How i got into IT

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by arisen, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. arisen

    arisen Byte Poster

    When i joined Certforums back in October '05, i was hoping this site would help me get my Network+ cert and then i would possibly be able to land my first real commercial IT job.

    It most certainly did that, and now after getting my Net+ and working full-time in IT for a london-based ISP, i thought i'd post a little info on how i actually did it so that others who are in the position i was in could maybe get some ideas and encouragement from it. I know that for me, Certforums was an immense source of support and assistance and reading about Boyce and others landing their first IT jobs really did help me alot.

    So without further ado, here's 'how i got into IT' .

    I chose to split my available time evenly between Cert study and Job applications.

    Cert Study

    I studied for my Net+ (using the Meyers book) during the day when i could. I usually ended up in my local Starbucks, yeah ok it cost me minimum £3 per visit for the privilege but hey, i found it much easier to relax and concentrate there than anywhere else. I had tried studying at home and at libraries but i never seemed to get as much done as when i sat down in Starbucks. Maybe it was the coffee (!) but i think it's important to find a place and time that you yourself are most productive in and stick with it.

    I would always make notes as i read. This is pretty much what i did and learned to do during my degree, it works for me, helps me retain info. Use your own personal study method that works best for you.

    I booked my exam quite early and, although i postponed it many times, it did instill an urgency in me that helped me stick to my schedules (ish). Especially when i told family and friends about my exam date/s, it's then much easier to get things done as you don't want the embarrassment of telling everyone you delayed it AGAIN!

    Job Applications

    I would get my job applications done during the evenings and early mornings - my usual 'internet times'.

    I would use a variety of online recruitment websites, and as you all know, the majority of these sites have positions advertised on them through Agencies. Agencies, i came to find, were a necessary evil.

    I developed my CV as best i could, and registered it with the following websites (I'll rate them here also, in my opinion from best to not-so-best):

    1) Jobsite: Without a doubt, the best online recruitment site i have ever used. My stored CV was viewed hundreds of times and it generated at least 2 cold-calls a day from Agencies. (HINT: Get into the habit of 'refreshing' your CV every week, as in re-uploading your CV. Recruiters search by date added and you'll get more hits this way!)

    2) Totaljobs: Another excellent site, didn't get any cold-calls through this site however i did get quite a few callbacks from applications i had made on it. Highly recommended.

    3) CWjobs: Brilliant site for just IT jobs, owned and operated by the totaljobs folks i believe. A very comprehensive index of IT jobs here. Essential.

    4) Gisajob: Another great site that isn't too widely known about or used. Got my job through this site! Good stuff.

    5) Monster: Don't believe the hype, the TV advert is wildely misleading. I never had a reponse from any applications through this site, no cold-calls, and very few views of my stored CV. A fair amount of job listings but, not the best (I will prob use Jobserve in place of Monster on my next job hunt!)

    Others are: Worktrain - search jobcentreplus jobs. For volunteer jobs, try (Excellent Volunteer job site - I held an offer of a voluntary role in web design/maintenance in conjuction with virgin atlantic through this site!).

    For CV advice, have a look at the fuller CV and also

    My system for applications went like this. On Mondays, i would apply for jobs on Jobsite. Tuesday would be Totaljobs and so on. That would cover my working week, and on weekends i rested from the job applications. I started out pretty slowly but at the end was turning out upto 10 applications a day.

    However in total, i applied for 109 jobs, got 3 interviews, over 25 application-specific callbacks and quite a few silences.

    Not bad for my first go, but looking back at it, i could have done it in half the time. 10 applications a day is certainly do-able, and doing that would have landed me a job in around 8 weeks.

    Of course you have to take other things into account which are very important. I would think the thing that takes the most time is actually learning about the IT job industry, learning what agents are looking for and how to actually impress them on the phone when they call you. If you don't have good experience in IT, and i didn't, then it might take some time to become 'savy'.

    Overall though, it's most definitely do-able, and it'll be quicker and easier than you think. The best advice i can give, and countless others on Certforums have said the same thing, is that if you keep on working hard and never give up, it'll happen. And sooner rather than later.

    Make your plans, stick to them, work hard, and you'll be surprised how easy it'll all seem to you once you're in your first IT job!

