Attempting to reenter the job market after a lengthy illness….extremely discouraged!

srabieesrabiee Member Posts: 1,231 ■■■■■■■■□□
I’ve been away from the forums for about a month now. Forgive me in advance for a long winded post, but I have a lot going on right now, I’m really stressed, extremely frustrated, and I need to vent a bit. I also need some advice from you guys. I put up a few links to some previous posts about my background and situation, as I didn’t want to copy and paste and cause this thread to read like a book.

Ok, so firsts things first, I need to try my best to get you guys up to speed so that you can better understand my unique situation and where I’m coming from here.

My previous job as a systems administrator was a great learning experience, but it was a dead-end, go nowhere job where I was severely underpaid and treated like a dog. I never received a raise or promotion in the 4 years that I was there, despite being relied upon heavily by my employer. At some point during my tenure with that company, I said enough was enough and began working on certs and attending WGU simultaneously. I stuck with the job because I was so focused on my education, and also because I enjoyed my job duties and working with brand new technologies. How severely underpaid and mistreated was I? I was being paid $29K to perform the job duties listed on my resume in my previous role. Even before I got sick, I was pissed and bitter about my situation, but I saw school as a means to an end.

I wrote a frustrated post about it last year, please refer to this thread for that:
www.techexams.net/forums/jobs-degrees/99415-salary-expectations-resume-advice.html

^^^ Wow, I just noticed that I posted that just weeks before I got sick. How ironic.

Here’s a thread with a fairly recent version of my resume. Not much has changed except for a few cert additions and adding my LinkedIn address:
www.techexams.net/forums/jobs-degrees/104429-resume-critique-advice-final-draft.html

I had to resign from my former position as a full-time systems administrator of 4+ years on May 30, 2014 due to an unexpected illness. You can read about that ordeal in this post here:
www.techexams.net/forums/jobs-degrees/103934-anyone-ever-been-unable-work-due-medical-condition.html

Since then, I have been at home concentrating on school and certs, and learning to cope with NDPH syndrome. I finished my BSIT degree from WGU in August 2014, and have completed 17 CU’s toward the MSIT degree from WGU. I also obtained a few more Microsoft certs during that time, and the Cisco CCENT as well. Basically trying to stay busy and stay relevant while being treated for my medical condition, keeping my “eye on the prize” so to speak. I have a great interest in my chosen career path (obviously), and I wasn’t going to let something like permanent, lifelong headache pain and dizziness hold me back.

Fast forward to this month. My wife and I have been talking about leaving WV for over a year now. The economy here is bad (one of the poorest states in the nation), and IT jobs are almost completely nonexistent. We considered moving to Salt Lake City, Denver, Austin, Phoenix, and a few other larger cities. I sort of had my mind set on SLC for various reasons, but my wife decided that she didn’t want to go anywhere that gets lots of snow. The plan was for me to complete my MSIT degree while my wife worked full-time, and then start looking for a job. My wife was unexpectedly laid off from her job of over 10 years at the beginning of this month. So we went into panic mode. We have very little in the way of savings because of our current situation, barely enough to move and reestablish elsewhere. My wife had a very niche job as an art educator at a local museum (she has a masters degree in art history), and isn’t likely to find work without relocation to a large city. So it was time for me to go back to work…immediately. Otherwise we are going to be living out of a cardboard box in about....oh…3 months or so.

So ultimately we agreed on Austin, TX and I committed to concentrating 100% of my job search efforts in that city. My Dad and brother live in Dallas (my wife and I don’t really like Dallas), so choosing Austin made even more sense to us. This month I have applied to over 165 IT jobs in Austin through Indeed, Dice, ZipRecruiter, recruiting firms, etc. And yet, I have been contacted only a handful of times. I had two Skype interviews: one with a local MSP and one with a local business. The MSP sent me an email 5 days later stating that they were going to pursue “more qualified candidates.” The local business I simply never heard back from, even after submitting a thank you letter.

