Trying to Re-Enter Workforce after 7 months of not working

chudig12chudig12 Member Posts: 23 ■■■□□□□□□□
I'm looking for ways to improve my chances of securing my next job.To start off, I contracted most of last year (2012). Unfortunately, none of the contact jobs went permanent. I ended up working a series of short term contracts each lasting about 3 months (1. Security Admin / Access Control, 2. Desktop Refresh/Deployment, 3. Help Desk & POS support & 4. ATM refresh / Base 24 configuration). I was asked to leave my last job early in November of 2012 due to work permit issues. It took me 7 months become eligible to work again and now I'm ready for the IT work force.

During the time I was not working, I earned my A+. Now I am now on track to sit for Network+ within the next 3 weeks. I did my best to keep in touch with recruiters from several IT recruiting firms in my area (Columbus, OH), keeping them informed as to when I will be returning to work again. The calls for help desk, desktop support and application support analyst type of job offers came in frequently but I had to turn them all down. I am trying to move away from the Help Desk roles and move more towards Desktop/PC support or even Entry level Network Engineering type roles. One recruiter told me that when he presented me to one of his clients for a Help Desk role, the client made a comment about my my resume being spotty and having too many short term stints. I was under the impression that the contracts I worked made me a more seasoned IT professional and showed my capability to adapt and excel in changing environments. He told me the client (some pharmaceutical / medical research company) was looking for a consistent 2-3 years of experience.

I also noticed that response from most of the recruiters I was in contact with regards to job placement have not been as responsive as of late. Could it be that most businesses are just not hiring as much as they did earlier in the year? Maybe the Economy? Or maybe is it because of the holidays (July 4th). Last year I was landing jobs fast and with relative ease and most of the roles I interviewed for lead to employment. I fear that the 7 month unemployment gap might be having a negative effect on job hunting, but then again it's only been 5 days.

One recruiter from Randstad called me with a job offer and said I was a perfect match a PC Support role at a major department store. I kept the communication line open and forwarded her the necessary docs she needed (resume, references, etc). After a week or so, she told me that the client will like to do a phone interview and wanted to know my hours of availability. I told her on 07/01/13 & 07/02/13 between 12 pm and 3 pm. On both days I received no call or clarification as to when the interview will actually take place.

I have spent hours tweaking and cleaning up my resume and plan to spend even more time working on it. I hope getting the Network+ certification improves my chances of landing a decent job. To what degree, I don't know. Most of the Network engineering jobs I have seen on Monster, Career Builder, Dice, Indeed, etc require a considerable amount of experience along with at least a CCNA certification. Here is a stripped down version of my resume Resume_1.pdf. I am open to layout tips and advice on ways I can improve on it. I have tried my best to keep it to one page.

Comments

  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,917 Mod
    I see a big issue with your resume: it doesn't specify those were contract gigs. If I don't know your story and see your resume I can assume either 1) contracts, or 2) job hopper. You are leaving the door open for misinterpretation. You need to specify their were short term contracts and then spin it in the direction of "I've gained experience and am looking for something permanent..."
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Member Posts: 2,338 ■■■■■■■■□□
    OP wrote:
    Trying to Re-Enter Workforce after 7 months of not working
    I took a one-year sabbatical to spend time with my kids. The keys to getting back into the workforce at the level I previously was were: (a) proving I was still sharp, which required a month or two of study and some re-certification, (b) rejecting low-ball offers.
    OP wrote:
    the client made a comment about my my resume being spotty and having too many short term stints. I was under the impression that the contracts I worked made me a more seasoned IT professional and showed my capability to adapt and excel in changing environments.
    Like most employers, I generally like to see someone who stays at jobs for 2-3 years. After all, your first three months of employment are usually the most expensive since time is spent coming up-to-speed. Even before the contracts, your work consisted of short gigs, including working five months as technical support for a service provider. How do the various JP Morgan jobs fit together?
    OP wrote:
    He told me the client (some pharmaceutical / medical research company) was looking for a consistent 2-3 years of experience.
    The funny thing is, I hadn't even read this, before writing the above!
    OP wrote:
    I am trying to move away from the Help Desk roles and move more towards Desktop/PC support or even Entry level Network Engineering type roles.
    All you have is an A+, so you fall short of consideration for entry-level network engineering work.
    OP wrote:
    Could it be that most businesses are just not hiring as much as they did earlier in the year?
    News wrote:
    unemployment benefits last week. (June 6, 2013) U.S. companies stepped up hiring last month, a private survey showed Wednesday. And the government says fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week. The latest data point to steady job growth, an encouraging sign before Friday's government report on June employment.
    OP wrote:
    Most of the Network engineering jobs I have seen on Monster, career builder, dice, indeed, etc require a considerable amount of working experience at least a CCNA certification
    Yup! If you stayed at one job for a couple years plus earned your CCNA, you'd be doing great from the perspective of entry-level networking knowledge plus smoothing out your spotty job history. :)
  • NotHackingYouNotHackingYou Member Posts: 1,460 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Sorry, I don't have much to add except that in 'Profile' I feel like 'configurations' should be 'configuration'. Third line, first word. Keep on that Network+ and/or CCNA (prefer CCNA if at all possible) and keep your chin up. Something will come around.
    When you go the extra mile, there's no traffic.
  • chudig12chudig12 Member Posts: 23 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thank you all for your suggestions. Looks like I might have to back to the drawing board and revise my overall strategy. The Job Hopper stigma might also be an issue. I shall continue my search and focus more on upgrading skills through higher level certs.
  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Gaming Tech Expert Silicon Valley, CAMember Posts: 4,016 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Keep your head up something will come around!! :)
    *Associate's of Applied Sciences degree in Information Technology-Network Systems Administration
    *Bachelor's of Science: Information Technology - Security, Master's of Science: Information Technology - Management
    Matthew 6:33 - "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."

