Most important entry level skills

smizzerfsmizzerf Posts: 1Member ■□□□□□□□□□
I have about a year of PT help desk experience, passed the 70-270 Microsoft exam, and a few months of contract field technician work(mostly warranty PC repairs) No degree yet, but working on it. I'm planning on moving to a larger metropolitan area, most likely the Dallas area, in 3-8 months time.

What skills will be the most helpful in my job hunt? I have some C++ experience from high school, access to a wide variety of computers to learn new skills with, and some techie friends to teach me.

Comments

  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    Do you want to do programming, networking, systems administration, etc.? There's really not much in common between C++ and 70-270.
  • msteinhilbermsteinhilber Posts: 1,480Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    IMO the most important skills regardless of being entry level or a seasoned veteran are the soft skills. Being able to communicate effectively, participate with others in a team effectively, relationship building, conflict resolution, etc... all of the intrapersonal and interpersonal skills. I've worked around a wide range of people during my career and spent a good number of years in a management role. While working the role of manager I was the sole party responsible for hiring at the branch which I managed (this is a local computer store with internal service facilities as well as a place that offered IT solutions for businesses). Typically, for the majority of my applicants I was far more concerned about the soft skills than I was with the technical skills they could bring with them. That's not to say that I ignored the technical skills, they are also very important. But I would rather have an employee that might need a bit of work on the technical side that exhibited excellent soft skills over the employee that was a technical genius (as related to the position I had to fill) but had poor soft skills.

    I think that soft skills often go overlooked by a lot of people in this industry, too many people are always wondering what certification to shoot for next. Since you mention you are working on getting a degree, I would suggest taking any of the required courses that may likely be part of your program (team building, speech, written communications, etc) and participate with as much enthusiasm as you would if you were learning an exciting new technology. I am nearly finished with my degree and through my journey I sat in many classes with my peers that showed great enthusiasm and took a lot away from the technical courses yet really showed a great distaste for the general ed type classes and really didn't seem to take them as serious - they shifted into the "just gotta pass this class" mode.

    I guess my advice in a nutshell is to first determine what area you want to go into and then work on preparing yourself at the technical level as needed through self-study, classes, certifications, etc. During this time, do all you can to work on your soft skills - take any classes you take as part of your degree program seriously - all of those required general ed courses can be beneficial. Dynamik has mentioned how he has gone to Toastmasters which is aimed at developing public speaking and leadership skills. It's a relatively inexpensive way to help improve yourself in areas many of us lack, once I'm finished with my degree I'm going to look into my local group and get on board myself.

    Learn the technical skills and back it up with certifications and/or a degree along with experience as you progress in your career, but also learn the soft skills. The technical skills and related experience/certifications/degree can get you in for a job interview, but the soft skills will secure you the position.
  • PsoasmanPsoasman Senior Member Posts: 2,687Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    A good resume, cover letter to get your foot in the door. You might check with your techie friends to see if they have some leads on positions.
    Appearance is important. If you look like a slob, then people tend to think you'll take care of them the same way.
    Practice interviewing with your friends, have them ask you some basic questions that don't necessarily have a "right answer" You want to be able to showcase your troubleshooting skills.
    Take some more certs that can help with your degree.
    Good luck
  • phantasmphantasm Posts: 995Member
    I'll also throw in a vote for soft skills. My most recent interview for the position I currently hold spent the first 20 minutes in general conversation before we even got to my resume. If you cannot communicate effectively, then it's a problem.
    "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -Heraclitus
  • JavonRJavonR Posts: 245Member
    Great post msteinhilber...

    I also agree that soft skills are the most important trait someone can have.
  • fmrdhfmrdh Posts: 8Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    The ability / interest to learn new concepts.
  • rsuttonrsutton Posts: 1,029Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Noone likes an arrogant technician, it discredits your skills. One of my favorite quotes "Argue is if you were right, listen as if you were wrong".
  • ladiesman217ladiesman217 Posts: 416Member
    rsutton wrote: »
    Noone likes an arrogant technician, it discredits your skills. One of my favorite quotes "Argue is if you were right, listen as if you were wrong".

    nice quote
    No Sacrifice, No Victory.
  • /usr/usr Posts: 1,768Member
    Being able to communicate effectively, participate with others in a team effectively, relationship building, conflict resolution, etc... all of the intrapersonal and interpersonal skills.

