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Need help, been 3yrs out of IT

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Darce, Sep 1, 2007.

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  1. Darce

    Darce New Member

    Hi all,

    I had a good job doing network/desktop support, but i had a nasty accident and have not worked for the last 3 years.
    I am now fully fit but no-one seems interested in me, last cert was MCP in NT!!

    I really don't/can't want to spend £4000+ on retraining, am going to do MCDST self study, but ANY advice would be welcome.
    Have a look at my CV and advise http://yourupload.com/fh/download/2281/JDarcyCV.doc.html

    Many thanks
  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Theres places abroad offering MCSE certification courses for as little as £1200, I can't say how reputable these places are but you certainly need not spend £4000.

    If you've had alot of time off should have left you some time to study no ? Should be an upgrade path I would have thought ? Even if theres no longer an upgrade path, MCSE is 6-7 exams, someone with experience should be able to manage that in 2 months full time home study.

    You should be able to find a position on your experience without certs, I would have thought.

    Best of luck in the job hunting !
  3. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

    With regards to your CV I would:

    * Get shot of the Font - looks like it has come from Word Resume Wizard - Try using Arial at size 10 for detail, 18 for Sub headings and 22 for Main Heading.
    * Use the whole page instead of wasting 1/3 of the page on subheadings column. Put your Subheadings ABOVE the details - bullet point your details i.e. the daily duties.
    * Dipose of the MCP logo - use that top area for Name, Address, Mobile Number, Home Number and email address.
    * Drop interests and Objectives as this is something that should be in a cover letter. Those 2 heading also make it WELL obvious that you used the Resume Wizard.
    * References are something that would be asked on an Application form - no need for it on a CV.
    * Keep employment history IT related - my CV only goes back to 2001. It would be 10 pages long if I went back to 1995 :o) but then again that's my fault!

    If you follow the above you should be left with a page and a half compact and straight to the point CV. All the rest of your dreams objectives etc should be in a covering letter.

    Good luck!
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  4. MrNerdy

    MrNerdy Megabyte Poster

    As a grounding i suggest CompTIA A+ & N+ to start off with.
    Then look at MCP(XP) or MCDST or MCSE.
    It does depend on the route you want to go down, if you want to go straight into a course what about doing CCNA?
    Certifications: ECDL, CiscoIT1 & A+
    WIP: Girlfriend & Network+
  5. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster

    Sorry to say that from reading your CV (Remebering the certs you have are NT... a lot has changed) that this stupid suggestion would not even enter into the realms of possibility other than in a very deluded mind.

    I think everyone can have opinions, but expressing one such as '2 months for MCSE' to someone trying to get back into the industry will do no-one any good, and possibly harm Darce's expectations.
    Certifications: VCP,A+, N+, MCSA, MCSE
    WIP: Christmas Drunkard
  6. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    Don't take this personally, but I don't download files from unknown sources. I'm sure it's harmless, but I've been wrong before.

    If you've held down a support position and have an MCP in NT technology, you apparently have the ability to learn and use IT skills. While the world has changed since the days of NT, it doesn't mean you can't pick up a few books and a spare computer or two and learn more modern operating systems. Paying out large sums of money to "earn" an MCSE in a short period of time will likely put you in debt *and* you won't learn what you should be learning in the process.

    There's a reason it takes years to earn...really earn an MCSE. There's a lot of information involved and it's complicated. It's not a matter of answering a bunch of questions, it's a matter of knowing what you're doing.

    You've worked in IT before so you learned the skills once before. Your background isn't worthless. Before hitting the panic button, decide which certification within the MCSE realm you want to go for first, pick up a Microsoft Press and a Sybex book on the cert, and start reading. If it has to do with Windows Server 2003, get the free evaluation copy of the software from Microsoft and install it on a PC and start practicing.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  7. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Well maybe I am deluded, but I was trying to address Darces original question, if you read the entire post you will see that I mentioned that he did not need certs.

    Full time study for two months could be as much as 600 hours, one exam a week could be possible for someone who already knew much of the material from previous experience, if they don't hit this target they could at least find they have much of the MCSA. I've never taken the MCSE exams so I may be wrong but I'm currently out of contract and have taken 4 exams in around 6 weeks while interviewing so thats why I think it is possible. Darcy's CV indicates hes got around eight years support/admin experience with Microsoft systems, yes a lot has changed but I would still expect alot of his knowledge to be valuable. I'd also be surprised if he hadn't touched a computer or OS since NT.
  8. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

    My biggest alarm on this is the employment. Your latest employment ends at 2004 (which you have explained here). When you submit your CV for jobs, do you include a covering letter explaining why there is a 3 year gap in your employment? If not, this is very possibly why you arent getting offers/interviews (Or at least contributing). I wouldnt put this on your CV itself, but I would suggest stating it on the letter.

    Alternatively you could say 2004 - Present: Injury - further details on request or some such.

    Previously, when I was looking, I cut out any jobs that were not relevant to the position I was applying for, and put a note at the end of the section stating that a full employment history is available on request in order to let people know that it was relevant jobs, not all jobs.
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
    WIP: None at present
  9. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster


    Without experience of the MCSA/MSCE you probably aren't aware of the difficulties of passing the individual exams, even with knowledge of prior operating systems. Even the upgrade exam for the MCSE 2000 to 2003 gave my work colleague some real trouble, even though he had been working in the field since before NT.

    Remember an MCSE tests in depth knowledge of networking, operating system, server, planning and designing infratructures and AD......there is definately going to be material in there that is totally fresh and new to pretty much everyone. Take into account that the experience was on NT as well as of the fact that it appears it wasn't all that in depth (except for 3rd line printers, which doesn't count towards the MCSE..and networking) and you have for a very frustrated guy if he took what you said to heart and tried it.