Frankly, I’m discouraged, I’m bitter, and I’m frustrated. I’m pissed that I’ve been busting my ass for over 5 years and have never made any real money and never garnered any real respect. I’m tired of being poor. I have a wife and a two year old daughter to support. I had to sell my car to make ends meet. Now my wife and I are both unemployed and borderline broke! I feel like these past 6 years were all for naught. Countless hours of studying, labbing, writing papers, etc, and we are about to be out on our assess. 165 applications submitted in a “booming IT area” like Austin and only a handful of go-nowhere phone calls. I always received encouragement on these forums regarding my background and credentials and always believed that as long as I was willing to finish my degree and leave WV, I would have no problems finding a good job. Not to toot my own horn, but before this situation I felt I had a kick-ass resume and wouldn’t have any trouble finding a good job as a sysadmin or systems engineer.

So at this point I feel like giving up and saying screw it. But of course I can’t because I have a family that’s depending on me. The burden is completely on me to get us out of this situation. My wife was only making $24K at her previous position, and whatever position she is likely to land in the future probably won’t pay much more than this.

The icing on the cake is my SSDI claim was denied because the state said I “wasn’t sick enough.” It’s a 24+ month process to fight them for back-pay, and I had to hire an attorney to do so. So we have zero source of income right now. ZERO!

The only thing I know to do at this point is to give it a couple more weeks and then move to plan B, which is to bail on Austin and start the process all over again in a city like Denver. Thank God we didn’t just up and move to Austin before I started job hunting. I was tempted to do it but my family said it was a bad idea. How right they were. I spoke to a recruiter in Austin about this situation and he thinks the fact that I’ve been out of work for so long and the fact that I got sick is going to scare away any potential employer. But here’s the kicker: he said I HAVE to divulge the fact that I resigned from me previous job because of an illness, because they CAN and WILL verify this with my former employer. So I’ve been honest throughout the entire process. Even when they demand to know my previous shitty salary, I have told the truth. My asking rate is only the average fair market value in Austin, which is about $65K. I feel I’m worth more, but I just want to get back to work and put this nightmare situation behind me. When asked about my current location, I inform them that we have already committed to moving to Austin on our own accord and I can be there next week. I will pay to fly Austin to attend an interview if it means the possibility of landing a job. But…I haven’t even been afforded that opportunity. I also obtained a Google Voice number with an Austin area code, and purchased an Austin mailing address. So for all intents and purposes for applying to jobs, I am already an Austinite.

I will update this thread as my situation progresses, but it’s not looking good right now. Have any of you guys been in a similar situation, and what are you experiences? I’m getting bitterer as the weeks go by, and it’s affecting my health. I've got insomnia now (can't shut my mind off at night) and my headaches are in turbodrive.

Can I get some feedback and advice please, or hell, maybe just some positive reassurance? Cause as it stands, I feel kicked in the dirt and left for dead.

F***! icon_cry.gif
WGU Progress: Master of Science - Information Technology Management (Start Date: February 1, 2015)
Completed: LYT2, TFT2, JIT2, MCT2, LZT2, SJT2 (17 CU's)
Required: FXT2, MAT2, MBT2, C391, C392 (13 CU's)

Bachelor of Science - Information Technology Network Design & Management (WGU - Completed August 2014)
«1345

Comments

  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Mod Posts: 6,927 Mod
    Im calling BS on asking personal stuff to your previous employer. IANAL but im pretty sure this is illegal (unless you somehow waive your right to privacy). Crap like that is why companies get sued. If you call any of my previous employers all they will say is "CyberGuyPR worked here from x to y date."

    Having said that, i would only disclose an illness if I were to request some special accomodation.
  • srabieesrabiee Member Posts: 1,231 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I will take that into serious consideration. During the phone screening process, when they ask me why I haven't worked in over a year, I simply reply that I have been focusing on my education, in which time I completed a bachelors degree in IT and over half of the credits required toward a masters degree in IT. That usually suffices, but one HR person in perticular responded with "Well, if you left a job of 4 years to go back to school, how do we know that you won't do it again?" I never heard back from them.
    WGU Progress: Master of Science - Information Technology Management (Start Date: February 1, 2015)
    Completed: LYT2, TFT2, JIT2, MCT2, LZT2, SJT2 (17 CU's)
    Required: FXT2, MAT2, MBT2, C391, C392 (13 CU's)

    Bachelor of Science - Information Technology Network Design & Management (WGU - Completed August 2014)
  • roninkaironinkai Member Posts: 307 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I just read your thread here. I feel for ya. But based on how many certs you have and your degree, you really shouldnt be hurting for opportunity. How many years of total IT experience do you have? (I havent read your resume)

    I think it really depends on a few factors. Namely experience, certs, location of search, and of course your resume. If you are not getting call backs with that many certs etc, Id say you should look at your resume closer.

