1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Passed CCNA & MCP, but still no job!!

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by gunga_jim, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. gunga_jim

    gunga_jim Bit Poster

    22
    0
    14
    Hi All - Gunga Jim here.
    I've been looking at this site for a few weeks now and it seems that there's a good crowd of people here. So i decided to join, here's my story...
    I was a chauffer for 4 years and before that was an IT hardware sales advisor for 7 yrs - decided to leave my job in April, study hard and then do a CCNA bootcamp in INDIA which i passed 2 weeks ago with 961/1000. Now i'm back and looking for a job and finding it DIFFICULT to be taken seriously. I thought that the CCNA was quite an acheivement, but everybody seems to be looking for more. I passed my MCP (70-270) as well but unlike the CCNA i would say that was more of a fluke and i only just scraped by as i only studied for a week (KOenig bootcamp in INDIA - NOT FOR BEGINNERS!!!).
    Anyway, after that lengthy explanation, how do i get a job/experience without lying on my CV? I want to be honest, but can't seem to get a break - and now i'm skint after spending all my money studying for 5 months! Any help would be appreciated.
     
    Certifications: MCP & CCNA
    WIP: CCNP maybe CCVP whilst i'm there...
  2. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    10,831
    357
    341
    All I can say is that having Professional certs do not gurantee you a job, they do increase your chances.

    You could try volunteering but that doesn't help you out in the present with cash.

    You not getting a job could be down to several reasons: your CV presentation, the jobs that your actually applying for, etc.

    Getting your first job in IT is one of the hardest things to do, imo. It took me approx 5 years to get my foot in the door so to me 5 months is nothing. There is nothing stopping you taking on a non-IT job until you get your first IT job.

    To tell the truth I would have recommended you going for the A+ & Network+ first of all, but hind sight is a wondering thing.

    Just keep on trying and hang on in there.

    -ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    19,136
    462
    374
    Well, without experience, the CCNA isn't really going to help you much. With no experience, you'll be looking for an entry-level IT job, and entry-level IT jobs don't involve Cisco router administration.

    I agree with Ken - you should have started with entry-level certifications, like the A+ and Network+.

    Lying on your CV might get you interviews... but it won't get you jobs. A good interviewer / IT manager will see through the deception from a mile away.

    The only way to get experience is by getting a job that doesn't require experience (an entry-level job) and by building it. There are no shortcuts. Certification won't do it. Degrees won't do it. More learning won't do it.

    Everyone starts at the bottom - but nobody said you have to stay there forever. Get your break, then move up the IT career ladder as you build experience.

    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!
  4. MacAllan

    MacAllan Byte Poster

    249
    6
    30
    To be honest, in this business looking for two weeks isn't that long...

    It depends on the type of job you're looking for - even with those certs, you're still only eligible for entry level jobs - but they might help your cv stand out.

    You need to work on selling yourself - a four year break pretty much invalidates your previous experience, but you can certainly evidence interpersonal skills, strong background knowledge, commitment, willingness etc.etc...

    Keep at it, make sure your cv is spot on, and that covering letter is EVERYTHING!

    (I'd say 'try a Functional CV', but I keep saying that, peeps might think I've got a 'thing' about it.... but it worked for me, and my formal cv was pants....)
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, CCNA
    WIP: CCNP, Linux+
  5. Fluid

    Fluid Byte Poster

    180
    0
    14
    mate iv got 3 mcp's myself and im still struggling to get a job due to lack of "Commercial Experiance", i would suggest you apply for 1stline/2nd line support roles.
     
  6. r.h.lee

    r.h.lee Gigabyte Poster

    1,011
    52
    105
    gunga_jim,

    I took the advice of becoming CompTIA A+ certified before the Microsoft certifications because there were some MCSEs who couldn't tell the difference between a power cable and a network cable, the difference between the power button and the flopppy disk ejection button, and the list goes on. Maybe "MCP" withOUT A+ is raising red flags.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCP+I, MCP, CCNA, A+
    WIP: CCDA
  7. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

    1,479
    54
    112
    I might get flamed for this but......

