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Worth trying 1st Line?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by ThatLondonFella, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. ThatLondonFella

    ThatLondonFella Bit Poster

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    I'm a graduate with a 2:1 in BSc Computer Science related course and have a broad knowledge of computing, hardware, networks etc. Since graduating I have been lost in terms of what to pursue as a career. In my 2 years since graduating, in addition to the various jobs I've held, I've occupied myself by teaching University students 3DS Max, Revit and Photoshop, helping out friends and relatives with hardware/software issues as well as teaching myself HTML5, CSS and I've also developed my skills in zBrush. The months after graduating I applied to numerous jobs within the video game industry and eventually secured a temporary position at Jagex as a Player Support Rep, which was good but it was just temporary to cover their busy period during the summer holidays. In that role, I dealt with hacked accounts, fraud, general customer queries and escalating issues to an Investigation Unit. The last week of my contract I began frantically applying to numerous IT jobs but either received no reply or a rejection. I spoke to a close friend of the family who worked in IT and he suggested that I try 1st Line Support as this would allow me to develop my existing skills and computing knowledge as well as offer a platform for progression in the field of IT. I've been looking around on websites like Reed and they all require a minimum of one year experience in a IT support role, which I haven't got. I've applied for entry-level roles but haven't heard back either. Is there any other way that I could get into this type of work with under one year of experience? I think this is the type of role that I would love to progress into given my love for helping people and my passion for IT and computing.

    Any help or guidance would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks!

    TLF

    :)
     
    Certifications: BSc
    WIP: A+ and Network+
  2. algorithm&blues

    algorithm&blues Nibble Poster

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    With a degree in your hand, you will find a 1st Line/Helpdesk role - it's just a case of having a look around. Some places do ask for experience true, but then again some places take on people with no real IT experience.

    Your best bet is probably to look at some of the big IT companies like IBM, Fujitsu, Logica etc or even big local companies and find out if any are winning contracts/starting helpdesks near you?

    When companies have to build a new first line, they usually take on a fair number of staff and therefore they try and get a good mix of technically skilled and customer service skilled people in place. It's when you try and get jobs on existing helpdesks and there is only one vacancy that the hirer/employer can get a bit picky and start demanding X years experience and XX certs etc.

    First line is a great place to start, you will get a wide range of issues, get a lot of exposure to pretty much everything.
     
  3. ThatLondonFella

    ThatLondonFella Bit Poster

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    Cool thanks! :) Know of any other agencies besides the usual Reed, Monster etc that I can apply through? Maybe IT specific agencies?
     
    Certifications: BSc
    WIP: A+ and Network+
  4. Rob1234

    Rob1234 Megabyte Poster

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    Hi,

    Have you looked at graduate schemes a lot of competition but they are good if you can get one.
     
    Certifications: A few.
  5. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Hi there,
    You don't say where abouts you are (although from your username i guess it could be London?!) although i would say you have a good chance of getting a first line role. Sometimes its just being in the right time at the right place. Get your CV out there and im sure you will get an interview sooner rather than later.
    Good luck!
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  6. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

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    I believe there are several IT specific agencies, it might be worth getting your CV to them. They will probably send you alsorts of random jobs, some of which will be completely out of line to what you know etc, but worth doing as at least then they are coming to you with jobs etc.

    Also try job search engines such as cwjobs and theitjobboard. I'm sure something will turn up.

    Also don't necessarily be put off from applying for job roles that ask for a years experience. If you have a degree then a lot of 1st line roles would consider that as equal at least to one years experience and you still stand a reasonable chance of getting an interview etc. I would say if you see a job you believe you can do, then apply! Within reason obviously, as work experience is important but highlight your key skills and how you have used them and try to relate that to the job roles in question.

    Good Luck!
     
    Certifications: ECDL, Does that Count!?!
  7. subliminalsmurf

    subliminalsmurf Nibble Poster

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    First line is an excellent way to get on the right track. There are other, slightly less technical roles that are also decent platforms such as Technical support work in contact centres for residential and business services such as ADSL support.
    I used to work first line for Pipex until they sold us off to another company and made us redundant. Off the back of that I was second line / trainer for first liners before we got axed so I was able to gain a little experience that lead to a first line IT role within my current company and now I'm responsible for Internal IT support (technically 3rd line analyst) for users over three sites with a view to progress into a networking role. (not bad for no degree and only a HND in popular music performance, eh?).

