Having trouble getting first IT job

mtgz57mtgz57 Posts: 2Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey everyone, a little over 4 months ago I finished a 9 month computer science/IT course at a local tech college. The class is supposed to prepare you for the A+, CCENT/CCNA, and Security+. I got my A+ roughly half way through and my Security+ towards the end. Before I started this class I knew close to nothing about computers in general.
Anyways, right after the class ended I moved to NYC and have been applying for lots of jobs here, mostly entry level help desk, desktop support, etc. Of all the jobs I'v applied too I've only had two companies where I did a phone interview and then an in person interview later. The first one was just over two months ago and I haven't heard anything back. The second was about two weeks ago and I'm feeling hopeful about it but its more of hands on, mostly outdoors technical job maintaining security cameras and sensors where you need some knowledge of IP addressing, basic networking, etc. I only got that interview because in addition to my certifications, the hiring manager liked that I had some previous electrical and mechanical experience.
I'm basically wondering how I'm supposed to get that first job to get my foot in the door of the IT field. Are there other positions I should be applying to other than help desk and desktop support positions to start out? I'm starting to worry that having just some certifications and tech school is not enough to get hired without having any previous IT experience or a 4 year degree. I could really use and would appreciate some tips.

Comments

  • LordQarlynLordQarlyn Posts: 535Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Well, based on my experience, help desk jobs tend to require server knowledge, i.e. Server 2012. You appear to be more geared as a network admin. However, you are new enough to the field you can still set the direction in IT you desire.
    Anyway, job hunting requires persistence and a high tolerance for frustration, especially so in IT, even more so at entry level.
    Firstly, read carefully the job descriptions of the positions you are applying to, and start studying the tasks related to that job, if not pursuing the certs. For help desk, learn how to create user accounts, create security groups, add members to groups, reset passwords, and so on. Learn about the systems they mention; if the job mentions 2008 or 2012, learn up on it. It's not the same as having the actual experience or even the certs, but it gives you a little edge.
    Create a LinkedIn profile, make sure it's polished. Then use it as a marketing platform for your personal brand.
    Start networking, get in touch with any friends you have who are already in IT, let them know you are looking to enter the IT field. Now, don't badger them or beg to them, simply tell them you're looking and if they could keep their eyes open for you. LinkedIn is another tool that can help, but again, don't badger your connections.

    Good luck and never give up.
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Posts: 360Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    You need server knowledge for Tier 1 support? o.O

    In any case, I might look towards State and local jobs, perhaps in a college if they have their own in-house IT department as some do. I don't know if it's the case between States, but generally State jobs are low-paying but good retirement packages. They also tend to be more willing to throw you a bone. The general environment seems to foster lazy workers and it might be crap to work in because if you work hard everyone will push all their work onto you, but it would at least be useful to get some experience you can put in your resume.
    MCSE: Core Infrastructure
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+ | Network+ | Security+ CE
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,400Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    mtgz57 wrote: »
    Hey everyone, a little over 4 months ago I finished a 9 month computer science/IT course at a local tech college. The class is supposed to prepare you for the A+, CCENT/CCNA, and Security+. I got my A+ roughly half way through and my Security+ towards the end. Before I started this class I knew close to nothing about computers in general.
    Anyways, right after the class ended I moved to NYC and have been applying for lots of jobs here, mostly entry level help desk, desktop support, etc. Of all the jobs I'v applied too I've only had two companies where I did a phone interview and then an in person interview later. The first one was just over two months ago and I haven't heard anything back. The second was about two weeks ago and I'm feeling hopeful about it but its more of hands on, mostly outdoors technical job maintaining security cameras and sensors where you need some knowledge of IP addressing, basic networking, etc. I only got that interview because in addition to my certifications, the hiring manager liked that I had some previous electrical and mechanical experience.
    I'm basically wondering how I'm supposed to get that first job to get my foot in the door of the IT field. Are there other positions I should be applying to other than help desk and desktop support positions to start out? I'm starting to worry that having just some certifications and tech school is not enough to get hired without having any previous IT experience or a 4 year degree. I could really use and would appreciate some tips.

    You’re getting interviews, so that’s good sign!!

    Do you have a college degree? Associates or Bachelors?

    Even if it’s in a different field it will help to have a college degree.

    The big key in landing a help desk role is proving to the hiring manager you have the customer service skills.
    Focus on building your Customer Service skills.

    Here is a playlist that will give you some ideas on how to provide good customer service.

    The Other Skill Set Required for Success in I.T. Careers: Customer Service Training 101
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VY0YVj4LroU&list=PL58D8B118DED1097A
    When you’re at your interviews focus on the star method.

    When answering questions I recommend following these steps:
    Situation Action and Results (S.A.R.) Statements: How to answer hiring manager’s questions. Clear and concise

    Situation: Identify a problem that you faced while employed in the job that required extra-ordinary performance in order to solve.

    Action: State the action that you took in order to solve the problem or that identified a solution. Include a short description that indicates how you prepared to handle the solution.