    ... how about omitting those certificates from your CV? Start with A+ and N+ and apply for entry level jobs now but remove the CCNA and 70-270 for now. Get a year or two under your belt and then decide wether network support is for you or whether client/server support is for you and as you are planning to move up in your career put them on your CV.

    Whats the general consensus about this?? While not desirable - is it something that people should consider if they were going for entry level jobs?

    <<derkit waits with his flame jack on>> :tune :boxing
     
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293
  8. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    19,136
    462
    374
    I won't flame you for it... I'll give you rep for it. I agree completely. Getting the CCNA without experience is an instant red flag to an employer.
     
    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!
  9. MacAllan

    MacAllan Byte Poster

    249
    6
    30
    I guess we don't know enough about his cv and the types of job he is applying for, to give that detailed advice.

    If he was applying for entry level software-support jobs, then what would be the use of A+ in comparison to the MCP (70-270) he has? I'm not sure there would be any. And anything in N+ is covered by the CCNA.

    I can only speak from my experience in my own job search - I know that for two of the interviews I had, the CCNA got me one and the A+ the other. Given my cv I wouldn't have been interviewed for either otherwise. And the fact I'd invested so much effort in getting certs helped in both cases. Is that proof of how it might work for gunga-jim? Not really, as every case is different.

    And for one of them, my email covering letter included a joke and a smiley.... Now what's the chance of that ever working again?!

    So, sorry BM and others, but my experience was exactly the opposite - the certs worked (I was in post within three weeks of beginning looking..)

    I think we have to be careful about being too prescriptive based on not very much information.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, CCNA
    WIP: CCNP, Linux+
  10. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    3,748
    330
    187
    Fair points all of them, and, as the old saying goes: "opinions are like arseholes. Everyone's got one" :biggrin

    For my money, I would never hire anyone with a CCNA but no commercial experience. Not a chance. Having an MCP is perhaps not as big an obstacle, as I think its perfectly feasible for someone to know enough about a desktop O/S without working in IT to be able to pass the exam.

    What a nonsense it is though to be discussing certs as if they are a drawback to someone looking for a job. Its a sad indictment of the state of IT that when I'm looking at CVs for second line bods to help me out at work I chuck most of the MCSEs straight in the bin at first sift.

    I have to say as well that taking your CCNA at a bootcamp is another mark against you as far as I'm concerned. If you're already working in the industry, bootcamps definitely have their place, as they allow people who already have the skills to cram a load of stuff in a short space of time that might get them 'over the hump' and be able to pass the exam. With no experience, the best you will be able to hope for (provide you don't cheat and use braindumps) is to memorise enough information to scrape a pass. That would instantly set alarm bells ringing in my mind as a prospective employer.

    Finally, there's an excellent point about two weeks not being a particularly long time to wait to get a first job in IT. I know of people I;ve worked with in the past who took around six monhts to get a 'real' IT job after trying to get into it.

    Chill out and keep sending your CV out. Also make sure you post it up on the major recruitment sites (JobServe, Monster etc).

    Good luck!
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  11. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    19,136
    462
    374
    I don't need more information. He doesn't yet have a job in IT; thus, the MCSE is a certification well above his experience level. Regardless of what else his CV says on it, the fact that he's certified without experience would cause me to immediately bin his CV because of three possible danger signs:

    1) He's a risk because the chance he braindumped it is greater (not saying he, in particular, did... just saying the risk is greatly increased to an employer)
    2) He's a risk because he is likely to leave quickly
    3) He's likely to require too high of a salary.

    In short... he'd never get an interview from me. And it's not just me who feels this way... I've been around for a number of years, and I've seen this happen again, and again, and again with multiple employers.
     
    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!
  12. MacAllan

    MacAllan Byte Poster

    249
    6
    30
    Well, maybe you do need to re-read what I posted - and gunga-jim.

