Finally offered an IT job- what I learned in the process
Today I was finally offered an IT job. I wanted to share some of the things I learned along the way, in hopes that an idea may help someone else or perhaps help someone avoid a pitfall. I also wanted to thank the people on this forum who have contributed their experiences and/or knowledge, which undoubtedly helped me make smarter choices and set realistic expectations. Getting a job doesn't mean I have no more use for certs or this forum, on the contrary- I am just getting started on my IT career, but getting a job was my primary goal earning certs.
What I learned-
What I learned-
- An IT certification may catch the attention of an employer and help you get an interview, but it's what you learned through studying for the certification and your IT experience applying this knowledge that will get you a job.
- If you list various certs on your resume, yet fail to correctly answer basic troubleshooting/technical questions you are going to look far worse than if you didn't list certs at all (and you are going to cheapen the value of certifications in that persons mind)
- Although most of the beginner certs (CompTia) aren't going to impress too many people, I felt they established basic IT knowledge/concepts which then helped me when I moved on to the MCSA and MCSE exams or whatever certs you happen to be pursuing.
- Although the certifications i earned definitely helped me get my current job, I believe it was the constant tweaking of my resume that started getting the attention of employers; employers look for resumes the same way we look for job posting- through keywords, the more keywords that your resume matches with their search the higher your resume will be when ranked by relevance. Look at job postings for positions you are applying to and make sure your resume contains the same key words.
- I noticed whenever I made changes to my profile or resume I would always get the most calls/emails right after and the activity seemed to taper off the longer it had been since the last time I had edited anything. To test this, on several instances I didn't actually make any changes- I just went into various edit sections of my profile and clicked "save changes". Then my last activity date would update to today's date and like clockwork I would start getting calls and emails about positions. So if you haven't been getting many calls on your resume when you previously were getting good traffic, try refreshing your profile on the various job boards. I imagine if employers see that your last activity was 3-4 weeks ago they either think you aren't actively looking or that you already found a job. I can't 100% say there is a correlation between refreshing your resume and getting calls for jobs, but activity would always start back up for me even when I didn't actually make any real changes.
- I frequently tried to psychoanalyze what employers were most looking for and asked the same questions that have been asked countless times on this forum- which certs do employers look for the most, do employers value a computer science degree more or do they generally prefer certs, what certs should I study for, etc. I finally realized that this was basically the same as asking- do most employers like red or do they prefer blue; each person is different and will have their own unique preferences. Also the best certs for me to study are the ones that pertain to the area of IT that I want to work in or the certs that would apply/complement my current position.