    I only say this because I recently did a major resume rewrite...and the response has been insane (compared to previous edition). i had 10 calls in one day, and a few times had multiple interviews on the same day. Id say a big part of this is the area Im in (San Diego) and having a more impactful resume. But to do the rewrite, I used a guide by a company called BlueSky Resumes. Best $49 I've spent!

    All I can say is the San Diego area is super hot for cyber. And pay is great in the area too. Lots of defense contractors who pay well. if you on the edge as you say, id open up your options to anything anywhere. Its about survival for the time being.

    My challenge has been a lack of recent experience. While I do have 20 years in IT, most of it is from before 2007. So even with lots of calls, its been tricky. Just keep at it. I just got picked up yesterday actually for a great job, so persistence doest pay off.

    Also, if you can get a job that would get you a security clearance, that can open up a lot of doors for you too. Best of luck and just keep at it.
    浪人 MSISA:WGU
    ICP-FDO ▪ CISSP ▪ ECES ▪ CHFI ▪ CNDA ▪ CEH ▪ MCSA/MCITP ▪ MCTS ▪ S+
    2020 Level Up Goals: (1) DevSecOps Learning Path (2) OSCP
  • srabieesrabiee Member Posts: 1,231 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Here's a fairly recent copy of my resume, minus the PII, LinkedIn address, and CCENT. I don't think my resume is the weak link, in fact I generally make it a point to help other people on these forums improve upon their own resumes. But then again, at this point, maybe it sucks ass. Please take a look and let me know.

    Regarding experience, 6+ total years professional IT experience, 4+ years as a VMware and Windows Server Sysadmin, as reflected by the resume. 20+ years personal experience with Windows OS and general hardware dating back to 1993 (pre-Windows 95). I'm also constantly studying and labbing stuff at home, and I have a passion for learning new technologies, and I make this clearly known during interviews. My certs certainly reflect this. Right now I am working on MCSE:PC and VCP-DCV, in addition to my MS:ITM degree.

    Resume v3.pdf

    I'm taking this with a grain of salt, but I did some research on Google this evening regarding the IT market in Austin, and I found some IT professionals with similar gripes. A few guys that live in the area commented and agreed that if you are a software developer you can basically "write your own paycheck" and get hired on the spot. But regarding other IT career paths such as systems administration, the market is totally flooded, and furthermore companies in Austin have a reputation for liberal or hipster pretentiousness and make it a point to nitpick candidates and hold out for a "rockstar or ninja" candidate to come along. If your credentials do not align precisely 100% with the job description, they won't even consider you as a candidate. Apparently, age discrimination is also an issue there, with anyone over 35 being at a disadvantage.

    Again, their words not mine. So perhaps I was wrong all along, and Austin simply sucks smug, pretentious ass. I really don't know at this point, I'm at a loss.

    EDIT: Ohhh....and in my original post, I completely forgot to mention about being bombarded with telephone calls from Indian recruiters asking me to relocate to Wisconsin, Maine, or Rhode Island for 9-week length, $15/hr contract jobs with zero benefits. And on the off chance that I get a recruiter call from someone offering a decent contract job that's actually in the Austin area and has decent pay (but still no benefits), I NEVER hear back from them after telling them that I am definitely interested.
    WGU Progress: Master of Science - Information Technology Management (Start Date: February 1, 2015)
    Completed: LYT2, TFT2, JIT2, MCT2, LZT2, SJT2 (17 CU's)
    Required: FXT2, MAT2, MBT2, C391, C392 (13 CU's)