    You said a CCNA without experience was an instant red flag - but my certs got me two interviews in three weeks and a job.

    And the OP didn't say anything about MCSE.

    So, you'd have thrown my cv in the bin as well. Well, I guess you're not the only one who'd have done that - but a month into the job I was outperforming the person I replaced by doing three times more work each day than he was managing after being there a year.

    Like I said, I think we have to be careful about being too prescriptive based on not very much information.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, CCNA
    WIP: CCNP, Linux+
  13. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    19,136
    462
    374
    The CCNA is also above his experience level.

    You simply got lucky; I wouldn't advise that route for someone starting out. Yes, I would have thrown your CV into the bin. Nothing personal. I never said you couldn't do the job. But, like Zeb said, it's an instant red flag.
     
    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!
  14. MacAllan

    MacAllan Byte Poster

    249
    6
    30
    I think you're still missing my point:

    Gunga-jim has a CCNA and says no-one will take him seriously
    I had a CCNA and 'got lucky' twice in three weeks (And I'm not the 'lucky' type... that's somebody else's life story)

    I'm suggesting that what is stopping gunga-jim from getting a job might have little to do with his having a CCNA, and people are jumping to that conclusion without much information from the OP. But I'd agree with Zeb that Bootcamp in India (India?!) wouldn't exactly have me rushing for the phone ... ('Suppose it shows initiative..)

    I wouldn't recommend the way I did it to anyone else either - but since he's in that position, I don't want to discourage him into thinking it's impossible, or that he has to lie about it, if he can get other things working better for himself. (Like his CV, covering letter, where he's applying, what he's saying etc etc. )
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, CCNA
    WIP: CCNP, Linux+
  15. gunga_jim

    gunga_jim Bit Poster

    22
    0
    14
    WOW!
    Thanks for all the response (positive and not so!)
    Maybe i should clarify - i didn't tell any potential employers i went to India and there's a gap of 5months on my CV that would "suggest" that i was studying for all that time. Also i've kind of clouded over the fact that i was a chauffeur - and filled in the gaps. Because i worked at PC World for 6 years (in my youth) i thought that the A+ would be irrelevant as i looked at the course and knew the basics (apart from things such as what the CMOS done exactly).
    Having done the CCNA - remember i studied solidly for 5 months - i found it left gaps such as what the DNS server did, how would i set up a network using Microsoft, wireless etc - so i done the MCP which helped a little. Had a phone interview for a security firm and it went OK (they asked about DNS translation), but they've asked me to send a CV with a covering letter on how to set up a home network!! No cisco routers or switches involved!!
    Should i go for it or... well i'll wait to see what everyones thoughts are - thanks for all of your support.
     
    Certifications: MCP & CCNA
    WIP: CCNP maybe CCVP whilst i'm there...
  16. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    13,493
    179
    287
    Greetings, Gunga-Jim. I have to agree with the others that having a certification is one thing but without the experience to back it up, it doesn't mean as much as you might think. Back in the late 1990s during the dot.com boom, a lot of people managed to earn their MCSEs although they had no practical experience managing Microsoft Windows networks. On the strength of the certification alone, scores of people were hired into admin positions only to fail miserably on the job because "book-learning" alone didn't give them the skill sets necessary to actually work on a production network.

    The net result (including the dot.net crash) was that certifications and particularly high-level certifications stopped being a pot of gold and employers started asking for experience in their admin candidates rather than just the certifications. Just about the only cert that will get you even a contract job with no questions as is the A+ (at least that's how it worked out for me).

    While the CCNA is an entry-level cert, it's not going to open doors for you. Even if you had some networking experience, no sysadmin in his or her right mind would turn their network over to a CCNA. Like I said...it's entry-level. The best you could hope for would be to assist a more experienced IT worker in managing some portion of the network (which frankly, wouldn't be a bad thing for a person just starting out).

