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  1. #1

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    Resolved [RESOLVED] Advice for finding a job

    Hi,

    I was wondering how you people went about searching for your first paid IT job and if you could give me some advice. I have completed both my Diploma of Web Development and Diploma of Software Development and I current looking for a job to get my foot in the door. However, all the job I find on sites such as seek or careerone say that are after people with years of experience. How did you overcome that obstacle and could you please give me some advice?

    Thanks,


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    Re: Advice for finding a job

    Hi,

    As an ex-employer myself, the term "X Years of Experience" is usually just another way of saying "I would like to hire someone who knows what they are doing!". On that basis, if you are confident that you know what you are doing, then you should always ignore this statement, present yourself truthfully and openly and go for every opportunity.

    An employer with an IT / Development background can easily spot the difference between someone who knows what they are doing and someone who does not and confidence and knowledge is what counts to an employer and not a number on a piece of paper.

    As an example, one of my best programmers came in the form of a young chap who, in the interview could not stop shaking and sweated like a pig. There was something about him though in what he said and what he demonstrated and like I said he became one of my best programmers.

    In addition to this how can you say that you have no experience when you have over 9,000 posts on the forum? That is something that an employer would be interested in since this demonstrates commitment, self motivation and the ability to solve a variety of problems. If this is not on your CV then it should be.

    If all else fails, offer a free "work experience" period to an employer. Everyone loves something for nothing (especially in business) and it also provides two important things. Firstly, for you to demonstrate that you are the right person for the job and secondly for the employer to be certain that he/she has made the best choice for their business. Then it's down to you.

    Hope that helps and good luck.

    Cheers,

    Ian

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    Re: Advice for finding a job

    Quote Originally Posted by IanRyder View Post
    In addition to this how can you say that you have no experience when you have over 9,000 posts on the forum? That is something that an employer would be interested in since this demonstrates commitment, self motivation and the ability to solve a variety of problems. If this is not on your CV then it should be.
    I didn't think forum posts could count towards experience because the employer wouldn't be able to verify each post I (for example) have made?
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    Re: Advice for finding a job

    Hi,

    If you close off avenues before you even give them a try then this will always lead to a limitation of your options. Just my opinion.

    Good luck in your search.

    Ian

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    Re: Advice for finding a job

    What are these "Diploma of" credentials?

    As far as I can tell they come from trade school courses of study, i.e. they represent vocational skills training.


    While that's a fine thing and all, I don't know of any employer who would take on a candidate for a programming position who didn't also have a 4-year degree from an accredited university.

    This doesn't mean exceptions aren't granted, but as a general rule "no Batchelor's degree, no interview" is the approach taken. I don't necessarily agree with this. Mostly because they seem to accept a degree in basketweaving as good enough to clear the resume/CV screening step.

    But maybe a basketweaving degree plus one or more of those "Diploma of" thingies might make sense.


    I think it depends on the employer. Low paying job-shops and mom-and-pop companies might be far more generous. Larger companies, governmental agencies, etc. will probably want a formal degree.

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    Re: Advice for finding a job

    I don't necessarily agree with the "no Bachelors degree, no interview" philosophy either... and thankfully, a number of employers don't agree with it... how do I know? I have no degree... and I've been gainfully employed in this line of work since 98 (94 if you also count the Air Force). The reason the "degree required" makes it into adverts... it's HR that is posting them... NOT the organization doing the hiring. Fortunately some ads are starting to read "or comparable experience" along with the degree "requirement". But that goes back to what Ian's point was... they're looking for those who can do the job. Every job I've gotten (besides the AF) is because I know my stuff and I can demonstrate it. I don't know everything... I still have to look up the syntax for a merge statement in TSQL, but the point is that I know what it is, how it works, why it is sometimes preferable over dual statements, and yet at other times it might not be appropriate.

    If you want to develop web sites/applications, then what you might want to do is start working on developing a portfolio of your work. Show off what you can do. If you want to do programming, then it's not so simple... maybe see if the organization from which you got your diplomas has a job placement center, to help & aid with the search.

    Be prepared though... for all of the applications you send out, you'll only get an interview at a handfull, and of those, only a few may call back for a second, and fewer still will tend an offer.

    Last two times I had to look for a job, I probably filled out a 50 or so applications, went on about 10-15 interviews and received about 5 call backs and 2-3 offers... it takes time. Just don't get discouraged. It may also be of benefit to work with a contract firm. Most of my leads comes from such a firm. The other option it to cold-call companies, ask for the IT dept, then the hiring manager, see if they have anything, or would be willing to give someone a break.