    Bachelor of Science - Information Technology Network Design & Management (WGU - Completed August 2014)
  • roninkaironinkai Member Posts: 307 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I just saw your old resume, and yeah it looks pretty awesome. Not sure then, but perhaps the area of search. I have a few tricks I used on mine to get response. I can share privately if you want. But i just landed a job at $55/hr so something worked. I'm super stoked.
    浪人 MSISA:WGU
    ICP-FDO ▪ CISSP ▪ ECES ▪ CHFI ▪ CNDA ▪ CEH ▪ MCSA/MCITP ▪ MCTS ▪ S+
    2020 Level Up Goals: (1) DevSecOps Learning Path (2) OSCP
  • fredrikjjfredrikjj Member Posts: 879
    You should immediately stop saying that you quit because of an illness. Besides, if you've studied during this time and obtained a degree/certs, that's what you have been doing.
  • srabieesrabiee Member Posts: 1,231 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I will certainly reconsider regarding the disclosure of my illness. Please keep in mind though, out of 165 applications, I've only been contacted a handful of times in the first place, before even getting as far as to discuss the illness (I do NOT mention anything that has to do with illness on the application, nor do I state that I have a disability. As far as the state is concerned, I do not have a disability, and was denied SSDI). I have only had two Skype interviews up to this point whereby that issue has even come up. Otherwise, I'm just not being contacted, regardless of the illness.

    Apparently there's some conflicting information on the Internet regarding this issue. I am continuing to do research on the subject right now.

    This article says that you don't have to divulge anything:

    www.theguardian.com/careers/careers-blog/disclosing-illness-to-employer

    Monster suggests saying "I had a medical issue and took care of it, and now I’m ready to get back to work."

    career-advice.monster.com/job-search/getting-started/job-hunting-after-medical-absence/article.aspx

    This one says to simply say "I resigned due to personal reasons," then cite medical privacy laws if the interviewer decides to probe further.

    http://work.chron.com/answer-interview-left-job-because-sick-17553.html
    dragonsden wrote: »
    I have a few tricks I used on mine to get response. I can share privately if you want.

    Absolutely, PM me with whatever you got. I can use any help I can get at this point. ty in advance
    WGU Progress: Master of Science - Information Technology Management (Start Date: February 1, 2015)
    Completed: LYT2, TFT2, JIT2, MCT2, LZT2, SJT2 (17 CU's)
    Required: FXT2, MAT2, MBT2, C391, C392 (13 CU's)

    Bachelor of Science - Information Technology Network Design & Management (WGU - Completed August 2014)
  • fredrikjjfredrikjj Member Posts: 879
    Probably because when many qualified people apply to a position, HR/recruiters prefer people that already live in the area and that are already employed. It's easier and lower risk to just hire someone that already does the exact job at another company in the same city. That's my guess anyway.
  • fredrikjjfredrikjj Member Posts: 879
    srabiee wrote: »

    Monster suggests saying "I had a medical issue and took care of it, and now I’m ready to get back to work."

    This one says to simply say "I resigned due to personal reasons," then cite medical privacy laws if the interviewer decides to probe further.

    I think those responses are terrible. Especially the one that suggest "personal reasons". It's too vague and leaves room for the recruiter/employer to speculate. You want to portray yourself as a low risk high value employee and rock solid mentally and physically. Since you actually studied and got a BS, and are now working on a master's, that shouldn't be very difficult. The appropriate response in my opinion is something like "In my family we have always valued education highly and I decided to earn a master's degree", which is true.
  • Robertf969Robertf969 Member Posts: 190
    You have a great resume. Have you tried working with local recruiters? I know you mentioned Phoenix, i'm going to Arizona and there seems to be no shortage of tech jobs in AZ.
  • roninkaironinkai Member Posts: 307 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Just sent you a PM
    浪人 MSISA:WGU
    ICP-FDO ▪ CISSP ▪ ECES ▪ CHFI ▪ CNDA ▪ CEH ▪ MCSA/MCITP ▪ MCTS ▪ S+
    2020 Level Up Goals: (1) DevSecOps Learning Path (2) OSCP
  • thomas_thomas_ Member Posts: 1,012 ■■■■■■■■□□
    As far as the resume goes, the only thing I can think of is removing "System Administrator" at the top. That might allow you to get in a position that is the same thing, but is called something entirely different. Also, I would try to quantify all of your bullet points using numbers. How much did you decrease client infrastructure costs by? I would put a dollar amount or a percentage. I would include uptime on servers and other things like that if they are good statistics.

    As far as jobs go, you might want to sign up on the Texas Workforce Commission website. They have a job listings section where you can access job posts that may not be posted to other job websites. I would also look up all of the school districts that are in the Austin area and find the job board of each school district. Lots of times these school districts have IT jobs. I would also look at the job boards of all the colleges in the Austin area because they also have IT listings that aren't necessarily on other job boards except maybe the TWC website and I've found the jobs at the Universities might only be open for a week or so. Also, check out the major employers in the area. I know HEB(large grocery chain) has IT positions, I don't know if they have IT positions currently open in Austin. Gas and oil companies might also be another area to pursue as I've seen IT positions posted for them.