    You might want to take a giant step backwards and earn your A+ and Network+ certs (the Network+ should be a snap if you passed the CCNA and fully retained the information involved) and start out with some sort of help desk or desktop support job. Get some beginning-level experience and use that as a foundation to start building a career.

    A note on bootcamps: they're a lousy way for a newbie to learn anything. They're basically one giant cram session designed to get you to pass an exam but little else. How many of you out there have crammed for an exam at any educational level and then shortly afterwards, forgotten 90% of what you "learned" cramming. Real learning so that you retain the information and skills takes time. If you got your CCNA by going through a bootcamp and you haven't practiced your CCNA related skills and takes since then, you probably already have forgotten significant portions of the "bootcamp" information. The longer you don't practice the skills, the more you will forget until the certification will represent very little.

    If you are serious about learning networking, pick up a few books and a few switches and routers (or sims) and keep practicing. Learn basic hardware and networking until it sticks and try to get into some sort of support job. That's the way to start out. Good luck.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  17. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

    1,479
    54
    112
    I'd say that is exactly the reason why you should do the A+. If its simple, then you'll sail through without a problem. I can give two examples of where by A+ has helped:

    1) At work, a server went down without reason - and three of the discs were in a RAID 5 configuration with 2 possibly failed. Rather than consider any alternatives, three different engineers with 7 MCPs and over 20 years combined experience between them decided to get 2 new hard drives and rebuild from backup tapes. It wasn't until I chipped in with - "how about trying to bring the discs back online".... ALT-R just after POST and the 2 discs were offline, put them online and SORTED. Saved hours of downtime and restoration from tapes.

    2) Just recently a techie with 3 MCPs, and been in the IT world for about 10 years was trying to put XP onto a new hard drive at home as the old one had died. He couldn't understand why it wouldn't work, he tried rebuilding it 4 times and in the end gave up and asked us at work. Out of the 8 of us, only two people figured out that his hard drive had increased from 80gb to 160gb and that was causing the problem - the BIOS didn't have INT13 extensions and so couldn't see bigger than 137gb. The computer was 4 years old and he didn't update the BIOS as it is suggested when upgrading/installing XP - and I was one of them (the other guy who got it right had his A+ also).

    Two examples of real life situations that could have cost a lot of money, time and face be resolved by people having passed the A+.

    It is not conclusive evidence, but an example of what the "simplest" of things can teach you......
     
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293
  18. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    3,120
    51
    154

    Well said derkit, however Microsoft still encourages the least amount of administrative task when troubleshooting an issue. Having said though google would have saved your 7 MCP techs the hassle if they would consider using this this method to save downtime and possibly money as well for the company.

    I do agree though most people like going the long unnecessary time consuming route because they don't know better at that point in time. The other day got to work even before I could get to my desk one of the managers approached me with panic written all over her face saying the Exchange server at xyz site is down and quite important its up and running in no time.

    I got in the company car and drove down to the site and dashed into the server room print screen to exchange server gui only to find error message raid #0 fail or no OS installed, try restarting server. I restarted the server but same error, senior tech was on the phone to me asking what the situation was so told him the above.

    He decided the server would need rebuilding and backup ran to update system but this is obviously last resort. I told him I'd power off server through brute force first to see if this resolves the issue and did power off server and re-booted and wow all issue resolved.

    Just had to delete the application log files and everyone was happy again in under half hour. I know this is a long reply and scenario but there are very talented tech guys and gals out there just that sometimes when under pressure it's easy to want to opt for the not so sensible option. I sure ain't saying I know it all because I don't just willing to learn and improve all the time the opportunity presents itself. Cheerio:biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  19. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    19,136
    462
    374
    The CCNA is not an entry-level cert. It's not even Cisco's lowest-level cert... that'd be the CCENT (and, in my opinion, isn't for entry-level folks, either).
     
    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!
  20. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    13,493
    179
    287
    My bad. It was back when I got my CCNA. :oops:
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+

Share This Page

Loading...