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Advice for getting 1st Line Helpdesk roles

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by webbomonkey, Nov 13, 2007.

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  1. webbomonkey

    webbomonkey New Member

    Hi all,

    Fantastic website - has been a wealth of info and really helped me choose what course i need to do, what to expect from interviews, possible career paths etc. etc. so thought i'd pass on a bit of info that may be of use to those trying to get a foot in the door in IT.

    A little background - basically i've worked in customer service roles for a few years and decided a change of career was in order. Had a look around and saw the best way in was through a 1st Line helpdesk role.

    I applied for loads on Reed.co.uk but didn't get very far as i don't have any experience in this sort of role (no relevant qualifications either - only some job experience of helping out colleagues etc. with IT related issues) and chased these up with emails to the recruiter to see if i'd be put forward. Most just went "no experience, sorry" and moved on to the next applicant, so i tried a different approach.

    I got hold of the numbers of recruitment companies who were advertising these and called them direct to explain my situation and see if i'd be considered for the role (rather than just emailing a CV & covering letter over). I built a pretty good relationship with one agency and pestered them every day or two to see if my CV had been sent to the client, whether i'd be shortlisted for interview, if nothing had been heard when i'd be likely to know if i'd be shortlisted etc. etc. After a week or so it became a bit of a joke that i was phoning so much (the ad did state they wanted someone enthusiastic after all!!) and eventually i was given an interview. I got the feeling that once i'd built this relationship the recruitment agency were much more willing to sell you to their client.

    Fortunately they were fine with the fact i had no previous helpdesk experience and offer training so i went for the first of two interviews last thursday & monday morning i was offered the job! I did loads of prep for the interview (it wasn't particularly technical - just questions like where do you see yourself in 5 years, how do you handle stress, how would you deal with difficult customers etc.) but felt i had an answer for every question i was faced with (also told them i was about to study for my CompTIA in my own time).

    I handed my notice in on monday and start next thursday at this new place on a 12 month contract, which will hopefully become permanent and has opportunities to progress to 2nd/3rd line support so over the moon about it all!

    I was feeling like it was a dead end, constantly getting nowhere but if it can happen for me it can happen for you too so hopefully this advice will help someone else in a similar situation.

    Good luck & thanks for all the helpful posters on here!!
  2. Alex Wright

    Alex Wright Megabyte Poster

    You're an classic example that perseverance pays off in the end. How easy would it have been to have given up and continued in a job that you weren't happy with? You got out there and made it happen mate, well done. Few beers to celebrate, I suspect!

    Certifications: 70-680 Configuring Windows 7
    WIP: 70-642
  3. rax

    rax Megabyte Poster

    Great post webbomonkey - Rep will be given.

    I, like yourself, am in a very similar situation, I have just landed my first job and start next Monday. I have no qualifications, no certifications and I have no IT experience in a work place environment. I didn't need to work quite as hard as you to find a job though, I actually consider myself having got rather lucky, but I could quite easily have ended up with the same barriers as you.

    Good post

    Certifications: ITIL v3 Foundation, CompTIA Network+
  4. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Great post!

    Online job search sites are great... but the competition for those jobs is fierce... because everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) uses them to search for a job! The best way to get around that problem is by looking for the jobs that everyone else ISN'T actively looking for. Knowing someone who is in IT is a great way... if you don't know anyone in the industry, meet some. Like... here! Finding a recruiter who takes a personal interest in you is another great way (which you did, to your success). Applying to companies regardless of whether they have a position posted is yet another way... it takes persistence, but you can sometimes get the jump on everyone if your CV ends up on the desk of someone who is considering advertising for a position... they might well hire you, and save the cost (and time) of posting an advert and filtering through a stack of resumes a foot high!

    Major congrats! :)
    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!
  5. asje1

    asje1 Byte Poster

    Well Done!!

    Hope everything keep going well.
    Certifications: A+, N+
  6. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    Congratulations on landing the job and thanks for sharing your experience too:)
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  7. webbomonkey

    webbomonkey New Member

    thanks for all your kind words - makes a real difference having forums like these so will try and contribute more as my knowledge grows!

    as for celebrating, its my last day at work today cos i was only on a week's notice but had holiday booked so will be off to Italy tomorrow for five days and start the new job when i get back so its perfect timing!!

    lots of pizza and red wine should do the trick!!

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