    One thing I started doing was going to the different recruiting companies' websites and making a profile. Hasn't helped me so far, but I figured it couldn't hurt.

    Finally, this probably won't help, but I figured I would mention it. The only time I've ever gotten headaches was one time when I was flying on an airplane, lasted the entire flight and a few days after landing. I went to the doctor and he said that most likely it was because a line going back into the sinuses had gotten clogged. As the oxygen was absorbed into the sinus lining it created a negative vacuum pulling the lining from the wall causing the headache. Something a nasal decongestant fixed. Probably won't help, but figured I would post just in case.
  • thomas_thomas_ Member Posts: 1,012 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Also, I forgot to add maybe checkout Upwork(formerly Odesk) for random jobs that you can complete. This could potentially be a source of income.
  • srabieesrabiee Member Posts: 1,231 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Just received a rejection email response for a Windows Systems Administrator job that I applied to asking for minimum 2+ years experience administering Windows servers, pay rate about $50K, stating that I am "not a good fit." I will add that one to my extensive rejection list. And on a Friday night too. Lucky me. icon_rolleyes.gif

    I found this book on Amazon, written by a woman who spent a considerable amount of time interviewing for tech jobs in the Austin market. Apparently in touches on the topics of ridiculous company culture and expectations, age discrimination ("no one born before 1985 in sight"), etc.

    www.amazon.com/Youll-Never-Interview-This-Again-ebook/dp/B00UW1V8RQ#customerReviews

    I may be bailing out on the idea of Austin sooner than later. Unfortunately, I have to buy a new mailbox and phone number, and completely start the process over again from scratch in a different city. I'm going to discuss this with my wife, but I may give it one more week and then I'm switching my focus over to Denver or SLC. The last thing I want to do is get caught buying plane tickets and flying back and forth between Charleston and Austin over and over again to attend in-person interviews that do not lead to job offers. We would end up in a cardboard box within a month or two if I did that.

    What a horrendous situation to be caught in, seeking job opportunities half-way across the country when you don't have a job, are almost broke, and staying where you are is NOT a viable option.
    WGU Progress: Master of Science - Information Technology Management (Start Date: February 1, 2015)
    Completed: LYT2, TFT2, JIT2, MCT2, LZT2, SJT2 (17 CU's)
    Required: FXT2, MAT2, MBT2, C391, C392 (13 CU's)

    Bachelor of Science - Information Technology Network Design & Management (WGU - Completed August 2014)
  • Robertf969Robertf969 Member Posts: 190
    I'm currently in Hawaii and have had in person interviews in Arizona, they payed for my plane tickets. Is this unusual or have you just not been offered an in person interview yet?
  • srabieesrabiee Member Posts: 1,231 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I have not been offered an in person interview as of yet. Apparently, for whatever reason, potential employers in the Austin area just don't want to give me the time of day.

    I had two Skype interviews, both went really well IMO. Following the Skype with the local MSP, they stated that they required me to take a mandatory proctored technical assessment exam before proceeding to the next phase of the interview process, and that they would be calling me to schedule the exam. 5 days later, I received an email from them stating that they had chosen to pursue other candidates and wished me good luck. So I didn't even get the opportunity to take the exam.

    During the Skype with company #2, they asked me a series of technical questions, all of which I aced without any issues whatsoever. They were easy questions IMO. FSMO roles, troubleshooting DNS from the command line, understanding and adhering to change management policies, GPO management, etc. MCSA level stuff. The IT person interviewing me actually refrained from asking me all of the questions because he said that I "obviously knew what I was talking about" and that I was absolutely qualified for the position. Never heard back from them, even after sending a thank you email. They stated they were moving very quickly on finding a candidate to fill the role, so they more than likely chose someone else I suppose . Furthermore, it was a standard Windows sysadmin position that didn't even pay all that much, and my salary requirements are modest. I could have done that job in my sleep.