    Just some thoughts.

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    Re: Advice for finding a job

    What have you been doing all this time? That may be more important than the degrees. After all, I have both a BS and MS....in Biology. I wrote a whole bundle of programs as a fish biologist, and couldn't even apply for any programming jobs since I'd never taken even a course in anything computer related. All I had was a demonstrable portfolio of programs in use by the agency. They finally posted a job with a more fluid set of requirements, and I changed hats.

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    Re: Advice for finding a job

    I didn't have a degree when I started myself. It depended on the job you were applying for.

    I suppose there used to be a more rigid hierarchy of roles.

    Entry level "programmer" positions requested a degree but "comparable experience in the field" (a pretty loose description) was generally enough to qualify you for things like Civil Service written tests. If you passed, at least your resume got put in the pool. A high enough score and you might well be considered before low-scoring degreed applicants.

    The no-hands-on "analyst" positions on the other hand pretty much required a degree even to be allowed to test.

    Operations jobs (operating a computer, which mostly meant a lot of mounting tapes and tearing paper off printers along with keeping program runs on schedule) and technician jobs (fetching and carrying terminals and wiring them into the network - there were no PCs) only required a high school diploma, with preference given for some technical school training.

    There were no phony-baloney "project manager" positions back then (remember, this was a long time ago). Management was handled by supervisors and managers and obviously your odds of getting such a role without prior paid work experience were unlikely (and probably still are unless you are the boss' nephew).


    And of course there are those organizations a little leery of anything outside their core expertise. A septic tank service might well decide to make a good tanker who plinks at home on his PC a paid programmer.

    Few organizations have any use for staff who maintain, let alone write, compilers and operating systems anymore. Software is a lot more commoditized now. Can you imagine submitting actual code patches to Microsoft for a Windows fix? Hah! Who even gets the source code? Yet in the old mainframe/mini days this wasn't rare at all.

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    Re: Advice for finding a job

    Quote Originally Posted by techgnome View Post
    If you want to develop web sites/applications, then what you might want to do is start working on developing a portfolio of your work. Show off what you can do. If you want to do programming, then it's not so simple... maybe see if the organization from which you got your diplomas has a job placement center, to help & aid with the search.
    The only websites I have created are those I did as part of my diplomas as well, as the examples I have uploaded to the forums. BTW I received you pm about the job unfortunately I'm in South Australia not New South Wales, thanks anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Hiker View Post
    What have you been doing all this time?
    Well, from 2007 - 2012 I was at a training campus doing my Diplomas! I haven't had any experience with software/websites apart from that. I have been doing some volunteer work at my church but that was only burning music onto cds, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    I didn't have a degree when I started myself. It depended on the job you were applying for.
    Ah ok! I am just very confused about how to get my foot in the door because as I mentioned in post #1 the jobs I have looked at requires years or experience. I suppose I could ring up and inquire about the positions.

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    What are these "Diploma of" credentials?

    As far as I can tell they come from trade school courses of study, i.e. they represent vocational skills training.
    Yes, it was at a technical/trade school here in Australia.
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    Re: Advice for finding a job

    Well, while I was going to school I had several jobs working in roles they called "computer assistant" that was a combination of custom programming and running those programs or "canned" software to solve problems. Remember, this was back in ancient times (no PCs) and most people with a need for data processing needed a go-between.

    But when I needed to move to full time work and part time school (economic realities do intrude) I had to apply to many places and went on at least 20 interviews. Even then as it turned out I only got hired because somebody else backed out of an offer and I was the first one who answered the phone when this employer started calling people at 6AM because they had to have somebody NOW.

    They came right out and said it: I was low on this list because I didn't have that degree. Only my student work experience got me on their final list at all.


    The problem you have with hobby experience is the vast pool of such candidates today. Probably 1 in 20 kids has a Web site, a blog or something. One in 50 has probably messed around with Excel macros. At least 1 in 500 plinks around with VB.Net, PHP, etc.


    Does this technical training school offer any kind of job placement service?

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    Re: Advice for finding a job

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    Does this technical training school offer any kind of job placement service?
    I'm not sure but I remember someone saying that they were going to implement a work experience module into the certificate IV stuff for the new course. Trouble is I just finished the old course because that was the one I was doing when the new course came into effect. I guess I could ring the school and ask if they can give my some help in looking for a job?
    Last edited by Nightwalker83; Feb 4th, 2013 at 07:15 PM. Reason: Fixed grammar!
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    Re: Advice for finding a job

    Might have something on their web site about that.