    So I'd say apply for Tech support roles too. They might not look extremely technical or challenging but it's experience with troubleshooting and you'll likely add a few strings to your bow and earn some cash until you can get a better job.

    Starting out "at the bottom" is definitely the best way to go coz you learn everything and barely have skills gaps. Honestly, I don't regret the path I had to take to get here and it was well worth it as over the 6 years (2 at previous / 4 here) I've worked full time I've progressed through pay scales like wildfire and there's only upwards of that to go.
     
    Certifications: MCITP: Windows 7 Desktop Support Technician
    WIP: 70-686 - Started the same day as passing 680
  8. ThatLondonFella

    ThatLondonFella Bit Poster

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    Awesome stuff guys! Thanks for the feedback...I was pretty much on the brink of giving up until I found this forum. It's given me hope that'll I will be able to forge a career in IT. :)
     
    Certifications: BSc
    WIP: A+ and Network+
  9. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    That's the spirit :-)
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  10. ThatLondonFella

    ThatLondonFella Bit Poster

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    Is there a way that someone could check my CV and Cover Letter to see if they are to a acceptable standard?
     
    Certifications: BSc
    WIP: A+ and Network+
  11. tigrepojke

    tigrepojke New Member

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    I started studying Cisco CCNA part-time at 26 with zero IT knowledge and completed it 2yrs later. Got my first job in IT with zero experience at 28 with a Cisco Gold Partner on the helpdesk. I'm still on the helpdesk after 4yrs but am a senior engineer now with more certs and deal with escalation and also project work that got fcked up.
    Sometimes I read the job adverts for a laugh, they ask for too much for too little pay. Some companies want bells and whistles sure but the smart ones will want people who can prove they will become their employee, the one they want who will grow with the company. Maybe years ago 1-2yrs experience at 1st line was right but now,...when even the phone in your hand can play games, send emails, browse the web,...you have the experience my friend in your day to day life. And that stuff you do for your friends and you taught yourself xyz, if I was an employer I would consider you.

    By the way, from time to time we have contractors who come through our doors who are paid hundreds and hundreds a day and you expect them to be expert level. Pffft. Not one of them has impressed me yet especially when they are asking for my help in fixing something. Don't give up and you are not by the sounds of it, it takes patience. I applied for IT jobs about halfway through my first cert and I got this one with a Cisco partner about a month after I finished my cert, timeframe between first job I applied for and the one who took me was 1 yr. And final thing, don't take the first one that accepts you, I was offered a number of jobs which I turned down because I realised they would take me nowhere and my patience paid off.

    Decide roughly what you like, networking, server work, software development and read up all you can on it so you sound like you know that area of the industry when at interview. Once you get a job be prepared to bleed your knowledge into the other areas as they all interlink at some level or another.

    I think a lot of the job sites do a CV checker thing. I often get handed the CVs of prospective employees or contractors at my place and they all vary in layout and size, some are 2 pages and others 6. Try and stick to 2 pages and get used to rewriting it a little bit depending on the company/job you are throwing it at. And good luck, I hope you get what you want.
     
    Certifications: CCNA, CCNA Voice, CCNP Voice, MCDST, MCITP, MCSA, MCSE, Zeacom Accredited
    WIP: CCNP Route/Switch
  12. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Well – they are not there to impress you are they?

    Perhaps you should move into consultancy if you are so good at your job?
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  13. ThatLondonFella

    ThatLondonFella Bit Poster

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    Still waiting patiently to hear back from anyone...:(

    In the meantime, I just wanted to get some feedback on this Cover Letter to see what could be improved.

    Thanks!

    :)
     
    Certifications: BSc
    WIP: A+ and Network+
  14. ade1982

    ade1982 Megabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    One of things that stood out ... it's well written, but it's a bit long-winded, and a bit heavy to read. However, I can't say how you could shorten it.

