play, just keep your chin up and keep marching on.

    by the way have you tried registering on the NHS job site http://www.jobs.nhs.uk/. Try looking at large organisations as well as jobsites, theres always voluntary work as well to get some experience.
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: MTA
  5. Crito

    Crito Banned

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    You're not doing anything wrong. There's no IT labor shortage. There's a shortage of cheap IT labor. You're going to have to lower your standard of living to compete with all the starving workers being imported from third-world countries.

    Sorry, I know that doesn't help you. Keep your chin up though. Eventually something has got to give -- like maybe a global IT union to combat wage slavery. :eek:
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: none
  6. Ciscoppl

    Ciscoppl New Member

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    believe me when i say, I am not aiming too high at all - I ve also applied for jobs which pay 15K and require very little skill. I can appreciate how employers find it a bit risky to employ unexperienced chaps so I mainly look at jobs that provide training etc. I am not after the money at present, not looking to take any shortcuts. I recognise that i need to start from the bottom.

    re-uploading my CV sounds a like a very good idea - thanx for the tip

    cheers
     
    Certifications: CCNA + B.Sc IT(Hons) Degree
    WIP: MCP 70-270 and 70-290
  7. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Like Trip said, that CCNA isn't going to help you get an entry-level job. People don't hire entry-level techs without experience to configure routers. Thus, looking for jobs that require the CCNA will not do you much good.

    Neither will companies hire entry-level folks for network support. Entry-level folks are typically desktop support techs, help desk techs, field service techs, and PC repair techs.

    When you say you have a "strong IT background" with "6 years altogether", realize that companies do not recognize messing with PCs at home or school as "IT experience". IT experience is always always always real-world experience in a business environment. I was into computers for 18 years, had a college degree, and worked for 6 years as the unofficial "go-to" computer guy before I got my first "official" IT job... and it was an entry-level job, just like 99% of IT people get at the start of their career. It was low paying - $11/hr - but I certainly didn't stay at that level long.

    So, my advice would be to get your foot in the door with an entry-level job and start building that real-world experience that all companies want. If you have trouble finding employment, get your A+ certification - couldn't hurt, and you'll probably learn stuff when studying for it. Afterwards, the Network+ and MCDST certifications are great to have in your early IT years.

    Best of luck!
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  8. Ciscoppl

    Ciscoppl New Member

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    hello tripwire and thanx for taking the time to reply - first of all, I am under no illusions here. I dont have any commercial Cisco experience and i dont expect to be hired and being given cisco routers and switches to configure and troublshoot (eventhough i know few ppl who have)

    and to be honest i am not too fussed about getting in the cisco side of IT at all at the moment(would be nice though) - I aim to apply for any IT related jobs ranging from junior network support or helpdesk support. just not getting anywhere
     
    Certifications: CCNA + B.Sc IT(Hons) Degree
    WIP: MCP 70-270 and 70-290
  9. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Companies don't often provide paid training for their entry-level folks because they don't want their entry-level folks leaving after 6 months. Don't just focus on jobs that provide training... focus on getting your foot in the door ANYWHERE, and if you must, spend your own money on buying a few study guides and exams. The key is to start building that experience in a job!!!
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  10. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Originally by Crito: You're not doing anything wrong. There's no IT labor shortage. There's a shortage of cheap IT labor. You're going to have to lower your standard of living to compete with all the starving workers being imported from third-world countries.

    As a matter of fact your comment above seems racist.


    I don't know how this has anything to do with the third world working folks if the G7 or so called G8 countries are the ones wanting cheap labor. It's done in the name of cost cutting and if those in the G7 and G8 countries are sitting down without a fight about this injustice then what is your valid point.

    I am sorry if it comes across as am being hard on you but we need to call a spade a spade.

    On the other hand since when has IT been an easy career field to land an entry level job in? I know its not easy here in the UK maybe a different story or ball game in the USA.
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell

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