    Results: Now state the results that you obtained after implementing the solution. Express by using numerical terms such as dollars, percentages, or hours saved.
    *Insert a positive statement detailing your overall accomplishments after each position.

    Keep on applying and you will land something. The first IT job is always the hardest to land.

    Are you working now?

    Can you do IT Volunteer work?
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Posts: 360Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    From the sounds of it, if it's 9 months in a Tech school that wouldn't exactly be even an AS degree(for whatever that's worth).

    Volunteering might be something to get experience under your belt, but I suppose the question is whether you need the income right away. Presumably if you're not in a position to go for a 4 year degree then volunteering for 6 months without pay might already be too long.

    Try looking for a staffing agency in your area. I mention that because while I was shooting out job applications in the past month I've actually had 3 different staffing agencies contact me and not the other way around. I actually have an appointment set for one of them next week.
    MCSE: Core Infrastructure
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+ | Network+ | Security+ CE
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Posts: 2,297Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Get the job so you can pay the bills but dont stop looking. This job could possibly get you some experience and even though is not considered per se direct IT experience it is related. Keep hunting for those low entry level jobs, continue with your CCNA studies and always look at LinkedIn. Personalize it to the job you want to get so that you can be matched with those jobs.

    I remember one time when i was looking, i had applied for 40 different posting. In the end I got one that I actually liked.
  • mtgz57mtgz57 Posts: 2Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the reply's everyone. I appreciate the help.
    LordQarlyn wrote: »
    You appear to be more geared as a network admin.
    For help desk, learn how to create user accounts, create security groups, add members to groups, reset passwords, and so on. Learn about the systems they mention; if the job mentions 2008 or 2012, learn up on it.
    Create a LinkedIn profile, make sure it's polished.
    If you're saying I'm more geared towards system admin, what positions other than help desk do you recommend I apply to in order to get into that? Entry level system admin positions? Most of the ones I see require at a minimum a few years experience, but this could just be something they list and don't necessarily always need.
    I learned and practiced MS server 2012 and the other things you listed during the class and they are also listed on my resume as skills. I can always learn more though.
    As far as LinkedIn; I have an account but have less than 30 connections so I need to start adding some more. I occasionally apply to jobs on there, but again, they all seem to require more experience or education than I have.
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,400Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    mtgz57 wrote: »
    Hey everyone, a little over 4 months ago I finished a 9 month computer science/IT course at a local tech college. The class is supposed to prepare you for the A+, CCENT/CCNA, and Security+. I got my A+ roughly half way through and my Security+ towards the end. Before I started this class I knew close to nothing about computers in general.
    Anyways, right after the class ended I moved to NYC and have been applying for lots of jobs here, mostly entry level help desk, desktop support, etc. Of all the jobs I'v applied too I've only had two companies where I did a phone interview and then an in person interview later. The first one was just over two months ago and I haven't heard anything back. The second was about two weeks ago and I'm feeling hopeful about it but its more of hands on, mostly outdoors technical job maintaining security cameras and sensors where you need some knowledge of IP addressing, basic networking, etc. I only got that interview because in addition to my certifications, the hiring manager liked that I had some previous electrical and mechanical experience.
    I'm basically wondering how I'm supposed to get that first job to get my foot in the door of the IT field. Are there other positions I should be applying to other than help desk and desktop support positions to start out? I'm starting to worry that having just some certifications and tech school is not enough to get hired without having any previous IT experience or a 4 year degree. I could really use and would appreciate some tips.


    Trying posting your resume on Dice. You will get recruiters calling you regarding several different technical positions.

    How to Upload Your New Resume to Dice

    https://insights.dice.com/2012/12/15/how-to-upload-your-new-resume-to-dice/
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • gespensterngespenstern Posts: 1,243Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    1. It's not clear if you are getting enough calls. How many is enough? Your phone should ring all the day, you should have at least 15+ meaningful calls per day from barely useful Indian recruiters (still sometimes they may be helpful) and a few from direct recruiters/follow ups from your applications. If you aren't getting enough calls that's a resume problem. The resume problem is solved in two ways a) you progress in getting XP and education/certs to fill in and b) you craft it well. Since a) is a long-term goal then you should spend 90% of your efforts in short perspective on b). Share your resume here or other forums to get helpful tips from seasoned pros/recruiters. If you have monies it's worth spending $100+ on professional resume services. Then put your resume everywhere, linkedin, dice, monster, indeed, careerbuilder, etc.

    2. Are you applying enough? Job search is a full time job. You should look to apply for no less than 10+ direct positions per day on specialized sites like taleo.net that take a lot of time to apply (10-30 mins or more) and no less than 20+ few clicks applications on linkedin or dice, etc.

    3. If you bomb your interviews then it's a competency problem. Spend all the time you aren't applying to get the skills you hear most often needed on your calls/interviews. No partying, no weekend plans other than skill acquisition and working on solid answers to questions you get most often. It's not always easy, but it will get you a job in at least several months job search.