    As I said before, it is great helping and trying to give advice, but giving someone misleading advice could be very costly to an individual if they actually get into something that they have no hope of completing.
    Certifications: VCP,A+, N+, MCSA, MCSE
    WIP: Christmas Drunkard
  10. MacAllan

    MacAllan Byte Poster

    I'd say you need to redraft your CV.

    The first page is mostly taken up with uninteresting information: as an employer I wouldn't first want to know where you were born, nor educated, nor how many GCSEs you had.

    I'd want to get a sense of 'you' - and an out-dated MCP is less revealing than the great actual IT experience you have had. So sell it! But mostly, I would say, given your circumstances, you have to sell yourself with a more functional than a traditional CV. The covering letter would also be absolutely vital here: the injury you have had is no barrier to further employment, but you have to make your story interesting, to get past the
    'no recent experience? -> bin' response.

    You say no-one is interested, but we don't know what sort of job you have been applying for. Certainly, you'll be starting at a lower level than where you left off. Even in three years, things have changed a lot, and an employer would have to retrain you as much as a newbie - except your record shows you are capable, - very capable - so sell that too. But as an employer I'd also wonder about the last couple of years: okay, unable to work, but why no study to keep your skills up to date?

    HTH - anyway, good luck.
    Certifications: A+, N+, CCNA
    WIP: CCNP, Linux+
  11. Mathematix

    Mathematix Megabyte Poster

    What about:

    1. Has worked in IT for eight years prior to the accident.
    2. Has third line support experience.
    3. The only reason for leaving IT was the inability to work.
    4. Has supported a number of systems and configurations.
    5. Has the clear desire to return to IT as soon as was well enough.
    6. Spent five years at the same company.

    The list goes on. If I was an employer in the IT sector you would appeal to me a lot more than someone who has just been certified with zero experience due to your enthusiasm for the field and proven skill in the past.

    Unfortunately, actual employers with my point-of-view are few and far between, but can and will be found. Choose your certs wisely and don't rush into spending silly amounts that will get you nowhere.

    It might even be worth your while getting an IT-related degree or similar from the OU. No silly upgrading then, and once your foot is in the door it's in the door.

    I got into IT with a degree in 2000 (although I promptly left to chase a game dev career), so don't be suckered into thinking certs are the only way. Use your passed experience to your benefit. :)
    Certifications: BSc(Hons) Comp Sci, BCS Award of Merit
    WIP: Not doing certs. Computer geek.
  12. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster


    I was out of work for close to 5 years, and job hunting for around 2 years, before I got a job again. I was forced to quit my former career due to a disability and had to retrain.

    The only way I got a job again was by gaining real skills in a lab, and then going out and getting to know people in the industry where I was searching for work (I'm into Linux so I started attending LUG meetings and also started calling on friends of mine asking if they knew anyone in the IT business who was looking for help) and saying I'd intern, work for free for a couple of months so the employer could see my skills, etc.... Just anything to get my foot in the door. I was honest with the employers too. I told them I was having a very hard time breaking into the field, and that I was willing to risk giving away my labor just to get a chance because I knew if I could get a chance I'd make good. I just hadn't been given the chance yet.

    One of my internships turned into steady contract work when they found out I was going to start interning at another place too, and that had the possibility of becoming full time in a few months.

    You have to get to know people in the field again. Start off with small employers because you will be able to get to physically talk to those decision makers much more easily than you will with large employers. Those big downtown guys are buffered by too many layers of people for you to ever get a chance to impress them personally, and that's what it is going to take to get a chance to get back to work.

    You will also get your fingers into a lot more technologies with a small employer so you get to broaden your skills a lot more. Yeah, a good resume helps, and so does a good cover letter, but they will never replace the effectiveness of actually talking to decision makers. Certs might help, but I'm not big on certs anymore. I've got so many acronyms after my name it's not funny, and they didn't help me get a job at all.

    It was my persistence, confidence in my skills, willingness to take risks to demonstrate my skills, and once I got my foot in the door the willingness, nay, eagerness, to learn anything that was put in front of me, that finally got me my job. If it wasn't for those attributes and actions I still wouldn't have a job, and I have an MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, and an A+. Tellingly enough I got a job using my Linux skills, for which I have no, nada, zip, zero certifications. There's a lesson there in somewhere.

    You're competing against guys that have been proving their skills/usefulness for last the last 3 years. You have to demonstrate that you haven't lost yours, and that you're ambitious, driven, talented, and very willing to learn anything, not wave pieces of paper around or add acronyms after your name. There are ton of people out there that already have that, and have been proving everyday that they have all the other qualities too, and those qualities are the ones that really count.

    I finally got this job when I started searching the way I had gotten all my jobs in my old career: talking to decision makers and impressing them. Resumes and cover letters are nothing more than a form of cold calling, and that's a tough way to sell anything, let alone something that is easily enough perceived as being of lesser value just because you have been out of work for so long. That doesn't mean you are of lesser value, just that you will be perceived that way.

    HR people use resume's to eliminate applicants, not broaden the pool of applicants.
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  13. Darce

    Darce New Member

    Many thanks for all your replies, time to sort my CV out!!
  14. ajs1976

    ajs1976 Byte Poster

    With a couple of years of experience and some certs already, I think the MCDST is a good place to start. The MCSA would be a good next step. The MCDST will count as the elective towards the MCSA. Since you already had the Networkin Essentials exam, I would skip the Network+.

    You may want to get a professional resume writer to review you CV. That person should be able to help you with the employment gap.

    good luck
    Certifications: MCSE, CCEA, Sec+, L+, N+
    WIP: 2008, CAG, or CCENT (not sure)

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