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How did you get the " in" to your job?

brabbegebrabbege Member Posts: 19 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello everyone. To begin with, I'm a young fellow, 24, and I'm dreaming big. I want to become a security professional. Currently, I work in healthcare in a PC Deployment/Desktop Support role for a large corporate system. I'll have exactly one year experience in the IT field in about two weeks. I've completed in A.A.S in Computer Science with a focus in Network Security/Computer Forensics. Also, I'm taking the test for Sec+ on the 21st, and I'm very confident that I'll slay it no problem. But, I'm looking for a new life in NYC/Jersey, because my wife and I have set our sights on a new exciting adventure there.

I've been applying for just under a month now, but it's rough. Obviously a month's time of applying is a drop in the bucket- I know. But man, I feel like I'm getting NOWHERE with these damn recruiters. I've received several calls (which I'm thankful for because I at least know I'm visible) but no dice. I've been applying for as low experience level required jobs as possible, and while I got to an HR screening phone interview, I haven't heard back since. Obviously I'm not holding out for one of the first 5 callbacks I get to be a hire. Anyway.

How did you all get in? Was it through a recruiter? Already employed for the company and moved laterally? Did you have an in at where you applied to? I'm beginning to feel a tiny bit of discouragement gnawing at me.
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    Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,772 ■■■■■■■■□□
    It's a numbers game. Apply more and don't give up. The market you are looking at is full of opportunity. Once you land something you can branch out from there pretty successfully.

    Good Luck
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    networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    Are you trying to relocate from another area? Employers aren't usually looking to relocate entry level people from another area. It's just not worth the trouble when there are plenty local people with little to no experience. Especially in NYC.

    As far as how to get "in", it takes time. Experience gets you in. Your other options are to know someone on the inside or get lucky and someone likes what you are selling them. If you have a few phone interviews and no offers, I'd say you need to work on selling yourself. Of all the jobs I've ever had even an initial phone interview with I've been offered the position every time but once or twice. You need to be a salesman and you are the product. With you lack of experience you need to be leaving a lasting impression.

    Good luck!
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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    brabbegebrabbege Member Posts: 19 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Aye, I'm in Pittsburgh. I figured that it would be tough as an entry level to get in when plenty of companies would look local. I have an address in Brooklyn listed on my resume because we do have a small place available to us should the job come.
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    networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    That is good that you can appear local. It should help. Next thing I would ask is how does your resume look? What qualifications are you bringing to the table with that one year experience? Certifications?
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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    brabbegebrabbege Member Posts: 19 ■□□□□□□□□□
    The role I'm in is healthcare so I have a HIPAA state of mind throughout operations. This contract is project based. We did an enterprise Windows 7 refresh that required us to work with many different hospitals' IT environments and staff on their unique way of doing things. Also a small amount of data analysis that required plenty of communication to hundreds of end users about the status of their devices. But the role doesn't have much to do with any Security CBK, unfortunately. I take the Sec+ test next week tomorrow.
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    IristheangelIristheangel Mod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    For me, the last couple were through a recruiter and turned into a FTE position after enough time.. The current job was through networking at an event and building on that relationship.

    Check out the meetups around your area, attend events, publicly post your resume and make it searchable on all the job sites (you'll get a TON of recruiters calling you but that may bear fruit), etc.

    Good luck
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
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    brabbegebrabbege Member Posts: 19 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Im on dice, linkedin, indeed, and theladders. I know the hardest part of the job process is just getting someone to listen for 5 minutes-that inch in the door. The last call I had it felt like the recruiter was just reading from a que card and hardly listening to what I was saying which can be very aggravating, as well.
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    TybTyb Member Posts: 207 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I done work study at the CTC I was attending and then our LAN Specialist that I worked for took another job as I was graduating. Soooo I applied and having already been working there helped as they knew my capabilities.
    WGU BS:IT Security (March 2015)
    WGU MS:ISA (February 2016 )
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    the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I saw a posting on the Civil Service website for a position and got lucky when they pulled my resume for another position. Just keep blasting the resume out there and you'll find something. Continue with certs, get a BS/BA, and gather experience where you can.
    WIP:
    PHP
    Kotlin
    Intro to Discrete Math
    Programming Languages
    Work stuff
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    lsud00dlsud00d Member Posts: 1,571
    @Iristheangel makes a good point. Beyond your online presence, what are you doing in person? For example, my city has a collective of security professionals that meet once a month. People come in from neighboring cities and not everyone is in security, including myself. It's a great time and after the 1-2 presenters each month we all grab some brews (we meet in a private space at a local bar) and socialize.