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    Re: Advice for finding a job

    go and get yourself some work experience.

    Unpaid if necessary, you are in a competitive jobs market and experience will count more than your diplomas. Its not a bad thing that you have them but its that experience that is key.

    Many places if you can get yourself a free work experience position (just ask around phone up companies in your area and offer your expertise for free), if you do well will offer you a job at the end of it, and if they dont well you should at least get a reference that you can then use when looking for your next job.

    Its always difficult doing something for no money but i think it is worth it to get that initial experience, once you have some behind you you will find it a lot easier to get work.
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    Re: Advice for finding a job

    However, all the job I find on sites such as seek or careerone
    That's your problem right there. If you're applying through job seeker sites you're competing with a mass of other applicants who will have more experience than you. That doesn't mean they're better than you but from the perspective of an potential employer who's got to trawl through that stuff it's a pretty good indicator so you likely will get dismissed out of hand.

    What I did for my first coule of jobs was to grab the yellow pages (that the business phone directory in the UK) and phone up all the software houses. I was quite honest, said I was a new programmer looking for a first job and did they have any junior developer roles. Alot of the numbers turned out to be one-man bandswhich were a waste of time but there's a whole bunch of small development houses in there too and, if you can get past the receptionist to talk to a development manager, they tend to be quite impressed with someone being this proactive and it doesn't take too long to find someone who'll give you a shot and will even create a new position for you.

    The absolute key to this technique, though, is DON'T GET FIELDED BY THE RECEPTIONIST - that's death. What I used to do was phone once, get fielded, but ask if I could send my CV to the development manager. They'll usually give you his email address and name. A week later you phone back to "follow up" and ask for him by name - that's usually enough to get you through
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    Re: Advice for finding a job

    For the past couple of weeks I have been going to a job employment agency to help me prepare and look for a job. Although, now I am getting to the point where I don't really want to work in Information Technology as spend five years studying in the field and even longer being interested in it.
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    Re: Advice for finding a job

    So..... what DO you want to do? If not IT, then it's quite limited... but then again, I guess it depends on how you look at it... I'm in the IT sector as far as my job goes, but that's from an industry standpoint. From an organizational view, I'm not in IT. I'm in Professional Services... I do customization work for our customers. We do have an "IT" department, otherwise known as the Help Desk, but that's because they provide support for the entire company.

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    Re: Advice for finding a job

    I have always approached things from the view of a hobbyist and not looking at the big picture! Well, since I have spent five years getting my IT diplomas I should spend some time in the IT field otherwise I would have studied for nothing.
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    Re: Advice for finding a job

    I know someone who spent nearly 6 years working towards a Veterinarian degree... she now teaches high school science... what's you're point? Shaggy has a degree in marine biology... OK, sure that's what he started out doing, but that's not what he does now (at least not directly)... Sometimes it takes us a while to find out our real direction. I thought I wanted to be a geologist at one point... started studying geology... didn't exactly pan out for me either... even now, if I could, I'd be off to a culinary school if I could... and I'm 20 years into a career (30 into it as a hobby)...

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    Re: Advice for finding a job

    I guess I'll just see how I go!
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    Re: [RESOLVED] Advice for finding a job

    I guess I'll just see how I go!
    Personally I think that's a pretty good aproach to life... as long as you don't use it as an excuse to do nothing. Try to do the things that interest you and try to do them well. When something stops interesting you, try to do something else. You may or you may not make big money but at least you'll enjoy what you do. And spending years in a profession you hate just for a bottom line is a recipe for misery IMO.

    I thought I wanted to be a geologist at one point
    Yeah, but everyone wants to be a rock star when they're young.
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    Re: [RESOLVED] Advice for finding a job

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    Yeah, but everyone wants to be a rock star when they're young.
    I was star struck for a while, but that was when I wanted to be an astronaut... but it turns out I was just too grounded for that... it weighs heavy on me...
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    Re: Advice for finding a job

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightwalker83 View Post
    I guess I'll just see how I go!
    That's a good attitude. Once you look back on it from the perspective of several years, you will realize that you had relatively little control over the major course...unless you decide to develop a drug habit, in which case you will have control right until you hit the ground.

    I wasn't really a marine biologist, just a fish biologist. I'm not quite fin-ished with that yet, either. While I have scaled back a bit, what I found was that programming and biology go very well together. Huge amounts of data, interesting problems, not just business, low pay, exotic locations, cute women, who could ask for more?
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