    I'll throw in my vote for that as well.

    Being able to communicate and deal with people in a calm and effective manner is absolutely key to surviving in this industry and making a good impression on clients and coworkers alike. Throughout my experience in the field, I have dealt with many different times of people, in many different environments, under varying levels of stress. The one thing that has always carried me through and left me feeling confident is the impression I make on people when I talk to them, reassure them, explain something to them, etc. I am extremely confident in my ability to interact with people and that carries me much further than my knowledge ever will.

    Be open minded. Listen to people and try to understand where they're coming from. Don't act as if you know everything, even if you do. When going into a situation where you do know more, always treat that as an opportunity to teach someone else, never treat them as if they're idiots for not understanding.

    Just my 2 cents.
  • KasorKasor Posts: 912Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Depending on the which field in the IT. Three things that I found that is the most important are:

    1. Luck

    2. Meet all the requirement

    3. Present yourself in a great professional manner
    Kill All Suffer T "o" ReBorn
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,480Admin Admin
    Kasor wrote: »
    Depending on the 1. Luck

    2. Meet all the requirement

    3. Present yourself in a great professional manner
    From my job hunting experiences, I would put "Who you know" as the #1 most important factor in securing a job. However, it's not a factor that most of us get to use as an advantage very often.
  • msteinhilbermsteinhilber Posts: 1,480Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    JDMurray wrote: »
    From my job hunting experiences, I would put "Who you know" as the #1 most important factor in securing a job. However, it's not a factor that most of us get to use as an advantage very often.

    Who you know is a huge factor in securing a job, the two main jobs I've held in my career so far were both obtained largely in part because of who I knew. Who you know is one of those things that is largely intertwined with soft skills such as being a good communicator. It's impossible to meet the right connections in the industry to really help advance your career if you be the stereotypical computer geek and live inside your own shell, perhaps opening up just to those of your kind (i.e. the fellow co-workers at your same level) but there are those decision makers out there that some of us might not feel all that comfortable with openly communicating with and might be a bit introverted around.

    Sometimes it is possible to become noticed and make a connection by an off chance, perhaps you weren't actively seeking out meeting and making a good memorable impression on somebody that might be able to help you out down the road. That happened to me, I did land the two jobs I've had in the industry so far by who I knew, but the first job was one of these connections based on luck. I think that opened up my eyes on just how easy it is to get a job when you have a good inside connection, and since then I worked hard to try to come out of my shell. Thus came my second job where I was hired through a connection that I generated while I was actively trying to plant seeds of opportunity.
  • ColbyGColbyG Posts: 1,264Member
    IMO, troubleshooting/critical thinking.
  • XcluzivXcluziv Posts: 513Member
    I would say like msteinhilber has been reiterating which are the soft skills. Being able to effectively communicate with individuals on common ground as well as problem solving are essential. Critical thinking is very important also as colby stated above
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  • Icecube0045Icecube0045 Posts: 15Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Who you know is at the top of the list!
  • kate88kate88 Posts: 9Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Writing entry level resumes can be a great opportunity to creatively present yourself to the corporate world. Lack of experience is nothing to be ashamed of. Be confident in showcasing your skills and qualities.This is the most important part of an entry-level resume.I am also agree with your skills of entry level.icon_rolleyes.gif
  • brad-brad- Posts: 1,218Member
    ColbyNA wrote: »
    IMO, troubleshooting/critical thinking.
    +1

    ...and the being able to learn/be taught.
  • WilliamK99WilliamK99 Posts: 278Member
    That is why you never want to be a jerk to somebody, you never know when that person will be in a position to help you...
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