    EDIT: Ok so sitting here having a family meeting with my wife. We are reassessing the situation and considering other cities if it comes down to that. Denver has roughly 45% higher housing costs than Austin. Portland, which is an idea my wife threw out there, has 85% higher housing costs than Austin. SLC has affordable housing but a much smaller IT market, and I may run into similar difficulties seeking work there. I've been sitting here reading about San Antonio, and there are many people online complaining that it is very difficult to find work there, even with a masters degree, if you do not speak Spanish. 70% Latino population in that city, so that sort of makes sense I guess. My wife and I have no desire to be forced into learning a second language.

    So now we are tossing around the idea of shifting my focus onto Dallas. We were just in Dallas 3 weeks ago visiting family, and everything was just so huge and intimidating. Giant concrete jungle, spaghetti noodle interstates, we just couldn't vision ourselves living in and navigating through a huge city like that. We live in a small rural town outside of the tiny city of Charleston, WV, for reference. Even so, after doing some preliminary job searches within the DFW metroplex, it appears that there are many jobs available. Whether or not I'd run into the same issues as Austin though, I don't know. Still reviewing our options I guess.
    WGU Progress: Master of Science - Information Technology Management (Start Date: February 1, 2015)
    Completed: LYT2, TFT2, JIT2, MCT2, LZT2, SJT2 (17 CU's)
    Required: FXT2, MAT2, MBT2, C391, C392 (13 CU's)

    Bachelor of Science - Information Technology Network Design & Management (WGU - Completed August 2014)
  • nanochillbotnanochillbot Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
    FWIW
    A couple of things, I feel you on Getting back on the Horse. It can be challenging.
    Every state I think has Work Force Development with local state and fed jobs.
    An acquaintances wife found her job in VA before they relocated from upstate New York.
    Some people like LinkedIn for finding the "hiring authority" and getting the job.
    and lastly, peruse Craigslist and sometimes you come across things not posted in the mainstream.

    Good luck to you and family
  • alias454alias454 Member Posts: 648 ■■■■□□□□□□
    srabiee, you have read these forums and have seen all of this advice before. Take a deep breath. The first problem you need to fix is getting an income. This will allow you to make better choices. Find work doing anything, just get a gig that pays money even if it is only ten dollars an hour, it doesn't matter. This will take the heat off. Also think back since you got sick. Did you do anything to make income? Self-employed part-time administrator while putting myself through a BS prgram sounds like it will take some of the scrutiny off of your employment gap. Of course, you can never prove discrimination but realize it is rampant in IT.

    It is easy to be frustrated in your position but don't be bitter because it comes through even if you don't think it does. Be grateful. If you read that and think for what, then that is something you have to fix.

    Best of Luck to you.
    “I do not seek answers, but rather to understand the question.”
  • ratbuddyratbuddy Member Posts: 665
    srabiee wrote: »
    I could have done that job in my sleep.

    That's probably the problem. You should apply for some higher level positions and see what happens. $65k is peanuts in the Austin area, and people are probably afraid that you'll bail as soon as someone offers you $80k two months down the road.

    No matter what else.. don't give up. As long as you keep trying, you'll win sooner or later :)
  • srabieesrabiee Member Posts: 1,231 ■■■■■■■■□□
    The answer is no to the income question. My wife was working full time while I was focusing on WGU and certs full time.

    I haven't gotten to the point where I feel I am forced to accept a $9/hr job stocking store shelves just to keep us afloat. I've been treating the job hunt as a full-time job up to this point spending many hours each day on the computer and making phone calls. I have a BSIT, hopefully it doesn't come to that.

    Regarding applying to jobs, I have applied to 165 jobs ranging from $50K to $150K. Sysadmin, systems engineering, systems analysis, desktop support and engineering, etc. IT management jobs as well. Both full-time and W2 contract work. You name it.
    WGU Progress: Master of Science - Information Technology Management (Start Date: February 1, 2015)
    Completed: LYT2, TFT2, JIT2, MCT2, LZT2, SJT2 (17 CU's)
    Required: FXT2, MAT2, MBT2, C391, C392 (13 CU's)

    Bachelor of Science - Information Technology Network Design & Management (WGU - Completed August 2014)
  • Adam BAdam B Member Posts: 108 ■■□□□□□□□□
    srabiee, It doesn't look like you're giving up any time soon, but seriously, don't give up. Ive been reading the forums for a bit over two years now. You're a very knowledgable person and have helped the TE community greatly. You will be a great asset to any company you work for, but right now I think it'd be best to find a job to help cover expenses just like alias stated. This way way you have some money coming in while you continue your job search. As you've always told us, you'll find something soon enough :) Keep your head up bro.