    Certs/Business Licenses In Progress: AWS Solutions Architect, Series 6, Series 63
  • bigmantenorbigmantenor Member Posts: 233
    Honestly, you may need to rethink your strategy and consider some of the helpdesk positions. There is nothing wrong with finding a helpdesk gig, especially since you are unemployed right now. NetworkVet is correct, you do not meet the requirements for most entry-level engineering gigs. Try to find a permanent gig (helpdesk or otherwise), work on your certs, get caught back up with your finances, and THEN start targeting new positions again. The most important thing right now is finding a permanent paying gig where you can accrue experience and get a paycheck again.
  • tpatt100tpatt100 Member Posts: 2,991 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I had a contract that blew up and ended up short term, no fault of my own but the fault of the company that hired us. Since half of us got laid off at the same time it "looked better" but I made sure to contact my manager and co workers asking them if it was ok if I put them down as references if asked to verify the short term situation. It came up once during an interview but the hiring manager told the person asking me "that's the life of a contractor sometimes" after I explained what happened.
  • chudig12chudig12 Member Posts: 23 ■■■□□□□□□□
    tpatt100, you are right. I have decided to not over think that aspect of my work history. At the end of the day, different employers value different qualities of prospective candidates. After two weeks of intense job hunting, I just landed a travelling field tech assignment (duration: 3 months). I look forward to it. I have my Network + exam scheduled for Saturday (07/20/2013).

    Here is an updated version of my resume updated resume.pdf.
  • draughtdraught Member Posts: 229 ■■■■□□□□□□
    The resume itself looks good only thing that stands out is you listed a one day job. While I applaud the honesty I think you would be better off removing that. If you really want to fill that gap there are ways to be creative about it.
  • chudig12chudig12 Member Posts: 23 ■■■□□□□□□□
    draught wrote: »
    The resume itself looks good only thing that stands out is you listed a one day job. While I applaud the honesty I think you would be better off removing that. If you really want to fill that gap there are ways to be creative about it.

    Thanks for the input Draught. I landed a lead field tech position shortly after. I am glad I left it there. During the interview, I was able to use it to my advantage which allowed me to elaborate about working in the field.
  • Moon ChildMoon Child Member Posts: 183 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Ya I am applying to IT jobs, but I hate the idea of on contract and 'at-will" employment. I probably will just do the teaching job again this year and if I can't find a computer job in the evenings or part-time so be it. In my area two steel mills both are hiring 100+ employees a month. Starting pay is $19/hour as a laborer with full healthcare benefits and union membership. You get stock options and they pay for 15 credits a semester of college classes. If you get laid off at the mill they still have to pay you like 2/3 of your salary plus full healthcare benefits. The hard part is getting in. I take my N+ Wednesday after that I might give up on IT. I have realized this summer why I left IT years ago and chose to work in other fields instead. I got my masters in education and became a licensed teacher after I left IT, this summer I am beginning to realize leaving IT was a smart option. IT is nice as a 2nd job or back-up job, but doesn't offer much job security. At least as a teacher I know your guaranteed a job all year if they hire you along with great benefits. An electrician I know who works for a mill has his MCSE, he never pursued IT because he gets paid better as an electrician working in the mill. With overtime he makes over 100k a year and when he gets laid of from work according to union rules they still have to pay him like 2/3 of his salary. I love IT but teaching jobs and a lot of the labor jobs in the mills offer much better compensation than I would get in IT.
    ... the world seems full of good men--even if there are monsters in it. - Bram Stoker, Dracula
  • method115method115 Member Posts: 85 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Moon Child wrote: »
    Ya I am applying to IT jobs, but I hate the idea of on contract and 'at-will" employment. I probably will just do the teaching job again this year and if I can't find a computer job in the evenings or part-time so be it. In my area two steel mills both are hiring 100+ employees a month. Starting pay is $19/hour as a laborer with full healthcare benefits and union membership. You get stock options and they pay for 15 credits a semester of college classes. If you get laid off at the mill they still have to pay you like 2/3 of your salary plus full healthcare benefits. The hard part is getting in. I take my N+ Wednesday after that I might give up on IT. I have realized this summer why I left IT years ago and chose to work in other fields instead. I got my masters in education and became a licensed teacher after I left IT, this summer I am beginning to realize leaving IT was a smart option. IT is nice as a 2nd job or back-up job, but doesn't offer much job security. At least as a teacher I know your guaranteed a job all year if they hire you along with great benefits. An electrician I know who works for a mill has his MCSE, he never pursued IT because he gets paid better as an electrician working in the mill. With overtime he makes over 100k a year and when he gets laid of from work according to union rules they still have to pay him like 2/3 of his salary. I love IT but teaching jobs and a lot of the labor jobs in the mills offer much better compensation than I would get in IT.


    that sounds great but who wants to be stuck doing something they don't love. That sounds like a nightmare. When I first got into IT I barely made enough to pay the bills. Even then I felt like the luckiest person in the world. I literally feel like I don't even work. I'm just not someone who can do something they don't love day in and day out. I feel sorry for people who wake up on Monday pissed because they have to work. I wake up on Monday and I'm excited to get the week started. My brother almost made the mistake of going to school for something he had no interest in but he would make a lot of money. Thankfully I had a talked to him about all this and he changed his major immediately. Working is such a huge chunk of your life your basically wasting it if your doing something that you don't love.
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