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How to get the experience!?

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Pacergold

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Post Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:31 pm

How to get the experience!?

Hey all pretty new here, have been indulged by the vast amount of information on the forums. I currently am working towards a BS in IT and a Masters in IT Security and Assurance. Currently I have my Project +, Network +, A+, CIW Professional, Associates, and Web Design certs. I still have ECC certs to go and Security + which I will be taking shortly. The problem I have run into is I live in a city of ~ 130,000 so not small but not huge, and yet haven't been asked for an interview on any IT jobs (System Admin, Network Admin Help Desk, Web Design consultat ect) yet. I can only think of 2 reasons, one being my resume is horrible (which it isn't) and two lack of professional experience. Any suggestions on how to get over the tip of this iceberg?
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mallaigh

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Post Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:06 pm

Re: How to get the experience!?

I had trouble landing job interviews until I started writing my resume and cover letter for the job I was applying for.  I had recently graduated college and was sending out the same generic resume.  When I saw the job posting for my current job (Corporate IT for an internet company), I wrote my resume and cover letter for the job posting.  Seriously, it was the first job I wrote the resume for and I got the job.  The same technique also landed me some interview offers, but I had already accepted this position.  I'm hoping to move up to a SysAdmin position soon. 

Another tip for resume is relevant job experience.  A lot of people put down the jobs they have worked that aren't directly related to the job they applying for.  Unless that is the only work experience you have, it doesn't need to be there.

Since you are working towards your BS, you should also be looking for internships.  People have this stigma that internships aren't paid.  My company has SysAdmin, DBA, and Web production internships; all are paid.  I have also seen several interns get promoted to full-time employees.  Internships get your foot in the door, get you experience, and build your contacts/resume.  If possible, you might want to visit your school's career center or chat up advisors/professors about an internships they might know of. 

Another thing you could do call/email people around you who are working in a field you are interested in and ask them if you can ask them a few questions about what they do.  This is reverse interviewing.  Make sure you have planned out what questions you would like to ask, and it gets you some face time with people in the field.  You do this in hopes that when a position opens up they are aware of, they hopefully will give you a heads up or ask for your resume. 
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mallaigh

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Post Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:12 pm

Re: How to get the experience!?

Sorry for the brain dump, but I just thought of some other things.

You say where you live is kind of small.  If possible, you might want to look for jobs in surrounding areas as well. 

I worked in a computer repair shop when I was in college and one of my co-workers did tech support for a local ISP.  That might be something else you might want to consider as well. 
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mallaigh

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Post Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:27 pm

Re: How to get the experience!?

I also forgot to add: Welcome to EH Pacergold!
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Pacergold

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Post Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:09 pm

Re: How to get the experience!?

Thanks for all the info! Yea I have no "professional" computer experience I guess you could say, which seems to be the problem, but with out a place to start how can anyone have experience. So I will continue to tailor these resumes and just keep trying. I will have to look into some internships as well.

Thanks!
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MatP

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Post Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:11 pm

Re: How to get the experience!?

Lack of experience is certainly frustrating when you're looking for a job. I'm in a similar position and all the job postings I see want at minimum 5+ years experience.

That being said, I've applied for these positions anyway and often gotten interviews out of it.

Additionally, it's possible that the job was posted publicly but they promoted someone from within to that position, which could lead to a more entry-level position being available, they may contact you for that position instead.

Good luck!
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don

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Post Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:05 am

Re: How to get the experience!?

Since you're still in school, your options may be limited as to the job you could take or how much time you have to dedicate to looking and actually working, but you also have some avenues open that others may not. Look for job boards posted at school, talk to counselors, talk to your instructors, fellow students, alumni... like it or not, knowing someone in the industry is the best way to get a job.

As for experience, you can get it through internships as you mention, but also don't forget to volunteer your time. That could be at the IT dept at your school, local charity, museum, et al.

Hope that helps and good luck,
Don
CISSP, MCSE, CSTA, Security+ SME

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