    Security is one of my hobbies and although for a time I did want to get into security, I've decided to be a security-minded individual. I do infrastructure engineering so security is very important to me through all OSI layers. Many shops can't afford a dedicated IT security staff/individual so you can present yourself as an increased-value commodity if you understand things from a security perspective.

    To the original question, my "ins" have been through friends/professional relations. If you're a quality individual, both in the professional sense and as a person, others will recommend/refer you (also so they get a bonus icon_wink.gif).
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Took an entry level positions and then started to test the waters and truly find out what I liked. Then I built a crosswalk on how I could get to that position. Obviously jumping from entry level to that position wasn't feasible. So I reversed engineered positions of interested and started to learn and study those particular skills, making sure they aligned somewhat to what I was currently doing. Then after sometime I transitioned to another role that had more of the skills that aligned with my end game. Eventually with this strategy I was able to build a resource crosswalk to the job I wanted. It took me a while and it wasn't always pretty but in the end it worked. Now I am positioning myself for other positions focusing on pay rate rather than skills.
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    YFZbluYFZblu Member Posts: 1,462 ■■■■■■■■□□
    My story is really stupid. I was working in a Desktop Support role for a company that also had its own SOC. Over the years I applied over and over again, never receiving any response. I actually ended up applying EXTERNALLY through Dice.com, and that's how I got picked up.

    It was quite sad, the recruiter who called me didn't know that I worked for the organization already. Even worse, when the actual interview came around, the hiring Manager hadn't even read my resume' and didn't know I already worked for the company.

    Keep grinding, it can be a really tough thing to do. But like Iris and others said - DEFINITELY make your way to conferences and meet other professionals in the area. It will make things exponentially easier on you.
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    brabbegebrabbege Member Posts: 19 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Can a Desktop Support guy transition into a security role with only my year and a cert though? I like what N2IT said about having to build a bridge to that job using other jobs. I'm not sure what "job building blocks" I should be using on my bridge though. Maybe find a Junior Net Admin role, or shoot for an SOC analyst?
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    jvrlopezjvrlopez Member Posts: 913 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I blanketed out my resume and got a call back. I actually missed the call and wasn't too intrigued by the voice mail but luckily called back and went in for an interview a few days later. After about 20 minutes talking, I had the offer letter signed and filed.

    The project manager who contacted me later told me he's like to give people chances because that's how he got in the door.

    Everything has worked out great so far!
    And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Ayrton Senna
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    coreyb80coreyb80 Member Posts: 647 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I was very blessed to land the position I'm in honestly. I was contacted randomly by the company. I passed the initial phone screen, the next phone screen, and then the interview. My soft skills and my ability to mesh with the team sold them on taking a chance on me. I started off as a contractor and was recently converted to FTE.
    WGU BS - Network Operations and Security
    Completion Date: May 2021
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    brabbegebrabbege Member Posts: 19 ■□□□□□□□□□
    coreyb80 wrote: »
    I was very blessed to land the position I'm in honestly. I was contacted randomly by the company. I passed the initial phone screen, the next phone screen, and then the interview. My soft skills and my ability to mesh with the team sold them on taking a chance on me. I started off as a contractor and was recently converted to FTE.

    Good to know mang. You give me hope that there ARE places that won't look down their noses at me. Interested in hearing other tales as well.
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    coreyb80coreyb80 Member Posts: 647 ■■■■■□□□□□
    brabbege wrote: »
    Good to know mang. You give me hope that there ARE places that won't look down their noses at me. Interested in hearing other tales as well.

    I went to a few interviews where this actually happened to me, but it didn't stop me from pressing on.
    WGU BS - Network Operations and Security
    Completion Date: May 2021
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    AkaricloudAkaricloud Member Posts: 938
    My first major steps in IT career progression came from my very well written cover letter and resume that illustrated both my ability and willingness to learn.

    My most recent jump, that on paper I really wasn't qualified for, was 100% word of mouth referral from well-trusted members of the local IT community who could speak to my personality and ability.

    If you can show an employer that you're very willing and capable of learning what they need quickly, they'll often take a chance on you.
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    YFZbluYFZblu Member Posts: 1,462 ■■■■■■■■□□
    brabbege wrote: »
    Can a Desktop Support guy transition into a security role with only my year and a cert though? I like what N2IT said about having to build a bridge to that job using other jobs. I'm not sure what "job building blocks" I should be using on my bridge though. Maybe find a Junior Net Admin role, or shoot for an SOC analyst?
    I spent exactly one year in a desktop support role before entering infosec - but during that time I picked up CCNA, CCNA:Sec, and GIAC GSEC.
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    brabbegebrabbege Member Posts: 19 ■□□□□□□□□□
    YFZblu wrote: »
    I spent exactly one year in a desktop support role before entering infosec - but during that time I picked up CCNA, CCNA:Sec, and GIAC GSEC.