    It might be small things like shortening "gained by way of assisting users, via an e-ticket system and in-house software, with hacked accounts, fraudulent activity, system and browser issues has allowed me to troubleshoot and resolve issues effectively to keep new and existing customers happy. " to "provided a high quality of customer service to end-users when troubleshooting and resolving issues, utilising a bespoke helpdesk system" (and telephone, if you used one)

    Might be worth getting in there that you are flexible also, if you don't mind shift work.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
  15. ThatLondonFella

    ThatLondonFella Bit Poster

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    Thanks! I really appreciate your feedback. My mother read it and thought it was long-winded. Going to try and keep the content just condense it a little.
     
    Certifications: BSc
    WIP: A+ and Network+
  16. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    It could do with a little shortening but again it depends on who you are sending it to, if your sending it to recruitment companies through websites then I would keep the cover letter very short indeed as they only use scanning techniques on the cv's anyway before giving you a ring if you match. My cover letter is usually something like, please find attached a copy of my cv for your perusal. I hope that you find it useful in regards to filling "job vacancy". Then my name and certs underneath, or similar.

    @tigrepojke
    Consultants are usually hired to install/fix specific products, whilst that should make them experts in the product they are hired to install what they wont know is your network. Only the local sysadmins know their own network intricately and as each one is different consultants cannot be expected to know things like, that little netgear switch you plugged in to increase the deskcount in an office requires rebooting every wednesday morning other wise it storms and chokes the subnet. Consultancy is a very different game to internal support which is why consultants are hired to install new things that the internal guys don't have the time or expertise to learn the same is true in reverse.
    As a consultant there are always little surprises round each new infrastructure you need to get round in order to do the job required of you, there always is and a good consultant will find the "hurdles" and work with internal support to resolve the issues, bad ones will ignore it and hope you dont notice.
     
    Certifications: vExpert 2014+2015+2016,VCP-DT,CCE-V, CCE-AD, CCP-AD, CCEE, CCAA XenApp, CCA Netscaler, XenApp 6.5, XenDesktop 5 & Xenserver 6,VCP3+5,VTSP,MCSA MCDST MCP A+ ITIL F
    WIP: Nothing
    Sparky likes this.
  17. tigrepojke

    tigrepojke New Member

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    Partly they are as they are brought in from time to time when workload increases to help with the busy period and the management want us to learn from them.

    Yes contracting is the next step for me, when I feel the time is right and I am ready as I don't want to be like the ones I have come across. I do some contracting in my spare time already for some experience.
    And yes I am good at my job, no shame in being proud of that.

    I appreciate you read my words as me being arrogant, the tone is lost when it is not heard from a voice but read from a page. It was to let the OP know not to be too afraid of the levels of experience being asked for with firsthand knowledge that people who are paid a lot of money often don't justify it.

    No need to say any more, this is the OP's thread in helping him progress in the industry and I for one hope he gets in the door.
     
    Certifications: CCNA, CCNA Voice, CCNP Voice, MCDST, MCITP, MCSA, MCSE, Zeacom Accredited
    WIP: CCNP Route/Switch
    Sparky likes this.
  18. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Just to add to this thread, one of the things that help me when searching for work, is LinkedIn, honestly by growing my LinkedIn network, joining some recruitment groups, filling out my profile, gets me a lot of attention.

    Some people might not agree, but LinkedIn helped me a lot. In this world, having the right connections can mean a world of a difference. Check it out and see how it can help you. Its okay that you don't have a lot of experience, everyone has to start somewhere!
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  19. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Fair play mate. I did jump on your original post slightly.

    Sometimes the expectations of contractors are far too high IMO – at the end of the day they are there to do a job and most of the time they will. Don’t expect them to be any better than you just because they are a contractor.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
    tigrepojke likes this.
  20. ThatLondonFella

    ThatLondonFella Bit Poster

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    Took in everyone's advice and re-done both my CV and Cover Letter. I'm happy with them both now and hope the hard-work put in will pay off. A full day of applying for these IT help-desk jobs. I'm glad I found this forum and just want to, once again, thank everyone who helped me!!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
    Certifications: BSc
    WIP: A+ and Network+

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