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In need of guidance or advice

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Albert, Aug 3, 2009.

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  1. Albert

    Albert Bit Poster

    Hi Guys,

    I need guidance or advice on the options I currently have.

    I will provide background information about myself. I’ll try and keep it short. Forgive me if it seems like an essay.

    I am 23 years old. I have already successfully completed higher education that began with a Foundation Degree in Information and Communication Technologies. The number of UCAS points I had only allowed me to gain entry to the Foundation Degree. I passed the course with a Distinction and most of the higher marks achieved were in technically oriented modules compared to the business focussed ones.

    I already decided to progress on to degree level with a one-year ‘top-up’ course. Taking advice from a close friend of the family I chose the Business Information Technology course. Despite knowing that my technical skills were better than my business skills I still took the course. The main reasons were I thought it was more desirable to have a business focus, programming jobs being off shored and the unstable job market mentioned in industry magazines. I passed the course with a lower second (2.2) and the module results were lower than the foundation course module results. One of the factors was due to the expected increase in difficulty for degree level. I did also struggle with the business side of the course.

    My work history is as follows, starting with the most recent:

    10 June 2008 – 02 June 2009
    A Junior Web Developer employed in a web design and development agency. This was classed as a graduate placement, sponsored financially by an external organisation with the possibility of leading to a permanent position. My senior manager did mention that I was a permanent employee though.

    Jan 2007 – May 2007
    Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Consultant. It was a part-time work experience placement as part of the Foundation Degree course.

    06 Dec 2004 – 23 Sep 2005
    An E1 Revenue Officer at HM Revenue & Customs. It was my first ever part-time job during my sixth-form studies.

    14 May 2001 – 18 May 2001
    A Legal/Clerical Assistant at a Magistrates Court. This was a one-week work experience placement back in secondary school.

    It is after my time as a Web Developer that I am currently unemployed. I originally wanted to be a programmer but reflecting back on experience from my recent role I struggled in programming tasks and felt demoralized. I think it might be because I did not come from a programming background from my studies. My manager did state when I asked him that he could not see me as a programmer. It was agreed I am able to rapidly understand what I learnt but I needed a lot more time to develop that due to circumstances could not be given.

    Furthermore he said the agency environment I was in which was fast paced and constantly changing was not right for me. I felt this to be true and he suggested that I should be in an environment where I could just concentrate on one task at my own pace.

    Since I felt I didn’t want to be coming home every night and sitting in front of a computer again studying programming I applied to local government for a position as a tax clerk. My application was accepted but I didn’t make it through the interview. I’ve also thought that even if I was successful it would be likely I wouldn’t enjoy it. Being involved in technology is what motivates me and I’m glued to the computer almost all of the time.

    I am now at the point of trying to make a decision between:

    • Continuing on my current path and learning of programming. Looking out and applying for junior web development or programming roles.
    • Go another route towards desktop /1st line support. I feel this is what my Foundation Degree prepared me for and where I’m more confident in. I know what it might involve to a point from providing technical support over the phone, long distance with a family member and in my previous job role. I was seen suited to a support role in my previous position. I also generally feel satisfied after helping someone resolve their technical problems. Though due to personal circumstances I need to reside and work within Tyne and Wear. This may limit the number of opportunities. I will also need to improve on being able to work a lot quicker to get anywhere in a job.

    I have attached an edited CV detailing the course modules I have studied. Bear in mind this won’t be exactly what my CV looks like due to removal of certain, private details.

    I welcome and appreciate any advice or guidance.

    Thanks for taking the time to read through this.



    Attached Files:

  2. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    Hi & welcome, please introduce yourself here :)

    Just a couple of key points, imo:

    1. Your CV is too long, 2 pages only
    2. Take out all those modules you did on your degree, you can skim them in your cover letter or during the interview.

    Plus also do a search on here, we've posted up several threads on CV's; what to include and not to include. I believe that you'll find them useful :)

    Certifications: CITP, PGDip, 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: MSc in Tech Management
  3. Albert

    Albert Bit Poster


    Thanks. I've taken your input onboard Ken.

    I have done a complete overhaul on my CV, focusing appropriate skills and knowledge towards a 1st level tech support role. See what still needs to be changed if you can.

    Thanks again


    Attached Files:

  4. Len

    Len Byte Poster

    I'm no employer or anything, but I think you should put your work history before your external activities, as its (in my opinion) probably more relevant..

    You could probably fit your in-progress CompTIA cert somewhere in your education section instead?
    Certifications: BND IT Practitioners
    WIP: Comptia A+
  5. Albert

    Albert Bit Poster


    Hi Len,

    Yep, your right. It would make more sense.

    I originally thought of having my work history all on one page instead of continuing onto another page. It would flow better the way you suggested though. Thanks.

    Changes have been made on the CV attached to this post, :D.

    Attached Files:

  6. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    Okay, I am a complete pedant, so this probably won't sound nice, but your CV doesn't jump out at me. I don't do the hiring at my place, but I do work on support.

    You're looking for a first line technical support role, and fair enough, you've tried to point out wherever you can what technical exposure you've had. But pretty much all entry level tech jobs I've encountered are helpdesk, and this demands as much customer-facing service experience as it does technical experience.

    You've had jobs that would almost certainly give you good exposure to customer service disciplines, but you hardly mention this at all, and seem to stutter at the technical details only.

    The way you phrase the technical experience also makes it appear (to me) that you didn't get much true experience. You maintained a high level of customer service on the telephone... did you work to SLAs? Was it an ITIL company? There's a lot of 'technical support' stuff in your job experience, but not in one place do you mention applications you have provided technical support on.

    You can, and you need to, sell yourself a lot more here. Short, sharp and salesy :) I'll try a little more help if I can (if you want me to!) but I need to go study now!

    My comments and little revisions are attached :)

    Attached Files:

    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  7. Albert

    Albert Bit Poster


    Hi Arroryn,

    Wow, I wasn't actually aware of those glaring holes on my CV you mentioned. I am really rubbish at writing in an effective way.

    Thanks very much for the feedback. I really do appreciate it.

    It doesn't matter how negative a comment is as I know members here only have the best intentions of helping out. Besides I'm used to much criticism anyways, :biggrin

    I have taken in your comments including those on the attached file. I will correct the mistakes on my CV but will be out tomorrow and won't be back until the evening. Then its the weekend so probably won't post back on this board until early next week.

    Be back soon

    Thanks again
  8. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

    Put that in :p

    I'm with Arro on this, the other thing I would say is don't mention what job your seeking on your CV. Thats for your covering letter. If your going to include any kind of personal statement keep it to the point and sell yourself.

    • Competent with all Microsoft Office, OpenOffice and NeoOffice applications

    This phrase will always terrify me, what do you mean by competent? do you mean you can knock up a basic spreadsheet or are we talking doing fancy things with pivot tables and complex formulas? The problem is peoples definition of competent with Office applications varies wildly, so to help potential employers out give examples of what you can actually do
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, ACA – Mac Integration 10.10
  9. Albert

    Albert Bit Poster


    I have spent many hours last night and this evening trying to improve on my CV with the feedback.

    Latest one attached.

    Thanks very much to all on this thread.

    Attached Files:

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