    Nice, I would have loved to pick up other certs in the year I've been in this role, but fund shortage killed me=/ What position in InfoSec did you get, and did your skills transfer well from Desktop Support, or were you kind of drinking from the firehose for awhile?
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    YFZbluYFZblu Member Posts: 1,462 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Security Analyst in a SOC - Primarily network security monitoring and incident response. What transferred well was TCP/IP knowledge...but I definitely had to drink from the fire hose. Ultimately, I realized all incident responders are always drinking from the firehose. Now it's just a way of life..
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    the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    A firm foundation in the technology you wish to secure is the way to start. Might be hard with just a year of desktop support and certs, but it's not impossible. It's honestly very important that you can place emphasis on the security aspects of your job. Sure you do desktop support, but that means patching along with virus removal. Also updating and deploying antivirus applies as well. I tend to think many people forget about all the things they actually do in their role.
    WIP:
    PHP
    Kotlin
    Intro to Discrete Math
    Programming Languages
    Work stuff
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    W StewartW Stewart Member Posts: 794 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Don't burn bridges and stay in touch with old co-workers. I just landed a linux admin role and the dba wanted to know if I knew anybody qualified and interested in a junior dba role. I only knew one guy who would be a good fit for that role and he's currently being grossly underpaid by his current job so I'm helping him get in the door at this job. I wouldn't recommend him if I didn't think he could do the job though.

    As for me personally. I found the job through a recruiter on linkedin. I got the job by impressing the right people with my knowledge during the interview like I've done every other job. I've never really gotten a job based on who I know just yet but I'm only three years into my career.
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    jmritenourjmritenour Member Posts: 565
    Honestly, I lucked out. I passed my RHCE exam last June, and shortly after joined the official RHCE group on LInkedIn, ie had to verify my # and all that. A couple months later, I got a call from an internal Red Hat recruiter asking if I'd be interested in discussing openings they had in their consulting organization. I said sure, thinking nothing would come of it, but knowing I had nothing to lose. A couple months later, I was working for Red Hat.
    "Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible; suddenly, you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi
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    brabbegebrabbege Member Posts: 19 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Speak of the devil. Was just contacted by some recruiter who told me that 99% of InfoSec related jobs require 10+ years of experience. Sure thing guy.
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    UnixGuyUnixGuy Mod Posts: 4,567 Mod
    jmritenour wrote: »
    Honestly, I lucked out. I passed my RHCE exam last June....


    ^^ This is anything but "luck". You passed the RHCE, it's a challenging exam that proves your competency. I get job offers all the time because I passed RHCE.
    Certs: GSTRT, GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE

    Learn GRC! GRC Mastery : https://grcmastery.com 

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    PutneyPutney Member Posts: 17 ■□□□□□□□□□
    For both of my jobs I knew someone that worked there. Still had to go through interview process but was successful for both positions.

    The second job was actually just by chance that I saw the listing, I then applied and realised I knew a couple of people who worked there which helped.
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    codedwarcodedwar Member Posts: 27 ■□□□□□□□□□
    It helps a immensely if you know someone where you want to be. I'm soon to start a new job that I found out about through a friend of my parents. I was home for christmas and met him at a my parents christmas party. He had a friend who was looking for networking guys and put me in touch. I still had to do the whole interview process but I'm pretty sure they wrote the job requirements based on my resume. I've also been offered jobs through contractors I've worked with. In my last job I worked with a lot of contractors who would come through for a week to do some work, leave, and I'd likely never see them again. If I was involved with their work I would add them on linkedin. A lot of contractors switch jobs a lot and the same guy configuring a router in May can be the manager of a team in June. If they know you are solid at your job, most people will hand your resume to the hiring manager if theres a spot open.
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    kohr-ahkohr-ah Member Posts: 1,277
    My MSP job I actually found a post on careerbuilder and emailed one of the guys in my CCNA Class in college who worked there and he got me an interview. The rest was on me.

    All other jobs I have had no contacts and all have been me.
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    RHELRHEL Member Posts: 195 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I saw an opening for a position perfectly matching my skillset and applied through the company directly. My wife and her bosses knew the regional president for the company and director-level contacts and reached out. Shortly after, I got an interview... The rest was history.

    Recently, I tried to get an ex coworker hired here... His skillset matches the position very well. He applied with me as a referral, I reached out to HR and another member of the team he'd be working on... He never heard back.

    Hard to put a conclusion on this, but I'd say the "in" is very much who you know... if and only if who you know is someone with some major pull. After getting the interview, its all you.

    If you don't have a heavy hitter contact/reference, it's more or less a numbers game. It's so unpredictable that trying to analyze why you did or didn't get a callback is pointless.
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