    Good luck!
    Certifications: BEng, PRINCE2, ITIL, Net+
    WIP: MSc, Linux+ 2009, RHCE
  2. Wires_are_bad

    Wires_are_bad Nibble Poster

    excellent post mate and congrats on landing the job!

    I'll be using the websites you listed asap :D

    I think for those with limited I.T knowledge, its a good idea to do voluntary I.T work whilst studying for some certs. Theres less pressure and you can learn alot in quite a short space of time. I'm doing this whilst studying for my A+ and im getting more and more confident/experienced every day.

    Not too sure if I can afford to go to starbucks to study though :biggrin

    Posts like yours really help to keep myself motivated :thumbleft
    Certifications: Bsc Business I.T (2:1)
    WIP: A+ and N+
  3. csx

    csx Megabyte Poster

    Thanks for all that info, that volunteer job site is great, thanks again.

    Like Wires_are_bad said people like you help me get motivated more. :)

    I was just wondering what kind of jobs were you applying for (just 1st line support?) and what kind of distance?
    Certifications: A+, Network+, 70-271 & 70-272, CCENT, VCP5-DCV and CCNA
    WIP: Citrix
  4. arisen

    arisen Byte Poster

    Hey Wires_are_bad and csx, glad i could be of some use!

    csx > I applied for all sorts of jobs, anything that interested me and i felt was asking for the kinds of skills i could provide. Having said that, quite alot of 'em were 1st Line Helpdesk or Tech support jobs! :cheeseyg But also some pre-sales/tech stuff.

    In terms of distance, i applied all over the place, but the majority were in the greater London area. I even applied for some jobs in Ireland, was on the go with Vmware and Google up there at one point!

    Good luck to you both :thumbleft
    Certifications: BEng, PRINCE2, ITIL, Net+
    WIP: MSc, Linux+ 2009, RHCE
  5. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

    Great post, arisen - pinned :)
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  6. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

    :clap. Thanks for a well informed, excellent post :thumbleft. Oh, well done on the job :)
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  7. AJ

    AJ 01000001 01100100 01101101 01101001 01101110 Administrator

    Like the post arisen very nice :thumbleft
    Certifications: MCSE, MCSA (messaging), ITIL Foundation v3
    WIP: Breathing in and out, but not out and in, that's just wrong
  8. Mr.Cheeks

    Mr.Cheeks 1st ever Gold Member! Gold Member

    I would like to add UK Net Guide searches through the ones Arisen has noted already...
  9. phoenix510

    phoenix510 Byte Poster

    Cracking Post Arisen lots of useful info and sites.
    Thanks :thumbleft
    Certifications: ECDL, MOS WORD & Excel, MCDST
    WIP: A+ & 70-270
  10. magic

    magic Banned

    Great Post!
  11. Mr.Cheeks

    Mr.Cheeks 1st ever Gold Member! Gold Member

    ...and one more Jobs Word
    goes stright to computing section
  12. Alex101

    Alex101 New Member

  13. nXPLOSi

    nXPLOSi Terabyte Poster

    Great post arisen. Really good read, thanks :)
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Security+, MCSA 2003 (270, 290, 291), MCTS (640, 642), MCSA 2008
    WIP: MCSA 2012
  14. Raffaz

    Raffaz Kebab Lover Gold Member

    Very helpful post, cheers:thumbleft
    Certifications: A+, MCP, MCDST, AutoCAD
    WIP: Rennovating my house
  15. dicanio34

    dicanio34 Bit Poster

    Exellent post. Really helps.
    It sometimes seems like a lost cause looking for a job in IT and it gives me a bit of confidence to know that others are finding the same difficulties as me.
    I have applied for 8 jobs now and not a peep.
    But il take your advice and keep going

    Cheers man!!:biggrin
  16. Adrian.Popescu

    Adrian.Popescu Byte Poster

    Congrats on the Job! Excellent post, thank's a lot! :)
    Certifications: City&Guild's Level2&3, CompTIA A&N+, MCP
  17. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    Er... :blink
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  18. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

    Pinned post. First one on top of jobs section.
    WIP: Uhmm... not sure
  19. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

    ... but rather old ! :p
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  20. mr.raw

    mr.raw New Member

    This might be an old topic but very very relevent even today, many thanks:)

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