    I hope you're condition gets better and that everything is okay with your family in this stressful time. There is a light at the end of the dark tunnel.
    2015 Goals: CCNP SWITCH [] SEC+ [ ] CCNP ROUTE [ ] CCNP TSHOOT [ ]

  • srabieesrabiee Member Posts: 1,231 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Thanks guys. It's difficult for me not to be stressed and irritated like this, especially when my NDPH headache flares up. Yesterday I was at a 8/10 on the pain scale, which is fairly uncommon these days. (I'm usually 4/10 or so)

    I'm going to spend this weekend meditating on this issue and checking back on this thread often, but I think right now it's basically bail out on Austin, and then refocus efforts from scratch on a different city. Right now that would be Dallas vs Denver. Both have their pros and cons, and will require extensive research.

    Ok, regarding my resume, I do have a question. I believe I have discussed this issue with other forum members in the past, but I'm not sure what the final consensus is. I'm still up in the air about including a title at the top of the resume. Someone on the forum suggested to remove it altogether, and others suggest to use your desired title/role instead. The current title on my resume is "System Administrator" because that was my most recent and prestigious title, however it may be acting to pigeonhole me into a specific role. icon_confused.gif: idk. Ideally I'm looking to land a systems engineering role (or some other step up from sysadmin), although I have never been one. (although I have performed various systems engineering duties and projects at my previous job, as my resume reflects)

    What do you guys think? I don't want to pretend to be something that I'm not (given that I've never held the title of systems engineer), I guess that's where the uncertainty stems from.

    EDIT: I'm sitting here playing around with the formatting of my resume. As recommended to me by another forum member, I removed the job title at the top, and replaced it with a quote from one of the recommendations on my LinkedIn profile. So before my professional summary, there is now a quote that reads:

    "During the 4 years I worked with {srabiee} I have never seen a problem that he didn't give 100% to. He will truly be an asset to any organization he works with.” -- {name withheld}, COO, {company name withheld}

    It's from a former co-worker who is now the COO for an IT company here in WV. What do you guys think?

    I also have a quote from a former co-worker who is now employed by Microsoft, but I couldn't find a way to work it in. The COO one sounds a lot more professional and concise.
    WGU Progress: Master of Science - Information Technology Management (Start Date: February 1, 2015)
    Completed: LYT2, TFT2, JIT2, MCT2, LZT2, SJT2 (17 CU's)
    Required: FXT2, MAT2, MBT2, C391, C392 (13 CU's)

    Bachelor of Science - Information Technology Network Design & Management (WGU - Completed August 2014)
  • roninkaironinkai Member Posts: 307 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Well, my opinion it to use the marketer approach. Sell yourself harder. Afterall, you've got the certs, experience, and edu to prove it. "Systems Administrator" isn't very punchy in your face kinda language. Its rather boring. Remember, your title is almost like a book title/cover. It determines if the rest of the resume gets read.

    Try something like:
    1) Advanced Information Systems Specialist
    2) Senior Windows Systems Specialist

    I like to avoid the word "administrator". It sounds "help desky" IMO. And even if you've never held a senior role per say, I think you can use it being that you have expert level knowledge. Leverage the title to get more response / interviews, then sell yourself as the expert in your interview. (being honest of course)

    Again, having just been on the market in San Diego for a month after my last job, its a hot IT market here! Not a bad place to live/work and the pay in the cyber field is above average. DoD contractors want people with your background. You may consider them, I bet you'd do well.
    浪人 MSISA:WGU
    ICP-FDO ▪ CISSP ▪ ECES ▪ CHFI ▪ CNDA ▪ CEH ▪ MCSA/MCITP ▪ MCTS ▪ S+
    2020 Level Up Goals: (1) DevSecOps Learning Path (2) OSCP
  • srabieesrabiee Member Posts: 1,231 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I really like "Senior Windows Systems Specialist," or maybe some variation thereof. Of course, my former job title is "systems administrator," but I suppose I could still sell Senior Windows Systems Specialist if anyone confronted me about the discrepancy. Another term I see thrown around the job boards is "analyst." That might also work, idk.

    How could I go about also conveying that I have strong skills in VMware technologies such as vSphere suite and Horizon suite? "Windows" in the title sort of shoves those skills aside by default.

