Finally offered an IT job- what I learned in the process

rob7278rob7278 Posts: 57Member ■■□□□□□□□□
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-
  • 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.
I am by no means an authority or expert on get hired for IT jobs, I am just starting my IT career. These are just some of the tips and ideas that were shared with me when I first started coming to this forum and I just wanted pass it on.

Comments

  • Ryan82Ryan82 Posts: 428Member
    Congrats to you sir! icon_cheers.gif
  • ConfigConfig Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Well done
  • DV27DV27 Posts: 12Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Rob - congrats for your job offer, and thanks for passing on your thoughts.
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Posts: 2,621Member
    Great job and great advice. Thanks for taking the time to document your findings for everyone else.
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
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  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAPosts: 5,735Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Congratz! What will you be doing?
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • ssampierssampier Posts: 224Member
    Congratulations!

    Excellent post. Time to 'update' my resume online.

    And of course, employers prefer red (unless they prefer blue, green, black, white, pink, orange, or any other color).icon_cheers.gif
    Future Plans:

    JNCIA Firewall
    CCNA:Security
    CCNP

    More security exams and then the world.
  • AldurAldur Juniper Moderator Posts: 1,460Member
    Congrats on the new job!

    And thanks for you thoughts on the process, I'm sure this will be very helpful to many people here.
    "Bribe is such an ugly word. I prefer extortion. The X makes it sound cool."

    -Bender
  • mikej412mikej412 Posts: 10,090Member
    Congratulations of the Job!! icon_cheers.gif

    Updating (or refreshing) your resume on the online sites is a GREAT idea. A recruiter/HR wonk has lots of current resumes to choose from to fill any openings they have so they aren't going to waste their time calling people who last posted/updated their resume 4 months ago.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • it_consultantit_consultant Posts: 1,903Member
    Congratulations on getting a job, thats a big deal. Is this your first IT job? What kind of position is it?
  • bertiebbertieb Posts: 1,031Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Well done and the best of luck icon_thumright.gif
    The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they are genuine - Abraham Lincoln
  • rogue2shadowrogue2shadow CISSP, GXPN, OSCE, OSCP, OSWP, eMAPT, CEH, CNDA, A+, Network+, Security+ Posts: 1,501Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Well done! Very nice post.

  • CountryboiCountryboi Posts: 44Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I have notice alot of what you learned myself....even though that whole updating your resume normally only gets bites from recruiters but the most important thing is that certs will get you in the door but if you dumped or cant not apply the information from the certs to the real world.....then they aint worth the paper they are printed on
  • howiehandleshowiehandles Posts: 148Member
    Absolutely have to agree with the refreshing the resume thing. I've done it many times, sometimes even just changing the name of my resume. I'll receive the most of my calls within a day or two, and it will also taper off.
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Posts: 2,008Member
    rob7278 wrote: »
    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.

    Agree with this 100% and probably the best sentence in your post. A lot of people spend a lot of time splitting hairs on trying to get it "perfect". There is no perfect. The actual BS means more than the field of study. CS, IT, CIS, whatever. They are looking for someone who was willing to invest money in themselves (student loan debt) and see a long-term plan through to completion. It's not the actual degree, but the fact that you got it. Just get the BS in a technical field. Hell, I know a programmer who has a BS in Timber Harvesting.
    Currently reading:
    IPSec VPN Design 44%
    Mastering VMWare vSphere 5​ 42.8%
  • za3bourza3bour Posts: 1,062Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congratulations and thanks a lot for the tips
  • apena7apena7 Posts: 351Member
    Congratulations on the job offer and thanks for the pointers. 5-stars.
    Usus magister est optimus
  • rob7278rob7278 Posts: 57Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    The position I accepted is- Services Operation Center (SOC) Technician with Kroll Ontrack in Minnesota. I am extremely excited to be working in a large enterprise environment. My last job was as a tech support/ system admin(I am being fairly generous in using the sys admin title- because a company this small doesn't require very much system administration) for a very small company- 25 desktops/laptops. Other than just getting someone to hire me, my biggest objective was to move up to a real enterprise IT environment. My other goal was to not have to work on a help desk- which the SOC Tech position does do a fair amount of phone support, however in the interview they told me that the expectation would be to resolve 80-90% of the incoming issues. They also told me that I wouldn't be just supporting users (they said this would probably account for 50-60% of my time), I will also be involved in various projects working with the servers and Active Directory.
    The position is- 6 month contract to hire, with the hiring manager telling me that this is a position that they fully intend to have become permanent. She said they decided to hire through a recruiting agency because they liked the idea of utilizing a 6 month "trial period", but as long as I was meeting their expectations I could expect to be hired on permanent.
    So, anyway that is my story :D
    I also am shifting gears somewhat for my next certification- they were hoping I was familiar with ITIL, so I told them I would start studying for the ITIL v3 Foundations cert. Which I don't think should take too long, as I was going over the exams objectives and browsing through some study material and it seems pretty common sense and a lot of the material I am already familiar with.
    Thanks again
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Posts: 2,008Member
    rob7278 wrote: »
    The position I accepted is- Services Operation Center (SOC) Technician with Kroll Ontrack in Minnesota. I am extremely excited to be working in a large enterprise environment. My last job was as a tech support/ system admin(I am being fairly generous in using the sys admin title- because a company this small doesn't require very much system administration) for a very small company- 25 desktops/laptops. Other than just getting someone to hire me, my biggest objective was to move up to a real enterprise IT environment. My other goal was to not have to work on a help desk- which the SOC Tech position does do a fair amount of phone support, however in the interview they told me that the expectation would be to resolve 80-90% of the incoming issues. They also told me that I wouldn't be just supporting users (they said this would probably account for 50-60% of my time), I will also be involved in various projects working with the servers and Active Directory.
    The position is- 6 month contract to hire, with the hiring manager telling me that this is a position that they fully intend to have become permanent. She said they decided to hire through a recruiting agency because they liked the idea of utilizing a 6 month "trial period", but as long as I was meeting their expectations I could expect to be hired on permanent.
    So, anyway that is my story :D
    I also am shifting gears somewhat for my next certification- they were hoping I was familiar with ITIL, so I told them I would start studying for the ITIL v3 Foundations cert. Which I don't think should take too long, as I was going over the exams objectives and browsing through some study material and it seems pretty common sense and a lot of the material I am already familiar with.
    Thanks again
    Good luck. Making the jump from Help Desk to Enterprise System Administrator is a big step and huge accomplishment.
    Currently reading:
    IPSec VPN Design 44%
    Mastering VMWare vSphere 5​ 42.8%
  • rob7278rob7278 Posts: 57Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Zarta
    I'm not going to be a Enterprise Systems Admin; at least not yet icon_thumright.gif
    I am going to be a Services Operation Center Technician
  • ssampierssampier Posts: 224Member
    Your goals are similar to mine - spooky isn't it? I was a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, though. By the way, systems generally involves servers and other rackmounted equipment.

    You are now a S.O.C.T. Congratulations.
    Future Plans:

    JNCIA Firewall
    CCNA:Security
    CCNP

    More security exams and then the world.
  • earweedearweed Posts: 5,192Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Congrats on the job and I've found that refreshing the online resume does help. Good luck with the new job.
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
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