    4. Mental. It's exhausting to look for a job and hard on self esteem. You just have to keep up -- keep applying, keep acquiring skills no matter what, you have to persist. Getting a job is a numbers game, if you apply 30+ times a day someone will eventually hire you.
  • ITSpectreITSpectre Posts: 1,040Member
    LordQarlyn wrote: »
    Well, based on my experience, help desk jobs tend to require server knowledge, i.e. Server 2012.

    What????? In what country???? Outer space????

    Help Desk jobs require one thing.... GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS and basic very basic troubleshooting....

    The main thing you will be doing at a help desk as resetting passwords, basic troubleshooting, and delighting the end user each time they call for the same issue that you fixed for them last week. Help desk is repetitive work... same issue every day, just a different person.... BUT it helps keep you alert because you never know what issue you may get on the end of the line that day. In my experience Help Desk is a GOOD start... id take a help desk job over field services anyday of the week....

    As far as Active directory? Most of that will be taught to you... my first help desk job I didnt know anything about ADUC, servers, exchange 2012, I learned that on my own at the job... adding/removing mailboxes, recreating outlook profiles etc... all that was taught to me on the job...
    In the darkest hour, there is always a way out - Eve ME3 :cool:
    “The measure of an individual can be difficult to discern by actions alone.” – Thane Krios
  • Bjcheung77Bjcheung77 Posts: 89Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    OP, there are three things you should be working on, this is to market yourself to future positions. If you can find a job, any job that gets you started, do so, even in sales of computers at Best Buy or join their Geek Squad to start off! Staples, whatever company comes to mind.

    1) Apply to any and every job posting for helpdesk, entry-level IT support, deskside services, field work, anything that gets you into the company.
    2) Skills - Get additional vendor-neutral certifications, since you're already working on CompTIA continue with them before you specialize in something.

    3) As mentioned above, do you have an Associates? or just that IT Cert/Diploma program? - Upgrade to an Associates at the local community college, or if you prefer a competency-based Associates (like Hodges ASCIT), ladder it up to a BSIT program or something similar from the universities like Brandman, WGU, or continue at Hodges.

    TLDR - There are three things mentioned previous to what I am typing - 1) Experience (hands-on, troubleshooting of issues), with that experience you can get higher up that corp ladder such as transitioning to help desk, then to technical analyst and beyond. 2) Certifications - get those vendor-neutral certifications from CompTIA, ITIL, and whichever you would want to specialize in. 3) Degree, ladder your Associates and get a Bachelors - get a competency-based degree from one of the non-profits such as Brandman, Hodges, WGU.

    See this thread post for more info on the Competency-Based Bachelor's Degrees - Cheap/Easy/Fast.
    http://www.techexams.net/forums/general-certification/129926-where-go-what-do.html#post1122882
  • ITSpectreITSpectre Posts: 1,040Member
    Well first off your in NYC.... competition is hard out there... so I have heard.

    To land a basic Help desk job you should focus on technical support skills and customer service skills.... how would you handle a angry customer?
    If someone needed help with their outlook what is the first thing you would do?
    How would you find a users IP address (internal and external)
    How can you re-create a users profile on outlook?
    What would you do if you went to a website and got the IE message "cannot display this webpage"
    If a user is getting the BSOD (blue screen of death) what is the first thing you would do?

    Also focus on making the end user happy and focus on going the extra mile... people that hire for Help Desk positions LOVE stories about how you went the extra mile.

    You already have the qualifications for a Help Desk job... I would apply to any and all field services and Help Desk roles you can find.
    In the darkest hour, there is always a way out - Eve ME3 :cool:
    “The measure of an individual can be difficult to discern by actions alone.” – Thane Krios
  • ITSpectreITSpectre Posts: 1,040Member
    Bjcheung77 wrote: »
    sales of computers at Best Buy or join their Geek Squad to start off! Staples, whatever company comes to mind.

    Sorry I Dissagree with that 100%.... everyone I know that worked at Geek Squad hated it because its not fixing computers.... when you first start out your SELLING computer components and filling out info forms for the techs to fix the computers...and then trying to upsell users on Geek Squad protection plans.... Your basically like best buy tech support only you sell laptops and desktop components... Unless you plan to stay with best buy for a long time and move up within the company I would avoid geek squad at all costs...

    Staples is more of a retail job.... if you are trying to get into IT I would stick with IT jobs unless you have no other choice but to go the retail route. Look for Mom and pop stores, phone repair, laptop and computer repair, little shops that do PC fixes... your in NY so im sure there are plenty of them depending on which borough you are in.
    In the darkest hour, there is always a way out - Eve ME3 :cool:
    “The measure of an individual can be difficult to discern by actions alone.” – Thane Krios
  • LarryTRLarryTR Posts: 56Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I didn't read every single response on this thread, but have to you tried temp agencies?

    You might be able to get some IT-related temp jobs that would pad your resume with some experience.
  • szasza Posts: 6Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Getting your foot in the door is probably the hardest thing to do.. But once your in and if you have the desire to succeed and work hard the skies the limit. If you are not getting any call backs then you need to work on your resume, having an A+ and another cert will definately help. I got my first IT gig by having an A+ cert and the right mental attitude. Apply for any job you think you are capable of learning and eventually you will find someone that believes in you. Good luck.
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