    Here's a portion of the recommendation from the senior Microsoft employee:

    “I would personally trust {srabiee} to do a good job anywhere and he has demonstrated his expertise in a series of technologies which include but are not limited to: Microsoft Active Directory, Exchange, Windows Server, Windows End User Software (including Office), VMware vSphere, VMware Horizon Suite, Server hardware management, SAN/NAS management, and Cisco Phone System administration.” -- {name withheld}, Senior Consultant, Microsoft

    Should I include that one as well, and have two recommendations at the top of the resume? It reads quite a bit different from the first quote, as it includes a list of technologies and proficiencies. I want to sell myself, but I don't want the resume to look tacky.

    Regarding the title, I have a few options:
    1) Advanced Information Systems Specialist
    2) Advanced Information Systems Analyst
    3) Senior Information Systems Specialist
    4) Senior Information Systems Analyst

    What do you guys think?
    WGU Progress: Master of Science - Information Technology Management (Start Date: February 1, 2015)
    Completed: LYT2, TFT2, JIT2, MCT2, LZT2, SJT2 (17 CU's)
    Required: FXT2, MAT2, MBT2, C391, C392 (13 CU's)

    Bachelor of Science - Information Technology Network Design & Management (WGU - Completed August 2014)
  • roninkaironinkai Member Posts: 307 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Try combining them, something like:

    Senior Windows Systems Engineer / Virtualization Specialist. I've done this in the past to include a mix of titles (kinda like a business card has a few specialities).
    This now opens you up for multiple reqs for consideration.

    I personally think the quote is a bit long. I had to cut mine down to get it to the main point. Id say try both (on separate resumes). In marketing this would be called a "split test".
    See what get the most response all else being equal.
    浪人 MSISA:WGU
    ICP-FDO ▪ CISSP ▪ ECES ▪ CHFI ▪ CNDA ▪ CEH ▪ MCSA/MCITP ▪ MCTS ▪ S+
    2020 Level Up Goals: (1) DevSecOps Learning Path (2) OSCP
  • slee335slee335 Member Posts: 124
    i would say try to network as much as possible i know switching location probably harder. take any job contract even if its a couple month to get your feet wet. work on the soft skill i see so many unqualified people get job because they kill it in the interview. the resume gets you interview but if you suck at interviewing you not going to get it.

    Right now i'm looking for a new job because the new supervisor screwing me over. i have been applying everyday for past 4 month takes time i know you don't have that but just hang in there. i think since labor day is coming up a lot of people is on vacation give it a few more week.
  • harbin_nickharbin_nick Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I know the commute would be bad ( 2 hours each way) but why aren't you looking at Northern Virginia or even Baltimore? If you can find something you can move. My sister went to school in Front Royal, and I have to say, West Virginia is the most depressing place I've ever been to if I was looking for work. It is beautiful, but people I met from there said they had two jobs...Walmart and Wendys.
  • rhinotxrhinotx Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Living in Austin it seems like the Windows Admin market is very saturated. Devops is whats really hot here and everyone is looking for Java/Python, Linux, puppet/chef, and AWS skillset. That being said there are a decent amount of jobs here and San Antonio is not far away. The cost of living is a lot lower there and they have a lot of big employers like Rackspace that are always hiring.
  • echo_time_catecho_time_cat Member Posts: 74 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'd take out the Analyst. Sounds "Jr." to me, but maybe I'm ignorant. Considering your credentials, I'd go with specialist.

    "Advanced Information Systems Specialist", or
    "Senior Information Systems Specialist"

    Edit: I like Dragonsden's suggestion of "Senior Windows Systems Engineer / Virtualization Specialist" over either of the previous.

    Regarding the thread in general, I find it absolutely insane you are having this much trouble. However I think the market in Austin sounds a bit skewed/bizarre, and coupled with your "mistake" of being honest, it was a recipe for non-success.

    Forget that noise. You're obviously more than qualified, and you've already begun re-focusing on another market. Maybe put out some feelers in a few and then zone in? I know that's tough without having setup the mailbox and google voice number, but perhaps (gasp) a recruiter could help?
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Member Posts: 2,297 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I posted this on its own thread but maybe you can take advantage of it also.

    https://jobs.fidelity.com/students/undergraduate/technology-leap.html
Sign In or Register to comment.